Ricardo-Martin Marroquin remembers well the day he became connected with Redeemer. Dr. Douglas Loney, then dean of arts and foundations, called Marroquín’s father looking for help with advertising a Spanish teaching position that had been difficult to fill. Marroquín’s uncle answered the phone and immediately passed it to him. He interviewed for the position later that day and was hired shortly after.
“They told me I was a godsend and that they’d been praying for the right person to fill this position. I told them they were actually the godsend. We’d both been praying for the same outcome!” said Marroquín. That was 15 years ago. He has been teaching Spanish and Italian at Redeemer ever since.
This wasn’t the first time Marroquín had seen God’s hand on his life. While his recently released novel Our Silent Journey is fiction, he admits that much of the story is based on his own story of coming to Canada from Peru to join his father.
I want to do things for God’s honour and glory…He is transforming my thinking and I want to give him glory for that.
“My father made friends with a pastor here in Canada who really wanted to help us. They were there for us. They opened their hearts and their home,” said Marroquín, explaining how his family came to know Jesus as their saviour. He came from a Roman Catholic Apostolic background, but says they never opened the Bible. “God found us here.”
Marroquín aims to raise awareness for support for newcomers through his novel. It’s the story of struggle as newcomers learn a new language and new culture in Canada. “There’s a heavy component of how to support people experiencing this and how to support English language learners,” he says. Supporting newcomers has become a passion for him, as he also works for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board as an assessor. He meets with students who are new to the country or the school board and recommends appropriate supports for them in literacy and numeracy.
“I try to do my work for others’ benefit. I’m here to serve. I want to do things for God’s honour and glory,” Marroquín explains. “He is transforming my thinking and I want to give him glory for that. He just gives us grace immeasurably!”