John VanDenBerg - Ebano Convention - Mexico, 2005

In the small city of Ebano, we just celebrated a two-day Convention with approximately 100 Friends and Strangers in attendance. Ebano is known as the place where petroleum was first discovered in Mexico 101 years ago.  The oil well ran dry in 1925 but the old Iron bucking horse is still here as a monument.

Let me tell you about another "well."  As of today this one is 100 years old, and his "well" has not gone dry. You see, today is Don Profirio's 100th birthday. Many years ago, Frida Faber and her companions brought the Gospel to this region.  While sitting in those meetings old Don Profirio began to dig through the hard earth until he tapped into the source of living water and made a deep well.  Earlier today, a van load of us Workers drove way out into the countryside to visit this remarkable, elderly professing man in his humble home, with dirt floor and palm leaf roof. By all earthly appearances, he is very poor. But like someone recently shared, "A rich person is not one who has the most, but one who needs the least." He lives alone. I am not sure why his family have left him at this last stretch of his life's road. Perhaps it is due to the fact that he is the only one in his family professing?

Every morning, a kindly neighbor comes and prepares his breakfast and lifts him from his bed into a wheelchair.  Then he takes him outside his shack house to lay all day long on a hand-hewn wooden plank, out under the Tamarindo tree, where it's maybe 2 degrees cooler than inside the house. He is joined there by his old faithful hound dog. Then by late afternoon, this same kindly neighbor returns to make supper and put him back in his bed for the night. Such is the daily routine for our old Friend. Nevertheless, even though he sadly has lost total use of his legs, his spiritual well has not gone dry.

So, you can imagine how delightedly amazed he was when our van load of Workers came to see him. Why his blue eyes did sparkle like two sapphire stones! I was touched by the sight of him squirming side to side as he futily strained to raise himself from his hard cot. My, he was thrilled to see us, knowing the purpose of our visit. Within minutes, we opened our bibles and hymnbooks and held a precious little meeting around his humble cot where he testified of the hope that is yet ahead for him, because, as he said, "I have made my peace with Jesus."  After the meeting, the Sister Workers brought out a birthday cake.  They sang to him the Mexican birthday song (Las Manzanitas) which goes on and on and on! I think it has 5 verses. I was begining to wonder if we would ever get to taste the cake before the candles burned holes into it!

Now we have finished our Convention at Ebano. Sadly, being an invalid, Don Profirio could not be physically present. Yet we thought much of him during our meetings, even one Brother Worker conveyed Don Profirio's greetings to all there. At the close of the last meeting an opportunity was given to any who wished to express their choice to walk in God's way. Four made that choice known by standing to their feet, including an old neighbor friend of Don Profirio's who would often go to visit him.

Yes, even though he is 100 years old, there still is much water in his well that he still shares with others. 

All the best to each of you and hoping our paths cross sooner than later...
John