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Jehovah Jireh in Lockdown

Jehovah Jireh in Lockdown

Rosa and Peter, of Peruvian heritage, live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with their young sons. In March of 2020, Peter travelled to Peru for a family wedding. His flight was scheduled to return three days later. When Argentina shut its borders due to COVID-19, the government promised that flights would resume in 15 days.

Rosa and Peter spoke on the phone and calculated that she had two months-worth of savings to use until Peter could return. His workplace understood the circumstances and gave him two weeks of vacation. Everything would be fine.

Peter had grown up in a Nazarene home while Rosa’s upbringing had been nominal Catholicism. Her family strongly rejected the notion of salvation outside the Catholic sacraments. She had only recently accepted Christ as her personal Savior.

When the couple had first moved to Argentina, they lived with Peter’s extended family who actively served in a Nazarene church and held a weekly Bible study in their home. Rosa began to make new friends and learn about the Lord. However, she struggled to forgive those who had hurt her. Her grandfather was her only father figure, and Rosa quickly discovered that she needed to forgive her biological father in order to freely enjoy Christ’s pardon.

When Rosa finally surrendered and allowed the Lord to dwell in her heart, she experienced joy that surprised her. She received the Savior’s unconditional love that released her from the fear of ridicule, built-up resentment, shame, and guilt. Rosa’s shy personality dared to trust again, leading her into a personal freedom she had never before experienced. By the time Rosa and Peter were established in their own home, they were actively attending church together.

Now, with Peter stuck in Peru, Rosa had no idea what the next months would entail. As the quarantine dragged on well beyond the initial estimation, month after month, her money dwindled. Peter could not get a flight or bus ticket to return to his wife and sons. Argentina’s strict lockdown left both Rosa and Peter unemployed with the threat of losing their home.

Rosa’s newfound faith became her anchor, and her devoted intimacy with the Lord brought her renewed strength.

Her church family reached out to her, constantly checking in to see if she was alright even though they were all coping with loss and crisis.

One day when Rosa attempted to pay her utility bill, her card was rejected due to insufficient funds. She swallowed down her panic and declared, “Okay, Lord—here is where you show yourself as the powerful God your Word claims you are. Rescue us!” Just two days later, an acquaintance sent her twice what she needed to pay the bill. The message accompanying the gift read, “I felt led to send this gift. I hope you don’t take offense, I just wanted to show you that you are loved.”

God’s provision continued. In times of desperation, Rosa would be called randomly to clean friends’ homes. She began selling homemade lunches to essential workers in the area and established her own take-out business. The Lord constantly surprised her with His protection and abundance.

As a child, she had not felt her father’s protection. But now she declared, “God loves me so deeply! He protects me and covers me with His wings!” Rosa would share each victory with Peter and her own family. She was not the same woman—she was active, alive, and free! Her grandfather accepted Christ as his personal Savior. Rosa witnessed God using her own victories to sustain others!

Two months later, during her early morning devotions, the Lord led her to Psalm 46:1-2:

God is a safe place to hide,
ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in sea storm and earthquake. (The Message, 2018)

She feared, “Lord, is more trouble coming?” Two days later, the news that her beloved grandfather had passed away devastated Rosa. She not only lost the man who had been her father figure but also was unable to attend his funeral. She slipped into despair, alone, grieving, and yet trying to stay strong for her children. In her grief, she called her family. Her mother, though not a believer, said, “Rosa, be fearless and courageous.”

Those words were like a splash of refreshing water to her soul. She thought, “What am I doing? My mother has lost her father, does not have Christ in her life, and is comforting me with the same words the Lord gave me the other day. Wake up, Rosa!” At that moment, the Lord restored her courage in Him and began extending comfort to her grieving family.

After eight months of lockdown, Peter finally arrived home. Rosa was not the fearful woman he had left in Argentina. She shone with a security Peter had never seen. Today, Rosa is actively vocal about her faith. She holds a Bible study with approximately 15 pre-teens. God has truly become her Father. He is Rosa’s Jehovah Jireh.

Robin Brunson Radi serves with her husband and daughters as a global missionary for the Church of the Nazarene in Buenos Aires, Argentina.