When you meet Angel, the first thing that strikes you is that he smiles a lot, and his smile is wide and great.  He is warm and kind.

But getting to know him is even better.  One of the qualities that I admire so much in him is his honesty.  I can always count on him to tell me the truth.    One time last year we had to talk to a professor about some sensitive issues.  I had to be more confronting than I wished, and afterward I asked Angel if he thought I was wrong or too strong.  He gave me his honest feedback and I was so glad to hear it.

 Once he came to my office and sat down and said, “As your co-worker, what could I do that would truly break our relationship?”  I answered that it would really break our relationship if he turned out to not be what he appeared.  He said ok, and that he truly desired to not disappoint me.  I asked him later what would break our relationship from his point of view and he said, “The same.”

Angel was born into a beautiful Christian family.  Several of his family members have attended MTI over the years and are faithfully serving the Lord.  But Angel was rebellious in his teens and left the Lord.  Then the Hound of Heaven went after him, and he was saved, saved, wonderfully saved.  Over the next years Angel completed his three levels of MTI, got married, and began helping as a Dean of students at MTI.  In the remaining months of the year he served faithfully in his home church in San Luis Colorado.  He is an amazing evangelist, teacher and preacher.

Last year Angel returned to MTI in a new capacity, and with his wife Alicia and new son, Yoel.  Angel now serves as the Assistant Academic Coordinator.  He has a major role in preparing the curriculum, recruiting professors and students, and disciplining and mentoring the students.  I think of Angel is our MTI pastor.

One of my favorite examples of Angel’s incredible wisdom is demonstrated in a situation that happened last school term.  One of our older students was very insecure in his decision to be at MTI.  Each weekend when he left school to intern for the weekend, we felt unsure that he would return.  Finally the day came that he was ready to quit and he went to Angel’s office to inform him.

Angel listened to him.  Angel spoke to him about all that he (the student) had already accomplished.  Angel committed to spending an extra couple of hours per week tutoring the student personally in preparing sermons needed for his internship.  Angel prayed with him while the man wept.  And the man walked out of Angel’s office motivated, restored and confident in his decision to stay.  That same student is already confirmed to return this September. 

Currently Angel has been working on visiting and calling to recruit students for next MTI term, and we are looking forward to a great 2013.  And I am personally looking forward to working with my hero again.