I’d like to introduce you to an incredible friend of mine named Pastor Alcidez. When we first met him in San Ignacio—as we filed through the church gate for breakfast—I could not have guessed the imprint he would leave on my life. Yet through serving alongside this man, witnessing his love for others, and seeing the impact of Christ in Him I have been both challenged and blessed through his life.
I think the most vivid memory I have is his compassionate, tender heart. He was so focused on others!—I remember him weeping over lost souls, devoting hours and hours to go and encourage others, and comforting hurting children and adults alike. One time I remember that a child fell onto the ground and he spent the next five minutes embracing, comforting, and uplifting that child—with such genuine care and love that it was a real challenge to me.
He also arises as a strong, determined leader: he knew his goal—to be a faithful servant of Christ—and his life reflected perseverance in pursuing that goal. When he spoke he used godly wisdom and encouragement, when he made plans he was clear, God-focused, and others-centered, and working alongside of him I learned that he was lighthearted, joy-filled, and a pleasure to be around as we served.
The last memory I have of this pastor—an image which is locked into my mind—was from our return trip to Santa Cruz. As we boarded the bus I looked out the window to see Pastor Alcidez circling the bus and waving to our group. Then he grinned with an ear-to-ear beaming smile, pointed upward, and circled back to the other side of the bus. It's not about me, he had told us, but about His glory and His work which we are privileged to do.
There are many men God has brought into my life that are wonderful and challenging examples of the Christ-filled life. I am grateful for all of them. Thank you, Pastor Alcidez!!!