Revive Our Hearts Podcast

God’s Spirit at Work in Latin America

Leslie Basham: Jeanine Martínez was in for a surprise.

Jeanine Martinez: She turned to me and said, "Jeanine . . ." like in front of everybody. And I just thought, Oh no, no, no . . . and I was just in shock!

Annamarie Sauter [Annita]: Myrna Ortiz turned to the Web for help in relationships.

Myrna Ortiz: I was looking for something to help me to forgive.

Leslie: Yadira Goreck's husband passed away, "But," she says . . .

Yadira Goreck: I'm not a widow. The Lord is my Husband, and He's my Provider, and He's the Father for my children, and I'm not alone.

Annita [Annamarie]: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

Leslie: For the true believer in Christ, it's exciting to hear stories of how God is at work in the lives of others. It's part of life in the body of Christ. Often, we learn and grow when we hear how the Holy Spirit is shaping others.

I'm Leslie Basham, and it's a joy to welcome Annamarie Sauter again today. Annamarie helps out with production and some on-air work for the Spanish version of Revive Our Hearts, Aviva Nuestros Corazones. Welcome, Annita!

Annita: Thank you! I'm so glad to share a little bit of what God is doing in the Spanish-speaking world.

Leslie: And that would include what He did recently in the lives of many of the women who attended the first Latin American True Woman Conference, held in your home town.

Annita: Yes, in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, in the last few days of February. More than two thousand women came from almost every country in the western hemisphere, plus Germany and Taiwan, and it was exciting!

Leslie: Today, we're going to listen to just a few of the testimonies from ladies who joined us at Mujer Verdadera '15, and we'll hear from our host, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, as well.

Annita: And my prayer is that you will be challenged in your own walk with Christ as you listen to what He is doing in the lives of others. Because even though we live in another country, and even though our cultures are different, and even though we might not speak English as easily as you do, the God we serve is still the same God. And the solution to sin problems is still the same. The Good News of Jesus translates into any language!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Some of the greatest blessings to me were the powerful testimonies from several women from Latin America, given in their own tongue whose lives have been transformed through this message. To hear them telling where God met them—back at the True Woman '08 conference or at a Revive Our Hearts we did in 2012 in the Dominican Republic, or the message through the broadcast, through the Spanish resources we've helped to provide. To hear how the message has transformed their life in deep, deep significant ways, in ways that are perfectly suited toward the cultural issues that are present among women in Latin America.

And to have them get up and share so beautifully, so powerfully, about the work of God in their lives . . . and then to see them be instruments in communicating God's truth to other women. I'm so thankful to see that maturing of the changed lives.

Sometimes you think, Is this just a conference? Is it just a "high," a quick emotional fix, and then people go back to life as normal? Does it really last? Well, these testimonies were sweet evidence that when God does the work in people's hearts, it really does last.

And the changes have been deep and profound. And now to see these women being used by God in their own culture, in their own mother tongue . . . wow! What a blessing that was!

Cindy de Fuentes: I was very feminist, very stubborn, very determined to do things my own way. I wanted everything to go my way in my home. I was the leader in my house, the main provider.

I had three nannies to help me in the raising of my kids. Basically, I went to work the whole day and left them in the care of nannies, which is the way most women do here. After the Lord started convicting me of the lack of involvement in my kids' lives, we decided to not have any nannies anymore, and my husband and I would take responsibility for raising, taking care of, and instructing our kids. Mainly it's me, because my husband is out working most of the day.

Annita: In the U. S. stay-at-home moms might be in the minority, but they're not unheard of. Not so among middle- to upper-class Latin American women. Cindy de Fuentes cut way back on her hours as a dentist.

Cindy: And little by little, like an onion, the Lord has been peeling layers off me. He ordered a situation in our home where my husband is the leader and the main provider. God has taught me to be submissive—something that was totally out of my vocabulary.

So we lead ways that honor the Lord much more now than we did at the beginning. I take care of my kids, homeschool them . . .

Annita: They began to homeschool their children—also extremely rare in Latin America.

