...when I needed to convert a set of shelves into a chest of drawers?
...when I needed someone to build ropes course elements?
...when I needed someone to supervise the construction of a house?
...when I needed someone to fix something at camp, or at our house, or in one of the Sunday School classrooms?
...when I needed someone to watch the house while our family was traveling?
...when I needed someone to teach Short-term missions teams to make cement?
The answer is the same for all the above questions: I would call Don Carlos Romero. (see pictures on the blog)
Alfredo’s aunt, MariaElena, introduced me to him in November, 1998 and he has been working with us intermittently since then. Every time we received a work team, Don Carlos would gladly participate with us, often traveling the week before to the campsite to advance on the project, then once we arrived he would supervise the workers and teach the North Americans to make cement! The last team Don Carlos accompanied us with was this past July in El Salvador when we built low ropes course elements. His specialty was building 12-foot climbing walls.
He was 88 years old and still very spry for his age.
I can’t tell you the number of projects he would be recruited to build, everything from wooden guns for Victor, to a reading nook/loft, closet, and desk for Valerie, shelves for my office, and furniture to hold all my Creative Memory photo albums (which he equipped with light bulbs to dissipate the humidity), office closet and desk for Alfredo, …. He even built a gazebo for us from a huge pine tree that fell down in our front yard.
Don Carlos was a very humble man, a Nicaraguan, who had lived in Honduras for the last 30 years, serving with us off and on for the last 18 years. He had a servant heart and our family, plus those who would visit our home, and all the short-term missions teams developed a special affection for him.
He often reminded me of my father, both were very handy, and could fix just about anything. When my father passed away, I brought back a number of his tools to give to Don Carlos for him to use is his carpentry workshop.We will miss him greatly. There's not a room in the house where his hand-prints can't be found. We have many memories of special moments shared together. During one of the many long drives we would take to Fountain of Life Camp outside of San Pedro Sula, he told me his life story and I was able to present the gospel to him and he assured me that he spoke to God frequently and believed that Jesus was his Savior. I look forward to seeing him in heaven.