September 24, 2018
David Sebastian/IAD Staff
As he came out of the water, 103-year-old Carlos Ortíz García raised his hands in victory, rejoicing to have accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Church members at the Youth Center of the East Puerto Rico Adventist Conference, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, rejoiced with him as they witnessed the baptismal ceremony on Aug. 11, 2018.
“Jesus is my life and it is He that strengthens me,” said Ortíz as he spoke about his decision. Born in 1914, Ortíz was shy of turning 104 just 24 days before his birthday in September. His decision was final after he attended an evangelistic series on Genesis the Revelation of Jesus in his wife’s church, San Jose Adventist Church in San Juan.
It took several decades before Ortíz decided to join the church after his wife Victoria Clemente had been a member of the church before she died in 2004.
Ortíz, who is in good shape and walks around with a cane, said that for several years he accompanied his wife to church every Sabbath to please her. After her death, visits to church stopped.
It was until Dulce Martínez and Victor Arriaga, two members of the church began visiting him and talking to him about the hope in Jesus and His infinite love. Both Martínez and Arriaga brought their Pastor Gibbs Pierre to visit and meet Ortíz.
“I was surprised that Carlos knew the church for so long through his wife and had not been baptized yet so I asked him: ‘Carlos, God has extended your life so that you can give your heart to Jesus through baptism,” said Pastor Pierre.
Ortíz responded: “This is what I have been waiting for.”
Pierre invited Ortíz to the upcoming evangelistic campaign held in July and that his baptism could take place on Aug. 11. “He memorized that date because every time he would see me he would say ‘the 11th is my baptism pastor.’”