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A Supreme God

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Long before the gospel was known in Chimbote, Peru, Mr. Espinoza had longed for deliverance from sin. Being a Roman Catholic, he prayed to the saints to save him from his evil habits, but of course, there was no improvement.

Finally, he decided to take some candles to the church and pray to all the saints individually. He thought surely one of them would save him, and when he came to the right one, he would see some light or hear some voice that would indicate this was the one to whom he should pray.

He started in one corner of the church with his lighted candle and went the rounds. But there was no response. The poor fellow pondered this when suddenly his candle sputtered, and a few sparks flew up and disappeared in the roof.

His ignorant, simple heart was ready to see the supernatural in almost anything, and he at once decided that this must have some significance for him. And evidently the Spirit was there to lead his groping soul, for this is the way he reasoned: “The saints don’t answer me. And these sparks that have gone up just now to the roof must be to show me that I should pray directly to God. And so I will!” From that day he never had the least faith in the saints but would call on God to save him.

Some time passed after he had ceased to trust in the saints, but in spite of all his crying to God, he was still just as much a sinner as before. Once he had no more than five centavos (worth about one cent American) in the house and practically no food. Yet the craving for tobacco was so strong that he took this last bit of money, bought a cigarette, and went out alone to smoke it. Then as he thought of his wife with nothing to eat in the house, remorse and shame broke him. Now he was more discouraged than ever: The saints can’t help me, he thought, and God doesn’t want to. I must be too far gone to ever be saved.

As he thought of this, his heart despaired, and he wept. That night, however, he had a dream. He was told to go into town, and there he would find help. So the next day he arose early, left his hut, and went to Chimbote. A colporteur was passing through the place, and in God’s providence Mr. Espinoza met him and bought a Bible.

The rest of the story can be imagined. His thirsty heart drank in the Word; without delay he trusted Christ, and from that time on those tyrannous vices had no power over him. Without human instruction, he found the Way in the Word of God and has been instrumental in bringing others to the Lord and in establishing the church in Chimbote.

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