Yesterday was the third time that I had a chance to meet Ceferino Lozano, one of the founding Pastors of Foursquare El Salvador. He was instrumental in planting four of the churches in the rural department of Usulután (Foursquare churches of Usulután)
We sat with Pastor Marvin, Lucy Rivas and Presidenta Anamim de Garcia as he recounted some important details about the early years, pre civil war, of Foursquare in this country. The father of Anamim and Lucy, Pastor Vicente, was the first Foursquare pastor in our country and was great friends with Ceferino, though it has been years since anyone from the family had been able to visit him.
As we prepared to leave, as is often his way, Pastor Ceferino asked to share just one more story. He bagan to tell of how a driver had taken him though the northern department of Chalatenango on a ministry trip and a sudden rain turned the streams passing through the road into swollen rivers. They ended up having to leave the car and both were being swept away when Pastor Ceferino grabbed a conveniently broken branch off of a large tree, then grabbed the driver by the hair and they made it out of the river. When they returned, later to see the spot where they had been saved, the tree was not there. The driver couldn’t believe it, and Pastor Ceferino simply stated, my God who created the world can put a tree there to save us, he then encouraged the man to receive Jesus. The man driver didn’t know what to think
Some time passed and Pastor Ceferino had a man run up to him very excited. “Do you remember me?” he asked. “I am the driver who you saved.” He then told him how he couldn’t sleep for several nights after this incident, repeatedly waking up with frightful dreams of the incident and disturbed by the tree that didn’t exist. Finally, he broke down and received Jesus, and had slept incredibly ever since.
As Ceferino told these stories, he became visually moved to tears. Salvadorans are not highly emotional about many things, but as the tears would come he would say, “Dios ha sido tan fiel a mí.” “God has been so faithful to me.”