“I was travelling to Brazil and I was realizing that maybe my personal life and home was not going in the same sense as my professional career. I was losing interest for my family because it was so delicious to be going up in the organization, to be receiving international trainings… When I returned from Brazil, Jesus (his eldest son)…it was 4 or 5 in the morning, was in the stairs and he hit me with Karate. At first I thought he was teasing me but no, he was hitting me. And he said, ‘I hate you, I hate you.’ (And I said) ‘Why? Why?’ It put me in shock. ‘Because my mom is so sad. And you never are here.’ And then Jesus started being sick. We were in 6 or 7 hospitals. One place then another place…. And then I said ‘Lord, my life needs to change. I don’t know the balance. I don’t know what is the real sense of my life.”
Armando Balseca is the father of my friend and colleague, Jesus Balseca (I’ve always said it’s great to have Jesus on speed-dial!) When Jesus recommended that his sister could help produce & translate for Portraits In Faith in Mexico City, I did not realize that a life-long connection with his family would ensue. Armando’s interview deeply touched my soul because he struggled with the things I struggle with. The “deliciousness” of feeling important. The seduction of prioritizing work over family. Anyone who struggles with these same things will find Armando Balseca’s interview quite meaningful. He quit his job as an executive with Nestle and moved his family to live among the poor and do service work with the Church for 3 years. It was among the best times of his life, Armando says. And it taught him that the message of Jesus is real.