Whether serving as pastor, missionary, church planter, or ministering in his retirement years, Ramon Borrego lived humbly and practiced hospitality, engaging everyone he met in conversation. He had a passion for helping those in need, especially new immigrants to the U.S. from South and Central America. Ramon often could be found teaching a newcomer how to drive or moving donated furniture for a new family. Helping immigrants to acclimate while maintaining their own heritage brought him great joy. Ramon died Aug. 31. He was 92.
Born in Camaguey, Cuba, Ramon graduated from Los Pinos Nuevos Seminary in 1955, then pastored a congregation in Alacranes, Cuba. When Fidel Castro came to power in the late 1950s, carrying out repressive measures against the church, many American missionaries left, and Ramon took the leadership role in CRC’s Cuba mission. He served Iglesia Evangelica Reformada of Cuba from 1962 to 1966. In 1966 the Borregos themselves decided to leave Cuba via Spain. Shortly after they arrived in Spain, Ramon received an invitation from Christian Reformed Home Missions (now part of Resonate Global Mission) to start a Spanish-speaking church in Hoboken, N.J. Six years later, the Borregos went to serve for five years as missionaries in La Plata, Argentina, where he pastored the existing church and planted new churches in two suburbs of the city. Returning to the U.S. in 1978, Ramon pastored El Buen Samaritano CRC (The Good Samaritan, now called Sunlight Miami).
In 1989, Ramon left El Buen Samaritano and helped plant Iglesia Buenas Nuevas (Good News) CRC in south Miami. The church started as a Bible study attended by a dozen people and by 1992 had grown enough to organize into a church. Ramon retired there in 1995. Whenever he was able, he continued to serve that church and other surrounding congregations in need.
Ramon collected coins and stamps from Cuba and also loved old cars. He restored antique furniture after he retired, and his family treasures many pieces that he refinished.
He is survived by Norma, his wife of 62 years; two children; and three grandchildren.