One of our beloved elderly community members passed away last month. Goyita was a long-time volunteer at the Lord’s Food Bank in Juarez, cooking and sewing for people. And even when she got old and frail, Goyita still came to help us package food to take to the sick and homebound despite being one of those we brought groceries to herself.
Goyita lived very close to the Food Bank in a little room with a bed, table, chair, and a tiny kitchen attached. No matter what was going on in her life – and sometimes she was in dire circumstances – she would always find something to be grateful for. “Look how good the Lord is to me,” she would tell us. “See all the blessings He pours out on me.” Then apologizing to us she would say, “Each week I divide up the food you bring me so I can share it with my neighbors. After all, I’m only one person. They have growing children and need help. How can I not share when God has blessed me with so much?”
We pray for each person we go to visit, and when we prayed with Goyita, she in turn would pray for us. It was usually a prayer for our protection and asking God to bless us. The last time Mary Ann Halloran saw Goyita, however, the prayer took a different turn.
Mary Ann shared, “When we drove up, Goyita was sitting outside on a bucket and had an old, stained apron on. We prayed over her, and then she started praying, ‘God, please take me soon. I want to go home.’ As she was praying that, I thought, ‘Wow, when she goes, how beautiful heaven is going to be! She has lived in poverty all her life and has only seen dirt roads, old shacks, no beautiful scenery like the ocean or a forest.’ And I was so excited for her to go to heaven.”
Each Friday after our visit, we’d get back in the van to leave and Goyita would follow us out to the road and bless the van until it was out of sight. The last time Mary Ann saw her, “She managed to get up off her bucket, hobble over to the dirt road, and bless us as we drove off.”
At the age of 92, Goyita left this earthly life to go home to be with Jesus forever. What beauty and glories awaited her? We can only imagine. Keep blessing us, Goyita, until it’s our turn to go home to the Lord.
May God bless you with a Happy New Year!