An armed stranger recently rode his motorcycle into a mountain village in northern Peru and parked it in front of a Protestant church building of mud and stone with rough-hewn, wooden beams supporting the roof.
On that foggy morning, the Sunday service seemed as good a place as any to begin looking for the man he had been hired to kill.
He had a .38 revolver tucked into his jacket but didn’t plan to use it then. He just wanted to see if the man he’d followed from another village was taking cover there. The man the gunman had been hired to kill lived only about 80 yards from his own home in the other village.
Inside, as he scanned the backs of woolen cap-covered heads, he heard the preacher reading from the Bible about someone asking Jesus what the greatest commandment was. The gunman took a seat in the back row to make himself less conspicuous.
“Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind is the greatest commandment,” he heard the preacher say, but it was the following, second greatest commandment that caught the gunman’s attention: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The preacher, a pastor native to the region trained by a Peru-based ministry, spoke in the gunman’s native Quechua as he elaborated on what it meant to love God and neighbor.
“This message had a profound impact on the gunman’s being, and he began to reflect and regretted his intention to kill,” the director of the native ministry said. “The next day he called our missionary, because he was tormented and could not sleep thinking about the gospel message.”
He asked the pastor, who had founded the church, if he could meet with him but not tell anyone about it. When the pastor asked him his name, he would only give his nickname. The pastor agreed to meet with him.
“This hitman came to meet with our gospel worker, who shared the plan of salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the director said. “That day he received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He began to attend our local congregation and is growing in the knowledge of his new life in Christ.”
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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission