SENDAS Loses a Great Leader and Friend

On July 22, 2014, a great man of God went home to be with the Lord. Miguel Mejia worked at the Seminary for twenty-three years and contributed much in the areas of administration and student services, as well as to the music program in the early days of the campus’ existence. After a short time of serving in Guatemala, he returned to Costa Rica and retired in 1999.

In honor of our brother Miguel, SENDAS shares this biography, compiled from his personal notes and an interview with his wife Celia and son Miguel.

Miguel Mejia was born in 1926 in a small community of El Zapote, El Salvador. At the age of six, he accepted the Lord as his Savior in the Central American Mission Church (Mision Centroamericana). His pastor was Alfonso Perez who happened to be the older brother of Celia, the young lady he would later marry in 1949. His pastor taught him many things, and one important lesson Miguel learned early was the importance of tithing and giving generously. This shaped Miguel and led him to be an extravagant giver throughout his life.

At the age of 15, Miguel’s father sent he and his younger brother to San Salvador to study, and it was there he learned about music. Although Miguel never finished high school, he had a great aptitude to learn new things. Formally, he studied typewriting, but he also learned basic accounting on the job. Miguel did not finish high school because he realized his studies were taking him away from the church, so much so that his desire to attend was waning. For this reason, he left school to stay closer to the Lord and to attend church regularly.

Before coming to SENDAS, Miguel worked at CIDEMA, a company that imported machinery. His first job was opening the crates of machinery, then he moved to sales, soon after he became the Department Head for Industrial Machinery and finally he was promoted to Sales Manager for the company.

During this time, he married Celia and they had four children: Gloria (who passed away in 2003), Omar, Enid, and Miguel.

It was in 1964 when the family began to attend the Church of the Nazarene in El Salvador, and a few years later Miguel was asked to participate on the Advisory Council for a new educational institution for the Church of the Nazarene in Central America. Many people encouraged Miguel to consider moving to Costa Rica and help with this new Seminary, then called Central American Nazarene Seminary (Seminario Nazareno Centroamericano – SNC). Some of these influential missionary leaders were Lorenzo and Eunice Bryant, Allan Wilson and Howard Conrad, the first Seminary President, who also encouraged Miguel to move to Costa Rica to assist with the administration of the school.

It took two years, one year of considering and one year of planning, for the Mejia family to move to Costa Rica in 1974. It was a great sacrifice for the family who had an established home and good income in El Salvador. Miguel, in his own notes, wrote this concerning this great leap of faith: “It was not even possible for me to consider this idea. What was God asking of me…these thoughts scared me. What has happened to your Christianity? Have you not believed all your life that you can trust in God? These and many other thoughts seized my being and I came to the conviction to accept the offer to work at the Seminary in Costa Rica.”

Although it was a shock for Miguel and family to move to another country and live with far less resources, Miguel continued to tithe. And over the years, God placed on his heart the need to give more until he felt convicted to give twenty percent of his income to the Lord and later on thirty percent.

Miguel had a variety of responsibilities at the Seminary including accounting, administration and music classes. He led the choir and taught students the basics of reading music. Celia, his wife, also worked on campus as a grammar professor, Registrar’s Assistant and Accounting Assistant.

In addition to serving at the Seminary, the Mejia’s also served as missionaries in the Regional Office in Guatemala. Miguel was the Regional Administrator (under the direction of Dr. Jerry Porter), and after his initial retirement, he returned to Costa Rica invited by Dr. Mario Zani, the Regional Director at that time, to assume the position of Administrative Vice President of the Seminary. Miguel was sixty-eight years old at the time and retired four years later.

SENDAS is saddened to lose such a great man of God, but pleased that Miguel is with Jesus, singing and playing hymns to worship Him. Perhaps he is playing one of his favorites, “Open My Eyes to the Light” (“Abre mis ojos a la luz”).

These words from Miguel’s written testimony share the heart of the man sold out to God. “I lack the words to express with due clarity all the joy that flooded my heart when I obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit, who has always lighted my path… I have walked with the Lord all my life and I want to share with my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ that God is real and his plans and promises are faithful and true. Thanks to my Lord. I will follow him until my final day.”

SENDAS sends condolences to Celia Mejia, his lovely wife, and their three living children: Omar in Venezuela; Enid in Germany; and Miguel in Costa Rica. May God’s peace and love surround you all.

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