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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 11:19 am | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: Agustin De Guevara and the Secret to Finishing Well

Let me tell you about a dear brother in Christ who passed into the arms of Jesus late last year.

I first met Agustin De Guevara more than 25 years ago. At the time, he was managing the downtown McDonald’s store owned by Herb Peterson (Mr. Egg McMuffin). I found him an interesting fellow with a wry smile and what appeared to be a carefree attitude.

Twenty-two years later, I had the pleasure of really getting to know Agustin. For three full years, Agustin, our mutual friend, Rod Walters, and I would meet nearly every Monday morning at McDonald’s, 29 N. Milpas St., where the first Egg McMuffin sandwich was served 20 years earlier.

This is when I first found out how deep Agustin’s faith ran. Those Monday mornings would jump-start all of us as we set out in our different directions to serve the Lord. For the past 20 years, Agustin served as chaplain for the Peterson family franchise, which includes six stores in the Santa Barbara area. At 91, God decided to take Agustin home.

Born to Basque parents in Mexico City, Agustin spent most of his childhood in an orphanage, where he learned the art of dance and developed a passion for reading. Fluent in Castilian Spanish and classical flamenco dance, he developed a flair for life that culminated in his departure for the United States for a better life when he turned 18.

Those first four years, he held various migrant jobs before arriving in Santa Barbara and landing a position as a full-time dishwasher at the Four Seasons Biltmore. Gradually, Agustin advanced into hotel and restaurant management positions at the Biltmore and was finally enticed to Peterson’s McDonald’s franchise in his mid-50s.

He spent the past 30-plus years working with the Peterson family. The last year was challenging for Agustin and his wife, Carolyn, as his health gradually failed. Both his son and daughter moved back to Santa Barbara to be near their special dad, to be close by during his last few months here on earth.

To me, Agustin is a wonderful example of how I want to finish my marathon of life. He exuded a peace that can only come from up above. He led his life in proper perspective and was truly ready to join his Lord and Savior in Heaven.

In the meantime, God blessed him with close family and friends and minimal pain as he accepted the cancer that riddled his body. In his own words, he considered his life to have been blessed! He had no regrets, and I personally am much better off for knowing this ordinary man with a deep faith — whom God has used in many lives over these past years for His glory.

Agustin will be honored by Monte Fraker at the CBMC of Santa Barbara’s 58th Annual Community Prayer Breakfast on Sept. 22 as Monte shares his personal testimony to those in attendance.

Agustin was comforted in death by his favorite verse. In John 14:2, Jesus says, “In my house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” Agustin’s bags were packed and he was certainly prepared to meet his Maker.

Do you have your bags packed?

Passages to Ponder

» Psalm 23:1-6

» Isaiah 55:8-11

» John 14:1-4

» Galatians 5:22-26

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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