Impacto de Dios (Impact of God) drug rehabilitation center. At evening devotionsduring the Iowans' visit to El Pauji, he told about his escape from disaster. The rising water trapped Madriz and the patients at his center on a rooftop,joined by people from nearby buildings. Madriz prayed, "My God, don't let medie." He said God told him, "Don't worry about yourself. Worry about those thatdon't know me." He told the crowd on the rooftop, "The only way that we'll be saved in thisplace is that everybody accept Christ as savior." The people fell on their kneesand prayed for salvation, from their sins and from the cataclysm. Soon huge tree trunks and other objects got snagged immediately upstream,making a wall that diverted the flow around the building. The crowd on therooftop raised their hands and praised God, Madriz said.
The Rev. John Palmer, pastor of First Assembly of God, accompanied one of hiscongregation's mission trips for the first time. He had preached overseas beforeand done mission work privately with his wife, Debbie, but never with a teamfrom the church. The mission team's puppet shows brought back memories for Palmer, who startedhis first church in Athens, Ohio, 25 years ago by holding puppet shows andgiving out coupons for free hamburgers. "That's how we started a church," Palmer said. "We started with children." This Sunday the church will celebrate two anniversaries: Palmer's 15th aspastor in Des Moines and 25 years of marriage for the couple. The celebrationwill include a 10 a.m. roast of Palmer between the two morning worship servicesand a 6 p.m. service followed by a reception.
Lenin Jose Romero
The Iowans were amazed by Lenin Jose Romero, known locally as Neco, or Cripple. He was born with deformed legs that in adulthood are barely bigger around than the handle of a shovel. The visitors regarded him first with pity,then with awe. Often sitting on the ground while he worked, Neco pitched in with theAmerican work crews, digging dirt and mixing cement. He felt possessive of the4-year-old Fuente de Vida School, where a niece is a student. "I started openingthe holes for the foundation," he explained through an interpreter. "I helpedput up the columns. I helped mix the cement."