Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Loving Memory: Dad Lopez

If you have never read the book, Peril By Choice, by James Heffley (the story of John and Elaine Beekman), I encourage you to purchase this book and let your heart be stirred by these missionaries' great courage.
They made a difference in the lives of many Indian people, one of which was my father-in-law, thus making a difference in the life of my husband (one of ten children) and in the lives of our children.
I loved my father-in-law. He influenced my life...being a simple farmer, living a simple life in a far-away Indian village;  but having a fervent love for his Lord, for his Bible, and for his family. We miss him! I thank the Lord for the privilege of having been his daughter-in-law.
My father-in-law passed away (suddenly) on November 14, 2009, at the age of 80.  In his memory, I wrote the following poem a few days after his death.
Dad Lopez
His shoes may not have been the best
That he wore on his feet
But I know that Dad Lopez walked with God
For he radiated a joy so sweet!
His hands were rough from many years
Of working in the fields
But he used his hands to work for God
And he lived a Christian life that was real.
His clothes were old and worn,
He didn't care for things that were modern or new
But he was clothed with God's righteousness
And to his God we was always true.
He didn't know much about technology
Or of the fancy things of this world
But he knew how to love his family
And he knew how to love his Lord.
His speech was not very eloquent
His words were simple and plain
But he used his words to express his love for others
And he was thankful, and he never complained.
He was never served by
People of high society in this life
But someone who served him with all her love
Was his sweet and cheerful wife.
He was never taught how to be a good husband
Or how to be a dad
But with his actions and his words
He expressed his love and affection that he had.
I'll never forget how every night
When gathered around the table
He'd sing sweet songs and read to us
From his beloved Ch'ol Bible.
It was this Bible in his native language
That he helped the missionaries to translate
And as he read from God's Word in Ch'ol
What sweet memories he did create!
His house was not at all fancy
Just a simple wood house with a tin roof
But we know that he's in Heaven, walking streets of gold!
What comfort we have in this truth!
He's got a mansion all his own!
Built for him by God Himself!
Dad Lopez sought first the kingdom of God
And he never sought for wealth.
And Dad Lopez was never around people
Of great wealth or fame,
But now we know he's with his Lord,
Who's name he faithfully proclaimed.
For now he's gone, and we miss him
But we know that one day we'll be together
Someday in Heaven we'll be re-united
And be with him forever.

Dad Lopez teaching our Little Andrew to grind corn (2008)
Dad Lopez (Gregorio Lopez) was saved by God's grace when he was just a young man.  He was only 19, married, and already a drunk.
God's grace led Missionary John Beekman to the mountains of Chiapas, back to a village called Amado Nervo, where Dad Lopez lived.  Not intimidated by this young drunk's cursing, name-calling and rock-throwing, John Beekman faithfully proclaimed the Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation.  Dad Lopez, coming to his senses one night picking food out of a trash dump, remembered the words of the missionary who said that God loved him and wanted to save him.
He was gloriously saved.  His is a story of God's love for the un-lovable.  How grateful I am that God looked down from Heaven upon that young man, and led that fearless missionary to give him the Gospel.  I never tire of hearing how Dad Lopez faithfully served his Lord, along-side great missionaries, translating the Bible into his native Ch'ol dialect; then helping to start the first Bible Institute to train the Ch'ol young men to take the Gospel to other Ch'ol-speaking people.
In loving memory:
Gregorio Lopez Cruz
Born: May 5, 1929
Saved: May 3, 1948
Died: November 14, 2009 

 Lopez Family, January 2009


Jolene said...

Such a sweet testimony and wonderful way to honor your father-in-law, Anna. Sounds like a wonderful book too!

Tammie A. said...

I just read your blog post about Dad Lopez. What a wonderful tribute! Thank you for reminding us of how imortant it is to faithfully witness even to the unloveable.

I wonder what Uncle Tom and Dad Lopez talk about in heaven? Probably what they talked about here: Their Savior! Praise the Lord!

I am about to have what Bro. Hyles called a Hallelluya Fit!

Dodi Ward said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony of your father in law by way of poetry. What a beautiful way to express your love for him. It sure makes me want to get to those remote villages with the Gospel as soon as God allows.

MaryAnn said...

I always look forward to your e-mails. This one was certainly a blessing. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless and use you. Love, MaryAnn.

Debby said...

So thankful for the faithfulness of missionaries! God is so good to save your father in law as a young how many rewards he has in Heaven for his faithfulness to his Lord! Thank you for sharing this, Anna!