by Teresa Bonilla
At times we don’t realize the impact of the little things we do. However, they often have an impact for eternity. Not too long ago I received what seemed to be a normal phone call. A lady thanked us for our programming and gave me her prayer request, but as the conversation developed things started to change.
For the past four years, 77-year-old María Ramírez has been watching the 3ABN Latino network. When she moved into her new apartment she brought along her satellite dish and installed it, but soon one of her neighbors complained because it was against the housing policy.
María prayed, and when the administrator came to speak with her she said, “If you take away my satellite dish, I will die.”
“Die?” he asked.
“Yes, I will die spiritually, because this is my spiritual food,” she explained. (Amazingly, the administrator allowed her to keep her dish!)
Although María is a monthly donor to 3ABN Latino, one day she questioned whether she was giving enough to God’s work. As she asked Him what more she could do, the thought came to her to collect aluminum cans, recycle them, and send the money to 3ABN.
Soon María was going through the dumpster every day looking for cans, and it wasn’t long before her neighbors began approaching her, worrying she might be in need of food. Each time she would tell them about her plan, and many of them began helping her!
“But the enemy tried to harm me,” she adds. One of her neighbors became so angry they denounced her again to the administrator and threatened to kill her if she continued to collect cans!
Once again he spoke with María, asking why she was collecting cans. She showed him all the receipts she’d received from her donations to 3ABN Latino and other ministries, and he congratulated her—he even gave her an offering to send to 3ABN!
Next, María began encouraging her aunt to collect cans, and, just as before, her aunt was threatened with eviction as she began to help! María assured her by saying that if they kicked her out of the building, she should be at peace, because God was in control. “For us who love the Lord, all things work out for good,” she said. “He who gives, receives.”
(Not surprisingly, her aunt was never evicted.)
These aren’t the only ways God has used María to testify about His power and love. When she went in for her regular checkup, her doctor was deeply impressed by her health improvement. He asked her what she’d been doing to keep herself healthy and she told him that she’d been watching 3ABN Latino’s health programs and learning about natural remedies. Impressed, her doctor told her he would try them for himself and share the information with all his patients.
“I know why you are improving,” he said. “You take care of your health, and you always have a smile on your face. When you come here you’re always sharing literature with other people in the lobby, you get your exercise gathering cans, and you donate that money for God’s work.”
María asked us to pray for the owner of the apartment building where she lives. He has health problems, and noticing her good health habits, he asked her to cook for him every other week. He was even willing to pay her, but she refused.
Truly, María’s life of service to others, and to her Lord, is a testimony to those around her. Faithfulness in the “little things” are having an impact for eternity!