Our Darkest Hour Brings Great Harvest: A Preview of Inexplicable Part 3
Do you remember learning that simple rhyme in school, “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue?” May have been one of the best and easiest history lessons we were ever taught.
Columbus thought he had discovered the lost Garden of Eden in the New World. But that paradise crumbled under the heavy hand of the Spanish conquistadors. In fact, the spread of Christianity faced its greatest man-made obstacles during the Spanish Colonial Era:
- Millions of indigenous people died from war, exploitation and genocide
- Countless more from infectious diseases brought be the Europeans to which they had never been exposed
In some places, 80% of the population was decimated after the arrival of the conquistadors.
Yet with tragedy and death, the Gospel also arrived aboard the Spanish galleons in the form of deeply devoted missionaries who saw the native peoples as souls who had never yet heard of Jesus and needed his salvation.
In our third episode of the documentary series, “Inexplicable: How Christianity Spread to the Ends of the Earth,” we meet scoundrels and saints whose heart-felt motives were at extreme opposites, but who God, nevertheless, used to bring what today is one of the greatest harvests in the history of our world.
You’ll meet a Jesuit priest named Pedro Claver who signed his letters:
Forever a servant to blacks
Fr. Claver ran to meet the slave ships arriving in Cartagena Colombia from Africa where he would loving care for the weakest sick and wounded slaves who had been crammed into inhuman conditions for months at sea. And he would carry the bodies of the dead and give them a dignified burial.
His story of living Jesus’ prescription to care for the ‘least of these’ earned Claver an exalted place in the history of Christianity in Latin America.
Today, in no small part, due to the loving efforts of saints like Pedro Claver to care for the peoples of Latin America and share the Gospel, the continent is experiencing revival. Ninety percent of all Latinos are Christians. And with the growth of the Pentecostal and Charismatic branches of the Church, South American countries are now sending missionaries around the world – including, to the United States!