Archive for April, 2011


Life beyond death?

What is death? Death is the end of life, the full cessation of vital functions in a biological organism. This is the definition of a dictionary. My definition of death is this “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” the apostle Pablo said this in Philippians 1:21. Some people say, and I agree with them, that there is only one thing for certain in life, and that is death. All living things eventually die.

Socrates said “Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” I agree with this. Death is unknown, whether there is life or not beyond death is an individual belief. I think that people fear death because they are too attached to the things they have in this world and then they neglect the spiritual things and miracles that they might have witnessed, like I have. When I was a child I thought that the most important thing was money and toys. I was always worrying about my things, that no one touched them without my permission. As I was growing I learned that the material things that I had weren’t the most important thing, but my family and friends. Sadly I learned this the hard way. One of my grandfathers died when I was almost five years old and I loved him dearly

I treasure the most what says in Philippians 1:21 because I truly believe this. I believe what the teachings of the Pentecostals teach in church that there is life beyond death. Not because I was raised to believe it, but because I have witnessed some miracles that had made me believe in this. To mention only one miracle, I’ll mention myself. My mother told me once that when I was about six months old I became sick, I lost a lot of weight, was dehydrated and was very pale. I was hospitalized for three days when the doctors told my mother to call the family so they could see me one last time, because they wern’t sure how much longer I could survive. That same day my mom went to the hospital’s chapel and prayed to God. She said that she told Him that if he wanted he could take me, but if it was in his grace to let me live she would lead me in his path. Doctors said it was a miracle that I survived and became healthy in a few days later. And my mom wasn’t a Christian by that time. I have heard doctors say “I can’t do anything more. Only God can help you.” or something like this. The most amazing thing for me about this is that most of those doctors aren’t God believers.

For people to know and choose to believe, or not, if there is life or not beyond death we, the Pentecostals, go with the commandment where Jesus tells us to “Go around the world and preach the evangelism to everyone.” (Marcus 16:15). All around the Bible the prophets, apostles, Jesus and God tell us to preach God’s message of salvation, which means that there is life beyond death. We try to give and present them with facts and proof. Some people believe in what we say, others don’t, but we don’t force them like some other religions.

I write this not to make the reader believe because I want them to believe, but as a part of what I’ve lived and believe. I have written part of what I believe of what is death and what I think is beyond death. I want to finish this saying that God never fails, we might think that he does, but I have witnessed that he never fails or comes late. I believe that God has a purpose for everyone, it is in us to accept it or not.

In the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, the VIII Colloquim About Women with the them Not One More was celebrated from April 5th to April 7th. Attendees presented and discussed proposals, ideas and struggles against violence towards women. This symposium was dedictated to the defunct UPR-RUM student Natalia Sanchez Lopez (1988-2010) for her “unconditional commitment and support for public education and accessible and her commitment for a future more just, equitable and supportive for everyone in the country.

I attended the panel Women and Domestic Violence in Room A in the General Library. It had three speakers who took from twenty to twenty five minutes to expose their theme. The speakers and their respective themes were:

  1. Dr. Diana Valle Ferrer, “Resistance of women to gender violence.” She has a Doctor’s Degree in Social Services in Gender Studies and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Services.
  2. Dr. Rafael Boglio, “Man promise or compromising the men?: Men and the fight against gender violence.” He has a combined Doctor’s Degree in Social Services and Anthropolgy.
  3. Dr. Virgen Caceres Cruz, “The implantation of public policy about domestic violence in the work area from women’s perspective.” She has a Doctor’s Degree in Philosophy in the area of Community Social Psyhology.

In her theme, Dr. Diana Valle Ferrer exposed her belief that violence against women is a centuries old issue and problem. She made a research on statistics and police reports on domestic violence. The statistics provided were shocking. Sure, almost everyday we hear of domestic violence against women, but still it was shocking.

Dr. Rafael Boglio’s speech was revolved around the participation of men in domestic violence, whether is being the victimizer or the one trying to help. He focused on a program established by Puerto Rico’s Governor Luis Fortuno called Man’s Promise. Dr. Boglio quoted Fortuno: “It’s us the men who have to break wrong conditions about women which stills exists in our society and to end with violence cycles.” Man’s Promise is a workshop for men who eventually sign a document that it’s only a promise that they won’t hurt a woman.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the last speech from Dr. Virgen Caceres, because of the time.

I think that symposiums like these are what help the weak, not only women, but children and old people as well, and even men. It even educates everyone into what’s happening in our society and what can we do to prevent violence.

My dream job.

I believe that everyperson that wants to work wants to do it with what their passionate about. Sadly, I’ve encountered many people who don’t like their current jobs, but they do it because the pay is good. I’ve also encountered people who are doing something they’re not passionate about, because when they started to do what they enjoyed it didn’t went well for them.

Take my sister and her husband, for example. She’s studied to be an elementary school teacher, she enjoys it by the way, and her husband studied to be an art teacher, who also enjoys it. What they also enjoy is the business they started together. He is very skillfull in the plastic arts, with almost every material. He takes solid colored shirts, polos, baseball caps, totes, and more and paints them with his created design, mostly around Christian and Puerto Rican themes. My sister does something similar, but with the computer. They really like that, and hope to open a store.

Now, my dream job would be to become an activity planner with my own bakery. I love planning parties and activities. I planned my mother’s wedding, with my stepfather of course, I even did the cake; I planned my sister’s baby shower, my own wedding, a family reunion of my family. All family activities, but it doesn’t end there. People who know have asked me for help and even payed me for my efforts. I have also done the activity’s cake.

I would be so happy to do my own business and that it becomes succesful, of course. So, I’m doing everything in my power to make my dream job a reality.

How movies helped me.

I don’t want to brag, but I speak English almost to a 100% fluently. Many people have asked me if English is my first language and if I’ve lived in the United States for at least a year. The answer to both questions is no. I learned watching movies.

As any other child, the thing I wanted to do most was watching television. I couldn’t get enough Disney movies or cartoons. Watching so many movies is how I learned to fluently speak English. Really, I did! Watching them in English with Spanish subtitles helped me a lot, adding English class in school of course. My mother says that I was always interested in the language and tried my hardest to learn it really well. I never had special classes on learning a new language, the movies just helped me.

It is the same with Japanese. I don’t speak Japanese as I’d like, but I recognize many words when I hear them. It is thanks to Anime, Japanese animation. My best firned from junior high school introduced me to the world of Anime with Pokemon. She was such a fan of Pokemon that she even had a book with the Pokemons and a very detailed information on them. She wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d memorized them in the orther presented in the book. Fortunately the book was up to 151 Pokemons, now it’s like over 600.

Becuase I liked Anime I learned to enjoy best watching movies or tv shows in their original language with subtitles in Spanish, except movies that are originally in English or, of course, Spanish.