Written by Mai Truong
In the Bible, Mathew 5:3 says that “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” Joaquin is a person who has always been interested in spiritual matters.
He was born in Puerto Rico on March 9th, 1927 as the oldest child of Joaquin and Angelita Rodriguez. Joaquin grew up on a farm, learning how to plant beans, corn and other foods. The family had a hill on their property where their two cows would roam. It was on this farm that Joaquin developed a love for plants, gardening and nature.
When Joaquin was young, his family moved to the city of Barceloneta, where there was abundant work in sugar factories. He attended school there and upon graduating, Joaquin decided to continue on with his education studying scripture and theology. He moved to Nayak, New York to attend seminary school. It was there that he met Sarita. Upon graduating from seminary school, they married and started a long career in the ministry together.
Joaquin and Sarita stayed for some time in New York, observing how other ministers worked to support the local churches. After some training, they received orders for Joaquin to be a pastor in Corpus Christi. He helped organize a church of over 300 people. Sarita played the piano and they made a good team. New orders took them back to New York where they remained for a few years and had their two eldest children. They returned to Corpus Christi later on, so that Sarita could benefit from the warmer weather while undergoing some health issues. Once she recovered, they assisted congregations in New Jersey, Connecticut and San Diego. Despite living in different cities over the years and having an active and busy life, Joaquin and Sarita always made sure to tend to the needs of their five children. They were focused on the well-being on their family and strove to raise their children to be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. They traveled back at times to visit Puerto Rico and get some much-needed rest, but always made sure to keep an eye out to help anybody in need.
After many years helping others, Joaquin decided to retire and stay in San Diego, as he says it reminds him of Puerto Rico. Time for Joaquin is spent outdoors as much as possible. He continues to have a green thumb and enjoys tending to all sorts of plants, especially if they yield fruit or vegetables. Joaquin can often be found out in the courtyard, tending to the garden. He also likes writing, studying scripture and coming to the dining room early to catch up with friends. We appreciate Joaquin’s polite, kind and helpful nature and look forward to conversing with him each day.
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