Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 21, 2012

Candelario’s Prayer

Las Tablas, El Salvador

Today was our second day of drilling in Las Tablas, a tiny village of mud-brick houses located at the end of a road less traveled. It is not the kind of place you pass on the way to anywhere. Las Tablas is at the end of a winding and unpaved rock-strewn road. If it’s not your destination then chances are you are lost — very lost. The folks in this village depend on near-by streams and shallow hand-dug wells for their water. For most of the homes in the area, this means someone must make long trips to these water sources at least once but usually several times a day. It’s tedious but a part of what is normal for people who live in places like this.

When we arrived at the village on Monday, the villagers greeted us with warm smiles, balloons, and a couple of hand-written welcome signs. However, what impressed me most was an older man named Candelario. He spoke on behalf of all of the folks who had gathered to welcome us. And then he asked if he could share a psalm before leading us in prayer. Candelario quoted Psalm 91 — word perfect! He not only quoted it, he felt it. He quoted it in such a way as to make me believe that he had written the psalm himself. It was beautiful. And then he prayed in such a way that it felt as though God had paused from the business of running the universe just to listen to this humble man. In Candelario’s mind, we are an answer to prayer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Candelario and his belief that we are here as an answer to prayer. I have concluded that being an answer to someone’s prayer is a big responsibility. I feel the weight of Candelario’s belief that God sent us to Las Tablas to drill a water well. It has had a strong and motivating influence on me and on all of our team members, one that makes us work hard to make sure that we accomplish the task of providing a clean and reliable source of water for the people of Las Tablas. Today was a hard day of drilling because we managed to drill through what seemed like every rock in El Salvador. But, giving up was never on anybody’s radar. Our team worked non-stop from early morning until the sun started its final descent toward the distant horizon. At the end of the day we were all filthy and tired but satisfied that we are so close to fulfilling the answer to the prayers that brought us here.

It’s humbling to meet men like Candelario in places like Las Tablas. Candelario reminds me that the best theological minds do not necessarily reside at our finest seminaries or in the pulpits of our biggest churches. I have great respect for Candelario and others like him — folks who work hard to survive, live in difficult but humble places, and who pray instead of complain. I don’t know many people who memorize chapters of Scripture and pray as though they personally have coffee with God every day. Sadly, too many folks are too distracted to develop that kind of intimacy with God. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to meet Candelario and am happy to be enrolled in his class this week. I need to learn from men like him. Candelario reminds me that, despite my seminary degree, I still have so much to learn. And, he motivates me to want to work harder along with my team mates to make sure that we accomplish what God brought us here to do — to be the answer to Candelario’s prayer.


Responses

  1. What a beautiful example of James 2:5…”Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”
    Candelario certainly is rich in faith. And you all are truly an answer to prayers made in great faith! What a great privilege to be part of that answer. May God continue to strengthen, protect, and bless you!

    • Thanks, Pam. Love that verse of Scripture!

  2. I pray that I will strive to memorize the spoken Word breathed from my Holy God. Candelario has encouraged me today for sure.

  3. Good word O! Appreciate the post.


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