Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In Loving Memory of Eric Hernandez...

Blog written by Jenni Ramsey

Last week we received the heart wrenching news that Eric Hernandez passed away of cancer.  Eric lived in the remote, northern hills of El Salvador, near the border of Guatemala.  He was 14 years old.  This past July our team was honored to build a home for Eric's family and our lives were deeply impacted by each member of their family.   Eric met our ministry partners, Kurt and Susan Ackermann, while undergoing treatment for leukemia two years ago.  Susan was going through cancer treatments at that time and they instantly bonded.  Eric's family was living in a home loosely held up by three walls (made of advertisement banners) at that time.  Kurt and Susan learned that Eric's family had been saving money to build a home, but they had spent all of those funds on Eric's cancer treatments.

Our team was overwhelmed to be able to build a home for Eric and his family.   To read our  blog posts about building their home, click on these links: "Not a House, But a Home" (by Philline Quian) and "A Beautiful Day of Construction for a Beautiful Family" (by Tori Asciuto).  Eric's dad, Oswaldo, built the house alongside our team and we fell in love with Eric's entire family.  Their smiles and laughter were contagious.  Oswaldo thanked me over and over again for our team's support and kept saying, "I can't believe that God sent North Americans to help me build my home!"  The Hernandez family is a humble, beautiful example of contentment.  While they have little in material possessions, they are rich in faith.  They have true joy and earned a place in our hearts which will never be forgotten...

Here are two responses from our team members after hearing of Eric's death...

"My heart is broken. Yesterday morning, our sweet friend Eric, whose family we built a house for in El Salvador, lost his battle with leukemia. I don't understand it. I can't wrap my mind around it. He was just celebrating being cancer-free and getting a new house three months ago. It's not fair. Kids aren't supposed to die. I don't know why God allowed this to happen, but here are some things I DO know: God is good, He is sovereign, He loves us, and He loves Eric more than we ever could. He used Eric to bless so many people and show them Jesus' love. My life will never be the same because of Eric. What a joy he was. I'm thankful for the short time I got to spend with him and I know he is with his Savior now, pain-free and cancer-free for all of eternity. We have a hope greater than life itself. Please pray for Eric's family during this difficult time."  - Michelle Lam

"The last time I saw Eric he had just finished cancer treatments and we were building his family a home in El Salvador. I loved watching him smile as we built his new house. I don't know why his cancer had to come back. I hate cancer. I love you, dude. Jesus built you a better home. See you in heaven. No cancer. Forever."  - David Hughes

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