Seventh-day Adventists in Belize honored one of their Master Guide leaders and friend during a memorial service at the Calcutta Spanish Adventist Church in Calcutta, Corozal on Dec. 4, 2023. Axel Arhel Rodríguez, age 23, died last month from cancer, family members said.
“He was a leader of the Pléyales Pathfinder Club here in the Calcutta Adventist Church and was a very active member, always supporting events at mission and union levels,” said Pastor Gelber Gamboa, youth ministries director of the Belize Union, as he addressed the more than 350 gathered for the memorial service. “He fell in love with Jesus through the [Pathfinder] club’s activities and decided to give his heart to Jesus in 2017.”
“For our family, Axel was an example to follow,” said his brother Javier Rodríguez. “He followed and fulfilled his dreams and taught us not to give up and to be brave. Rodríguez thanked the Adventist Church in Belize and in Chetumal, Quintana Roo in Mexico “for every act of love you did for our Axel.”
As he showed up to his first day of the school year in September, Axel was taken ill and travelled to a hospital in neighboring for treatment. He died there on Nov. 30, 2023.
“I will miss him very much,” said Magali Tzul Bustillos, Axel’s second cousin. “He used to come to my house all the time, loved serving at church and was always willing to help others in need,” she said. Axel was always positive and never complained about his situation, said Tzul. “He started to not feel well in April and had worked hard mowing and cleaning up lawns so he could make it to the Inter-American Division’s Pathfinder Camporee in Jamaica. He came back and said the camporee was life transforming for him and soon after he began to need blood transfusions.”
Axel is the third youth leader that has passed away this year. “This year has been really challenging after the Camporee losing three powerful young leaders who impacted children and youth in Belize,” said Gamboa. Jael Spencer, 23, a Master Guide and youth leader, died in July. Carey McCalla, 43, a youth leader and high school music teacher, died in August. “These three youth leaders have really impacted my life and we know that we will see them in the glorious morning when Jesus will come again,” Gamboa said.
Source : Inter America