‘Carlos called me one evening in August while I was relaxing in a Pyrenean village. His situation was desperate: he had lost his job some months ago, had mounting debts, and was about to be evicted and had nowhere to go…
‘We had known one another for years, from the time we’d chosen – together with many others who were also were young then – to try putting Jesus’ words into practice. His life, though, had no been easy. After fifteen years his marriage hit a crisis. When he was left alone, his two children, by now grown up, had been his main reason to carry on living.
‘What could I do for him in the middle of August? Via mobile phones and skype our friends and I got working. We managed to find him a small house that hadn’t been lived in for some time. We furnished it with the help of a Romanian friend, and we managed to come up with the money needed to cover the expenses of restructuring it.
‘In the meantime a job turned up for Carlos. Bearing in mind the economic crisis and the fact that he is 61, you have to say it was surprising. It was another of those “surprises” that you never get used to even though they are the “normal” fruit of trying to live the Gospel in everyday life. He found the work hard: it was a night shift, loading boxes hour after hour. He has a bad back, but he felt he couldn’t refuse it. After a few days, a new opportunity was offered by his commercial agent: it was exactly his field of work! Yet another “surprise” that makes God’s love feel close.
‘Half way through September Carlos went to the house that was now ready for him. Then, out the blue, he rang me. He was shaken. He wanted to tell me that the next day he had to go to court because of an injunction to pay €5,000 of rent arrears. I tried to calm him down. But the situation was dramatic. His other friends and I put together what resources we could but we couldn’t raise that much money. All we had left was faith in God’s love which cannot abandon Carlos.
‘While was at a work meeting I received an sms: “There’s been a development. Went much better than expected!” He’d been open about his situation, that he had always paid the rent, keeping an excellent relationship with his landlords. But then he had lost his job and couldn’t keep up with his payments. He said he was willing to make up the shortfall in the time and limits available, given that now he had a good job. The judge decided to reduce his debt to just €1,500, on condition, however, that it was paid by 30 October, otherwise he would have a more serious penalty.
‘Now all he had to do was overcome the final obstacle: to find €1,500! The Word of Life reminded him to “let down the nets” where he previously had cast them without success. With renewed faith we tried speaking again to those who at first had said “no”. Since the money needed was a lesser amount, they now felt able to lend it! With his job Carlos can now, bit by bit, pay back this final debt.’