Louie Marin of Rumford says that because he and his family received food and clothing from caring people in the community while he was growing up, he knew he would do the same, if he could, in his lifetime. His faith in Jesus keeps him praying for others and he is always looking to find ways to meet others’ needs. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Louie Marin of Rumford acknowledges that the food and care his parents and seven siblings received from community members when he was young prepared him to want to do the same for others.

“My basis of giving goes way back,” Marin said. “I grew up in Milton Plantation, in a home in the woods with no electricity. We had food stamps, welfare. We were a poor family. My grandmother worked at The Salvation Army, and she would bring us stuff from there and Dot Sanchas (the founder of the ‘Free Store’ in Rumford who passed away in 2008) brought us stuff for Christmas and Thanksgiving and you name it,” he said.

“So, I grew up knowing the value of somebody having given something to us. And I said, whatever I have to give, I’ll give,” Marin said.

Aside from his appreciation for what he and his family received, he said acknowledging Jesus Christ as his savior helped him in his life.

“Sometimes in life when things get really bad, if you’re not ‘saved’ (by acknowledging Jesus as personal savior) there is a big hole in your life, in your soul. You might say (it’s) a Jesus-size hole, but you don’t know it!” Marin said.

When he was 26 years old and in the Air Force stationed in North Dakota, he and his wife divorced, leaving him feeling depressed and like he was “barely hanging on,” he said. When he was working as an aircraft mechanic crew chief or taking care of his 1-year-old daughter he had a focus. But when he wasn’t, he would engage in “bad behavior — drinking beer, raising heck and just doing all this crazy stuff,” he said.

Louie Marin’s Bible. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Marin knew he couldn’t continue that without sinking deeper into depression, so when friends asked him to attend their church he decided to go. He enjoyed it and it gave him something positive to do, and made him feel good while he was there, he said.

He helped install Sheetrock and insulation in a new church building and eventually became a member and accepted the Lord as his savior.

Now, years later, he continues expressing Jesus’ love by giving to others and praying for people. It is important to have an active prayer life, he stresses, and to have fellowship with Christians.

If someone needs his help emotionally or in other ways, he says, “I’m not going to question what you believe right now, but I’m going to pray for you.”

Marin also believes in serving others in need. Recently he gave his new coat to a man who had none after his home burned.

“I didn’t need it,” he said.

You can be sincere, and it only really takes a minute, almost a second to care for another person, to try to make their day better,” Marin said. “What the heck are we doing here if we’re all just living for ourselves and not passing (prayer and care) on to other people?”

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