Update on Candelario: Three Generations Impacted for Christ
The update on Candelario is here! For the first part of this story, please click here.
An excerpt of a report from one of our pilots serving in the mountains of northern Mexico…
“Later on, a man and I were hiking down into the canyon to haul out an elderly gentleman. As we had a chance to talk during the hike, he seemed relieved to say that Refugia (to read about her story, click here) had fully recovered. The elderly gentleman we went down for was very sick and maybe on the verge of death. He’s a tough old guy, but the sickness and infection had debilitated him; there was no way he could climb nearly 2000 ft. up the rugged sides of the canyon. I had the privilege (and challenge) of helping to haul him up to the aircraft and out to the hospital. I say privilege because he (Roberto) is the grandfather of the family that God used to invite us into the community. We are actually living on his land and are very involved with his family.
As a side note, the guys helping to haul Roberto out of the canyon did not want me to help carry him. At first I thought they were just concerned that I did not have the strength and might end up dropping the old fella. I insisted on taking my turn to help share the load, but it was no use. A few weeks later when I asked about it and pushed a little more, they shared that they were concerned I might twist or break my ankle. They knew if that happened, they would have to haul two of us out and there would not be anyone to fly the airplane. That would mean hauling two of us nearly twenty hours by foot over rugged terrain to the nearest medical facility. They were not thinking about Roberto or my lack of strength, they were concerned for themselves and the situation – as they rightly should have been. The aviation ministry is important to them!
After we carried Roberto up to the airstrip, I flew him to the Christian hospital (for the third time in six months). I shared my concerns that he might not live much longer. We then made a team decision to begin teaching him the chronological Bible lessons even though they had not been corrected for our local Tarahumara dialect. Roberto is a fairly adept Spanish speaker, and the lessons created by New Tribes missionaries are in both Spanish and a similar Tarahumara dialect. We figured that if Roberto was taught in both languages, he would be able to grasp and understand the material. Nonetheless, in an effort to make them more understandable and to advance with the whole teaching ministry, we began to work on adapting the lessons to our local dialect. Who do you think turned out to be an excellent help with that? Candelario, Roberto’s grandson! We were ecstatic to learn that Candelario has a knack for understanding and helping to correct the material as we read through it with him phrase by phrase. One would not think this would be so difficult, but it is actually quite rare to find someone who can grasp the concept well and can help make the necessary changes.
Several months have passed and Roberto has improved physically. He might even be healed of his sickness. We are grateful for that and pleased to continue teaching him about God’s character, the contrast or opposition to our character, and the resultant separation from God. It will be amazing to see him come in repentance one day, receiving the free gift of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. If the Spirit works in him unto salvation, as a patriarch it might pave the way for several generations of family members to follow Christ in his footsteps. It could even affect the whole community. Candelario is learning about the one true God and his character at the same time as his grandfather. He, his father (Patricio), and his grandfather have all been recipients of the love of Christ in our relationships with them and the care provided. We are praying that the Lord will work through Roberto and these exceptional circumstances to reach the entire family. Please keep this in mind as you pray for a miraculous working of grace in the hearts and minds of Roberto, Patricio, and Candelario!”