Nora and Jorge enjoyed the fellowship and outreach activities in their
large church home in southern Ecuador. But they wanted to do more. They prayed for a special outreach opportunity, and God called then to serve Him in a smaller way in their own neighborhood.
The family knew many of their neighbors and invited them to worship in their home. Five of their neighbors came, along with several Adventists who live nearby. The visitors enjoyed the worship service and continued to attend regularly. A few more neighbors joined the group. Some brought their children, so one of Nora and Jorge’s daughters gave up her bedroom so the children could have a Sabbath School room.
Then Nora learned that she needed surgery for a blocked artery. She prayed for the doctors and for a successful outcome. But during surgery her lungs filled up with fluid, and her heart stopped beating. Doctors tried to resuscitate her, but weren’t successful. So they were amazed when her heart began beating again on its own. And they were even more astounded when she awakened 12 hours after the surgery. She was in the intensive care unit, but she had survived.
One of her doctors stopped by her room the next day and asked, “Nora, you shouldn’t have survived. Who is your God?” Because of a tube in her throat, Nora couldn’t talk, so her husband explained that during the surgery Christians across the city were praying for her. “Our God can be your God too,” her husband told the doctor.
Three other doctors quizzed Nora’s husband about the couple’s faith. One said, “In 30 years I’ve never seen someone whose lungs filled with fluid and whose heart stopped beating survive and respond so well the next day.” Nora’s miraculous recovery prompted the doctors to re-examine their own faith. Some of them asked more questions, and Jorge gave them copies of Steps to Christ.
After Nora left the hospital, two doctors called her to see how she was doing. “They seemed so surprised that I was alive and doing well,” Nora said. “I told them that God is my God, and He chose to save me. This miracle has helped our house church grow as well,” Nora adds. “Now we don’t have enough room in our home for our congregation. We’re looking for another place to worship.”
We are God’s chosen instruments to tell the world. Sharing our faith and our mission offerings helps grow God’s family.
Nora Vargas de Arellano and Jorge Arellano and their daughters share God’s love in Guayaquil, Ecuador.