In 2001, Nelly Antonia Fletes Ramírez faced the worst tragedy of her life. Her teenage daughter Zurany, who had just given birth, committed suicide. The unbearable pain of losing her daughter thrust Nelly Antonia into a deep depression, and she began to experience other consequences due to the emotional toll. While trying to overcome her grief, Nelly’s mental health began to suffer even more. Unfortunately, the pandemic only exacerbated her pain. Considering it to be the only way out, Nelly contemplated ending her life.
Then, after 20 years of suffering, she found a ray of hope. When Nelly decided to visit her now 20-year-old granddaughter, Rosmary, in San Diego, her granddaughter introduced her to the San Ysidro Spanish church. It was here that Nelly found the emotional and spiritual support that she was longing for. Under the leadership of pastor Didier Noriega, the church had organized and implemented creative evangelism, which was financially sponsored by the Pacific Union Endowment fund. Through the creative evangelism program, Nelly learned about the unconditional love of God. After such a long, pain-filled journey of loss and depression, Nelly decided to break the cycle of suffering. According to a report from pastor Noriega, on July 31, 2021, Nelly gave her life to Jesus and was baptized.
Nelly’s story is a perfect example of what a church can do for members of its community when bridges are built to help connect the church with those in need. Through the church, Nelly found hope and strength in Jesus to continue living. Today she is happy in Christ, and her heart longs for the second coming of Jesus. Her goal is to share Christ by supporting other families who are experiencing the pain of losing a child to suicide.
By Didier Noriega