Victor Vaca Dies on February 18, 2013

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
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From left to right - Victor Vaca, Kathy Carson, Tim Carson, Segundo Morales

From left to right – Victor Vaca, Kathy Carson, Tim Carson, Segundo Morales

I first met Victor over twenty-five years ago while serving in Camdenton, Missouri. He and his wife Violet had served for years as our Global Mission staff in Ecuador. Victor was native Ecuadoran and Violet was a northerner from Minnesota. They met in Imbabura as Violet taught in a religious school. Talking to Violet about that heady time in her life she said, “Oh, you’ve got to watch out for those Latins. He hired a band and came and serenaded me beneath my window!” Victor and Violet served for years in Ecuador, primarily investing their time and energies with the indigenous peoples.

When Victor and Violet were on furlough and visiting congregations I spent time with them. Before you know it I was visiting Ecuador, representing our region as the moderator. Kathy often went with me. It was the first of many, many trips made to that impoverished and enchanted land. Numerous congregational mission trips and additional furloughs in the states made for a long-term friendship.

The Vacas were my first real mentors and teachers in the developing world and its concerns. They gently educated me about indigenous communities, the history that those in the north do not reference, and the ways to avoid the worst of paternalism and colonialism. And they demonstrated time after time what real hospitality looks like.

Victor taught me that the Gospel is holistic – that God cares about the whole person in all dimensions. He demonstrated how liberation theology grew from the people and their faith and how the social circumstance of a person shapes and limits their world. And he created an approach to church and missional life in which there was no distance between singing to Jesus from the heart and striving after justice.

Not too long ago Victor laid his beloved Violet – Violetta – to rest. Understandably, he was never quite the same after that. His grief was so heavy and loneliness for her so deep. And now he goes to his rest to be with her. We hear that in that kingdom they will come from the north and south, east and west and all sit at table with the Lord. They already had a foretaste of that in life. Now it’s a feast.

Comments
  1. NMiller says:

    I kept hearing “There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place” as I read your tender eulogy for Victor. Let our prayer be that this same holistic, loving spirit visit and change all of us.

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