“Then, make me truly happy by wholeheartedly agreeing with each other, loving one another, and working together with the same thought and purpose. Do not be selfish; do not try to impress anyone. Be humble, that is, considering others as better than you. Do not take care of your own interests only, but also seek to take an interest in others.
Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
At Amigos for Christ, our mission is not simply to serve others. We serve with a purpose: to make Christ more visible. In order to accomplish this mission, we serve with an attitude that mirrors the attitude of Jesus Christ.
Throughout Scripture, we see many examples of the attitude of Christ. We see His humility when He became flesh and lived among us. We see His love as He spent His time on earth healing the sick, feeding the poor, and proclaiming the good news of His kingdom. We see His sacrifice when on the cross He bore the punishment for our sins.
Working at Amigos, I have the privilege of seeing this attitude reflected by many of my team members, but perhaps none more clearly than in Don Rafael Ramos, our incredible security guard. Don Rafael’s 49 years of life have been filled with incredible highs and devastating lows. One afternoon, in the shade of the security guard office near the Amigos for Christ front gate, he humbly opened his heart and shared his story.
When Rafael was young, his family moved from León to Chinandega in search of economic opportunity. Since then, Chinandega has been home for Rafael, his now wife of 24 years, Concepcion Gomez, and their five children. Despite not finishing high school, Rafael overcame the odds and built a successful small business selling clothes. He loved the autonomy of owning his own business, and he enjoyed learning and growing as a businessman. Through his business, he joyfully provided well for his family.
“My definition of success is falling down and not staying there. It’s about getting up time and time again. As many times as necessary to keep moving forward.”
A few years ago, Don Rafael’s oldest daughter passed away suddenly, devastating his entire family. Four months later, as he was still reeling in pain from the loss of his daughter, his beloved wife suffered a heart attack. Although she survived, these tragedies came at a great cost. “I lost everything,” he recounts, referring to his business. “It was a very dark, low point in my life.”
“Happiness doesn’t depend on my circumstances or the actions of others. It depends on me.”
In the midst of his despair, he saw the sun continuing to rise each day, and Rafael slowly began to “get back up.” Humbly, he invested in training to become a security guard, and he accepted a guard job at McDonald’s. Although he describes his job at McDonald’s as a great blessing, it also presented emotional challenges. Rafael was accustomed to a level of prestige and pride that came along with owning his own business, and this change was a difficult adjustment to bear.
Through hardship and suffering, Rafael has learned to view life with a different perspective. Today, he lives each day as if it could be his last, and he commits to giving 100% of himself in everything he does. Since joining the Amigos Family last year, Rafael has been striving to accomplish our mission, serving daily to make Christ more visible.
Don Rafael truly embodies the attitude of Christ day in and day out. From washing office windows while everyone else has lunch, to opening car doors for staff members, to greeting and welcoming a young visitor with the same respect he shows to the most important employee, Don Rafael demonstrates humility, love, and sacrificial service in all that he does.
This kind of service is exactly what the apostle Paul teaches us to do here in his letter to the Philippians. As Christians, we are called to have tender and compassionate hearts, regarding others as more important than ourselves. We are to work together with the same thought and purpose. Above all, Paul reminds us that we are called to reflect the attitude of Christ Jesus – an attitude of loving and humble service.
Of course, we cannot do this alone. At Amigos, we have the great example in Don Rafael that we can see and imitate every day. Even more, we have a perfect Savior who, through His perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his glorious resurrection, has saved us and empowered us to live for the good of others and for the glory of His name.
Rafael humbly smiles and says, “Many people tell me thank you, but no! I want to say thank you for the opportunity to enter into your hearts and into your lives.”
It is my hope for Amigos for Christ that each of us may follow Don Rafael’s example, taking advantage of every opportunity that we have to follow Jesus and make Him more visible here in Chinandega.