As we were rummaging through a few old photos, my aunt and I found my grandfather’s ordination papers. My grandfather pastored a small church in Brooklyn. For over 40 years, Tomas Quiles Rodriguez served in many capacities as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, and a young men’s counselor. Over those years he was known to house homeless people, minister to drug addicts, and witness to countless of people.
I myself became a pastor through his influence without understanding it at the time. He would pray for my family when we lived in Brooklyn. My father was backslidden at the time, but my grandfather never gave up on trying to minister to us. Eventually, my father would rededicate his life to Christ and he brought me up loving God. Our family was restored because of a man who never stopped praying.
In October 2005, Tomas was diagnosed with ALS. My aunt and uncle took him in and cared for him. He passed away shortly after in February 2006. In the short amount of time that he was bedridden, he kept his faith in God and even led the at-home nurse to Christ. She was not “religious”, but he would have her read the bible to him each day. This was his character.
My grandfather was able to see me enter into the ministry before he passed away. He was excited to hear the news. It was a joy to see that his legacy would continue. After years in the ministry myself, finding ourselves pastoring in Brooklyn is a tremendous privilege.
During our grand opening of our church here in Brooklyn, I preached on the subject of hope. I mentioned how David’s hope was found in the Lord and quoted the scripture out of Psalm 71:5, “For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.” Afterwards, my aunt told me that this scripture was my grandfather’s favorite scripture.
God’s beckon call for my family to come to Brooklyn has all been a divine work of God. I stand in awe of God’s hand orchestrating it all. He has given me the burden to help young families, those who are broken and those who need answers. It is that same burden that my grandfather had many years ago. God heard the prayers of my grandfather, and even though he has passed, God saw fit to continue his legacy. God is the author of legacy. He is known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He works through generations to fulfill His plan.
Only God will be able to tell us all the parallels in the ministry that both my grandfather and I will have, but it is most encouraging that the legacy of my grandfather can still be alive in me. Who knows what God will do in the next generations.