- Parent Category: History
- Category: Personal Stories
- Published on Monday, 11 December 2006 10:44
My name is Don Panchito. I was born in a little town in the state of Michoacán, Mexico in 1933. My father was killed seven months before I was born and my mother died six days after she brought me into the world.
I was an altar boy the Roman Catholic Church in another era. The people were very fanatical in Catholicism mixed with superstition and witchcraft. The priest had an incredible domination over all of us so we lived in spiritual darkness and terror of what was called the Holy Apostolic Roman Church.
One day in 1941 I heard a tremendous noise in the sky. It was the first time that I had seen an airplane. I remember how it filled me with panic. Hundreds of leaflets were scattered over the avocado fields and the plane continued on its way. We waited a bit and then we came out of our hiding places. The young men then gathered as many papers as possible.
The pictures on the front cover awoke my curiosity and I had to know what it said on the inside but I didn’t know how to read. I had never attended a school.
Without knowing what he was doing, the priest agreed to read to me the stories about the love of God for sinners, the death of Jesus on the cross, Heaven, Hell and eternity. Then shaking with anger, he commanded that everyone bring their papers to the plaza. Everyone watched while he pronounced curses on the people in the airplane. He forbade us from reading that heretical material and ordered us to light a fire with the papers.
But I was so intrigued with them that I hid them in my straw mattress. One at a time I read the leaflets in secret. With time, I lost all of them or they were taken away from me, but their messages were now engraved in my child-like heart.
Fifty years later, my wife and I came to live in Puerto Vallarta on the coast, together with our children and grandchildren. While walking one day in the main plaza a friendly person offered me a gospel paper. I took it home and asked my daughter to read it to me. Quickly, everything came back to my mind that had happened in my childhood in the small town six hundred kilometers away. The message in the gospel was exactly like those papers that had fallen from the airplane.
We took note of the address of El Centro Evangélico that was written on the last page. We found the building the next day and attended the meeting in the evening.
Never in my life had I heard the presentation of the gospel. For the first time I heard the Bible read. Those men read two places in the Bible that I more or less remembered and impressed me very profoundly that night. Now I know them clearly from memory!
One of the passages from the Bible was this
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The other was
“He that hears my word and believes on him that sent me has everlasting life and will not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”
I understood the message and for the first time accepted what God says in his word. In other words, I believed, was saved and confessed Jesus as my Savior. In a short time, I obeyed my Lord in baptism.
I have a bicycle and for fifteen years I have enjoyed going out to share gospel papers about salvation and talking to people about Jesus Christ. God in his grace has saved my wife, four of our children and several grandchildren. Now I know how to read a little and this helps me to understand and say what is in the Bible, the word of God.
Not everything has gone perfect for me. I have a son who is still without Christ. I hope that you are not found in that condition but pay attention to the messages that I have learned in my childhood that helped me receive eternal salvation when I was an older man, or as we say in Mexico, “uno grande”.
Thank God for the people in that airplane and for the people here in Vallarta that awoke the seed that was in my heart! I expect that I’ll go to heaven soon. I hope that you will be saved so you can go too.
Translated into English.