«They could not find where to put it, because there were many people; So they went up to the roof and, opening a gap between the tiles, lowered the sick man on the stretcher, there in the midst of all, in front of Jesus ”
Sergio was part of the team that would carry out an evangelization campaign in different places, but he was not happy when he was notified of his destination. He had gone to preach in a distant and mountainous region to which he did not want to go. He preferred to go somewhere close and easily accessible. However, he accepted the challenge and left in the company of the pastor.
When they had been walking up the mountain for more than six hours, his feet began to hurt, because he had made the mistake of putting on boots that were a little too tight. «I cried», Sergio told me, «and I screamed inside: Lord, please help me, I can’t take it anymore!». When they reached the top of a hill that he did not even know how he had been able to climb, he thought he had reached the place; however, they were only halfway there. The rest was just as hard (or more): he suffered from hunger, cold and many mosquito bites … Until they finally reached their destination. At the end of the campaign, a total of thirty-three people were baptized. For Sergio they were worth a hundred. The effort had been worth it.
There is a passage in the Bible that unites the two concepts of Sergio’s story: love for souls and human effort. I mean the one in which several friends brought a paralyzed man to Jesus to be healed. “Some men arrived carrying one who was paralyzed on a stretcher. They wanted to take it inside the house and put it in front of Jesus, but they couldn’t find where to put it, because there were many people; So they went up to the roof and, opening a gap between the tiles, lowered the sick man on the stretcher, there in the middle of everyone, in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw the faith they had, he said to the sick man: “Friend, your sins are forgiven” ”(Luke 5: 18-20).
There was no effort that these men did not make for the healing of their friend. Carrying their weight they arrived at the place, climbed to the roof, opened a hole and lowered the patient, without worrying about what they might think of them! Brave people who inspire us to live with that same courage. When it is love for souls that moves us, we must spare no effort.