Ocana lost his vision in a diabetic crisis New Years day 1998. The following
year was filled with many ups and downs. Several times we thought he
wouldn't make it much longer, but slowly he would recover. We tried
and tried to teach him what he should and shouldn't eat because of his
diabetes. He seemed to understand, but then he would continue to eat
frustration of feeling like we could not make an impact in his health
was paralleled in his spiritual life. 54 years of tradition seemed impenetrable.
Pastor Ramirez, the Ocana's neighbor, spent much time over the last
year talking and praying with Mr. Ocana, but he didn't see any results
& Becky Ramirez and Me
imagine our surprise when Mr. Ocana specifically asked to
see the Jesus film on the small TV/VCR we had brought to his hospital
room. We rushed home for the Jesus film and several other Christian
videos, praying the whole way. In the following days our brief visits
(the govt. hospital has very limited visiting hours and only allows
one visitor at a time) got filled with more physical concerns like trying
to convince him to allow the doctors to perform kidney dialysis. But
his wife told us in those days that Mr. Ocana had "given his life over
to God." That sounded good, but it was hard to understand what exactly
it meant. He could have meant, in a fatalistic sense, that whether he
lived or died was up to God. Or it could be that he had "given his life
to God" in the sense used in the gospel presentation at the end of the
weeks we prayed for him, begging that God's Spirit would reach his spirit
in a way that our words and we couldn't. But the assurance we were wanting
didn't come until two weeks after the funeral.
In the course of conversation during the first time we were able to sit
down and talk with Mrs. Ocaña since she came back from the ranch
where they buried her husband, I mentioned that we had seen Mr. Ocana's
half-brother crying at the gravesite. She was very surprised because that
brother had always treated her husband badly, even stealing his inheritance.
Then she proceeded to tell me that before he died her husband had asked
forgiveness from his siblings, "He told them that if he could get out
of bed he would get down on his knees to beg their forgiveness for however
he had wronged them throughout his life."
how deeply his family had hurt him, we were astounded by this awareness
of his sin and attitude of repentance. I shared with Mrs. Ocana how
repentance is a fruit of God working in his life and that I saw that
as an answer to our many prayers for him. I said that we had been praying
a lot for his soul as well as his body. "I know that," she replied,
"and he knew that too." This spiritual sensitivity was the sign that
we had been looking for that God had answered our prayers.
had sensed that Mrs. Ocana wanted consolation about where her husband
is now, but I hadn't felt free to give her any assurance that he was
with God. Now I felt deeply joyful and confident that we would see him
again. As we left that evening, she cried and, putting her hand over
her heart, said that since her husband had died she had had a pain in
her heart but that because of our talk the pain dissolved. Driving home
we felt we would burst with joy and gratitude.
thought you would want to know about this because if you prayed for
the Ocana family when we wrote about sharing water with them, your prayers
were part of those piling up until the right time. But don't stop praying
yet, there are still two young adults and two darling little girls without
either an earthly or a heavenly father.