I met Nancy and Emilio Marcial on a fall day in August of 2009. We had a common language as I discovered we were all from California. We identified common areas in both Southern and Northern California. We laughed about fun places such as Venice Beach and drives up the Pacific Coast Highway. Over the next few months, it was this family that helped me clarify what my role was in this community and succeeding communities.
It was their despairing living conditions that completely revolutionized my thoughts on the Church and the poor.
Roaches that ran through their walls.
Floors that were not solid.
A young girl named Akayla who loved her grandparents greatly, yet she was removed from her family because of DHS.
It was Nancy’s one act on a night in 2010 when she showed me their court order and with tears asked, “Pastor will you help us get Akayla back?”
That night forever knit us together. Nancy and Emilio with their poor health changed me, changed a non-profit and in turn, a host of college students and older couples demonstrated that the Body of Christ could indeed fulfill Isaiah 58:12.
Nancy and her husband experienced a new apartment, new furniture and completed everything necessary from the court to enjoy the presence of their granddaughter.
Nancy was a fighter. She fought to have her family reunited. She fought to meet all court ordered expectations. She fought to care for double amputee husband. God crafted together a woman who was far stronger than what the world would consider strong. God consistently took this weak woman and showed me that in the midst of adversity, when your home is decimated, when your granddaughter is snatched from you; you fight.
As I sat with Emilio today and joined him in his grief, these words rang strong from him, “I lost my wife and my best friend.”
Nancy Marcial was a wife, best friend and a fighter.
Thank you Nancy for not only improving my life but shaping an organization in ways that will echo into the lives of others.