Cindy: I love being at home with them at home. Although I still work several hours a day, work is not my main thing. The Lord gave me a heart for being at home and with my kids . . . something I really didn't like, didn't think would be possible. It's only through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Annita: Cindy credits Revive Our Hearts and True Woman '08 as tools to bring about such drastic changes in her family.

Watch Cindy's Story

Annita: Clara Nathalie used her body to get what she wanted. Over time, this led her deeper and deeper into a life controlled by sexual sin.

(Annita translating Clara's testimony) She said, "I struggled with pornography and also with suicidal ideas. I used to cut my body. I had such a deep pain in my soul that I could not bear it."

But God began to work His Word into her life through a godly mentor. Eventually, Nathalie was working for the Spanish-language Revive Our Hearts team, Aviva Nuestros Corazones. And the chains broke.

"Now I can say that I'm fully enjoying the abundant life that Jesus came to give me," says Clara Nathalie. "Obviously, I am not a finished work. God has a lot to do. But knowing that He will complete His work bringing peace to my heart. Without His sovereign intervention, nothing would have been possible without His grace and faithfulness, which literally changed my mourning into dancing. Now I can say that God has made me laugh."

Nancy: I couldn't begin to count how many hours I spent listening to stories, one woman after another—sometimes a woman and her husband together sharing with me:

  • "Here's how God has changed our lives through this ministry."
  • "Here's how my life is different."
  • "Here's how my marriage is different."
  • "Here's how my values are different."
  • "Here's how my morals are different."

You wish you could have a recorder at times like that, so you could just bottle it up and never forget it. It was just so sweet to hear one after another—probably hundreds of them, I would guess, over the course of the week—one on one, sharing different ways that God has worked in their lives through the resources, the events, the broadcasts that are now available in Spanish.

Yadira Erchila Goreck: My name is Yadira Erchila Goreck, originally from Guatemala, but I've lived about nineteen years in Germany.

Annita: For the past eight years, Yadira has helped lead a group of Spanish-speaking Christian women in her home city of Hannover.

Yadira: Our intention was to seek the Lord, to know more about His Word. We were thirsty and hungry for more . . . also for having connection with other women.

Annita: Yadira and her friends met in homes for three years, then in a church. Many of their discussions centered on existential themes.

Yadira: Who are we? Why are we here? Why are we women? I think the passion for teaching women comes from the Lord's heart. He put it into my heart. I love women. I love to teach them. I love to tell about who Jesus is and what He can do in us when we only trust Him.

Annita: She began to look for materials to share with the ladies in her group. Her search for biblical resources for women eventually led her to . . .

Yadira: It was a video from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I watched it many times, and once I thought, Surely she has a church; she's from some ministry. I started looking on the Internet, and I found Revive Our Hearts, and I discovered there is a ministry in Spanish, and I was so happy!

Then I also found out all the resources, in all the richness of the home page. I said, "Oh, that's what I need to teach my sisters!" I share it with them, and then I thought myself, I don't have the time to share everything with them. I have to tell them. They have to hear it—to watch the videos, to read the resources. They have to do this!

Annita: One day, a friend came to Yadira asking for counsel. Yadira followed her normal pattern: She went to AvivaNuestrosCorazones.com and searched for help on that topic.

Yadira: And it wasn't available. There was some technical problem.

Annita: So she wrote Aviva Nuestros Corazones requesting help.

Yadira: And Elba answered me.

Elba Reyes: My name is Elba Reyes. I am biblical correspondent for Aviva Nuestros Corazones. Part of my job is to answer the letters from all of the ladies.

Yadira: And then I started to tell her about my testimony.

Elba: She wrote to me more than a year ago. She's a widow, and she wrote to me giving me a testimony of her life and Aviva Nuestros Corazones (Revive Our Hearts at that time).

Yadira: My husband died two years ago, and I told her about the strength the Lord gave me in this time. Now that I am a widow I can just say, "I'm not a widow. The Lord is my Husband, and He's my Father, and He's my Provider, and He's the Father for my children, and I'm not alone. He's always there, providing my needs and sustaining me and giving me all that I need."

