Tales from The Amazon – The church built on a pond

We walk by faith and not by sight

I have often wondered what first entered the mind of Jesus when the Holy Spirit instructed him to spit on the ground and make mud out of the soil and rub it in the eyes of the blind man! Did He think like me and say, ‘You want me to do what? Surely, there must be another way?‘ Or did He blame the devil for the thought (like some of us would when God asks us to step out of our comfort zone) and say, ‘I rebuke that thought! Devil, I bind you up right now!

Being Jesus, He probably just said, right away sir, as you wish! See, it is easy to justify, rationalize, intellectualize our way into why we are not doing what God wants us to do, when He wants us to do it, and how He wants us to do it. But no matter what the excuse, disobedience is disobedience.

Pastor Natalino of Renovation Church in Belterra had the opportunity to walk in disobedience when the Holy Spirit stopped him and told him to declare that he was going to build a church in what was a good sized pond! From a conversation with him, his first thought was, ‘Really God! Of of all the places, you want me to build a church here!’

Unlike many of us,  Pastor Natalino decided not to make the voice of the Holy Spirit of no effect! He went to the city council and informed them of what He wanted to do.

They thought he was crazy and laughed at him!

Do not be surprised if the world laughs at you when you are walking by faith

But Pastor Natalino would not be deterred! Like Nehemiah, he would not listen to the laughs of his detractors but pressed forward towards the mark of his calling. He rented a pump and over a number of days promptly drained the large pond. But would you know it, no sooner had he finished draining the pond, an enormous deluge of rain befell Belterra and filled up the pond once more! Now what was he to do? He did not have any more money to spend to drain the pond a second time! What was he to do?

Though crest-fallen, Pastor Natalino would not stay disheartened! He passed the test of endurance and obedience.

He said to God, ‘God, you are the one that told me to build a church on this land. This is your will. I am being faithful to you, therefore, help me bring to pass what you have ordained.‘ Lo and Behold, the pond which was completely filled up dried up within the next few days! In his testimony, Pastor Natalino said: The first time, I climbed the mountain of draining the lake. The second time around, I spoke to the mountain to be removed

I tell all of you with certainty, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ if he doesn’t doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him

– Mark 11:23

See, the bridge to success is many times filled with trial and tribulation. When they come, what we must not do is fill our minds with doubt of God’s calling on our life. Instead, we must ask God for wisdom while actively waiting patiently for the manifestation of the promises of God. (see James 1:1-8).

Ultimately, Pastor Natalino was able to build the first phase of the church God had promised him. It is his picture that you see in the top left corner of this blog. I am honored to have met and him and to have had fellowship with him and his congregation in Belterra!

Food for Thought: Though the enemy will laugh at me in the beginning, I will have the last laugh in the end if I do not grow faint and weary but continue in faith

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