Monday, May 11, 2009
Manwellcito… he hates it when I call him that. But I have grown to love this kid like he is my little brother. I have been amazed to see where God has brought him in the past few months. I don’t know if I can do his story justice, but I will try…
When I came back to Loja in January he was not doing good. My roommate Nicole told me that he had been drinking pretty much every weekend since Christmas. As you can imagine this hurt my heart. One night when we were all out, Nicole and I saw him pretty wasted and here was the thing that really got me: when I’m just hanging out with Manwell in the coffee shop he’s happy, laughing and fun. When he drinks, he is quiet and down. I thought to myself, ‘Why would he want to be THIS Manwell… I like the other one better.’
A couple months later he told me, “I feel like I’m always wearing a mask for people. I have to be this happy, fun guy when really I feel miserable inside.”
I remember one day looking over at the couches and seeing Manwell and Carolynn in a very intense conversation. Later on Carolynn told me that she has never been so bold with anyone. She just asked him straight up what he was doing and where he was in his walk with the Lord. She challenged him to read a book called, The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey.
It was amazing to see the transformation that took place in Manwell’s life throughout the next month. He told Nicole and Carolynn that he was afraid to be honest with God because God was so big and powerful. About a week after that we were talking and I asked him about that comment and he said, “I used to be scared to be honest with God… like I had to wear a mask for him too, but now I’m not. As I was reading that book I realized that Jesus can handle my junk.”
Carolynn just recently went back to Australia and Manwell told me, “If I was the only reason that Carolynn came to Ecaudor for the past 3 years, it was worth it because of how God has used her in my life.”
God is still working in Manwell’s life and it is amazing to see what He is capable. Keep praying for Manwell that he would know the amazing Jesus who desperately wants to know him.