We all know the story of David and Goliath. We have all faced giants in our lives. Our giants, however, don’t only come in the form of nine-foot-tall Philistines. Sometimes, a giant can be as benign looking as a seven-year-old friend who refuses countless invitations to come to church. That was the case for a Peruvian boy living on the outskirts of Lima, whose name was also David.
This David’s Goliath was his friend Marcos. Both seven years old, they lived in the overwhelming poverty that surrounds Lima. But David knew that Marcos’ poverty was deeper than his own because Marcos lived in a world without God and without hope. David had found hope at the little church he attended. He found friends, he found a place he could play games and sing songs, and he found adults that loved him and taught him the stories about Jesus from the Bible. And David wanted more than anything for his friend Marcos to find those same things.
David would show up at Marcos’ house on Sunday mornings to invite him to church only to be rejected by Marcos, who chose instead to play soccer with other kids in the street. David was insistent, coming back week after week. One Sunday morning, he knocked on Marcos’ door and Marcos told his family to tell David he wasn’t home. When he refused leave, Marcos finally told him to just “go away.” Two hours later, Marcos opened the door to go outside and play, and there was David, waiting. “Why are you still here?” he asked David. Through tears, David responded that he wanted his friend to have the same joy he had found by going to his church.
Overwhelmed by his friend’s persistence and tears, Marcos relented. He went to church with David and soon began to understand why his friend had been so insistent. It wasn’t long before he was enveloped into the activities at the church and the after-school programs run by Compassion International, through which David was being sponsored. In time, an overseas sponsor was found for Marcos whereby he could receive all the benefits and security of food, clothing, and education. For several years, they absorbed themselves in Bible reading, singing, and participating in group after-school activities. However, because Marcos’ parents were against him being involved with the church, he was frequently punished for not being home on time.
Then, one day his mother gave him some devastating news. She told him that she had cancer. After months of treatment, her condition worsened. Finally, the doctors gave up and sent her home with a prognosis of just six months to live. Marcos and his newfound church family began to pray.
To his surprise, his mother showed up at church during a service one evening. Marcos was elated, until he realized she wasn’t there to worship, but to take him home. God had different plans. Through the service and love of those she met, she ended up giving her life to Christ. Not long after that, her spiritual healing was followed by a miraculous physical healing. After much prayer on her behalf, she went back to the doctors and learned that the cancer was gone! Marcos looks back on those days of “miracles” with awe and thankfulness for how God was guiding his life.
As he continued to grow in his faith through his teen years and into his adult years, God continued to add blessings upon blessings. His father, an alcoholic for many years, committed his life to Christ as well. His brothers and sisters also responded to the gospel and became part of the church. Marcos excelled in his studies, received technical training, learned computer and business skills, and lifted himself out of poverty. He joined the worship team as a drummer. He learned what it meant to have real hope. His dedication and passion eventually led him to a job working with Compassion International, the very ministry that carried him through the poverty of his youth.
Twenty-nine years later, Marcos says if it wasn’t for the persistence of his friend David, “and because of the tears he shed for me, I may not have ever come to know the Lord.”
Today, they are both grown men with families, working in their respective neighborhoods in Lima. They attend church regularly and they teach their children to love Jesus, and to share His love with others. While they still live in a city where poverty abounds, poverty no longer lives in them!
And it all happened because one little David took on a Goliath named Marcos with nothing else but persistence and tears.
It’s stories like these that make the partnership with Harvest America and Compassion International a perfect fit. While Harvest is committed to proclaim the gospel in arenas and through live streaming across the nation, freeing men and women from the poverty of sin, Compassion reaches out to young children pulling them out of the mire of hopelessness and despair through US sponsorships. It’s a partnership of both declaring the gospel and demonstrating the gospel.
That is why this year, through Harvest America in Dallas, Texas, and through our 29th annual SoCal Harvest, we are committing to sponsor 3,000 young children through Compassion. In this way, we will not only fill the hearts of thousands of hopeless people with the gospel, but we will also fill the needs and hearts of thousands of hopeless children.