Most of us have experienced it.
A call, a letter, or a text that turns your entire world upside down.
For Ana Maria, that moment came when she lost her beloved father, Daniel, to COVID-19 in 2020.
She was very attached to her papi. He was her pillar of strength and voice of reason.
As if that wasn’t enough, Ana Maria couldn't give him the proper send-off he deserved. Health regulations in Peru meant he had to be buried as soon as possible to prevent more infections.
Ana Maria and her two sisters couldn’t afford to buy a grave within the short time they were given. So they temporarily rented a grave until they could raise enough money for a permanent site.
They also decided to postpone the funeral until gatherings were permitted and they could give the extended family and friends a chance to properly pay their respects. Ana Maria prayed to God for the resources to give him a befitting farewell.
Everything finally fell into place at the end of 2022. Ana Maria decided to hold the funeral on January 2, 2023—her father’s birthday. Everyone she could imagine was finally there—aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews—her papi’s beloved family and friends.
As she looked around at the group of people gathered to honour her father, Ana Maria had a realization: God had created a unique opportunity for her to share the gospel. The funeral had brought together people from near and far. She knew some of her relatives had never even heard the Good News. There was no better time to share it with them than now.
But speaking in public made her nervous. She was already emotionally drained from the long burial process. Doubt upon doubt began to seep into Ana’s mind.
Gathering courage, Ana Maria reminded herself her papi would have wanted the gospel to be shared at his funeral. So she stood up and told the people there that her father was in heaven because he had given his life to Jesus. Ana Maria spoke of God’s plan of salvation, and urged her family and friends to seize the opportunity now to make things right with Him.
Everyone listened attentively, and to Ana Maria’s delight, 11 people gave their lives to Jesus. Each of them received a Bible from ShareWord Global’s church partner, El Refugio, to guide them as they grow in relationship with their heavenly Father.
And for Ana Maria, there was no better way to honour her father's legacy than to lead family and friends to Christ during his funeral. His sudden death had shown how life is so fragile and temporary. Sharing the gospel wouldn't be a one-time thing to her family and friends but an ongoing lifestyle.
From that moment forward, Ana Maria would make the most of every opportunity to tell people about the love of Jesus.