How did you come to Christ?
Growing up in Cuba, I attended private Catholic schools taught by members of a worldwide brotherhood. After joining this brotherhood, myself, I studied at the University of Barcelona and was appointed as the Superior of a community in Guatemala City. There, the Holy Spirit helped me understand that the Bible is the only book that is the word of God—not the notes included by the Church or even the Commentaries. Just the Word. And that’s how the Superior of the community came to his knees in the privacy of his “cell” and gave his life to Jesus as his only Savior and Lord.
How did the brotherhood respond to your conversion?
Things changed very rapidly from then on. I was sent to Madrid for a five-month stay in El Escorial. The whole idea was to help me come back to my senses, but what happened was that I had the chance to spread my “madness.” I finally left the brotherhood, and three years later I met the woman of my life, Aida.
Could you talk about your call to ministry?
I felt a very distinct calling from God when I was 9 years old, and I started discipling younger kids when I was only 15. To this day, I take a special interest in teaching and befriending others, especially younger people, who sometimes feel isolated in churches and meetings. I do believe it’s a gift, because it is very easy for me to connect with a kid, or even a teenager, believe it or not.
How did you come to be a part of Vida Abundante, a BIC church?
After years as missionaries, Aida and I decided to live in Miami. We met Bishop Llanes, and it was mainly his meekness and love, plus what we saw in other members of the BIC Church, that brought us to Vida Abundante.
Now that you’ve entered into retirement, what are you up to?
I am 70 years old, praise His name, and the Bible Institute at Vida Abundante is using me as one of its professors. I have also been working in translations since 1980. I’ve made it my purpose to produce translations that will be pleasant to read and able to make Spanish speakers become Spanish thinkers too.
What has reaching this new life stage been like for you?
All of our life is a continuous process of change. Our children are not at our home anymore. We have had to adjust to a smaller living place. We love to take care of our grandchildren, but not for too long, please! Declining health, not feeling as useful as before—these things make you think of something that becomes more and more real: It is all by His grace, and not by my works.
What is one thing you’ve learned during your lifetime?
There is nobody on this planet Earth you cannot learn from. I have learnt never to despise someone because he or she is less educated, or looks poorer, or belongs to another ethnic group. I always live with the expectation of the Lord teaching me the next lesson—maybe through a young child, or through a bedridden person, or through a peddler in the streets. There’s nobody higher or lower than myself, because we were all created in His image.