Taos County, New Mexico
Celina Salazar

'Prayer warrior' isn't shy about sharing her faith, self with community
By Scott Sloan, For The Taos News

Celina Salazar has been giving the gift of faith and charity for most of her life.

She has seen a lot of history in Taos over the years, but she still stays rooted among the people of the community, whether to offer a prayer to those who are troubled, a home remedy for the sick, advice for those who seem caught over their heads by the tribulations of life.

"I think we've never lived in such a stressful time as we do now. We never had time to get into the trouble people get into now," Celina explained.

She tells a story about a classmate of hers who had one fountain pen that he shared with the entire class. This generous act is something Celina remembered over the years, as priorities in others have changed. Celina said this has adversely affected many who are trying to make their way in the world today.

But what makes Celina special to those who know her is her patience, tolerance and wisdom. She is gentle, but outspoken, and will use that demeanor to help many in the community who may be in trouble. Just before this interview she had been talking to a young couple who were having financial difficulties. They came to her because they knew that, if nothing else, she could send them away with encouragement and a sense of responsibility. Her willingness to help them was an indication of a generosity that is usually lacking among others who are often too preoccupied with themselves.

"What can you do? If someone comes to you in trouble, you can't just put them out on the street," Celina said, as if everybody feels the same way.

It's the strength of her faith that is the most remarkable thing to those who know her.

Celina has been called a "prayer warrior" by some of her friends. As a young girl, she decided to become a missionary and attended Christian College in Seattle.

"I surprised everybody by wanting to go," she remembered. She became a missionary with Brethren Home Missions in Arroyo Hondo. After many years of this work, she also went to work at the local church, teaching Sunday school, among other things.

"I wanted to serve the Lord, so I did whatever was needed," she said.

She still considers herself a missionary and still works at the enchilada dinners that the Taos Christian Academy has on the first Sunday of every month.

Celina is one of those special individuals who helps many people by the strength of her faith and her tolerant, but firm, manner. After so many years, her friends say that she still loves to visit others, is not shy about her faith, and is an indomitable spirit among the community.

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© Karen Mitchell