This last month has been a time for Bryan and I to reflect on our work here. It has helped us realize how thankful we are for God's faithfulness to us, and our dire need of Him - His presence and power - in our lives and ministry.
On March 23, one of our regulars at the youth center died in a terrible accident. I don't think I will ever forget the day. Every Saturday, one of our youth girls - Sofia - comes over to clean my house and have a discipleship class time afterwards. It's nice for me and she loves the extra money she makes each week. We were just finishing up the class. We'd had a great time in the Lord, praying and repenting for things He showed her and I that were keeping us from more intimacy with Him. It was beautiful. This particular Saturday, she'd stayed to eat lunch.
As we were finishing lunch, one of our kids, David rang our timbre (doorbell). I waved down really goofy to him. Normally he would give a silly grin and maybe do a little dance move or wave his hands like - "Hey! Let me in!" This time though, he looked up and I could tell he was crying. I thought oh I hope he's okay.
I let him in and just hugged him immediately with Bryan and Sofia right behind me. As he walked in he mumbled something and I couldn't really hear much except the word "fallecido" which means "passed away." For some reason I thought he said his mom (who he doesn't really know), and I started to hear Eva cry so I handed off my hug to Bryan, and he took David to sit down with him into our bedroom.
As Sofia was telling me she thought she'd leave so we could have time alone with David, Bryan came out looking pale. He said, "Delana, it was Guillermo. It was Guillermo that died." My head spun. Even though it was in English, Sofia understood too and just started screaming, "NO! No! No" and I just ran into the bedroom. As I hugged David I couldn't stop the weeping, but my mind was still trying to wrap around what was happening. There was no way! Guillermo had just chatted with me on Facebook 2 days earlier. What on earth is going on. This is just a dream. As all these things ran through my head, I knew what I had to do was let David grieve. He had come to us.
When he stopped crying a second, he said he'd come to ask Bryan to go and be with his dad at the hospital - that it had just happened. As Bryan kissed me and left, Sofia, David, Eva and I all got on the floor and just huddled together and cried. Then we started praying. As we prayed I just started asking God to raise Him up. We knew Guillermo loved Jesus, and I just asked for Him to bring Guillermo back for us. Sofia prayed, then David. He simply prayed, "I don't know what's going on God. Help me. Help Guillermo. I don't know why this happened."
It is something I will never forget. I can't imagine losing a child. Seeing Guillermo's dad, sister, and David going through this, it has been so hard. We loved him and still dearly miss him.
The thing is, I've been kind of avoiding writing about it because that means it's kind of final. But if I don't write about that part, then I can't write about all the things I loved about Guillermo. We had a memorial service two weeks after he died and invited all the youth center kids and all his family. We watched some videos and pictures and sang some of his favorite worship songs. But it was so wonderful to see him act so silly and to hear some funny stories some of the kids remembered about him.
He was the one who loved to be silly. I remember when he first came, he was SUCH a distraction! He was always joking around or not paying attention. I also remember that he would get especially distracted when we sang worship songs. It was obvious by his face that he just didn't get it. He didn't get why Bryan and I looked like we were doing more than just singing a song - that we were talking to Someone. But slowly as he kept coming and he learned more of the Bible and listened to Bryan and I teach on worship, lordship, servanthood, and other biblical principles, we saw a changed. He began to love sitting and singing to the Lord. He would close His eyes and just sing to Him. It was wonderful to see that transformation.
I also remember when we were doing a skit and we rehearsed for it a few times. He was playing the person who was dying of hunger. There were others who played a drug addict, a mother with a dying child, etc. By the end of the song, the person playing Jesus comes and meets the needs of each person. It ended up being pretty touching. But I don't know if it was just that he was method acting or what, but he would slip out of practice while we weren't looking and go to the store right next door and buy a snack. He'd slip back in or sometimes we noticed him missing, but then he'd start eating his snacks. It was like playing a hungry person would make him actually hungry. I'd finally just have to take them so that he would stop eating and pay attention to the director (me).
He was constantly making us laugh or hit him upside the head. I don't know how many times I asked him, "What do you think you're doing?" He was crazy. But when Eva came along, I have never seen such loving. He LOVED holding Eva, playing with Eva, snuggling her, and making goo-goo faces at her.
He was the first of our kids (we call them that because that's what it feels like - we're family) to be baptized. A lot of them come from Catholic families, so baptism into an Evangelical church is not exactly encouraged. We teach them to honor their parents, so we never push baptism on them for that reason. But we teach on it and we provide opportunity. On one Sunday when we went out to do baptisms, Guillermo and his family came on the outing. As Pastor Octavio was asking those to come up close to the water (we were at a little pond) who were going to be baptized, Guillermo asked "Can I be baptized too?" He kinda of was asking his dad for permission and Octavio if it was too late to sign up. It makes me almost laugh out loud to think of his enthusiasm. Octavio asked him if he knew Jesus as his Savior, and he said "Yes!" So he was baptized that day. It was so wonderful.
I loved Guillermo. So did Bryan. It's crazy to think about the fact that he's not here. But the fact is that David is. He is still one of our dearest kids. So we are asking for your prayers. I can't imagine losing a sibling. Especially because their family all slept in the same room, and David is only a year and half older than Guillermo. They did everything together and fought constantly. They couldn't be more different. But I know that God has a reason for this.
Please pray for his family and our "family." We are asking for supernatural wisdom to walk teenagers through their grief and find God's peace in the midst of trail. We are so thankful that God is on His throne, no matter what happens around us. I figured it was about time to write about this and give God the glory for His comfort and peace.
Jesus is all the world to me, Master, Savior, Friend is He