A Night that Changed His Life

Jose Hilario woke to cold metal being pressed against his temple. "Don't move or talk," the stranger warned. Masked men tied up Jose and his wife Ismenia, rendering them helpless. "We've been sent to kill you; lie still." Sheer terror gripped Jose's heart as he heard the men break down the door of his only son's bedroom. Sixteen year-old Christian was just down the hall, but Jose couldn't see or hear him at all. Would they kidnap him? Or kill him? Jose prayed as he had never prayed before.

Just three years before, an American missionary couple had knocked on Jose's door and invited him to a neighborhood Bible study they had just begun. Ismenia had trusted Christ as her Savior years before, but Jose and Christian had never been very interested. A little curious about these foreigners, Jose agreed to go visit Pastor Robbie's Bible Study. A few weeks later, Jose trusted Christ has his personal Savior, and Christian soon followed his example. Things began to change at the Rodriguez household.

The family attended church together faithfully and all took the personal discipleship course in order to learn more about the Bible and grow in their walk with the Lord. It was exciting to see changes in their lives.

On this terrible December night, bound and gagged in his own home, Jose reflected on what the Lord had done in his own heart and in the hearts of his family. Pase lo que pase, estamos seguros de nuestro destino final. Whatever happens, we are sure of our final destination, he thought. He prayed for courage and strength as the masked men ransacked his house and continued to yell profanities at his family. After what seemed like an eternity, they finally escaped into the night.

After struggling for some time, Jose and Ismenia were able to free themselves. They ran to Christian's room, where they found him safe and sound. They thanked the Lord together that they had made it through this ordeal and that He had spared their lives. The men had stolen jewelry and some cash set aside for their business, but the loss was minimal in comparison with what could have happened.

Over the next few weeks, changes became evident in Jose's life. He began to attend soul-winning visitation for the first time. He had realized in his darkest hour the value of the gift of eternal life; how could he not share this with others? During the following months, he led person after person to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord had used a horrible situation to create a determination in Jose's heart to share the good news he'd been given. So many in Progreso still have not heard...

Have you realized the value of what you've been given? Our eternal security offers us not only a home in heaven, but also guarantees us peace here on this earth. What are you doing so that others may receive this gift?

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. -Matthew 6:19

Ismenia (Jose's wife) talks with Joey Goins at a church activity.

Christian and Jose both serve as ushers at Iglesia Bautista El Faro.

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