21 Oct Day 11: Marcos

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Students bought Marcos presents to celebrate his new baby: a pretend cake made of rolled-up diapers!

It’s pretty flattering when someone offers to take a significant pay cut to work for you. But that’s the dedication of Marcos. He ran our auto body repair course until 2006, when economic woes forced us to cut back. He went on to get a job at Renault, practicing what he used to teach, but for a much higher salary.

In 2012, out of the blue, Marcos called Philip. “You won’t believe this, but most of my colleagues here are my former students. They make good salaries, support their families, and are making lives for themselves. Many are following Christ,” he said. “When I go to other auto body shops – same thing: I see my former students. The course changed their lives. We need to find a way to start it up again.” He said he saw this as a mission field and would be willing to take a cut in pay to restart the course.

The rest is history. Marcos gave Renault six month’s notice. They were sorry to see him go, but they were very supportive of his mission at Hope. Today Renault remains one of our biggest employers of graduates.

Marcos considers his classroom his mission field and every student a member of his flock. Like any good pastor, he keeps in contact with each one, even making hospital visits for medical emergencies. Whoever heard of an instructor who makes hospital visits?

Marcos now has a new challenge: the state recently asked that we take adolescent prisoners into our vocational courses as their final step before being re-integrated into the community. The majority are in Marcos’ class. It has been challenging.

It’s too soon to share the long-term results, but Marcos recently asked a few of the incarcerated youth to share some personal prayer requests with all of you. Here are a few he received:
  • “Pray for harmony at home. It is very difficult to hear about the fights that happen in our families when we can do nothing about it.”
  • “Pray for us to have a vision for our futures and the hope of being restored.”
  • “Pray for a new life and an opportunity to work that is honest and restores our dignity.”
  • “Pray that God will touch the hearts of employers to give us a chance to work and to start life fresh.”
Marcos also has a personal prayer request. He asks that you pray for him and some issues he faces in the community church he attends with his family. Anything Marcos. Yes, we will pray for you.

Lord, we lift up these young prisoners in prayer. We pray that hope will not die within their hearts and that they will come to know transformation through Christ. Pray that they will receive new life, and life abundantly. And finally, we pray for the situation Marcos is facing with his church, and we give thanks for every teacher at Hope, working for souls and not salaries.