Victoria pastor touches people through final moments of life
Gently holding the hand of Audrey Marek, Larry Green leans down and kisses her on the forehead before he leaves Port Lavaca Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Marek is one of many patients Green offers comfort and prayer to as a chaplain for Hospice of South Texas.
"There's no other feeling than touching so many lives before they die," said Green.
Marek died July 10 at the age of 61.
Green, of Victoria, is a pastor, hospice chaplain, father, husband and friend. But Green feels what most defines him is God because it's God who has called him to live the life he has today.
"I felt God calling me to Houston," said Green. He moved from Kansas to California and then to Texas.
But what God was also calling him to was a life of helping others.
Green, 53, opened God's Church of Restoration, a Pentecostal church, in Victoria in 2002 with a congregation of 40 to 50 people.
Green has had a positive impact on the people who have come through the doors of his church.
"He's a good man," said Luis Medina, a church member. Medina's relationship with Green has helped him to strengthen his life in marriage and at work through prayer.
"Thank God for the storms," said Green, preaching to his church July 7. Green believes it's the storms of life that have shaped him into the man he is today.
Green has survived 17 tumors in his kidneys and a heart attack. He believes it is out of the storms of life that people will grow.
"If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it," he said.
His work in Victoria doesn't end with the church. Green keeps busy as the chaplain at Hospice of South Texas.
"I've been to eight funerals in 10 days," said Green. Attending funerals is part of Green's duties at Hospice of South Texas. He also conducts house calls and visits patients in area nursing homes.
Green said being surrounded by death has helped him appreciate his own life.
"What we do does matter," he said.
When Green isn't with his patients, his absence is felt.
"We miss him," said Geneve Morales, a cancer patient Green visits in Port Lavaca. Morales is high spirited and positive for her condition, she said.
Once, she offered to cook cactus for Green on one of his regular visits to her home. "I'll just try it," said Green laughing.
At the end of the day, Green goes home to his wife, Carmia, and two granddaughters Leilani, 8, and Kameryn, 7.
After 14 years of marriage, Carmia is supportive of the life her husband has chosen.
"Whatever makes him happy," she said.
Green lives a life in pursuit of helping others, he said.
"Making a difference in the lives of people keeps me going."