Seeing God Work

One of my favorite things about this past year has been seeing God work in really tangible ways in people’s lives. We often talk about how God can change people, and I’ve been blessed to see it first-hand in the lives of many Azoreans over the past few months. One of those people is my friend Sandra, and she’s given me permission to share her story with all of you.

Here's Sandra's story, in her own words:
Hello, my name is Sandra Barcelos and I am 32 years old. I am from the Portuguese Azores, and currently I’m living on the island of Terceira. I am going to tell you about how I came to know Jesus.
Up until the fall of 2012, the only religion I knew was Roman Catholicism. I never attended the Catholic church much, because I never understood what the priest was saying. Nothing he said caught my interest. When my daughter died, I lost hope. I didn’t understand, why did this happen to her? Why did this happen to my child?
I came to Azorean Baptist Church looking for answers. I had never read the Bible and I didn’t know anything about Jesus. Every week I came to learn and listen about Jesus’ life. I began to understand that if God could send His Son, Jesus to die, and bear this pain, I could bear the pain too.
One day I understood in my heart, Jesus has a purpose for everything. Now I am filled with faith. I want to tell everyone how I met God, how He has helped me, and how He gave me a reason to live. I want to thank God for the ten years I had to know my daughter. I also want to thank Azorean Baptist Church for helping me to know Jesus.

Over the last year I’ve watched God take Sandra’s broken, messed up life and turn it into something beautiful!  It wasn’t an overnight change, and it’s definitely not finished, but the transformation that she’s experienced and is still experiencing is something that could only be the work of God in her life. After Sandra accepted Christ’s gift of salvation, she was baptized and began studying the Bible. Over the past few months she has found the strength in Christ to turn her life around in many ways, including quitting smoking and finding purpose for her future. Everything is not perfect for Sandra now. She is still unemployed and isn’t able to provide for her 12 year old son (who is currently living on the other side of the island with his father), but she has a joy that surpasses her circumstances. She is relying on Christ even amidst tough situations and is looking forward to serving Him for the rest of her life. Sandra has begun volunteering with CEF, helping both at the camp center and in the clubs. She is even planning to go through the CEF training process so that she can be equipped to teach children and continue to help the ministry grow here in the islands. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to see God working in Sandra’s life, and that God has called her to serve the kids here!  Please join me in praying for Sandra and her future as God continues to work in her life. 

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