For many years—perhaps 15 or even more—people had preached to Jacinto about the salvation that is in Christ. Somewhere in that span of time, his wife and daughter were converted to the Lord. They both continue to be steadfast in the faith to this day.
Despite many difficult trials in his life, Jacinto continued unbroken and rejected Christ. He would not let go of his traditional religion and false gods. Over time, through the constant prayers of his wife and daughter and through the different opportunities that we had to visit him and talk to him about the gospel, God was beginning to break his hardness little by little. He became more willing to listen to us and, sometimes, he even visited the church. In fact, he began to have a good relationship with me and we developed a friendship. But he resisted the gospel still and refused to confess Christ as his Savior.
Later, Jacinto became sick and had a hemorrhage. Though he was an older man—around 85 at the time—the Lord raised him up and he recovered. But this year he became sick again. His wife became more and more concerned for his salvation and in her pain she talked to him every night about Christ. For more than a month we visited his home and had services there. It seemed to all be in vain.
One day when he was getting very weak I went to his house and prayed with his family for his salvation. Jacinto was not awake, but we spent a long time together crying out to our God who His rich in mercy and grace that He would not let Jacinto leave this world without Christ. I was with a deacon, along with his wife and daughter present, and while we were crying out to God Jacinto reached up and clung to the rails of his bed. We could see that he was desperate, but he could not speak.
The following day at six o’clock in the evening his wife called me and told me that Jacinto wanted to speak with me. I went again to the house and spoke loudly into his ear. I told him I was Pastor Carlos and I told him of his need to confess Christ. At that moment, in a weak voice, he said, “I want Christ.” He cried out, “Christ, save me!”
When I heard his cry I broke down in tears. Amidst our sobbing, we asked God to hear Jacinto’s cry, to save him, to forgive him. We praised God because we know that salvation belongs to Him and He is patient and loving toward sinners and promises to save those who call on His Name.
After that, Jacinto never spoke again. He died around 10 o’clock that night. We were able to preach the gospel for six consecutive nights during his funeral ceremony. We told people about the hope that is in Christ. We told them that He is patient toward us, but that we must not wait to come to Him. We urged them to repent and trust in Christ, the powerful Savior.