When a girl turns 15 in Latin America, there is usually a celebration. Her mother wanted to give Elia a party, but she didn't feel like celebrating. Her father had just died and she felt abandoned.
"My mother and I continued to go to church," Elia remembers, "but I had no joy in my heart."
Elia and her mother reached a compromise. Instead of a big party, Elia would go on a camping trip with her church. It was a trip where she would find God as her Father.
As she grew in the Lord, Elia developed a passion for reaching others with the message of salvation. Her God-given gift of evangelism was helped by Bible League training.
Her training came at a time when her church was going through a struggle. "We had forgotten that the world needs God's Word," says Elia.
When Elia first put her training to work, she was nervous. But the first woman Elia visited was open to studying the Bible with her. This was a huge encouragement to this young woman who was so excited about sharing her faith.
"You have come at just the right time," said the woman to Elia. "My daughter has been raped and she wants to kill her attacker." Through the Gospel of John, Elia was able to share the love of Jesus with this hurting family.
A lonely woman with no family or friends was also visited by Elia. "As we talked," says Elia, "she admitted to me that she had become a prostitute." This woman was certain that her sin was too severe—she could never find forgiveness.
Elia showed the woman from the Bible that Jesus can and will forgive any sin. "We talked for a long time and she cried inconsolably as she realized she needed Jesus in her life," says Elia.
Today, Elia and her husband serve God as they lead people to Christ by studying God's Word. She sees the lives of those in the studies changing as they learn more about Jesus and His love for them. "But my life has changed, too," says Elia, "as I continue to study for myself and I come to know God more through His Word."
Please visit our Bible website