Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Remembering Doña Olga

I heard of her passing on October the 25th and I was saddened to know that the world had lost such a great light. Walking beside her for a few days was like a pulling back of the veil by the hand of God. For just a moment, her faithful footsteps could be seen. 

She lived a life that demonstrated that to follow Jesus is worth more than anything. Even paying the ultimate cost of life is not a price too high. Doña Olga was a saint who walked in a life of dusty poverty, pointing any who might come beside her to the glory of God.

The day I met her she saved me from a violent encounter. I was with a group that had been assembled to paint a church in the "Red Zone" of Guatemala City. The heat had made me careless, I'd removed my jacket and exposed my arms. I was alone on the far side of the building, reach up with an extension pole to paint the second level when I was suddenly grabbed by two men who ripped up my sleeves, exposing my tattoos.

They spoke in rabid Spanish and were demanding to know: what the tattoos meant, where did I get them, why was I there, and was I in a gang. I was in there territory and in that place, to be inked was a sign of loyalty to a gang. I was trying to keep calm, friendly, and try to explain that I was just a dad and the tatts were about my family. I was losing. 

They were getting rougher with me, and they began to pull me away with them.

That's when Doña Olga suddenly stepped in and began shouting in their faces. They immediately let go of my arms and held their hands up in a "I'm innocent" type of gesture. She scurried them away and chastised my foolishness of baring my arms. Then she smiled at me, hugged me, and we completed the paint job together.

She was loving and she was fiercely respected. She was fearless. She helped her neighbors at her own cost and risk. She was everything you've ever read about of how a Christian should act. 

When a person walks this earth with such a powerful witness as this... death has lost all power. Her influence expands... unlimited by miles and unlimited by time. The lives she poured God into are having multi-generational ripples. 

Doña Olga, you are not gone. We're still here and our lives have been changed because we walked beside you.

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