April 16th, 2003, started out as a very happy day fourteen years ago. Spring break had just begun, and we were all looking forward to Jacinto having more time to spend at home with us. He was usually so busy teaching classes at the Ebenezer Bible Institute as well as pastoring the Iglesia Bautista Jesus Salva in Calle 12.
We went out in a field to “kill cans” as the J’s called it using coke cans as target practice with bb guns. Everybody had a great time. Then we went back home to eat a yummy supper of hot dogs wrapped in bacon. After eating Jacinto immediately felt sick and started throwing up.
We just figured supper had not agreed with him, but he kept feeling worse. Finally he decided to go to the small village hospital. One of the institute students staying with us took him, and I stayed home with our seven children. A few hours later the student called to tell me that the hospital was sending Jacinto to Hermosillo (the big city) for observation. Still didn’t sound too bad so I decided to stay home with the children and go to Hermosillo the following morning.
A little bit later feeling uneasy I changed my mind and decided to go on to Hermosillo and stay with Jacinto to find out what was going on. Another student drove Judy and I the hour drive into Hermosillo. Jacinto had been taken to a government hospital. He was in a room with about ten other patients. The beds were so close together that he could reach out and touch the patients on either side of him. The doctors gave us no reports until the following morning when they said Jacinto had had a light heart attack.
Still not feeling well and rather uncomfortable in the crowded room, Jacinto requested to be transferred to a private hospital near by. The doctors acted rather offended by his transfer request, but the Bible institute director was able to help me get Jacinto transferred. In the ambulance on the way to the private hospital, the attendant checked Jacinto’s blood pressure which was normal. The attendant also acted like there was no good reason for Jacinto to change hospitals.
So we weren’t particularly worried. We thought Jacinto would be able to rest better at the private hospital and receive more individualized attention. Imagine our surprise upon arriving when the doctor examined Jacinto and informed us that he had not had a light heart attack. He was in the middle of a massive heart attack with a main artery completely blocked and his diagnosis “could be good”.
I felt completely overwhelmed. My husband was only 38 years old. We knew he had been having some kind of physical problem because he often had trouble breathing and got overtired after little physical excursion. However, it never occurred to us that he would have a heart attack at such a young age.
Several teachers from the Bible institute came to pray and stay with me. We prayed and we waited. Many thoughts went through my mind. Our oldest child Judy was ten and our youngest Jimmy was only one year old. I could not help but wonder how I would take care of my family alone if God chose to take my husband on to heaven. There was nothing I could do but trust the Lord.
A few hours later the doctor came and informed me that the operation was successful. They were able to put in a stent that opened up the closed artery and saved my husband’s life. I cried and I praised the Lord for His mercy.
Many times in the following days I had to make decisions, pay bills, and do other things that I had never done before in Mexico. Jacinto had always taken care of business and paid the bills for our family. I had to learn how to do some things in a foreign country that before I had had no idea about how to accomplish. Many, many times I felt completely overwhelmed and alone. This verse became a great comfort to me:
“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2
I’m so thankful to celebrate 14 years of Jacinto surviving his massive heart attack by the grace of God. He is a walking miracle and constant reminder of God’s amazing grace!
In times like these you need a Savior, In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure, Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!