“If this is true, God, I need to see and hear it from you…”

     Students at Maria Mendoza High School in Puerto Rico flocked to the gazebo outside their school to meet the group of “mainlanders” spotted there during open lunch one day. (See below.) The “mainlanders” were part of the Cru spring missions team sent to the island with a heart to bring hurricane relief and the gospel to the high schools in the area. Initially, they were in this gazebo waiting for official clearance to visit students in their English classes. As they observed the campus, a beautiful mural painted on the ground captured the attention of one of our staff women named Deborah. She whispered a prayer, “Lord, I’d love to meet the artist…”

     Little did they know that God planned to answer that prayer AND make a way for the artist to meet Him through his own masterful creativity… The artist’s name is Kat. Recently, due to some sinful lifestyle choices, Kat had begun to feel rejected by both her mom and by God. Over the course of a couple days, Kat had several divine touch points with different team members at the school. She met Bekah who shared a love of art. And she met Deborah. (See below.) However, Kat only attended the events as an interpreter for a friend and was spiritually uninterested, even laughing at the Christians’ expense.

     Then during one of the follow-up events, Kat wound up in a small group led by Deborah and Aria. (See below.) In going over the last few pages of the “Connecting with God” booklet, it became clear that some in the group did not understand the meaning of Ephesians 2:8-9; that salvation was a gift from God. Kat had never heard that before and honestly didn’t buy it. Reading the words in Deborah’s bible for herself, she said to God, “If this is true, I need to see it and hear it from YOU.” Unbeknownst to anyone, she silently began “testing” God. She would think of a couple words and then open up the Bible at a random spot to see if the words she was thinking were there. The first time, the words were “free gift”, and to her absolute shock, when she opened the Bible at random, the words FREE GIFT were hand-written in blue at the top of the page. Deborah, Aria, and CJ began to notice that something was happening to this young woman, though they didn’t know what. Two more times, Kat tested the Lord this way and each time, the exact words she was thinking were either highlighted or written in blue on the page she turned to. As the time closed, CJ, the team leader, invited any student who wanted to know Christ and make Him known on their high school campus, to sign their names on this piece of paper. To everyone’s surprise, twelve names were on that paper and Kat’s was one of them. She said, “I know God is real, and I know this is what I am supposed to do at Maria Mendoza HS.” Since then, with the help of church partnerships in the area, Kat has been leading and growing in her faith alongside 30-35 other students whom God had also miraculously touched with his love that week.

Students gathering to see the “mainlanders.”

Deborah, Bekah, and Kat on the mural Kat painted.

Deborah leading a discussion in her small group.