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Rosa, beloved of God

We received a frantic phone call from the daughter of a close friend, Rosa. Rosa is in the public hospital's intensive care and unconscious since last night. We had received a phone call a few days ago that Rosa had been ill and hospitalized, but she had been released. We had planned on seeing her tomorrow, Saturday, when we would have a few hours prior to a team's arrival, but this made the trip even more urgent. I had so much on my schedule today that I could not change, but began, immediately to pray for her and seek prayer support from God's people. My heart is burdened and I feel I should do more....

Rosa has been one of our most special friends in Guatemala. A cheerful, delightful person, she is the hardest working person I have ever known, short of Roger. It was she who contacted us shortly after we arrived in Guatemala as new missionaries and asked us to help her start a Baptist church in San Marcos, a city about an hour and a half from Quetzaltenango. We agreed to help, and there began one of the biggest adventures of our lives.

When I think of Rosa, my mind quickly flits back to watching her make tostadas and hot chocolate (or hot tea) in a wooden lean-to next to the church building after church services which were held first in a renovated chicken coop and then later in the new building that Roger designed and led American volunteer teams, as well as a Guatemalan crew, to build. Several of the church members would sit around after church as we sang hymns together and ate the delicious tostadas that never seemed to run out. Rosa was so generous I would have to restrict my children from over-eating, because she is a magnificent cook and they could never eat enough. Even so, Nathanael could never drink enough of Rosa's tea, and to this day, likes to drink sweet tea, usually at room temperature, not too cold.

I think back to her finding a little chick and naming it "Vicki" in honor of me....then when the chick grew to a sufficient size, eating it in a hot caldo, or soup.

I remember her digging the foundation of the new church with the men, working as hard as they did and with real gusto. Or organizing the women of the coast to come to the women's retreat in October 2015, and participating in the program and cooking with the volunteer team.

Then my thoughts go to walking with her as we visited people in the neighborhood, and she always tireless, always cheerful, as she carried the Good News. I know Rosa is beloved of God, and I know He has her in His strong hand. Selfishly, I hope He heals her, because my soul will miss the light she reflects from Him and the sweetness of her friendship. I pray she might be healed, even now, as she lies in an intensive care bed, so we can once again, giggle together as we make tostadas in my kitchen and talk about the past.

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