Ed MacQueen’s story
The Lord grants his children the desires of their
hearts. This truth resounded through my
being each day that I lived and labored in Peru. It always struck me the hardest during my
quiet times, meeting with God as the sun rose serenely over the Amazon River. I
had always enjoyed the outdoors and embraced adventure and challenge. Furthermore, since being saved in college,
nothing was deeper in my heart than to talk about Jesus.
The result is that God called me to spread
the gospel in Peru,
granted my heart’s desires more deeply than I would ever have imagined.
We traveled from village to village, preaching and teaching,
counseling new converts, expelling demonic spirits, and hauling wood out of the
jungle, just to name a few of our tasks. I constantly, and often painfully, understood
Paul’s cry of insufficiency for the task at hand. And yet, just as God promised, the Holy
Spirit proved himself time and again as he, in the midst of my fear and
trembling, made my loaf and fish to feed the multitude. Working for the year with the host minister
whom we met on the AIM Ambassador trip proved invaluable.
One unforgettable instance took place after only four days
in the country, while we traveled on a crowded barge into the heart of the
jungle. Three days earlier, upon arrival
we learned that the expected local translators did not exist. I was thrust into the position of main
translator by mere process of elimination.
Except for a week in Mexico,
I had never put my text-book knowledge into practice.
While on the barge, we decided to present three dramas to
the hundreds of passengers. The first
one was to be at 1 o’clock and the other two later in the afternoon. I was to preach following the third
drama. At 1 o’clock, having just begun
to prepare by looking up Spanish words, I went out to watch the first drama, my
heart pounding. To my confusion, after
finishing they went right into the second drama, and then they began the third
Knowing that we had no more dramas, I did the only thing I
could: after taking a deep breath, I scrambled down the side of the barge and
arrived on the platform just as the drama ended. If ever we needed Jesus to fulfill his Word
about giving us what to say, it was then!
Of course he did, and as one leader reliably reported, the whole
atmosphere on the barge changed that afternoon.
Through that experience, as much as any other in my life, I’ve seen and
felt the truth of Jesus’ promise to be with us to the end of the age.
The barge experience was not isolated. As I look over the year in Peru, I am
continually in wonder by what God accomplished through us. Were someone to tell me I’d return and do it
all over again. I’d still be overwhelmed and incredulous, but, as I learned
from my days of youth on the Delaware River,
the only thing that really matters in cliff-jumping is taking the first
step. No matter how scared I was after
jumping, it was always impossible to get back on the cliff. The point is that it doesn’t take some
ever-present, unattainable courage for God to use us mightily. It just takes our jumping off the cliff. For me, the first step was going to the
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