H. Hernández ‘84 —

I had the incredible privilege of serving Father and his providence in my stewardship of CARP for two and a half years. He picked me for a role that I was, honestly, unqualifed for, but he promised it would be an unforgettable experience in which my heart would be stretched and by which I might mature into a man of faith. I’m not sure if I met his expectations, but I hope he knows how hard I tried to make him proud.

In the end, it was the most arduous chapter of my life to date. Yet, I would never trade those memories and am forever grateful for the lessons I learned from Father. They will remain in my heart eternally.

He taught me compassion. At a public event, where he had been speaking already for several hours, he paused, mid-sentence, to give attention to the flickering candles to his left. They had been patiently burning since the beginning of his talk. He engaged them and spoke to them softly, “You’ve been working so hard and no one is giving you any attention? I’m so sorry, you must be lonely.” They responded with a twinkle. He floated his palms just above the small, teardrop flames and acknowledged with gratitude the warmth and comfort they provided his hands. “I’ll blow on you gently, so you won’t be lonely anymore. Please rest.” Feeling loved and reassured, the candles drifted to sleep.

He taught me how to love. In a morning devotional, an elder member asked Father a question: “What is the most important attribute of a leader?” While my own trail of thoughts led to the usual textbook answers of “courage” or “conviction” or “charisma,” Father immediately responded, “The depth with which you love your wife will determine the greatness of your leadership.” I did not understand, at first. He patiently explained, “For whom did God toil to create the heavens and earth and all its personality: the pitter-patter of the raindrops, the tenderness of the clouds, the coarse grains of sand in the ocean? It was for woman, His most beloved and elegant masterpiece.”

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