I learned to know the Lord in another way I hadn't before. He was so real. I cannot explain the way He was there when suffering was so hard. I know I don't need to say this, but sometimes I wish to suffer again only to have the experience to meet the Lord in that way."

Elba: I wrote back to her and exchanged many letters with her.

Yadira: She told me once, "I thought I could help you, and give you support, and I receive it from you!"

Elba: I was trying to give comfort to her, but suddenly I knew that this lady was sharing our message to many women in a small group, and she was an ambassador! We started a very, very close relationship, and she was one of those hugs that I was able to feel this weekend.

Annita: That is Elba de Reyes, who corresponds with many constituents of Aviva Nuestros Corazones on a regular basis, including Yadira de Goreck. Each testimony we heard at Mujer Verdadera '15 was unique, because God is always at work in each woman's life. Here's the host of Revive Our Hearts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy: Let me just share with you one of the stories that was so touching to me. I think it was almost the last woman I met at the end of the second day. Two women came up together, actually. They were from Chile—the only two who had come from that country. The one was a mentor, an older woman.

Dagmar Sazo: My name is Dagmar Sazo, and I come from Reñaca, Chile. God brought me here a very funny way. Because I'm a mother of four kids, from ten to three years old, it's not easy to leave my children. My husband is a pastor. We are church planting. It's a new church in Reñaca, in Chile. We are always busy. Lots to do. Lots of people to serve. But here I am, because my friend Sofía . . .

Sofia Romero: Sofía Romero es mi nombre [is my name], y vengo de [and I come from] Viña del Mar, Chile.

Dagmar: She started listening to the programs of Aviva Nuestros Corazones.

Nancy [Sofia speaks in Spanish in brackets]: Sofía had recently begun attending a moms' group that Dagmar was leading. She didn't have a personal relationship with Christ, but she was hungry to know more. ["Una amiga me recomendó este program . . ."] A friend recommended the program to her. So she immediately signed up to receive the Daily Connection email. ["Yo lo escuchaba todos los días . . ."]

She said, "I listened every day. I would wake up in the morning and read my Bible, which was something that hadn't been a part of my life." So God's Spirit was at work. He was beginning to awaken a new thirst in Sofía's life. When she heard the announcement regarding the upcoming True Woman Conference in the Dominican Republic, Sofía said, "It seems like I have to go." ["Parece que tengo que ir."] Here's her mentor, Dagmar Sazo . . .

Dagmar: She said to me, "Would you come with me?" I said, "Yes, I would like to." But it was just a crazy idea. But my husband got very enthusiastic, and he encouraged me to come.

Nancy [Sofia in brackets, in Spanish]: So Dagmar and Sofía came to Santo Domingo together. Sofía told our team that she didn't really know what to expect. ["Mis expectativas no eran muchas . . ."] She had never experienced a Christian conference before. Dagmar described the conference as . . .

Dagmar: . . . a huge blessing for me, for my heart to see God's love in a very practical way. But the biggest gift of all has been that Sofía became a Christian yesterday!

Nancy [Sofia in brackets, in Spanish]: "It truly was the start of a new life," said Sofía. ["La verdad es que fue un inicio de una vida nueva."] "I feel like I've been born again." ["Yo siento que he vuelto a nacer."]

Well, as she was telling me this, with Dagmar translating for us, I asked Sofía, "Tell me what it was. Was there something in particular the Lord used to open your heart, to show you your need for Christ, to bring you to the Savior this weekend?"

She said with a radiant face, "We arrived at the conference, I sat down, we started listening. It was so fast. The Holy Spirit came. He enveloped me. And that was it. I received Christ. 'Yes,' I said to Him. 'Here I am, to serve You for all of eternity.'"

Dagmar: I could see that God was calling her. Coming here and listening to what was happening and the talks, the Holy Spirit just broke her heart. And I know why I came. I just came to be kind of a midwife, just receiving this little baby, and I'm going back with a new sister. Yeah, praise the Lord for that!

