Casa de Cesar
WOW!!!! If you claim you are adamant in your convictions with Christ and your faith, maybe you should come to Magdalena, Guatemala and meet Cesar. Who is Cesar, one may ask? He is Pablo’s, one of the academy’s graduates, father. Let me describe Cesar to you and try to explain why meeting him today was impactful.
Just a moment ago, Johanna said to me “I can’t wait to see the look in your face when you meet Cesar”. During the walk to the house, which was about a 15-minute walk along a remote trail, I thought what could be so special about this man. I was curious about what the experience was going to be like for me and our team. We got to the house, and the house was in better shape than the majority of the surrounding village. And again, I questioned myself about what could be so special here. And, then we when inside and that is when reality hit.
I was overwhelmed with the welcoming into Cesar’s house. They immediately pulled out chairs for everyone to sit and feel comfortable. Each one of us that were new to the trip introduced ourselves and he spoke a blessing over us. Here I am, as a somewhat arrogant person, thinking about what my experience would be, and Cesar was laying in his bed full of joy. I was immediately overcome with emotions, not because I felt sorry for him, but because I felt sorry for myself. How can I, who has been blessed most of my life with health and wealth, be so selfish. During our time with him, Cesar continued to thank God over and over, not only for us being there with him, but because of the words he had for us. At any point during our visit, he didn’t feel sorry for himself. Cesar suffers from a bone disorder that will eventually kill him. For the past 17 years, he has bound to a bed and has come close to death a number of times.
During those times, his thoughts were not occupied with his suffering or praying for God to heal him, rather, he just wanted God to let him continue to spread the word to people. If I was in his position, I would certainly worry about myself. However, in an overly selfless way, he was concerned about being able to continue God’s will whatever his circumstances.
I think most of us fall short because of the tendacies we have to look at ourselves first. In all we do is complain about our circumstances, which we take for granted. And yet, I came to a third-world country and saw a servant of God, bound to a bed, dealing with daily pain, who has been close to death so many times for the last 17 years, but still praising God and giving thanks for his circumstances. I felt so little and all I could do while battling emotions was to hope that one day I could be half of the man that he is.
I think all of us today left Cesar’s house not only motivated to do better for ourselves, but to do God’s will more selflessly. Not doing things for personal gain, but rather doing what God has commanded. I thought I was going to come to Guatemala and impact someone else, but today I am struggling because I cannot compare myself to Cesar. Now I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me, but leaving Cesar’s house gave me the motivation to do it.
I hope that God continues to bless Cesar because the world needs to hear his story. Today I pray for many to come here and experience Cesar’s blessings through his preaching and see his selflessness firsthand.