By Henry Flores, director of the Communications Center in El Salvador
Manuel was a 16-year-old boy, living in El Salvador, who, in spite of his severe muscular dystrophy condition, lived with hope for the future to come.
ìI want to be a radio technician,î he said, ìI like it, and I can learn.î
His 85-year-old grandmother and only relative, Mercedes, kindly smiled and believed in his words, ìManuelito learns very fast and has fixed a little TV which he connects to a car battery because we have no electricity.î
A few weeks ago, after complications from hepatitis and kidney problems, Manuel passed away, leaving a great example to the world he left behind. Through his shining personality and kind smile, he was able to enter people’s hearts, which motivated many to sponsor more children in his community, others to contribute to the construction of four homes for families who were living under cardboard and plastic in the area, and sparked the creation of a new fund for children with special needs.
Because Manuel was the first sponsored person in that area, the CFCA staff and Manuelís community members saw him as the ìfatherî of their community. In his honor, the CFCA community he lived in changed its name from Community La Linea (train tracks) to Community Manuel.
Deep in my heart, I feel Manuel had a mission, and he accomplished it. He made us aware of the problems of his neighbors, and CFCA was able to help many because of him.
I pray to the good Lord to help me find my mission in this world, as well as the understanding to carry it with the same love, hope and joy that Manuel had.
Editor’s note: The winter issue of “CFCA Spirit,” mailed this month, features a story about Manuel and Mercedes. CFCA did not receive news of Manuel’s death until after the publication was printed.