Pepe, being helped by two friends on a hiking trip

I grew up with Pepe Palestina.  I remember the first time I met him, I must have been about 6 years old.  It was dark outside our church.  He was taller than me, and walked funny.  He had to hold someone’s hand to walk.  I shook his hand, but it was all crooked.  He couldn’t talk or smile, at least not that I could perceive.  Pepe was a little scary.

Over the years, Pepe became a dear friend.  I never really understood the pain he was in, had no idea of all the therapies he had to do every week.  Boy, could he ride a bike, though!  Waaay better than he could walk.  Pepe was always on the go, always involved in every activity, always smiling, always helping.  As he got older and was better able to walk and control his hands, he became more involved in the church.  Every week he cleaned our church, sweeping and mopping and moving 6-foot benches around.  He helped with the sound system.  On my 14th birthday he bought me a big box of cordial-filled cherry chocolates.  I loved those and only allowed myself one a day.  Then I saved the box.

Pepe is a very special guy.

Today I got this email from my dad:


Dear Friends,

I want to give you the opportunity to help a 38 year old man who has been in our church since he was 14 years old. His name is José Vicente Palestina Hernández. “Pepe.” Pepe has cerebral palsy, but has overcome, in many ways, his handicap. He has been an active member of the church, writes poetry, has a small store, participates in Special Olympics. He has won several medals at both State and National biking competitions. The Agua Viva congregation has always been very proud of Pepe and his accomplishments.

A couple of days ago, it was discovered that Pepe has a small tumor that must be removed and analyzed this week. His dad is in his 80’s and his mom in her 70’s. Their income is very limited (no Social Security checks here) and, of course, Pepe has only whatever income his store provides. They have no private medical insurance and the government hospital here in Tlaxcala does not have the equipment for the laproscopic surgery that the doctor recommends. That requires him to get the medical attention that he needs in the private sector which will cost about $1,500. dollars. Not much by US standards, but a fortune to this family.

If you would like to help us help Pepe, please send your designated offering to:

Latin America to the World

6824 Lackman Rd

Shawnee, Kansas 66217

Or you can give on line:

We thank you for your offering and ask for your prayers for this young man and his family.


Bill and Debbie


You don’t know Pepe, but I do.  If you feel so led, please prayerfully consider contributing to his care.  Please, please pray that God would protect Pepe, bless him and his family with peace and hope, and provide for all his needs.


About Thoughts by Sallie

I am a missionary kid who grew up in Mexico. I have 2 first languages. The two most amazing places that I have seen stars are in the Amazon rain forest and at the Sea of Galilee. I have moved 34 times in my life. I think that working with at-risk foster kids for 5 1/2 years is a greater accomplishment than earning a master's degree. My most favorite meal is popcorn, apples, and cheese. I am happiest when I am being hugged by a child. Jesus is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? My life's dream is to help children become more than they could ever imagine. I have Attention-Deficit Disorder, and I take medicine every day that helps me to think straight; it's not a cure, but it sure does help. I get lonely and feel very isolated sometimes. I love nostalgia. I HATE shallowness. I love taking pictures of windows. I am most proud when I see my friends grow and accomplish new things. I am most motivated by my love for and commitment to others. I am overflowing with thoughts. I am an ellipses. I am Rasha.

I really want to know what you think!!

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