Ministry to Don Olmedo's Last Days

Don Olmedo was one of the original founders of the community in the mountain called Chontal Alto. He came down with cancer in his right foot in the beginning of 2015 and moved to Chontal, where a bus route passes, so that he could be closer to a trips to the hospital and medical assistance. He played the guitar, and so I started to visit him with my charango, hoping to learn a few local songs from him, to give him something to do, and to pray with him and bring him communion when no one else could.

I had the idea of bringing young people to him to learn the guitar, but it didn't have time to pan out, as Don Olmed

Don Olmedo's condition worsened quickly in late February. I had the opportunity to accompany him and his family through his last days and then through the wake and funeral and the follow-up weeks. I especially had some private moments with him in his last days of consciousness, it seemed I always left him with a smile.

Don Olmedo died on Easter morning. We had invited a youth group from Quito to come and spend the Easter weekend with youth in Chontal. Several youth from the group came to Don Olmedo's bedside to pray on Easter morning, moments before boarding their bus to return to Quito. it was a beautiful sight, the room filled with people and some inspired young people praying. Right after they left, they boarded the bus, and as the bus pulled away, Don Olmedo took his last breath.

I noticed in my visits that there were no flowers or cards or anything cheery in his room or near his bed. So a few of the kids from the English class made a little poster expressing our support for him and his family. This poster was placed in the wall above his bed, and remained to the end.