Praying for the Healing of Modesto

Modesto is a very traditional Tarahumara man, strong and proud. He often participated in the traditional ball races where the teams would run, “kicking” a hardwood ball for 8 to 10 or even up to 24 hours. During the elapsed time, the participants run anywhere from 30 to 60 or more miles.

On his back, suspended from a rope around his forehead, Modesto would carry sacks easily weighing over 100 lbs. as he hiked up and down thousands of feet through the rugged canyons of the Sierra Tarahumara. This was part of his daily life as he struggled to survive in the harsh and rugged environment.

IMG_1541For several years he was elected governor of his local “ejido” or tribal district and was a fair and effective leader for his people. The people seemed to appreciate him in general, but not everyone felt the same, as is always the case. One man came to him asking permission to “take” a woman for his wife. The lady did not want to go with this man, so Modesto honored the woman’s wishes and refused the man. This man was angry and chose the path of vengeance. There were rumors that this man visited a local shaman and had a spell cast on Modesto in order to kill him.

Sometime after this, Modesto began to lose strength in his legs. There were no obvious reasons, but as time progressed, he was no longer able to walk or support himself on his feet. He was reduced to dragging himself around in the dirt. His family eventually carried him to each of the three hospitals in this remote mountainous region, but at each place they could not diagnose him and only sent him away with Tylenol. Needless to say, this did not resolve his dilemma and the condition only worsened. He tried traditional herbal and spiritual healing methods, but eventually he realized that he would die without more effective medical treatment.

Missionaries working in the area who had known him for years were informed of his rapidly declining health. After traveling to his hut deep in a remote canyon so he could be evaluated, it appeared that he would most likely die if left in such conditions. Ulcers would develop from lying around in the dirt and feces, and his family was unable to care from him properly.

The decision was made to evacuate him by aircraft from the nearest airstrip and fly him to the capital city, where he could be properly diagnosed, and, hopefully, cured. His son then carried him on his back over the rugged terrain to a community where they spent the night waiting for the UIMA aircraft to arrive.

The next morning, as Modesto was loaded into the airplane with the help of four strong Tarahumara men, there were tears in his eyes from the fear, pain in his legs, and maybe even gratefulness for the help being provided. His son boarded the aircraft with him to help provide care during his stay in the hospital.

A few hours later, he was admitted to the emergency room of the general hospital in the capital city, where he has since been undergoing many tests. So far they’ve determined that there has been hemorrhaging in the brain and that there are many toxins in his blood from lead poisoning and fertilizers.


Modesto running in the Tarahumara ball race.

He is far from his home in the canyon and is missing his family, but we are praying that with the Lord’s guidance the doctors will be able to determine what is afflicting him and how to treat him. Christians in the city are visiting, praying, and encouraging Modesto during his stay.

Please pray that he will be healed and that, above all, it will be apparent to Modesto that it was by the power of the only true and living God. Pray that he will see the love of Christ in those who have helped and cared for him, and that through this the missionaries in contact with him will be able to clearly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that has the power to save him and his family.

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