Nancy: The day after the conference I spent three-and-a-half hours in the home of Patricia, who is "my voice." She's the "Nancy Leigh DeMoss" in Spanish. She and her husband opened their home to meet with twenty-five or thirty women who are ambassadors for Aviva Nuestros Corazones. They're the Spanish Revive Our Hearts Ambassadors in different countries.

We could have gone on for many more hours, listening to those women tell stories of what God has done in their lives through the ministry of Aviva Nuestros Corazones leading up to the conference, and then what God did in their lives during the conference.

There was a precious young women (maybe in her early thirties) who had never told a soul until that weekend that she had had an abortion years earlier. She had confessed that to the Lord, she had repented of it, she had received the Lord's forgiveness, but she had never had the courage to step into the light and to tell someone else, so that this could become a part of her life message.

And during the conference, when we were talking about walking in the light, she had gone and found one of our leaders and shared that with her. Then sitting in that circle on this Sunday, she shared it with that room full of women and walked into freedom at a level that she had not experienced before!

Annita: There are an estimated 4.4 million abortions performed each year in Latin America. That's according to a 2008 report from the Guttmacher Institute. As in the U.S., the ongoing social and spiritual effects of abortion in Latin America are heartbreaking.

But God is using His Word through ministries like Revive Our Hearts to bring hope to women carrying the pain and shame of past abortions. This was the case for Myrna Ortiz. But when she first found Revive Our Hearts, she was looking for help with forgiveness.

Myrna Ortiz: I'm from Mexico. I once was looking for something to help me to forgive. I was living through the divorce process and separating from my husband. I knew I needed to forgive him of many things. I didn't know what to pray for, but I just knew I needed forgiveness in my heart.

So I typed on the computer for forgiveness listenings, and I found Revive Our Hearts. That was the first time I heard Nancy. She was interviewing a couple that had experienced adultery and how they were not feeling love for each other. But they knew they needed to live for God and do the right thing and that they needed to forgive each other.

So they waited before God to glorify Himself. I heard that, and I said, "I cannot forgive. It's not in my heart. It's something that is not going to come from me, but it's something God does in any person." So I just knew I had to pray for forgiveness. And then He started to work in my heart.

That was not the only thing I had to forgive, but it was also myself. He gave me sin conviction, so I had to forgive myself for abortions I'd had.

Annita: Myrna knew her past abortions were keeping her in a metaphorical prison.

Myrna: I knew I was in a jail for what I did. I remember I didn't feel like I could serve the Lord, because He knew what I did—nobody else. But then, listening to different programs about abortion and about forgiveness, I knew that I was already forgiven by God. I felt free.

That was the first time in fifteen years, but I felt free, and it was just God doing that. I know that forgiveness could never come from my heart. Now I can feel free of bitterness; I can say I have forgiven many people who have hurt me. Now it is easier because I know forgiveness is not going to come from me, it's something God does in anyone.

If you cannot forgive someone, don't worry. It's just asking God to give you forgiveness and put forgiveness in your heart, and He will do the job.

Annita: As she grew spiritually, Myrna's passion to reach out to others also grew. Her church started a Bible study group for women, and Myrna has served in leadership roles. She helped translate books from English into Spanish, including True Woman 101, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian. And she says it has made a difference.

Myrna: We didn't know the real design that God had for us, and now that we know, we are amazed! We are hungry for His Word. We want to live to glorify His Name, and even now that I'm divorced, I know that knowing His design is something I have really needed to know!

Annita: For Myrna Ortiz, the freedom she has found is all centered on the only One who can give true freedom: Jesus Christ.

Myrna: Now I recognize that all my sins were there in the cross. He knew my name. He knew what I was going to do; He knew when I was going to hurt Him. But even when He knew my heart, He died for me on that cross. When you recognize your name was in His mind in that moment when He was suffering, it is the moment that you can recognize how big His love is and how valuable is your life is now.

It's not you who's living. It's His life in you, and He's just taking your life. Before, when He gave me conviction of sin, I saw my hands like they were full of blood because of what I did. But His blood just cleansed my hands, my heart, and that gave me freedom.

