We can say a lot about the faith of simple people, I had a wonderful experience to prove it, it was for me an example of humility, of faith, of prayer, of true trust in God. It was with a person from my parish community, he told me that in his first year of school, he did not learn much and his mother told him: “you are a dumb, you will not go to school next year, you will go to the fields to work with your father”. And so it was, so he never learned how to read or write, he could only draw his name, every time with less effort, but it is just that, a drawing, and he is proud to know that it is his signature.
With the uncertainty that our migrants live, they were encouraged to obtain the United States citizenship, since he met all the requirements, enough residence years and in addition to his age, he could do it in Spanish.
His wife helped him with the 100 questions that the government asks for this procedure, it took almost two years, but he learned everything.
A part of my ministry (is to be an interpreter for those who do not speak English) and take the person who requests it to the Department of Migration, of course this is after completing all the requirements and the forms, after paying a good amount and sending the application to the corresponding Department.
When this happens, you are notified that you have to go and get your fingerprints scanned, photos taken, etc. He asked me to take him, and we went there, he was nervous, I can’t lie to you, but I clarified that it was very simple and that he didn’t have to speak anything at that moment.
He finally received the letter telling him the day he had to go, we left very early, (the Office is in Kansas City, MO, almost three hours away from our small town) his wife came with us and we arrived at the Office.
The people who give you the exams have the courtesy of walking out their client all the way to the door through which he had entered before to go to the cubicles, there, he saw that a man more or less his age walked out a person, he immediately told me something that also came to my mind. He said, hopefully that man could help me, it seems that he is a very good person, I replied, we will pray and ask God so it’s him.
Before they called him, he shared that he had prayed, for me, this is one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard in my life, he said “Sister, in my prayer I told God that I wanted to make a deal with Him, I asked Him if I could borrow his brain for five minutes so that I could answer all the questions correctly, and then he could take it back and let me be the dumb man I have always been”. I did not give credit to the simplicity, humility and faith of this man, at that moment I knew that God, as a Good Father, was not going to fail him, that He would lend him His brain as he had requested. He got tears out from my heart when experiencing his faith, I had to be calm to convey security, but my eyes wanted to cry.
After a while, they called him and to our surprise, it was the man we wanted to give him the exam.
He welcomed us very kindly, we went to the cubicle and after having me taking the oath that I would translate in full fidelity from English to Spanish and vice versa, he told us that he understood a little Spanish because he was a military man and he had lived in Puerto Rico and San Antonio, TX.
The exam consists of 10 questions only, but if the first 6 are answered correctly, then it ends there. With great satisfaction, he answered the first 6 questions correctly, and of course wasn’t just congratulated by the examiner, but he received a letter indicating that he had completed the entire process and only the day of the Oath Ceremony would be missing.
When he left he told me again; “See Sister? God lent me his brain and everything went well”.
My prayer is for God, Our Good Father, to help me learn how to have the faith, humility, simplicity and trust in the ways of this good man.
By S. Guadalupe Ruiz.