Note: This post was originally created for Web 2.0-Based Learning and Performance at FSU.

One of the highlights of my childhood was going on trips with my grandparents. My grandfather seemed to know everyone he saw and if he didn’t know them yet he made it a point to get to know them. He possessed this great love for everyone he met and they recognized that love.

He was a successful business man starting several furniture business in central Florida. Through out this time he had also been a leader in his church’s community. After he retired he put a lot of his efforts into supporting a great organization called Maranatha that builds churches all over the world.

Being an immigrant from Cuba he had a strong desire to build churches there. However, the Cuban government was not about to allow that. Instead of giving up though my grandfather used his network, along with prayer. He connected with people who had the money, others who had the know how, and many others. But that didn’t mean Cuba would let them build. Still closed.

He was not going to give up. So he continued to work his network. Eventually his network got him a meeting with a high level government official in Cuba. This is where he was able to make his plea. To start they allowed them to repair some dilapidated churches. Then they allowed them to build new ones. Still today they are building new churches in Cuba because my grandfather was able to use his network along with prayer.

I like what the book Networks says “Sparsely knit networks often provide bridges to multiple social worlds.” My grandfather used these bridges to accomplish some incredible things. He continues to be an inspiration to me.

The first part of this video talks about some of the work that he did. His name was Tem Suarez.

0 0 vote
Article Rating

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What a great story! Thanks so much for sharing it. I love to hear about how people use networks for good.


What a wonderful and inspiring story! We have focused a lot on how technology makes connections possible. But, really, it is about connecting PEOPLE. Technology is a tool and important for us to learn about so that we can make even more connections. But the important part is not the technology, but the people. Thank you for sharing.

Lee M

What a great grandfather! Thank you for sharing his story!!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x