So now I am like, "Yes, I was a sinner, and I'm a sinner now, but He is living in me. That's why I cannot stop talking about what He does because I was there! I know how I was feeling." So now I want everybody to know what the Bible says about Jesus giving freedom.

Dannah Gresh: James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins one to another and then you will be healed."

Annita: Dannah Gresh spoke to the women at True Woman '15 about the freedom they can find from sexual sins in their past. Freedom that comes because of the forgiveness found in Jesus.

Dannah: God has given us one another for the work of healing. Forgiveness comes only through Christ, but healing . . . it comes through the Body. My sisters, I have to talk about sexual sin, because it's the word of my testimony.

Annita: Dannah told the women about the night when she was twenty-six years old. It was the night she confessed to her husband that she had not been a virgin when they married. Looking back, she sees that her willingness to be vulnerable had lasting effects.

Dannah: Because that day I became something new. Even though I had known the Lord for years, I was saved but not fully healed. That confession changed me so dramatically. I woke up the next day, for the first time in years, hungry for the Word of God.

Annita: Dannah's translator during the conference was a Dominican missionary to Taiwan named Jeanine Martinez.

Jeanine Martinez: Mujer Verdadera 2015 was a green pasture for me. There's a very special story for me, with Dannah. I was her translator, and in the middle of translating for her the testimony about her friend . . .

Dannah: Many times in the church ["Muchas veces en la iglesia . . ."] we think that when you're single, you just have to just serve God and turn off your desire for a husband. Or, just suffer and act miserable because you don't have one. I don't think either of those are good extremes!

God wants you to use your singleness and your freedom to serve Him, to go anywhere He calls you to go. [Jeanine translates.] And it's okay if you still want to be married one day. Marriage is a good gift. ["El matrimonio es un buen regalo."] But you must be content in the Lord.

When my friend Stephanie realized that, she said, "Okay, Lord, I'm going to start doing something, because I am content in you, but I'd still like the gift of a husband someday if you'll give him to me." And she started collecting pennies. Every time she would see one, she would say, "Lord this is a prayer. If one day I can have a husband, I'm going to take every penny You've given me and use it to buy his wedding ring."

A penny's not worth a lot, so I'm telling You it's okay if it takes a long, long time." Now you don't want to be an old lady or a child who sees a penny that Stephanie also sees! She'll knock you out of the way to get that penny!

Last year, our prayer group took three big water coolers full of pennies to the bank. We broke the machine three times cashing them in, but we needed the money because she found her godly Latino man! [A cheering roar goes up from the ladies. Jeanine laughs.]

Jeanine: But at that moment, I see Damaris Carbaugh coming up to the platform, and she turns to me and says in front of everybody "Jeanine." And I was like, Oh no, no, and I was just in shock . . .

Dannah: I have a different translator for a moment . . .

Damaris Carbaugh: Jeanine, you tengo ahora . . .

Dannah: . . . because you are the kind of single woman I want them to see. You have the spiritual gift of singleness upon you [Damaris translates]. You're serving the Lord as a missionary in Taiwan, and the desire to have a husband one day is okay. [Damaris: "Está bien . . ."] because you love the Lord first. [Ladies cheer and clap.] This is your first penny! [Damaris: "Este es tu primer centavo!"]

Jeanine: I was done then! I was like, "Lord, I'm going to faint! I don't know who's going to keep translating this."

Dannah: I prayed in English for it. Here is your first peso! [Damaris translates.] You can pray in Spanish! I hope you have many coins from many nations as you love the Lord as your Savior and spouse, and you give birth to many spiritual children and nurture them in the Lord! [loud applause]

Jeanine: It was a kiss on the cheek from the Lord. It was not only a great encouragement. I am thirty-six years old, and I've been praying since I was fourteen for a husband, for a godly man that I can just love and serve and do ministry with, to serve alongside him, wherever the Lord is calling him, and I just want to be that one.

God always has spoken to me that, because a lot of brokenness happens in the context of marriage and in the context of family, a lot of the healing for people has to come through the context of marriage. Opening homes for people who want to be restored is very important.

