stories from the field Guadalajara

Stories From the Field: Claudia

After her husband was late coming home from work one night, Claudia, a faithful member of our church, Breath of Life, received the call that so many Mexicans fear. It was Luis’ kidnappers, demanding a ransom. If she didn’t pay it, they would kill him. Claudia knew she would likely never see him again.

Although Claudia was a believer, Luis was nursing a 20-year grudge against God. Last year, two of their daughters accepted Christ and were baptized. Although Luis refused to attend their baptism, Claudia refused to give up on him.

After hanging up the phone with Luis after his abduction, Claudia prayed, “Lord, I don’t think I will ever see my husband again; please take care of him.” Claudia couldn’t go to the police, as that would ensure her husband’s death. Kidnapping victims in Mexico are warned by their abductors that if word gets out about their abduction, the entire family will be killed.

In desperation, Claudia took a risk and called Breath of Life’s assistant pastor. He prayed with her and informed Bob and Cheryl of the situation, and they joined in prayer. No one else in the congregation could be told.

One Sunday morning while Luis was still in captivity, Claudia testified to the congregation, “God is faithful!” By selling what she could and obtaining a loan, she was able to meet the required ransom. Luis was miraculously released.

A Joyful Reunion

Several days after Luis was reunited with his family, he was ready to open his heart to God. The couple approached Bob to tell him that Luis wanted to surrender to Christ.

Prior to his abduction, Luis told Bob that he had sensed the Lord speaking to him. He had prayed, “Lord, I need to return to you. Help me to straighten out my life.” Luis said that throughout the ordeal he never feared for his life; he was at peace, which further infuriated his captors. He knew God was answering his prayer.

Luis promised Claudia and Bob that he would listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice and begin attending church with his family. He has followed through on that commitment, with Claudia overjoyed yet still unable to tell anyone else what happened.

Claudia is not the first woman to deal with this type of horrific experience, and she won’t be the last. But we can come alongside women like her, sensitively providing support during the terrible hardships they endure.

 

Cheryl Fugate, International Worker
Guadalajara, Mexico

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