Although Julio was only 57, because of his health problems, he found himself unable to walk or care for himself. As a result, he ended up at the nursing home earlier this year. A few months ago, Julio was very sick and in the hospital. After seeing my Facebook post asking for prayers for Julio, a concerned friend from church messaged me and asked me if he believed in Christ. I never met Julio, so I asked Pastor Roni if he knew. That day, Pastor Roni went to visit him in the hospital and shared the Gospel with him. Julio grew up Catholic but strayed away from his faith. When Pastor Roni asked if he wanted Jesus to be his Savior, he said yes! Later that week, Julio, who had arthritis and bedsores in several areas of his body, was discharged from the hospital. This summer, I was able to meet Julio. The first week I was there, we spent time talking about his faith and his physical health. The following week, we celebrated his birthday with him. The next week we sang songs, prayed, and performed a drama in his room, because he was bed-bound and unable to leave his room. It was a special moment where Julio felt loved and remembered. The following Tuesday we learned that Julio passed away that Saturday. Although we were sad that we would not see Julio that day, we rejoiced in knowing that Julio was no longer in pain on this earth and that he is rejoicing with the Lord in Heaven!! What a faithful God we serve who orchestrates divine plans to make sure His children know His love. He desires our hearts, and He wants us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. God used a women 3000+ miles away and a team of young women to make sure His child Julio knew how loved he was. I can't help but think of the love Jesus describes for His children in the parable of the lost sheep.
“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
“Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O LORD. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.”
Thank you, friends, for your support and prayers. Julio is rejoicing in Heaven now. What a beautiful picture of God's faithfulness and love!