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Pilar Laguardia, 73, left, with her daughter, Rebeca Ruiz Laguardia, 34. (Family photo)

​Spanish Housewife Writes to Rich and Famous

Madrid’s mayor wrote back, “I’m reading ‘The Great Controversy.’ It’s very interesting.”

By Rebeca Ruiz Laguardia

A Spanish housewife read a startling Ellen White passage that prompted her to embark on a 35-year letter-writing campaign to proclaim Jesus’ coming to Spain’s king and queen, prominent actors and singers, and late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The missionary initiative began the same day that the housewife — my mother, Pilar Laguardia — read the following statement in Ellen White’s “Christ Object Lessons,” page 230:

“Let the Lord’s messengers bear this in mind. To the shepherds of the flock, the teachers divinely appointed, it should come as a word to be heeded. Those who belong to the higher ranks of society are to be sought out with tender affection and brotherly regard. Men in business life, in high positions of trust, men with large inventive faculties and scientific insight, men of genius, teachers of the gospel whose minds have not been called to the special truths for this time — these should be the first to hear the call. To them the invitation must be given. There is a work to be done for the wealthy. They need to be awakened to their responsibility as those entrusted with the gifts of heaven. They need to be reminded that they must give an account to Him who shall judge the living and the dead. The wealthy man needs your labor in the love and fear of God. Too often he trusts in his riches, and feels not his danger. The eyes of his mind need to be attracted to things of enduring value. He needs to recognize the authority of true goodness, which says, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28-30. Those who stand high in the world for their education, wealth, or calling, are seldom addressed personally in regard to the interests of the soul. Many Christian workers hesitate to approach these classes. But this should not be. If a man were drowning, we would not stand by and see him perish because he was a lawyer, a merchant, or a judge. If we saw persons rushing over a precipice, we would not hesitate to urge them back, whatever might be their position or calling. Neither should we hesitate to warn men of the peril of the soul.”

What Can I Do?

The statement deeply impressed my mother. After she read it, she asked herself, “As a simple housewife, how can I reach these people?”

A moment later, she hatched a plan. She would listen to interviews with prominent people on radio and television and also read newspapers and magazines with their interviews. She would seek any hint of interest in eternal matters in their interviews and then introduce them to God.

My mother found many opportunities to share her love for God. She started writing a letter as soon as she heard someone say, “I wish I had faith” or “I’m agnostic” or “I have an emptiness inside.” My mother has an incredible ability to take a simple phrase and develop a theme for a letter. Without a doubt, the Lord has helped her give glory to Him.

In her letters, my mother takes a tender approach in presenting the Savior. She sends books, articles, and sermons with the letters.

My mother believes that the gospel must reach everybody, even if she doesn’t receive a reply. At the very least, the recipients have been offered the Water of Life.

My mother has written to politicians, authors, actors and actresses, singers, journalists, priests, bishops, archbishops, and Spanish presidents and government ministers. Some of the well-known recipients are Fidel Castro, Italian singer Al Bano Carrisi, author Paulo Coelho, author José Saramago, and Spain’s king, Felipe VI, and queen, Letizia. My mother also has written to imprisoned criminals about the love of Jesus, repentance, and the power of God’s forgiveness. She has lost count of how many letters she has written.

At a time when the Internet did not exist, she never had difficulty finding mailing addresses. Sometimes, newspaper articles offered clues for where to send the letters. Other times she called a television station or prison and somehow obtained the desired information as God opened doors.

Not everybody has responded to her letters, but quite a few have.

“The important thing is to plant seeds,” my mother said. “The work is from God. The Lord says: ‘Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1, NKJV).

My mother also likes Psalms 126:6, which says, “He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Those Who Wrote Back

Some of the most significant answers that she has received are as follows:

Madrid’s mayor wrote, “I greatly appreciate your health advice. I'm reading the ‘Conflict of the Ages’ series and I’m in the chapter ‘The Awakening in Spain’ in ‘The Great Controversy.’ It’s very interesting, and I will continue reading it.”

A well-known singer said, “Thanks for caring about my spiritual life.”

A prominent agnostic writer said, “I suppose that faith, dear friend, is the slow process of doubt. Who knows if the ear of wheat will blow away?”

An inmate convicted of three murders wrote, “Don’t leave me. Keep writing to me.”

A bishop expressed gratitude for “Steps to Christ” and the “Conflict of the Ages” series and wrote, “May Divine Mercy do what’s needed to bring us light.”

Another bishop said, “I want to study the Bible better and to serve God better. Maybe I need to correct some of my interpretations of the Bible.”

Isabel, a physician who abandoned her career to enter as a nun in a cloistered convent, kept contact with my mother by phone and letters for months after receiving “Steps to Christ,” the “Conflict of the Ages” series, and Bible study materials. In her first letter, she said, “You can send me all the Bible materials you want.” So, my mother did. The light of the everlasting gospel arrived in this Cistercian convent. The seed was planted, and the results are in the hands of God.

At the beginning of her ministry, my mother wrote by hand. When I was 15, my parents bought my first computer, and I started to help Mother in her precious work of planting gospel seeds in the souls of affluent people. My father helps by searching for Bible texts in the concordance and taking packages to the post office. We are working as a family for God!

My mother, born in the humble home of a Spanish shepherd 73 years ago, is joyfully leading souls in the flock of the Great Shepherd. I’m thankful to God for giving me such a mother, and I am grateful to be part of her ministry. May God grant my mother more years to proclaim the gospel until that wonderful day when Jesus comes to take us home.