So I don't want to derail my own post, because this is about recognizing a special person -- his heart, his present journey, and his character. I want you to know about this guy -- Francisco Herrera. If you're thinking I'm mistaken, it's because everyone at Mission Lazarus calls him Juan. Why Juan - well maybe he doesn't like his given name - it happens, or maybe he doesn't like the common nickname for Francisco, which is Pancho. But for whatever reason, he calls himself Juan, and so do we, and that name has significance:
in Hebrew, it means 'Jehovah has been gracious.'
We'll skip the rabbit trail where I wonder aloud about the inherent blessings a name bestowed has on our lives. Juan is one of a few employees who has been present from our beginnings. He has seen the leadership struggle and mature, and we have seen the same in him.
Juan comes from a small village, where his father was a brick maker. So it's no surprise that Juan grew up to be a mason, working with brick and many other materials. Quite simply, he's really good at what he does. But now comes the very best part.
Juan is now a vocational missionary. Yeah. I know. It's apostle Paul-scale legit. Not only is he constructing our school in Haiti, he is busy forging relationships with his Haitian assistants. We have had the privilege of seeing his spiritual talents activated in Haiti as we discovered, quite by surprise, his talents as a worship leader and preacher. Please pray for Juan, his wife and family, and all his efforts while he spends extended periods of time in Haiti.
We sometimes act as though Americans are the only Christians qualified for, or engaged in, missionary efforts, that the weight of spreading the gospel rests entirely on our shoulders. Many missions conferences around the US are constructed around the supposition that if we don't bring the gospel to unreached people groups - no one will. We need to remind ourselves that all Christians can present the reality that "Jehovah has been gracious" in our lives.