We finished up a series of Encounters and have started preparing for the next group of Encounters coming up in the month of November. On Sunday, we had the opportunity to hear from one of the women who attended the Encounter. Maria Elena Restrepo is a woman who came to the United States in 2010, and like all of us, has a story to tell. When she was only one year old, Maria was given away and became an orphan. Though she grew up as an orphan, she was able to start a family of her own, but spent most of her life as a single mother, having to work very hard to provide for her three children. Because she had to work so hard, she was not able to spend too much time with her children, she would leave the house at 5:00am and would not return until well after 10:00pm. She says that it was her youngest daughter, Bibiana that really struggled with her absence. Bibiana’s grades started to suffer, and so she grew up with a feeling of inferiority. All of this gave rise to a feeling of resentment. Time went on, and Bibiana grew up like this until she became an adult. As an adult God opened the doors for her to come live in the United States, where she was able to go to an Encounter, and become a leader in church. As life would have it, she pursued her mother (Maria Elena) until she went to last week’s Encounter. In her Encounter, Maria Elena was able to experience genuine forgiveness, family restoration, and freedom.
Maria Elena’s answer to the following questions perfectly describe the importance of having an Encounter:
Q: How was your relationship with God before the Encounter and how is it now?
A: I only knew religion before. Now I have a real relationship with God. This relationship gives me restoration and deliverance.
Q: What would you tell someone who has never gone to an Encounter, but is thinking about going?
A: Open your heart and give yourself the opportunity for God to change your life. He is the only one who can heal, transform, and give true unconditional love and forgiveness.
Q: Describe an Encounter in one word.
Today, in the words of Maria Elena, we leave you with this: “Healing your heart , will heal your family.”