Friday, October 16, 2015

Fresia - Imitate Her Faith

Fresia is an amazing pioneer sister who was born in Santiago, Chile, but moved to Switzerland after marrying a Swiss brother named Peter. She lived there with her husband for some 12 years and has amazing stories, experiences, and pictures from hiking all over Switzerland in the famous Swiss Alps and other parts of Europe. She has a contagious laugh and remarkably positive and encouraging attitude. Her love for Jehovah is so evident and says, “Jehovah has always been so real to me, like a friend who has always been and never left my side.” She shares that even when she was a little girl she always knew that Jehovah existed and was there for her as a Father.

However, her life took a change of course when her husband left the truth and became more and more devoted and successful in his career. Little did she know though that his mental health was severely deteriorating to the point that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and paranoia. Things progressed far too quickly before being able to find adequate therapy for him and in 2012 he committed suicide.

I can hardly imagine the pain and struggle one goes through when losing a mate but in Fresia’s case it is much more complicated too considering her father experienced similar problems which instilled a deep fear in her.  Unfortunately, the irony falls on the fact that her very own husband died from that exact fear from her past. A few years after his death, she decided that change was necessary as we can all imagine. Thus, I have had the privilege to meet and get to know Fresia when she decided to move and serve where the need is greater here in Bolivia!

Fresia has been serving in my congregation since November 2014 but supporting a small group in the town of Sipe Sipe. Her success in the ministry is greatly due to her contagious positive and loving attitude. Despite it all, she is so encouraging, up building, joyous, and with her focus clearly on the hope for the future. The text at Neh 8:10 makes me smile when I think of my dear friend Fresia because she truly does “enjoy the choice things” in life and the “joy of Jehovah” is her clearly her stronghold.

Despite everything that she has experienced and gone through within the past couple of years, her faith has never wavered. If anything, it has only gotten stronger and drawn her all the more closer to Jehovah. Her example is so inspiring because despite the awful circumstances in this world she truly finds “the joy of Jehovah” and finds consolation through our amazing brotherhood. She says, “confiding in Jehovah and concentrating in serving him full time is what helps me”.

Unfortunately, this month, October, she has moved back to Santiago to take care of her mother who was diagnosed last year with Alzheimer’s disease. Though I, and the rest of us here in Vinto, will miss her more than she realizes I know her example will inspire others to imitate her faith. 
Sharing Caleb and Sofia videos

All the kiddos on her Bible study

Volunteering at a hall remodel

Heading to cart witnessing in Sipe Sipe

Tombstone of her dear husband, Peter.