Updated: Oct 30
“I was depressed for seven years,” Maria Piedad Mesa de Echeverri begins her story. “I was seeing psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and was on all sorts of medications. But my deep depression only grew worse. I lost my appetite and could not sleep. My weight fell to 95 pounds. Nothing helped get me out of my despair.” Then, Maria’s expression changes dramatically as she says, “but then I met Jesus.”
“That was 39 years ago,” a joyful and confident Maria states. “The day I met Jesus I was on heavy psychiatric medication, but somehow, I was able to stop. Twenty days later it was as if I was a completely different person. I could eat and sleep again. My depression was gone. I had a profound desire to study and memorize Scripture, to pray, and go to church. My family and neighbors could hardly believe it was really me. Within eight months, I began a prayer group with my family. It soon grew to include my friends and neighbors. They couldn’t believe I was the same person.” Maria smiles again and says, “but of course I wasn’t the same person. I was now a child of God.”
It wasn’t long after her conversion that Maria discovered LOGOI and in particular, our FLET Bible courses. “I think I’ve taken all of them,” she says. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theology and a Master of Theology with an emphasis in pedagogy (how teachers teach). She has now authored four books: Hasta llegar al esplendor (Until we reach splendor); Mirando l mundo con los lentes de Dios (Looking at the world through God’s eyes; Busca amar a Dios y ser ejemplo (Seek to love God and be an example); and most recently; Bendito el fruto de tu vientre (Blessed is the fruit of your womb), which is about family, blessings and prayers for parents.
Maria loves to teach and was the academic director of the Leadership Training Academy in Medellin. She oversees leadership training at her church which includes a counseling ministry. She writes ongoing devotionals and is also a conference and seminar speaker. “My desire is to serve the church in whatever way I can help,” she adds. This includes planting a mission church in the city of Medellin where she served for 12 years. “We have since handed the church over to new missionaries to continue the work.”
“LOGOI has been my Bible academic home,” Maria says. “I profoundly love all I have received in training, particularly from LOGOI’s FLET Bible Studies. Each teacher, each subject, each note I made became a treasure that I could apply throughout my teaching ministry.” She lights up once again and says, “Whenever I want a practical and contextual answer for counseling, I begin by reading Dr. Thompson’s articles and books. He was so accurate in his appreciation for the current moment. I am so grateful to say he was my virtual teacher.”
On a personal note, Maria has been married to Juan Fernando Echeverri Calle for 47 years and they have four children and five grandchildren. “I want to leave a legacy for the next generation,” she says. “In this postmodern world, I want to help them develop a heart for God, so that they will experience the joy of serving Him.”
Would you take a moment right now and pray for Maria? Specifically, her heart breaks as she explains that her 42-year-old son became addicted to drugs when he was 14. “He is far from God and has lost everything,” she explains, “including his home, his wife, children, work, health, and money.” Maria asks us to pray with her and implore God to rescue her son just as He did for her.
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