Pablo arrived in Jamaica, from Venezuela, on April 4, 1996. Eight years ago Pablo and his wife, Adrian, became our neighbours and I welcomed them with homemade corn bread. Our interactions thereafter were sporadic.
One fateful night in January 2021, my daughter Treveen’s dog, Ella – a little black Shih Tzu, kept me awake for most of the night. Her barking was incessant. I kept looking through the windows but could discern nothing amiss.
The following morning, Ella came into my bedroom and proceeded to the door which leads to the balcony and continued barking. As I stepped outside, it was clear that my neighbour’s dog, Tequila, a big black and brown Rottweiler, had fallen over in the bushes and needed to be rescued.
Having failed to reach Pablo, her owner, by telephone, Treveen and I went next door and alerted him of his dog’s dilemma. After he had retrieved her, I requested his current telephone number.
From then on I kept in touch with him via WhatsApp, direct calls, and face to face interactions. I daily sent him religious and inspirational material. Additionally, I invited him to join the Young Adults Sabbath School Class - he accepted the invitation and was a regular attendee.
He enjoyed the services and if I failed to send him the link, in a timely manner, he would call and ‘chastise’ me. After some months, I recommended to him the Church’s Spanish Congregation. Sister Rose Cameron was asked to look out for him.
On a regular basis Pablo and I shared different dishes, and produce such as avocados, peaches, bananas, and plantains from our garden. Some of the dishes shared were lasagna which he baked, and which my daughters thoroughly enjoyed, and my ackee and codfish and festivals which he enjoyed.
We talked about many things. Pablo shared happy and sad experiences including - his mother’s birthday party and his brother’s illness and subsequent death.
As Pablo became more comfortable, he would participate more actively in the Sabbath School class’s activities as well as Wednesday night and Divine hour services. He even invited his daughter, Michelle, to attend. Pablo often expressed his delight and appreciation for my serendipitous intervention in his life.
Pablo was nurtured in Roman Catholicism and all his family members are of that persuasion. Since being in Jamaica, he has attended services at both The Swallowfield United and Roman Catholic Churches. God, however, was about to change that trajectory.
Bible studies were conducted by Pastor Mickel Allen, and on August 28, 2021, Pablo called and shared the good news, ‘…I am going to get baptized in the Adventist church…’ I was ecstatic. He however had one caveat - he wanted to be baptized in one of the rivers in Stony Hill - our home community.
With the assistance of Elders Vernon Kelly and Andrew Ranglin, a river was identified beside the River View SDA Church. I liaised with Elder Hamilton and Pastor Ferguson who gave permission for the church’s facilities to be used as was required. Elder Nugent was apprised of the arrangements.
On September 9, 2021 Pablo was baptized in the Plantain Gardens River by Pastor Adrian Johnson. Brother Pablo Meza’s joy is multiplied - he was baptized on his daughter Michelle’s birthday. He has the overwhelming endorsement of both the Andrews Memorial SDA Church family and his biological family.
In the Bible God enabled a donkey to speak. In January 2021, God used two dogs - Ella signaled Tequila’s need to be rescued. However, the ‘RESCUEE’ in this story is not Tequila but Brother Pablo Meza. Through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit, Brother Pablo Meza has been rescued and is a candidate for the Kingdom of Heaven. Oh what rejoicing there must be in Heaven! Let’s keep him in our prayers.
Thank you Lord for using dogs…
May each of us avail ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit.