Relevents: Scherazada Guzmán
Soldier Scherazada Guzmán of the Bayamón, P. R., Corps talks with SAConnects about the blessings of her retirement, her early morning reflections with the Lord, and what she looks forward to the most when she visits the United States.
Returning to The Salvation Army was a milestone in my life.
I had come from a family of Salvationists. But for a long time, I stayed away from the Church. Years later, my son developed problems with drug and alcohol addiction. Seeing him suffer took a toll on me and my health. At my lowest, my sister invited my husband and me to an Army service. They prayed for us. In my heart, I felt God’s presence calling me to return to The Salvation Army. When I accepted Christ into my life, it was as if He placed armor on me for protection. Though my son is still on the path to recovery, I put everything in God’s hands. Putting Him first has made everything easier to manage.
My mornings are sacred. I’m the first one in my house to get up. Now that I’m retired, my family asks, “Why don’t you get more sleep?” But mornings are my best time to connect with God. I have coffee, then I just pray, reflect, worship, and thank Him for the day ahead. My family knows that if they interrupt my morning routine, they’ll get a glare from me. Even our puppy knows it!
My three grandchildren are my heart. I try to be a positive influence on them. From an early age, they attended the corps with me. I teach them the importance of honoring their parents and of putting God first in everything.
The Lord blessed me with five brothers and a sister. They are a huge part of my life. Two of my brothers, Ariel and José Alberto, are Salvation Army officers. My sister is a soldier at the Geneva, N.Y., Corps. Although we are quite far from each other, I try to visit them as often as I can. When they needed my support, I traveled from Puerto Rico to the U.S. to help them.
I’m no stranger to harsh U.S. winters. In fact, I love cold weather! I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Every February I travel to Freeport, N.Y. That’s when my brother José and his wife Ana attend a corps retreat. While they’re away, I have the joy of taking care of the children. I spend time with my family, and I help their corps in some small way. That makes me happy.
Retirement turned out to be a beautiful thing. After working 40 years as a secretary, I was nervous about it. I feared I’d be just sitting around doing nothing. But the Lord opened so many doors for me, it seemed like a gift. Having more time to be at the corps allowed me to rediscover interests such as music and working with young people. Today, I’m part of the worship ministry, and I serve as a women’s ministry leader. And just as it was done for me, I’ve introduced women to the Lord and to His guidance.
interview by Hugo Bravo