Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Best Amigos

The other day it dawned on me that February has only 28 days. That means we are almost done February, and if I stick to my guns about the “two posts a month” deal, I owe my blog two posts in the next three days. So here is one of them… a few words and pictures of my friend Lucio:

>>There are a number of people that have made living in Guatemala an enjoyable experience. One of those people is my buddy, Lucio. Over the course of the past year, he taught me a lot of Spanish, a lot about the culture here, and a lot about my own life. Last Sunday night I watched him get baptized, and publicly promise to serve God for the rest of his life. And when Lucio decides to do something, he does it with all that he has.
Lucio and Ricky… July 2013

I remember very well my first encounter with Lucio. It was the morning of January 9th, 2013, and I had just arrived in El Chal late the night before. I was walking through the new school building checking out the work that had been done, and Lucio was chipping away at a cement column with a hatchet. I shook his hand and he said, “My name is Lucio.” I remember thinking that he seemed really friendly. This was good, because at that point, I wasn’t completely sure that I even wanted to be in Guatemala. I guess he just knew that I needed a warm welcome. A few days later, I was painting a wall on the school. As Lucio walked by, he said, “Muy bonito.” I just looked at him blankly. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “Oh,” I answered, “Gracias!” That is just the way Lucio is. He is nice to everybody. His friendliness obviously stood out to me, because I have not forgotten it yet, and I don’t remember just everything.
"If you want to take the picture before we eat our cookies… hurry up." 

Lucio and I have made many good memories since I came to Guatemala. Because of him, I have had many experiences that I never would have had had I not had a Guatemalan buddy. One of the more memorable ones was the time the two of us lived by ourselves in Santa Rosita for a few days. It was over the time of “revival meetings” in that town, and Lucio and I stayed in the old clinic, which is on the same property as the church. During the four days that we were there, we prayed, cleaned up the yard, swam, fished, taught each other Spanish and English, and talked. I learned a lot of Spanish and Guatemalan culture in just four days. Another fun experience was the time we went to Santa Elena together on his motorcycle. He had to go to get some certificate or something for teaching school, and I just went along for the ride. After seeing a motorcycle collide with a tuktuk about ten feet away from us, a trip to the Megapaca (large thrift store), and some quality chicken from Pollo Campero, (just as Howard Lichty if you need the pronunciation on that) we headed home. It rained on the way home, and when you’re traveling at 65 km per hour, raindrops just don’t feel very pleasant… they feel more like you’re having a pellet gun war. The day was memorable if nothing else.
Dylan, Samuel, Me, and Lucio… very photogenic we are.

We’ve had many more memories together as well, but what really makes Lucio a good friend is his love and faithfulness to the Lord. In February of 2013, he accepted Jesus, and has not looked back since. I honestly cannot remember him ever missing a church service. The past year has not always been easy for him. Accepting Christ has meant giving up a lot and facing rejection from friends and even family. Sometimes, it is hard for me to imagine what it feels like. Although I have been a Christian longer than Lucio, he has already taught me many things…Things about selfishness, pride, and dedication to the Lord. One evening, the power went out during a church service in someone’s house. Lucio offered to go to the mission van parked nearby and shine the headlights on the porch where we were sitting. After about 15 minutes, the power came back on, so I went to the van to let Lucio know that he could return. I expected to find him sleeping (cause that is what I would have been doing). Instead, he was intently studying his Bible. That impressed and challenged me, and it has not been the only time that he has challenged me to live a life more dedicated to the Lord.
Lucio being baptized.
Jason, Lucio, and I after the baptism. 

Seeing Lucio get baptized and publicly promise to serve God until the end of his life was incredible. I am proud of him, I admire him, and I know our friendship is one that will last.<<

¡Dios te bendiga, Lucio!