by César and Angélica Olivares, Entrust
It was our first time leading a small group, and 27-year-old Rodrigo joined us. Rodrigo came to the United States at the age of 20, leaving his family behind. He had already suffered much as his father had taken him away from his mother as a child. Now he had cancer, and despite the amputation of his left leg, cancer invaded his body. Sadness, hopelessness and depression engulfed him.
One day, a friend invited Rodrigo to our church. It was there he trusted in Christ as his Savior. He immediately had a remarkable change of attitude. He was now filled with gratitude, hope and joy. It was truly the happiest time of his life.
Being a part of our small group was a tremendous joy for him and us. He wanted to learn as much as possible about God because he had little time left. We had never seen anybody grow so fast spiritually. The group was not merely a Bible study, but a place of fellowship and spiritual growth. Rodrigo saw our small group as his family and found that it supplied what Sunday morning could not.
Rodrigo did not have an opportunity to pass along the things he learned in our small group to others, but used his short life to uplift and serve others. No one could understand the reason for his happiness, but he made sure to share it with everyone he encountered.
Rodrigo went home to Mexico to live his last few days by his mother’s side and remained joyful until his last breath. He was a believer for less than a year, but his legacy lives on. God brought others to Christ because of his testimony.
Rodrigo needed us, and we needed him.
Jesus’ small group model (Mark 3:14-15)
“Jesus wanted [his disciples] to be with him: to observe what he did and what he said. He knew that as they saw him in action, they would be changed. Jesus was also preparing his disciples for action … They needed a social setting where they could discuss and integrate what they were seeing, hearing, and doing. As they went out, they needed a safe place to reflect with others of common commitment.”
–Entrust Facilitator Training workbook