How did you end up in Little Village? We came from Mexico in 1969 and lived on 18th and Fairfield. At the time there was a strong gang presence with the Latin Kings and Satan’s Disciples. My parents wanted to move out and purchased their first home on 31st and Tripp in the early 70’s. Our home was right across from Home Run Inn Pizza. As time passed the owner of Home Run Inn purchased our home and tore it down along with our adjoining neighbor’s home and made a parking lot for his customers. Our home use to be across from where the skate park is at now. My dad purchased another home a block and a half away and as I grow older I purchased the house next to my parents and I live their now with my husband and our pooch (Charro).
What brought you to La Villita Community Church? I had departed from the church as I struggled with life, on a chance encounter I meet up with my long time friend Pastor Victor and I decided to come back to church. Pastor Victor was pastoring at La Villita and so I started to come here. I needed to come back.
What keeps you here? God has maintained me here and has put his love in me for the brethren that are here. I believe that God has been faithful to this church and I see it every day with his favor and mercy over all of us.
How did you come to know Jesus? In my youth, I witnessed many miracles. My father would have epileptic seizures at least 3 or 4 times a year and they were bad. We as a family never had peace during this time because we were on edge just waiting for the seizures to come. They would always come at night, we would just be waiting for my mom to yell my dad’s name and all of us running to call 911 and grab the plastic tongue depressor so that he wouldn’t swallow his tongue. We had started going to a Lutheran church by accident (we were raised Catholic), the Lutheran pastor talked a lot about prayer and healing. At a prayer retreat we starting praying for my dad and God answered our prayers on that day. It’s been over 40 years since my dad had his last seizure and was able to stop taking medicine. This was the start of my journey into knowing who God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were in my life.
What are some initiatives in the neighborhood that you are a part of? Chicago Youth Boxing Club is a major one for me, I have served on the board for over 12 years. I was not a big fan of boxing but saw the positive impact of the sport in some of our youth who were struggling with life. I witnessed God just open all doors for funding opportunities and filling the needs of the organization throughout the years. There have been many good people come through the boxing club.
What are your spiritual gifts? I know that God has blessed me with the gifts of serving (hospitality), prophecy, giving, speaking in tongues and leadership.
What does community mean to you? Community to me means that I am part of a group of people that share resources, knowledge, pain and genuinely care for each other. It doesn’t make us perfect or that we are not going to struggle but that we are in this life journey together - through thick and thin.