I Was a Selfish Christian
Margarita is a street vendor in Lima, Peru. Like so many who live in extreme poverty, she pushes her rickety cart down narrow, crowded streets every day, going door-to-door to sell what she's able to gather, hoping to stay away from trouble and praying she makes enough to survive another day.
"I won't tell you my age," she says looking every bit the role of a grandmother, "but I will tell you I am an evangelist." And, she is the inspiration for so many who now share the Gospel in this area- "she is famous to us," one church leader shares, "she fills us with emotion. Living in extreme poverty she gives all she has to reach others with God's Word."
To hear of Margarita's humility and faith is sobering- she is poor and she is inspiring. "Before I was always consumed with my problems and concerned with my own life. That is, before studying about God through Project Philip Bible studies I was a selfish Christian," she confesses. "However, little by little God helped me understand that is not a good way to live."
As she pushes her fruit cart, knocking on doors or calling out, she also brings with her conversations about Jesus and His love. "Yes, I have led many Project Philip Bible studies for my neighbors and their children and other street vendors- for three years now," she admits quietly, "it is my joy and sometimes my heartache."
"Everyone is so busy trying to survive they stop learning about God's Word," Margarita says sadly, "and it is heartbreaking when a child stops attending the Project Philip Bible study because of their parents. They are so excited to hear of God's love, and naturally start sharing their faith, but then some families stop them."
"Even though it is upsetting to see people miss the grandness of God, the joy they can have from studying God's Word, sometimes for the first time in their lives, is stronger than any other feeling."