Concordia’s support of ministry in Tijuana has been longstanding and now under a new name of Edificando Generaciones (Building Generations). One of the great privileges has been knowing faithful servants of the Gospel.
Pastor Manuel of Iglesia Evangelica Luterana de la Sola Fe y Sola Gracia was one of these faithful servants and he was promoted to Heaven on Saturday night. Last night was the first memorial service at the Mortuary. It was important to support the family but also hear the beautiful testimonies about Pastor Manuel’s life. He grew up an orphan in Tijuana and God led him to serve in ministry and gave him a beautiful family (an “exceptional wife and honorable children” as one person put it) and a beautiful congregation. What a blessed and full life he had. His dear wife Marta is an exceptional servant of the Lord and spoke about how they met and their life together and how delighted her husband must be to be in the presence of God. She truly is an exceptional and remarkable woman, wife and mother. Many things touched my heart. Among them how Marta relayed that her son last evening told her that his father taught him how to serve others with love and humility. This summed him up perfectly. I was touched to see how many young people were willing to publicly, even in their sadness at their loss, give God thanks for Pastor Manuel’s life and how he always had time to encourage them.
It was a privilege to know Pastor Manuel. What I learned from him was that to honor Christ we must live beyond the “words” and show love in action and with great humility. He taught me this lesson with the life he lived and let me observe. The final message to those assembled last night was to follow Christ and love His Church, that would be the best and most fitting tribute to any servant and that would be Pastor Manuel’s request and encouragement to us. Today we will have a memorial service in his church at noon followed by his burial.
Until we meet again, Pastor Manuel. We will miss you but your work through your church, those you taught, the new Bible Institute that was a project of your heart for many decades…. your legacy ….. will live on for generations.
Added: From Gary Norton, Mission Facilitation for the PSWD of the LCMS.
Thank you for sharing the news of the promotion of Pastor Manuel. We just saw him last month and the Institute launch, and now he celebrates in person with Jesus. His is the victory!
Blessings in the Resurrection afterglow!
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