Daniel asked me to write a bit about a beautiful soul who went home to be with the Lord this week- how she touched our lives and changed them forever.
Ileana-- her influence on our lives began before we had even met her.
Her smile, her spirit touched the life of our friend, Brad, while he was in La Chureca, many years ago. La Chureca, also known as "The Dump" (literally) is in Managua- a dark existence for Ileana and her family where survival meant putting ones self constantly in harms way. Ileana's hand touched Brad's car window, and her magnetic gaze changed the world (as we know it) forever. What came from his indelible meeting with Ileana, has been thousands of lives touched throughout the world, as Love, Light, & Melody was born-- joining lives worlds apart in a common pursuit: to love those forgotten, to fight for justice, and to bring joy and peace into a world where light is darkened by the a smoldering of suffering.
Our last meeting was Ileana was not quite a year ago. She was ill, and at times barely able to sit up. Yet, her strength and courage permeated her presence. We felt a pull to her, her story-- just to be near her. We know now that she was a gift from God-- an influence in our life that we shall never forget.
Ileana died this past week from illness she suffered from the lifestyle of La Chureca. She went to glory to be with Christ, where she joins her sister, Mercedes. Thousands of miles away from Managua, we sit, somber-- recounting our brief, yet remarkable time with Ileana. Our heartfelt gratitude pours out to Brad Corrigan, Christina Romero, and all the folks who gave us the opportunity to be blessed by Ileana. Their faithfulness to a calling much greater than anything I have yet to witness has, and will continue to change our lives.
God bless you Ileana. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You will be forever with us.