The Amores’ Story: Life in the Kingdom of Grace

Amores Family
Puembo Church, Quito, Ecuador

Life rarely turns out the way you imagine. Irony has a predictable way of showing up in the most unpredictable places. You think the dance of life will take a step to the right as it always has, but instead it goes left.

The dance floor is where Ana Maria met Jorge. Ana Maria chose a dance class to move on from her recent divorce. She found herself partnered with Jorge, a fellow divorcé from several years back. They wound up being more than great dance partners and got married a little more than a year later.

Both had sons from their previous marriages. Ana Maria had a young son, Xavi, while Jorge’s son Emilio was a teen. And both Ana Maria and Jorge had emotional wounds coming out of their respective divorces.

Xavi was barely a year old when Ana Maria got divorced. The transition to motherhood and being single pushed her into depression.

Jorge’s emotional life wasn’t any healthier. A contentious relationship with his ex made it a constant battle to connect with his son Emilio.

Jorge and Ana Maria went on to add two more kids to their own marriage, David and José Daniel. Trying to make the best of a blended family became a near-impossible challenge. Ana Maria’s own childhood was dominated with fear and insecurity. Add to that Jorge’s constant battle to connect with Emilio. So 12 years into their marriage the family was on the brink.

The ultimate irony is—Ana Maria was a family counselor by profession. She loved helping families with troubled children become healthy and whole. But each night, she’d return to her own family powerless to fix it.

Finally, things reached a breaking point. Jorge and Ana Maria went to see a psychologist. Among his suggestions was a recommendation to add a spiritual component to their relationship.

For Ana Maria, the church was nothing more than a speck in the rearview window—something she left in the past. Jorge, on the other hand, was doubtful God even existed. “Finding God” was not something either of them ever planned to bring into their marriage or family.

And this is where irony strikes again. It was Xavi, Ana Maria’s son, that God used to save the Amores family. Xavi got plugged into the youth group at Puembo Church. Jesus saved Xavi and gave him a passion to learn and grow. Eventually, Ana Maria and Jorge went with Xavi to Puembo Church. They responded to the gospel and fell in love with the church. And soon their whole family was baptized.

Today, everyone in the family is involved at Puembo Church. Jorge and Ana Maria help with marriage retreats. Xavi is a leader in the youth group and youth worship band. And David and José Daniel are plugged into the children’s ministry.

Such is life in a Kingdom of grace. People don’t get what they deserve. Life doesn’t go according to plan. It’s upside down.

The Lord uses the humble to lead the proud. The weak to lead the strong. And sometimes, the child to lead the family.

Yep. The LORD “works in mysterious ways,” so the familiar saying goes—which is to say, He uses irony drenched in grace.

Amores Family Baptism, March 2019, Puembo Church