Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Good-bye Arsenio

Yesterday morning we said "good-bye" to Arsenio, one of the most beloved neighbors in Ligonde, Lugo, the little town where the Fuente del Peregrino (Pilgrim´s Fountain refuge house) is located. Arsenio suffered a strong heart attack that ended his life. Natán de Souza had the opportunity to be present with his son and family yesterday afternoon as they said good-bye and he sent them all of our love and care.

All of us who have served at the Fuente remember Arsenio with his cane, his careful, slow-moving gait and the smile that he always carried. Without a doubt, he was an endearing man. Although he was always sharing old "war" stories that made you laugh, he also offered deep conversations and wise words. He was a man who had lived many years, and his life and its suffering had taught him many things.

Not long ago, through one of these conversations filled with sense and meaning with one of our fellow staff, he himself recognized that he was not good enough to go to heaven; but as the conversation continued, he also spoke of Jesus, his sacrifice and of salvation, and how John O´Neal had explained this to him many years ago and that he understood.

Sometimes, when the "Fuente" volunteers finished their volunteer week of work and were leaving, they would tell him, "Arsenio, we´ll see you next year," and he would answer, "We´ll see. When next year comes I might not be here..."

Without a doubt, we will miss Arsenio the next time we go back to visit and work in Ligonde. Although we will not find him sitting by the road where the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) passes by, we will see him again one day, because, in the end, we have found the same way, the same truth and the same life in Jesus.

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