Perfect Love

I read this beautiful email and I just wanted to share it...hopefully she won't mind me passing it was such a blessing for me in my moment of being an overwhelmed mom. I am so thankful that God sends these small things for me at just the appropriate time. (Charmai and her husband are missionaries in Ecuador. My husband was lucky enough to spend some time there last spring with CMDA.)

"Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1-John

My husband (Roberto) is in the States right now, he has been for about a week. I was terrified when he left, perhaps many of you would have sympathy for me and reason the fear away with “Well, if I was left in the jungle for the first time with the responsibilities of nine kids and a ministry, I would be a little scared too”. But remember the verse “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love”. Just what does that verse pertain to anyway? Does it mean ALL fear?? And what does fear have to do with love, practically speaking??

Well, let me tell you what I have learned. I’m going to use the story of one of my little boys to help you grasp the depth of my revelation.

I have a son ( Antony) who was destined to be a Shaaman (witch doctor) from birth. He has seen and carried evil spirits, probably since birth as well. His sister told me there was a time when he was 5 years old that he was running around naked and hit her in the head with a rock, she passed out. Their father became very angry and began to chase him, until he chased him away. Their mother began to worry as the hours passed, and her naked 5 year old son did not come home. So by night fall she took a lamp and went to search for him, she finally found him. He had gone a long way, deep into the jungle; he was sleeping on the floor covered with leeches. She brought him home and bathed him; their father never said a word.

Now this same boy is 9 years old. A week or two ago he had gotten real upset. My husband heard him sobbing, so went to check on him, and found him on the shower floor curled up in a ball. While my husband was praying for him, our son began to say that he saw blood on his hands, and he began to say “they’re here, I can see them”. My husband called me, I was in the middle of scrubbing baby poo out of Mireya’s panties, but recognized the urgency right away. We then called Hannah, and Dario and all of us began to pray for him, in the shower. He kept looking at something above our heads, crying and saying over and over “they’re here, I see them”. He looked so tense and frightened; his eyes would roll back from time to time. The only thing that finally calmed him down was when Roberto got him to repeat after him saying “Jesus is my king, Jesus is my God”. I believe that he became a believer that day; I also believe that he was freed from a great bondage. But even before this happened, his family had seen him recently and they were stunned, they said over and over again to his sister “Wow, I can’t believe how much he’s changed! Is that really him! He’s not even mean anymore!”

Each of our kids has their story; each is barely recognizable in their old environment. Max for example, is a street kid who came to us at 12 years old. Sometimes he had a house to go to, but he preferred to be on the street. His mother told me that he would leave in the morning and not come back for days, or so she thought until she caught him sneaking under the house late a night. (The houses in the jungle are on stilts). He would sleep under the house, I wish all of you could see what that looks like, because it is disgusting, shocking, not to mention very unsanitary. What would drive a child to that extent to keep his presence hidden, yet return there every night? (rhetorical) With that kind of background, I would expect him to be a hopeless, dangerous, mess. Yet, he is the man while Roberto is away. The other day I asked him to do me the favor of sweeping the kitchen, he said yes, and proceeded to mop it as well, then he went out and swept all the leaves off the porch. Amen!

I tell you this because, this is what love does. It works in contradiction to fear, no more needing to be insecure, defensive, secretive. No more needing to protect yourself from oncoming wrath, or anything for that matter. Jesus took care of that on the cross. We are free! Perfect love casts out all fear! Sure if you make a mistake, even on purpose you will have to go through the discipline and resulting consequence of your choice, but it’s ok! Because He’s going to go through it with you!

He has given Roberto and I the responsibility of showing them this love. But I had to fully experience it first before I could fully give it. I used to be afraid that I couldn’t handle the responsibility on my own, and I was afraid of being alone with all my kids, because I thought I had to control them and I knew I couldn’t. But I have learned that I can’t control anyone but myself, my job is just to love them and guide them, and even their worst future sin has already been paid for. So I have no reason to fear it. Remember “fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love”. I’m on their side, and they are going to make lots of purposeful mistakes, but its ok, because I’m going to be right there alongside them as they learn.

I am in no means saying that my children and I are walking lights cured of all frailties. But we are definitely on God’s path and he has a plan to bulldoze us with the freedom that comes from His love. I hope through this journal you have been able to see what God’s love has done, not only to my children’s lives, but to mine as well. –Charmai Davalos

Father I pray that each person that reads this knows or comes to know the truth of the perfect love that drives out ALL fear. May you give us the courage to live the lives you have called us to-Amen

Charmai Davalos"

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