Celebrating our Diversity – March 3, 2021
Manuel has attended Desert Spring many times. He is our son-in-law Ricardo’s father, who lives in California and worships with us when he is in Las Vegas visiting his family. Manuel has a story that is important to be told.
Manual was a Professor of Journalism and well-known radio journalist in El Salvador. When the civil war broke out in El Salvador, Manuel’s profession as a Professor of Journalism made him a target for the military police, and he was one of many leaders who “disappeared.” Out of concern for her safety, Manuel’s wife fled the country. She entered the United States in the trunk of a car. At the time she was pregnant with her first child, Ricardo, who was born in the United States.
Though tortured for information, Manuel survived and three years later, under pressure from journalists in England, the National Police released him. Once free, Manuel escaped to the United States, where he hoped to be reunited with his family. He was detained at the border, but because he was listed as “father” on the birth certificate of his son Ricardo (born a U.S. citizen), he was allowed to enter.
Starting a new life in the United States was not easy. Manuel did not know English, making the transition more challenging. Though once a well-known professor and radio journalist, the only work Manuel could find was as a custodian. After a few jobs, he was hired by a local hospital as a custodian, where he continued to work until his retirement. He and his family began the process for becoming citizens of the United States, something that took years to complete.
It was here, in the United States, that Manuel experienced what would become the biggest change in his life–he became a Christian! While working as a custodian, he completed all the necessary schooling and training required to become a Four Square Gospel Pastor. Later, Manuel started a Bible College for Spanish speaking people. The Bible College was a success and ultimately expanded to several locations. Though far away from his homeland, Manuel’s commitment to education and concern for the well being of others found a new home here in the United States. Now retired, Manuel stays active in ministry and education. His contributions to our country are numerous, and we are greatly blessed by his presence.
Of course, I came to know Manuel through his son Ricardo. Ricardo is a great husband to our daughter Ranni, and a wonderful father for his 5 children. He works as a Juvenile Probation officer, here in Las Vegas, while also working with youth in the community. We are blessed to have Ricardo as a part of our family.
We are also blessed to know Manuel. His determination and perseverance are inspiring and his commitment to our Lord, and desire to serve others through education has made an indelible positive mark upon our country. Next time Manuel is in church, I pray you will be blessed to meet him.
God bless you and stay well,