Mario is just a great guy. We call him our “translator” but Mario has always been much more than that.
First, Mario is just a good person. In the most stressful situations, Mario has never lost his cool and ever shown the slightest bit of anger or impatience. He has always been there for ME. I am not all that pleasant to be around sometimes, and Mario has always been there to help me out. He grabs my bag, he dutifully translates for all of us, and I have never heard “one peep” out of him about HIS needs or concerns. I guess you could say that Mario is a servant. It is pretty obvious, isn’t it? We run him ragged all week. He has to be working first thing in the morning and he has to be working right up until bed time… every night. Then, to top it all off, he has more travel getting to Ecuador and going back home to Guatemala, than any of the volunteers. I nominate Mario for Sainthood.
Mario is also a good Christian. I could not think of one verse in the Bible about “dedication” and in a matter of seconds, Mario had the bible open and his finger on the verse about Solomon dedicating the temple. Then, with no notice at all, Mario gave the Dedication at our celebration in Jipongato. The nice thing about Mario, is that he doesn’t have to say he is a Christian, because he ACTS like a Christian. His Jesus like manner and servant hood is obvious and very apparent in the way he treats others.
I will be the first to admit that I don’t know where Agua Viva would be without Mario. Mario was with us at Colegio Mark !, Huerto de Getsemani !, Eben Ezer !, Casa Angelina !, Promesa Divina !, Gompuene !, and Jipongato !. Good grief, Mario, has been at every single installation paving the way for a brighter future for literally thousands of disadvantaged people. I could NOT find one photo of me (Jim) without Mario by my side. I don’t think we could have made without him.
Thank you, Mario.