If you’ve ever eaten in our dining hall during a weekend retreat or a family camp, you’ll most likely have met Juve Muniz. Juve is undisputedly the most commended staff member on our conference/retreat evaluations. Juve’s infectious personality and sense of humor are incredible blessings not only to our guests and conferees but to all of us on the staff. His gift of hospitality along with his heart for people are evident to all those who meet him. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Juve to talk about his life and story.
Juve was born in Chicago and lived there until entering 3rd grade when his family moved to Mexico. He lived in Mexico until he returned to the U.S. at the age of 20.
Juve shared with me about a very impactful day in 1994,
“When I was in my early 30’s I had gone for a run with a friend and suddenly an unknown cerebral aneurysm ruptured. The doctors later learned I was born with a weakened area in my brain. This accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury that would change my life forever.”
Before Juve’s injury he was in the customer & food service industry. He managed several restaurants: Winchell’s Donuts, Fresh Choice and Uno Mas. This may be one of the reasons Juve feels so at home in our food service ministry as a server.
“After my injury, I lived at the Assisted Living Project, a home for people with major injuries. The woman who managed the house connected me to Mount Hermon where her husband worked. I began my work in the dining room. I became a Christ follower after I began working at Mount Hermon.”
How is God using your gifts at Mount Hermon?
“My gift is service. I believe that God is with me when I’m serving and people see Him in me. God has given me a
good sense of humor and I enjoy making people happy.”
What are some of your passions outside of Mount Hermon?
“I walk a lot, everywhere really, since I don’t drive. I ride the bus for transportation and make friends along
the way, I’m very likeable. I do a lot of games and puzzles to continue to strengthen my memory.”
What’s new on the horizon for you in your area of ministry?
“I know I want to continue to stay at Mount Hermon and do what I’m doing. I believe in myself and what I do here.”
I want to share with you a beautiful story Juve shared with me:
“I came to the Reception desk one afternoon and asked if I could get a copy of the evaluations from the most recent family camp. The receptionist was curious as to why. I told her I wanted to send it to my mother so she could see what people said about me and my work—so she would be proud of me. I wanted her to be proud of me. She went to retrieve the evaluations she had printed but was gone a long time and I wondered what had happened. It all made sense when she returned and gave me the forms. She’d taken the time to highlight each one of the comments about me!”
I asked Juve if it made his mother proud and he said, “Very!”
I did some research of my own from our Fall Women’s Retreat and here’s
just a small sampling.
“Juve put a smile on my face”
“Juve, so friendly, such great service”
“Juve – coffee guy – loved him!”
“Juve – cheerful server”
“Our server, Juve, was like an ambassador, positive, welcoming, thanking us for coming, smiling & warm.”
“Juve – outstanding!!”
Juve truly exemplifies the words Jesus spoke in Matthew,
The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. – Matthew 23:11–12 (NIV)