God’s Power for Challenging Times: Xavier’s Story

Dear Friends and Partners,

What’s up with Xavier???

That was the question that puzzled Patricio Paredes and Kevin Halloran when they picked up Pastor Xavier Peñafiel for his final TNT (Training National Trainers) week in Ecuador. Xavier’s usual joy was being crushed by a heavy weight.

Here’s why—earlier that week, a thief broke into his church and made off with a brand new sound system and Xavier’s personal computer, containing all of his personal information and documents. This theft felt like the final straw…the latest in a string of major discouragements for Xavier and his ministry.

How could he go on?

Xavier discovered God’s answer as he listened to example sermons from 1–2 Samuel and worked through the text using the TNT principles of interpretation: God uses humble people in impossible situations to establish his Kingdom on earth.

Consider… 

  • Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1:1–2:11. God used the remarkable faith of a rather unremarkable (and barren) woman to bring forth the godly leader, Samuel, that Israel so desperately needed.
  • David’s story in 1 Samuel 17. The narrator bends over backwards to show the unlikeliness of David’s victory: David, a mere shepherd boy (who burned with a fiery zeal for God’s glory) was bringing snacks for his brothers, the “real” warriors. Yet God used David with nothing more than a small stone and a sling to topple the formidable giant who threatened both the people and the honor of God.

Over those three days, a powerful truth began to slowly grip Xavier: if God could use a barren woman and shepherd boy, surely he could use him in spite of his own weakness and discouragements.

God turned Xavier’s heavy burden into a strengthened calling to advance God’s kingdom in a fallen world.

This is why we immerse students in books of the Bible…so pastors experience transformation directly from God’s Word, and so that that transformation propels them to teach and equip others.

Thank you for partnering with us so that God’s glory is displayed in men like Xavier!

With gratitude for you,

Craig Parro

President

PS: While Xavier’s group just graduated the TNT program, our work in Portoviejo, Ecuador is taking off, with two groups already launched and another launching in April. Please, give this month so that our work in Ecuador develops into a Movement of God’s Word in this strategic Latin American country!

Craig Parro

Since joining Leadership Resources International in 1989, Craig directed its international ministry, and as of January 2010, he now serves as President. A graduate of TEDS (M.A., Mission), Craig is a stimulating teacher and has equipped and encouraged pastors and churches throughout the U.S., Latin America and Asia. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition), an association of pastoral training organizations focused on accelerating pastoral training worldwide. Craig has authored articles appearing in several magazines. His first book, Unlikely Warriors, was published in 1992. He is also co-author of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout.

Latest posts by Craig Parro

[latestbyauthor]