Tony is an old man. By U.S. standards he’s getting up there and by Nahuatl standards he’s ancient. We went to visit him a few weeks ago and he began to reminisce about life. He is by far the oldest individual in this community and asked us if we knew why some people last longer than others. He speculated about vitamins and the availability of doctors and then concluded, “I think it is from walking well and having a good life,” he said. “Surely then God gives you more days because you did what was right.” He went on to tell us how someone had killed one of his family members when he was still a young man. Although people were pressuring him to get back at the ones who had wronged him through revenge killing, he had declined.
He went on to talk about the Mexican revolution, his childhood, the arrival of the first government teachers, and many other events, citing dates and details that made me wish my mind were as sharp. After a bit he took a mini SD out of a special compartment in his wallet and asked us for the new Bible lesson so that he could listen to them on his cellphone. We had come prepared and gave him the new lessons. He commented that even though it is too hard to walk to the lessons, he is listening. He doesn’t hear well anymore, but he can get a pretty good volume level with the headphones we’ve given him.
The conversation circled back to lifespan, and I told Tony, “You are right. No one can ever know how long they are going to last. Only God knows. Maybe he gave you many years so that you could hear the truth he wants everyone to know. Maybe he let you last living so that you could know about him.”
That is certainly my prayer for Tony. That God will give him strength and health until he comes to know his Savior. That God will protect his hearing and his mind. That God will give him courage to reject a worldview he’s held dear for over 80 years and embrace the truth. That God will bring about a new existence in an old shell.
Tony lives surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, along with many of his in-laws. Their family forms its own little village about two miles away from Las Moras. Many of them are interested in the teaching and have come to the meetings or been listening to the recordings. Several of the grown men from this family are influential leaders in the community, including this year’s judge. Pray for Tony and for his family to come to know the Lord and accept the salvation offered them.