Friday, December 18, 2020

En La Cruz, Do Primero Vi La Luz: Dedicated to my Nonno

I write because I never want to forget... and I take photographs because I always want to remember the moment in front of me with every detail.

We lost our Nonno a few days ago, and I haven't been able to put together any words to what I've been feeling. Every time I think I do, it just doesn't do my Nonno justice to the type of man that he was.

But even so, I will try. 

As a little girl I remember being at my Nonna's house on Sundays and he would come in around one from church with his newsboy cap and dressed up in his suit and always with a smile. He was always singing and full of joy. He made me laugh a lot with his expressions. He had a quiet and gentle spirit, but never compromised the Word of God.  

Though I was a child and didn't quite understand the significance of where he went, I knew before we all ate together we would hear sounds of hushing and silence, and then Nonno closed his eyes and thanked God for our meal and protection over us all.

He accepted Christ when he came to Venezuela and first heard the Gospel... he was forever a changed man. 

My Nonno dedicated his life serving Jesus and preaching the Gospel every chance that he had. I look back at old videos, and you can hear him in the background speaking to someone about the Lord. This week as we prepared everything for his services... people recounted stories of knowing my Nonno well and being so loving and kind, but most of all preaching the Gospel. Firmly and boldly, but always out of love. 

He would get up early in the morning and take a walk and every person that passed, he would a give a gospel tract to. At his service, a good friend of his from church remembered Nonno telling him, "Hermano, diles el evangelio..." "Brother, tell them the Gospel..."

I know my Nonno would want this post to not point to himself, but to Christ. And so I will do just do that.

The bible tells us that we are all born sinners, and not one of us is righteous and does good:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:10

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

And the wages of our sins, be them little or great is death:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
But God loved us so much even as sinners and undeserving as we are, that He died for us so that we could be given eternal life and not be separated from Him:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
If you believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day, repent your sins and change your heart and life around, accept Him as your Savior... you too will be saved and will live again:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26
And so I have this blessed hope and assurance that this isn't goodbye for my Nonno, this is Hasta Luego, I'll see you later. 

I'm so grateful my Nonno humbled himself before the Lord so many years ago and broke the chain of tradition and followed Christ, no matter if there wasn't anyone beside him. Because of his obedience and prayers to the Lord... years later I also understood the greatness of my own sin and accepted Christ as my Savior. 

My Nonno left us the greatest testimony and gift anyone could ever leave behind... to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, soul, and mind. Well done good and faithful servant, well done. 

Nonno, I'm going to miss singing with you and can't wait to see that smile again. It was the greatest blessing to have known you... until we meet again, Grazie Nonno, Fai ò bravo. ♡

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