On Sunday mornings, Libia and Julio don’t look like anything special. Just two close friends worshiping God, maybe imagining their future together.
You would never guess that this time last year, they wouldn’t speak to each other — much less be in the same room together. Or that they were bitter enemies for five long years.
The fact that they happily sit together at church now? TEAM missionary Dawn Moore says it’s nothing short of a miracle.
Peruvian Couple Seeks Better Life in States
Libia and Julio’s relationship was complicated from the beginning.
They both grew up in Peru as Catholics, but neither had a personal relationship with God. When they started dating, they also started sleeping together. And within a year, Libia was pregnant.
Wanting to be good Catholics, the couple got married.
A few years later, they immigrated to Charlotte, North Carolina to build a better life.
Julio and Libia were ideal immigrants. Julio worked long hours to provide for his family, while Libia cared for their son. But they rarely had time together — and it began to hurt their relationship.
“We used to argue over everything and over nothing,” Julio says.
Libia was eager to fix her marriage. So, when an acquaintance invited her to church, she decided to start going.
But then Libia was hit with an unexpected blow.
Sickness, Overworking Drive Couple Apart
Libia started having strange symptoms. She was constantly fainting but her doctors didn’t know why.
In her fear, Libia started praying and reading Scripture more. Julio kept working.
After two years, the doctors figured out that Libia had a brain tumor.
Julio was horrified at the news, but he had no time to slow down. Libia’s medical bills were growing. It was far more than they could afford.
Julio began working up to 20 hours a day. The couple’s fighting got worse.
Eventually, Julio decided to go to church with Libia. And eventually, Libia was healed of her cancer. But by then, the marriage was so far gone, Libia and Julio didn’t know how to save it.
One day, Julio decided he just didn’t care anymore. He left and married someone else.
Both Julio and Libia stopped going to church. They were so consumed by anger, they refused to speak to each other. Their only news of each other came from their adult son.
But as the years past, Libia longed for God. In 2018, she let people know she was looking for a church. Word spread through the local Latin American community, and someone told her about a Spanish-speaking church plant: Impacto Charlotte.
Spanish-Speaking Church Leads Ex-Wife to Healing
The first time Libia went, she sneaked into the back, trying not to be noticed. But she loved the music. And the whole service was in Spanish, letting Libia relax as she listened to the sermon.
“The teaching [at Impacto] is profound, and at the same time, simple, so you can understand it,” Libia says. “It fills my heart.”
When she met the TEAM missionaries leading the church, Dawn and Keith Moore, she found out they had planted churches in Colombia and Honduras. They already knew and loved the Latin American culture!
The Moores could see that Libia was still traumatized by her marriage. But they welcomed her with kindness, patiently sharing the Gospel and studying Scripture with her.
Slowly, Libia’s heart began to heal.
Meanwhile, Julio’s life was falling apart — again.
Ex-Husband Amazed by Spiritual Transformation
Julio thought starting over with someone new was all he needed. But he kept working so many hours, he didn’t have time for his new wife either.
Soon, the marriage fell apart. This time, though, Julio took it as a wakeup call. He knew he needed to change.
Shortly after Julio’s revelation, Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina.
Julio and Libia hadn’t talked in five years, but Julio decided to check on Libia anyway. When Julio arrived at the house, he was shocked at how Libia received him.
“There was no grudge, there was no pain, … because God healed me,” Libia says.
Libia and Julio started texting, and Julio quickly realized that Libia was a different person.
“I was amazed to know that she had forgiven me after everything that had happened between us,” Julio says.
Julio asked if he could go to church with Libia, and Libia agreed.
Just as they had with Libia, the Moores were eager to study Scripture with Julio. And when Keith shared the Gospel, Julio thought, Why not receive Christ in my heart? … Why not fill that emptiness that I have been feeling for years?
Former Couple Grows in Christ Together
After Julio received Christ, he began to change, too. He’s eager to study Scripture and to treat others with Christ’s love.
“God works in incredible ways that we really do not understand,” Libia says. “He is amazing.”
And for everyone who supports TEAM missionaries like Dawn and Keith, Julio has one simple message: “I was so far away from God, and now I have returned. … I want to thank you with all my heart for all you do.”
To see more about this story, check out this video!
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