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  • Liz Ortiz

Leonard Ortiz: A Life Well Lived for the Lord

If you ever had the privilege of riding in a vehicle with my grandfather, you probably figured out within five minutes that he was not the best driver. He had these guidelines for driving: speed limits were only for bad drivers (which he claimed he wasn’t) and stop signs were simply suggestions. However, while he was volunteering as my driving instructor, he said that I had to stop at the stop signs. I still don’t know why my parents thought it was a good idea for my grandpa to teach me how to drive. I loved those car rides though. Grandpa would tell me stories of his time in the Air Force and many other adventures. I loved spending time with my grandpa. His sense of humor was like no other. He always knew how to make me smile. During any trip to Tennessee, I knew I could count on days filled with talks, laughter and playing cards. He was a tough competitor, but we always had fun.

Grandpa drove me to my first summer job at Lake Ann Camp. During the car ride, I asked about his testimony. He smiled big as he shared about his love for God. Faith is something I have always admired about my grandpa. He had a big heart for the Hispanic community in our hometown. He planted Macedonia Baptist, a Spanish-speaking church here in Holland. I have fond memories as child spending time at my grandpa’s church, whether it was running around in the halls at the church or hanging out grandpa’s office. I always thought of him as “my grandpa, the missionary.” He inspired me. He was so happy the day I told him I was going to be a missionary to Togo, West Africa. Ever since that day he would call me, “my Lizzy girl, the missionary!” I am grateful for my grandpa’s testimony of faithfulness. It will forever inspire me to live my life faithfully for the Lord as he did.

I flew back to Michigan on April 2nd to say goodbye to my grandfather, Leonard Ortiz. Although I did not make it in time to say goodbye to him, I was grateful to be home and surrounded by loved ones. Although I am sad that he is no longer with us, I am overfilled with joy because my grandfather’s hope was in the Lord. He is fully healed from his cancer, no more pain or suffering! And someday I will see him again. I can’t wait to see his big smile as he greets me at Heaven’s gate. What a day that will be!

Language school was still in session the week I was gone. The school was gracious and understanding of my situation. They let me attend classes by Zoom for the week. I am thankful for that. It is hard for me to believe that my first semester is almost over! I have finals in two weeks. I would covet your prayers as I adjust back into language school after a difficult week.

Thank you to everyone who has loved on my family and me during this difficult time. It has been a huge encouragement to my family and me. My grandfather knew many people were praying for him. He fought the good fight and I'm sure he was greeted in Heaven with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

God bless,

Liz Ortiz

Prayer Requests:

● Pray that I will adjust back into language school well and finish the semester strong!

● Pray for patience as I study and learn the French language.

● Pray for an ASL interpreter for Togo – big opportunity for one!

● Pray for more opportunities for me to practice signing.


● Praise God for my grandfather Leonard Ortiz’s faithful testimony. He is fully healed and with his Lord!

● Praise God for all my wonderful partners!

● Praise God that Jonas is doing well in school


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