Last week, in a crowded restaurant, Laura* leaned close to me and said, “Your face radiates the love of God your Father! I want that too. I want the love of God and I want him to be my Father.”
She has never known God that way, but her heart told her this was real, true love. Laura’s deep desire for it led her to a prayer of repentance and an tearful plea for God to become her Father.

God’s family is his expression of true love and belonging.

Because He loves us, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure”(Eph. 1:5). God’s family is his expression of true love and belonging. He delights in making himself known through his family of adopted children. We are a part of his story, and our own stories are incredibly connected to others who are looking for home and family too! Like Laura, it is the story many are waiting to hear and become a part of. But her story doesn’t begin or end there!

Ryan came to Mexico this past year in obedience to God, but he didn’t have a clear plan of what he was supposed to do. The first days in the town of Sayulita he felt isolated, just him and God, surfing, hanging out at the beach and waiting.

Ryan’s story:
“My daily routine was to pray on the beach at sunset. One night Jack* and Andy were net fishing close by, and God spoke to me, ‘Stop! They are the ones.’ I knew something big was going to happen. As I walked by them, Andy waved and said ‘Hola.’ I had previously tried talking to him but he didn’t know English and my Spanish wasn’t very good. I was a little scared at first, wondering how we would communicate, but after asking for God’s help, I walked over to their fish bucket and asked them about the fish they were catching.

These guys had absolutely no money, their only food was the fish they caught each day

They were friendly and by the end of a very limited and almost pointless conversation, they asked me if I wanted to join them for dinner. I was stoked! I ran home and grabbed some fresh water, vegetables, and a few cooking supplies. 
As we sat on the beach, roasting the fish over the fire, we didn’t do a lot of talking, but I did a lot of observing. I realized that the beach was their home, literally. Those guys had absolutely no money, their only food was the fish they caught each day and everything they owned fit in two backpacks.

It seemed that both of them also had a drinking problem. When I went home that night I started to pray that God would reveal to me His plan for Jack and Andy. He started by telling me to return to the same spot the next morning. There they were fishing again. Another friend with them spoke some English so I had him translate everything for me! All that week God spoke to me about just living life with them.

ryan-moreno-mexico-groupA really strong connection starting growing between us, especially with Jack. He didn’t mind our limited conversations, with the same few jokes everyday. And even though I could only say, ‘I will pray for you,’ or ‘did you read your Bible today?,’ I knew God was working in his life. There was one night that I really believe God helped me out in communicating with him.

Jack started out telling me about his past life and ended in tears. He had two daughters, ages 6 and 7, who lived with his ex-wife. But he had not seen them in 3 years. He ran away from his life in Guadalajara after getting into some trouble. His life was being threatened, so he fled home. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I prayed. I really felt the Lord telling me that he should call his mom. He had not spoken with her in 3 years. She didn’t even know where he was or if he was alive. I told him he could borrow my phone. He broke down crying and agreed to call his mom.

* Names have been changed to protect their identities.

Photos graciously provided by Ryan Moreno

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Joan Godard
and Trever are missionaries in Guadalajara, Mexico. They lead a ministry called the Matthew Training Center ( committed to discipling and training workers to serve among the nations, who in turn make disciples in God’s Kingdom for His Glory. They have three young adult children: Aaron (married to Carly), Silas & Kenia.