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His Ways Are Higher
Than Our Ways
By Christine Cerna
As I taught a classroom full of little Salvadorans,
I held a baby on each hip. When we sang
children’s choruses, I relied on the children
to do the actions since my hands were full. I
taught the lesson as I fed the two toddlers
cookies—lots of cookies. With their little
mouths full, they hardly made any noise, and
class was a big success.

“I hope you don’t mind. Estiven ate quite a few
cookies during class. He was such a good boy,
thank you for coming today. I enjoyed taking
16 care of him,” I explained to the young mother,
Dora. She was clearly not happy about my
cookie usage. She made a negative comment
and was gone. “Well, we will never see them
again,” I thought to myself as I began cleaning
up crayon pieces and cookie crumbs.

Dora came back the next Sunday and the next.

Upon peeking out the classroom window with
a baby on each hip again, I was surprised to see
her boyfriend sitting next to her in church. It
was then that I began to understand more of

Steve &
Christine Cerna
and family
her story. He was a rocker who played locally,
and he looked the part. “He does not seem like
he is used to attending church,” I observed as
he fidgeted in his corner seat, almost as if he
were trying to hide. However, he came back,
and he came back the week after that.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
are your ways my ways, saith the Lord (Isaiah
55:8). If there is anything I have learned
through watching Mauricio and Dora, it is
that God can completely surprise us with the
people He chooses to
use. We have had many
talented people with
tons of potential walk
through our church
doors. Sometimes we
have thought, “Okay,
God, it looks like you
are really going to use
them!” Then a prideful
spirit keeps them from
serving. Supper. The only person, front and center, to
stand was Dora. Soon after, others followed
her example. She was the most valiant person
in our new church, unashamed and ready to
celebrate Jesus.

At that time, Dora and her husband made and
sold tortillas for a living. While such a business
does not generate much income, it gave them
just enough. Then they made a decision: they
would not make and sell tortillas on Sunday to
better worship on The Lord´s Day. They were
unsure how they would make ends meet but
trusted God to provide. At just the right time,
God brought a woman to Dora´s doorstep who
asked if she would wash laundry for her. The
woman said she would pay her more than the
amount they would have made selling tortillas.

Dora was ecstatic! God had provided their
need in a miraculous way, giving them more
than what they had before.

This has been a pattern in their lives. We have
seen them leave their parents’ house and rent
their own home. We have seen them take the
bus to come to church, trusting God to protect
them on public transportation. God gave
them a car! We have
seen them start with a
small tortilla business
and move up to a bread
business that gives
them more freedom.

God can
surprise you with
the people He
chooses to use.

Dora and Mauricio corrected many issues
in their lives, and they left the past where it
should be—in the past. They were married a
short time after this. While it has not always
been easy, we have seen through them the kind
of people God can use in a great way. It is not
what one would think.

Our baby church prepared for our first Lord´s
Supper. Steve spent much time explaining what
it meant and who could partake. After much
explanation, Steve asked the congregation to
stand if they were ready to take the Lord´s
This year, Mauricio will
be ordained as a pastor.

Dora will be the pastor’s
wife. The
young, angry girl who came
to our church eight years ago has grown and
blossomed into one of the most encouraging,
faithful women I have ever known.

Eight years ago, if I could have guessed who
would be the first family to surrender to
ministry from our church in El Salvador, I
never would have guessed Dora and Mauricio.

God does indeed have much bigger plans than
we could have ever dreamed ourselves. We
thank Him and trust His thoughts and ways
over our own.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
are your ways my ways. W
Number 2, 2018