My uncle Tio Chipo, Pastor Ramon Yanez passed away this week falling ill at the weekend, and as I write in a few hours, he is going to be laid to rest in Vina del Mar, Chile.
My uncle was a Pastor, dentist, father, husband, grandfather and a son. But he was a Spiritual Father to many. His passion for mission is the reason I am here in Northern Ireland. He was a catalyst and a mobiliser and together with my aunt lead OM Chile for many years. In fact, it was the Ministry of OM Ships way back in the late seventies that made an impact in the lives of so many pastors and leaders.
My Tio was born in Valparaiso, and he inherited a deep passion and love for the Lord, for us, this inheritance is a family affair. His father was a Pastor, and Grand Father was also a Pastor, in fact, they both share the same name!
As a boy, I remember going to church and hearing him preach, he was a powerful speaker who admired John Stott. I remember talking to him about John Stott telling him that I attended one of Stott’s conferences in the Spire Centre in Belfast and how much he had influenced the lives of so many students and pastors around the world and my Tio and I were some of them.
However, what I remember so well was the pain he inflicted me on me as I sat on his dentist chair! But that pain was instantly forgotten as I heard him talk. He had a way of saying things that moved your heart, bringing wisdom and love. He was a lover of Jesus, and my Tio somehow loved me as Jesus does.
He was used by the Lord in my life, and I as said I am a Missionary because of his influence. He understood me so well went I became a Minister and wrote me a letter, that I will treasure, on the day of my ordination. Where he reminded me of the spiritual heritage that I possess, an inheritance with deep roots.
Today in a few hours, his funeral will take place. My heart is sad, but my spirit rejoices that he is in the presence of the Lord. John Stott said once that Father God is a Missionary God, Jesus Is a Missionary God, and the Holy Spirit is a Missionary God and this week you were welcomed into His Presence. Tio your mission has finished here on earth, but your heritage will live on.
Gloria a Dios,
Gloria a Dios,
Gloria a Dios Para Siempre.
With love to Tia Silvia and my Cousins and their families.