Lena 2LenaIt has been a sad stretch for me to say goodbye to several people these last couple of months. Just since November I have said goodbye to best friends Jan Moore, Pastor Larry Moss and then we got word this past week that our friend Lena Connelly 95 years of age,  passed onto glory. (Lena is pictured above with her granddaughter Rita Cordova.) Lena Connelly born May 27, 1920 was called home to her richly deserved reward on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. She will be reunited with her beloved husband Julian Connelly. Lena lived a long and beautiful life, loving her Lord above all. She is survived by her twelve children and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sharon and I met Lena several years ago when I started to serve at the Open Door Church of God with Pastor Jim Montoya in Los Lunas, NM. Sharon and I always sat with Lena in church. I was drawn to her for several reasons. She adopted us right away and Lena was the name of my grandma Caraway. She had such a great love for Jesus and was a prayer warrior, praying constantly for so many! She would call us at least once a week to see how we were doing. To this day, Lena reminds me of a simpler way of life; a way of life that I try to do everyday, focusing on one person at a time, showing them the love of Jesus. Lena’s life was a sermon. She taught myself and Sharon many lessons. No matter where you are, or what your health condition, PRAY for others! Lena would tell me that she would sit in her home and pray for all the people in the cars and trucks passing her home. How is your life PREACHING to the world? What are you showing the world, for God’s Glory alone? I think of Lena constantly and the lessons she taught me. I am a better man of God because of her love.

The following tribute is written by Tristano Cordova great grandson of Lena. Tristano is the 15 year old son of Rita.

So today I went to my great grandmas funeral. I had a very special relationship with her. Lately I haven’t been feeling right and when my mom told me my nana wasn’t doing well I knew that was exactly what had been bothering me. I know this is weird but for the past couple days everyone’s been saying my eyes aren’t as bright and I haven’t been smiling to much. It was all because I had a empty feeling in my heart. Then when my mom had gotten the phone call saying my grandma had past. I of course woke up to tears and commotion, at the time it was about 2 in the morning so it didn’t really hit me as hard as it my mom. I was a little delusional so I just later back down till the morning. The next day was the viewing but I did not attend it. I didn’t wanna see my nana laying there lifeless like that, especially knowing I didn’t say goodbye. It just didn’t feel right. Today was the day of the services and as I sat down and began to look at the screen there were pictures. Pictures of my grandma from when she was young to her last few years, months, and days on this earth. Then it all settled in, it all took its toll on me. It really hit me when I realized she was gone. Forever… I went to her house after the funeral that was the first thing I did. I walked in and there was family everywhere of course as there should be. But I didn’t speak to not one as I walked through the door. I mean what could I say? I was in shock. That was the first time I ever walked in without seeing my nana in her corner. She brought joy to my life, as she did to others. My nana knew that God would always provide for her so she lived worry free. She was truly a angel on earth, and now she gets to enter her eternal life and body. She is with her one and only husband of 52 years who passed in 1993 but even though he did pass my nana stayed faithful and never looked not loved or had lust for another man. She is a great woman and will be missed greatly. She was the one who told me I would be something in life. So now after her death it’s time for me to start chasing what I love to do which is music and writing and I know she will give me the strength and help me become successful with whichever it is I chose to do. Now I would like to thank my great grandmother. I love you nana I know you’ll never be able to read this physically but I know you see what I’m writing  because you’re looking right over my shoulder.

Thank you Rita and Tristano for sharing the letter!

The love that Lena’s family constantly showed her is also a testimony to all of us. It touches to me this day the love all of the family would pour out onto Lena, because of their love and appreciation for who she was and the love she gave to everyone.

I close with this, a definition of a prayer warrior:  A Christian who prays a lot or who has a spiritual gift of prayer. A prayer warrior may also be called an *intercessor
The term prayer warrior doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the origin of the image is most likely Ephesians 6:10-18, in which Christian believers are exhorted to metaphorically don the trappings of a warrior—armor, belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword—and then to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (v. 18 KJV). Hence the image of a warrior who employs prayer.

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