Monday, January 11, 2010

Margarita with the Lord

Yesterday, just as church was ending, I received a call from Josue, from the Iztapalapa Bible Church, the church where we lived and ministered for 6 years, from 1997-2003. Margarita, a dear friend a vibrant Christian witness, went to be with her Savior at age 64. Although Margarita, or Magos as we called her, was sick for several weeks, her death was a shock to everyone.

Yesterday she decided to stay in her son and daughter-in-law's house, with one of her granddaughters, Rachel, who just turned 15 in December. We were able to attend her quinceaños, along with many other friends. Fernando, her husband, and the rest of the family went to church, but received a call shortly into the service that Margarita was not doing well. She died on the way to the hospital.

Fernando and Margarita came to know the Lord at age 52, and almost immediately decided to go to Bible school at La Roca Bible Institute, in Guadalajara. Missionaries Mark and Carole Landis direct that school. They were known lovingly by the other much younger students as "the Godfathers." They returned to Iztapalapa and worked alongside us for several years, before being recognized formally as pastor of the church, in 2002.

Here's how funerals work here in Mexico. Someone dies, and that whole day and the early morning hours are dedicated to what is called a velorio. Friends and family come to either a home, a funeral home, or in the case of yesterday, the church. In a Christian viewing, there's usually lots of singing, testimonies, and devotionals. Yesterday, Mayra and I arrived at the velorio at around 4 p.m., and stayed until around 8:30 p.m., then came home to get the kids to bed. I returned around 11 p.m. and stayed till almost 2 a.m. We both plan to return shortly (around 10 a.m.) for the final service, before the family (in this case, because the body will be cremated) goes to the graveyard.

Last night there were three separate sermons, Paco, Martin and Toño Muñoz. You get that when there's a lot of ministers involved! We sang for probably 4 hours.

Margarita loved to sing. I'm sure she's already organized something on high! Here's a pictures of Fernando and Margarita, and the whole Hernandez family.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I'm so very sad...and praying for Fer and the children. May GOD use this for good...and in many ways. She was a wonderful lady - one I will always truly remember. If you have a chance, please express to Fernando our/my love and hugs. Thanks. We'll continue to pray.