From Jason Davis: I served under Juan Carlos Avila from January 1976 until the end of his term in 1977. I had lost touch of the events in his life and was unaware that he had passed away. I sit in my office stunned as I read your news. Just let me pass on a few thoughts that I am sure each missionary had regarding Juan Carlos Avila.
He was a man of tremendous love. I had never felt such Christ like love until that point in my life. The first time I met him, he greeted me with a huge hug, kissed me on the cheek and told me that he loved me. I, being of English ancestry was unfamiliar with this type of affection and questioned in my mind whether it was sincere. Over time, I found this love to be beyond question and without guile. I had the opportunity to work in the office with President Avila and felt his love directly for 5 successive months. I was able to spend three days with him in Buenos Aires writing the History of the mission he loved so dearly. I can recall becoming tired of writing and complaining that my back hurt. He instructed me to lay on the bed in our room and proceeded to massage my back in order to provide me comfort. Here I was, a twenty year old missionary being served by a true servant of God. I knew he was tired but I also knew that he was teaching me lessons of service without desire of reward. We had many personal meeting where he became intimately familiar with my weaknesses. I had never felt the desire to convey such willingness to serve a cause as I did working through President Avila. He was such an inspiration. I truly felt that for me I had been provided a gift from heaven when I was in his presence. I will always be grateful for the lessons he taught me. May God continue to bless his family.