I always open my home as a single. I love cooking for people. Actually, I've found how very effective it is just to cook for people and make that a sharing time. I don't have to teach them. God just does that very organically.

But when Dannah did that, it was a confirmation in my heart. It was a moment when I could say, "God, if you don't do it, it's okay. I am blessed and content. But if you do it, this is going to be a great testimony, not only for myself but for so many women in Latin America."

I don't know what God is going to do, but I do know that He is going to do something, and whatever He does is going to be good. And He reminded me of a prayer I prayed two years ago, going up the steps to my house. I was thinking about Sarah in the Bible.

Nobody prays, "Oh, I want to be like Sarah, if You want to use me and wait until I'm ninety to do something." Everybody wants to be Sarah, but nobody wants to be ninety! So I was praying, "Lord, if you want me to be an older single woman, and then want to do something regarding that, if you want me to be an older Sarah so that You can glorify Your Name, it's okay."

Now, I've struggled with that prayer a lot of times, but I know that prayer came from the Holy Spirit. I believe that. If the Lord wants me to be an older, single woman so that others can have hope, then it is well with my soul.

Annita: God's Spirit is at work in Latin America. He uses His Word, the Bible, to change lives. And it's a privilege for Revive Our Hearts to be just one of the tools He uses to bring His Word to His people. Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy: Pray with us that God will continue that work, that it will deepen, that it will expand, and my burden is that we will see the glory of the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover the sea; that we might see the fulfilling of that wonderful prayer in Psalm 67, the first two verses, "God be gracious to us and bless us and cause his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all the nations."

Wouldn't that be an incredible, beautiful thing to see? The name of God, the fame of the name of Christ going forth through the world—the gospel, the cross of Christ being lifted high, and the saving power of Christ being seen not only in this country, not only in the Dominican Republic, but among all the nations of the world.

Leslie: We've been listening to ways God is "accelerating the movement" in the lives of women in Latin America. Special thanks to Annamarie Sauter for her help yesterday and today, bringing us a taste of what God has been doing through the ministry of Revive Our Hearts in women whose first language is Spanish. Nancy?

Nancy: When you're there in the Dominican Republic seeing what God is doing in the lives of women all across Latin America, you get this huge sense that we did not orchestrate this. God is doing this, and we can't explain it or control it.

I'm so thankful for some precious Revive Our Hearts friends and listeners who have caught this vision for the nations. They see God at work and want to be part of it. So they have supported Revive Our Hearts so that we can help subsidize and launch Aviva Nuestros Corazones.

When you support Revive Our Hearts, you're part of a growing, worldwide movement calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. Even now we're watching God work in other parts of the world—not just the Spanish-speaking world. The Lord is raising up women with a passion to spread the message of biblical womanhood and revival in their countries, in their languages. We're asking the Lord: How do you want us to proceed?

We're eager to get this message into hearts of women all around the world, but we can't move forward with these opportunities that are presenting themselves without the support of listeners like you. And even as we're watching these incredible opportunities unfold, we're faced with the reality that the summer months are upon us. Usually that means that people pull back a bit in their giving, and income over the past several months has been less than we expected.

May is the end of our fiscal year, when we wrap up the accounting spreadsheets for the year and make plans for the next year. So in light of the needs and these great opportunities, we're asking the Lord to provide at least $450,000 here during the month of May.

The Lord is our major donor, with a capital "D." We trust Him to provide all that's needed, and to prompt those He wants to partner with us in this ministry. We're just asking you to respond to whatever He puts on your heart. We're asking Him during this season to work through Revive Our Hearts listeners to help accelerate the movement of women finding freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ around the world.

So first, support the ministry of your local church, and then if God has blessed you and enabled you to give beyond that, give us a call and make your gift. The number is 1–800–569–5959. Or visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com. There, you can learn more about a matching challenge going on this month. If you're a new contributor, your gift will be doubled this month! Again, get the details and donate at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. Tomorrow we'll continue to see how the Lord is working in the lives of women around the world. We'll head to Asia and hear about women who had to travel underground in order to attend a leadership conference. Many of these women are the widows of martyred pastors. Find out how God is working in their lives tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.