Delivered from overdose by Jesus
By Mark Lans with Julia Waidelich | Ecuador in South America
Edgar was a truth-seeker. He liked Jesus but wasn’t sure the Bible was totally reliable, and he certainly didn’t approve of organised religion. He thought it was fine to add Jesus to his other pursuits: Eastern religious thought and the drug and alcohol culture.
Edgar met SIM Ecuador team member Mark Lans after about a year of involvement in SIM’s English ministry in Loja City. Edgar attended conversational English classes, English Bible studies and one-on-one discipleship with two other SIM missionaries. Mark and Edgar met several times apart from the classes and group Bible studies over the following 3 to 4 years.
In the middle of Mark’s second term with SIM, SIM Ecuador’s ministry changed to rural church planting, and the English ministry in the city stopped. Contact with Edgar slowed down, but a few SIM workers including Mark kept up with him. Mostly, Mark saw Edgar’s life through social media, and what he saw showed Edgar’s pursuit of drugs, alcohol and the world’s wisdom.
Last year Mark and his family moved back into the city. He received a message from Edgar that he wasn’t expecting: Edgar asked him for help because he believed he was going to die. Mark arranged a time to meet with him the next day, with little idea of Edgar’s condition.
The next day, Mark found out that Edgar had overdosed on a hallucinogenic drug, looking to it for a mystical experience. But when he saw himself engulfed in flames, envisioning himself in hell, dread fell over him. In mortal fear and desperation, he cried out to Jesus to save him – and Jesus did!
After surviving the overdose, Edgar came away with a new life, being utterly convinced that Jesus is the only truth and salvation. He also suffered, and continues to suffer, from neurological damage, which affects his vision, balance and concentration.
Mark said: “A few weeks before my home assignment, I was given the privilege to baptise my friend, Edgar.” Looking back on this special moment, he continued, “And it was even better hearing him give his testimony to over 30 members of his family, who are almost all unbelievers.”
Edgar told them Jesus was the only truth, he loved Jesus and thanked Him for saving and changing his life. He wanted his family to follow his decision because they didn’t know when they would die, and he didn’t want them to waste their time and lives as he had.
Edgar is the only believer in his whole area, and he needs Christian fellowship. He still struggles with the spiritual and physical consequences from his past, and he finds it challenging to follow Jesus in these circumstances.
But one week after his baptism and testimony to his family, he shared about a new desire: After regaining strength, he wants to get on a donkey, take his Bible and travel around his rural community, sharing his testimony and the gospel of Jesus.
In the rural area of Loja Province, there are many people without eternal hope. No one should live and die without hearing God’s good news of salvation. Will you pray for this serious need? Will you pray that God would transform more lives?
• Edgar’s health, personal growth and firm walk with Christ.
• the few believers in the rural Loja Province to be strong witnesses for their communities. Also, ask God to give them courage in sharing the gospel.
• more workers to be sent into the harvest field of Loja.