IT WAS FRIDAY, December 23, as the year 2016 was coming to an end. Six church members, my husband, my niece, my two children, and I were going to downtown Portland, Oregon, in the United States. It was eight o’clock at night and my brother’s car was traveling parallel to a large river. My eyes rested on the freezing waters of the mighty Columbia River, where great ships, illuminated by the lights of the buildings, were passing by. Who would say at first glance that that city, so obviously filled with riches and luxury, had such a large number of indigents in the streets? They were precisely the ones we were going to visit.
They all had a story to tell us—the stories of their lives, the reasons why they were in that situation. There were some women, extremely thin, who were pregnant; there were good musicians, several professionals, and even children of very rich parents. And there was also Anastasia. I was particularly interested in her case because while I was singing «Amazing Grace» with my children and my bad English pronunciation, she could not stop weeping. I found out that she also spoke Spanish, so we were able to communicate better. So it was that she told me she had Adventist relatives and that she was there with her father, waiting to get treatment to recover from her drug addiction.
When we left after giving them a small Christmas gift, I Anastasia hard; my soul wept together with her. I said to her, «Anastasia, I will pray for you as long as I live. I don’t know how, but I have to see you in heaven.” The tears began to run down her cheeks again. Her eyes, pleading for spiritual help, moved me deeply. You know, I pray for Anastasia to this day and I have faith that I am going to see her again in heaven.
For whom are you praying in particular? If we believe that Jesus is coming soon, why not live life as a ministry, being concerned for one another and acting in behalf of others? Let us encourage one another in love and cheer each other up;
this will have a great impact on the lives of everyone.
«Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And … encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near» (Hebrews 10:24, 25, NLT).