I gotta tell the story of Lomas de Diamonte. This community up on the 'mountain of diamonds' as it is called is relatively new. No electricity. No running water. No convenience stores. No community medical services. And certainly no diamonds. It is called the 'mountain of diamonds' because of the layer of quartz way down below the almost barren soil. The well diggers hit this quartz and got excited because it appeared to be a huge slab of diamonds. Their excitement was short-lived; however, they did find water. Soon the community will have running water and electricity will follow. So as of now, there are people, about 1500 of them in the most basic of tiny wood houses, and little else. That is, until recently. We heard that the church in Los Pinos was in the process of planting a church in Lomas de Diamonte. Note that I didn't say, us gringos from the USA and Los Pinos were planting a church. This is their work, planned and carried out without outside help. Just them and God. Lest you not grasp the import of this, let me assure you that this is a huge deal. Los Pinos is a church that we helped plant almost ten years ago and have watched them grow and mature to the point where they no longer need our services. But there is more. You see, Los Pinos is not a wealthy church; in fact, most of their members are still mired in poverty. Where you and I might hop in the car or the church van to take a trip, they lack those resources. Sunday morning they worshipped in Los Pinos and then about 30 of them WALKED 8 kilometers across the mountain, down through the valley and up the mountain that Lomas de Diamonte sits on. That's about 6 miles give or take. Teenagers, older men and older women made up this caravan to bring the gospel to this community. Nicole Tindall, Bryan (an awesome 15 year old young man from Casa) and myself drove up there for their 3 pm service. We were blown away by the over 200 people from this community who showed up. I found out as soon as I walked in the open ended abandoned warehouse (with no chairs, furniture, etc.) that I was to preach. So as I preached, Nicole wrestled with her two year old (Emma) and translated as I spoke. Such a cool experience. Lisa and I have always had a special relationship with Nicole, so this was really rewarding to get to partner with her. We were the only English speaking people there! Two women gave their lives to Christ in a 55 gallon drum of water in the back of a pickup truck…imagine that. We said our goodbyes about two hours after we had arrived and left, realizing that these brothers and sisters from Los Pinos had another 8 kilometer walk back home. And they do this every Sunday afternoon. Some even make the journey on Saturdays to teach classes. I wonder if we would worship if there were no A/C, no chairs, no electricity, no bathrooms…how far would we walk to worship God, or to take the gospel to someone else in a another community? It was neat being there and getting to participate, but very humbling. Would I walk 8 kilometers? Would I do that every Sunday? Could it be that God would work through us in ways that we cannot envision, if we would but step out of our comfort zone and risk something?
The Los Pinos church could teach us all something about faithfulness, courage, boldness, trust and commitment.