In Memoriam - Cuco Moya
J Refugio (Cuco) Moya Garcia
March 13, 1965 - January 13, 2021
Cuco's huge smile always warmed the room.
For everyone who met and knew Cuco, his smile was hard to miss. Filled with authentic joy and a great love of life, it was present in the pictures of him holding his children or baptizing a member of his church, and so many more. It was clear to see on the day he married the love of his life, Robyn. You can see it in the weddings he officiated, and the church gatherings spent cooking over the grill. Each picture reveals a consistent story – the story of a man who loved Christ and shared that love with each person he met.
Cuco was born in San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato, Mexico. He was one of fifteen children, and is survived by eight of his siblings. He had a significant impact in the spiritual lives of his family—leading his mother, three sisters and niece to the Lord, and sharing Christ with other siblings as well.
On March 19, 2006, Cuco and Robyn joyfully committed their lives to each other and to God. At this time, Cuco joined Robyn in ministry with World Impact in San Diego, California. Together they ministered to men, women and children through neighborhood ministry: potlucks, community nights, church services, Sunday school and Christmas parties.
In 2007, Robyn gave birth to their first child, Isaac. Four years later, God blessed them with their second child, Elisabeth (Ely). Cuco's deep joy and love for his children was evident to all who knew him. "I loved watching Cuco parent his children. There was no restraint in his expressions of love for them. He wore his affection and pride in his children on his sleeve." (Paul Reams, friend of the Moyas).
In 2008, Cuco and Robyn partnered with Harbor Church. They ministered to the Spanish-speaking families in City Heights through evangelism and Bible studies. Then in 2012, he began church planting and pastoring Iglesia Puenta de Vida. Through his ministry, Cuco brought many people to the Lord. His ministry included distributing and serving food to those who were hungry and ministering to souls struggling with addiction and much more. From providing furniture to those who had none, caring for the fatherless and widowed, moving the evicted and stranded, driving the sick to hospitals and doctors for care, loving and dedicating babies, and Biblically counseling families with the wisdom from God, Cuco served and loved countless people. He and Robyn opened their home to many, showing the love of Christ through their hospitality. Cuco was always there for others. His heart and legacy is seen in how much his congregation and all of us loved him.
Cuco was trained in knowing God's Word through a four-year theological preparation program at The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) with World Impact. Cuco was also ordained in 2017 through the World Impact ordination process.
In 2020, he began transitioning the church to Pastor Martin Casas so he could continue to work with and train pastors both in the US and in Tijuana, Mexico. Cuco developed a TUMI site in Tijuana where pastors and leaders receive theological training. Half of the students could not afford the books, so Cuco raised the needed money and encouraged TUMI graduates to loan their books. He was truly passionate about training students in the Word of God.
It is impossible to capture the essence of Cuco and all that he meant to so many. The following are some quotes from friends and ministry partners:
- Something that distinguished the ministry God gave Cuco was his humility. Humility is not learned in seminars and institutes…Cuco was always humble and always considering others before himself. ~ Pastor Martin Casas, Iglesia Puenta de Vida.
- Cuco made everyone around him better because he was a servant, generous and patient. He made the whole team better; the whole world better. It was never about Cuco but rather about everyone else. He made me want to be a better person. ~ Karin Esselstrom
- I will remember Pastor Cuco for his devotion to God and his servant's heart to the people of the community. ~ Rebekah Xayachack
- The word that comes to mind with I think of Cuco is INTEGRITY. When Cuco committed to something you knew it was going to be done with the utmost honesty and thoroughness. My last image of Cuco was him sitting in our library at the WI Ministry Center studying and grading for TUMI class. He had all of his books and papers spread out all over the conference table preparing and getting his work done for class. Nobody told him to study and prepare for class and uphold the TUMI standard; he just did it. ~ Rich Esselstrom
- Serving alongside Cuco taught us so much about the heart of Jesus and the power of humility. Cuco was quick to put others first. Compassion and grace flowed through him. Cuco's legacy has shaped who we are and will continue to influence us for years to come. ~ Nate & Lydia Luers
- Cuco loved nothing more than to systematically teach through the gospels and other parts of scripture weekly with neighbors he loved. Soon they would learn the essentials of the faith and the unity that is found as God's family who deeply love Jesus Christ. The smile on Cucco's face is one I will never forget as I think of him baptizing new believers into the Family of God. Such a privilege and blessing! ~Robbie Zeller
- Cuco was for everyone a man of faith, prayer and action, and jealous for the Word of God, but one who enjoyed family and friends to the fullest and laughing with gusto. He'd often show up at gatherings with his pencas and a shovel ready to make his amazing barbacoa. Personally, he was a trusted friend who we turned to during the hardest of life’s crises, knowing he would sit with us in our pain and bring God's wisdom into the situation. With Cuco's passing we feel doubly impassioned to take and share the message of Christ that was never far from Cuco's mouth. ~ Katy and Julian Eusebio
Cuco will be deeply missed by his loving wife, children, and extended family, both in the United States and in Mexico. He will never be forgotten by his church and by his World Impact family. He will forever be in the hearts of his countless friends and ministry partners here and in Mexico.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6.12).
Cuco fought the good fight of faith.
Well done, good and faithful servant.
January 22, 2021 | Enrique E Santis
This dark world was a little brighter with Cuco in it. I felt his God-given light the very day he offered to help me train one of my pastors in Tijuana. He was like a flashflood, not thunderous or flashy, just moving in one direction, carrying all debris to clear the way for God’s work. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is right now assisting God’s angels in getting the place ready when our time comes.
January 23, 2021 | dawn stewart
Cuco radiated the joy of the Lord to Robyn, his family and those in ministry with him and around him. Robyn and family so sorry for your loss and thankful that you had the years to share in his life here on earth.
Sincerely, Dawn and Dana Stewart
January 25, 2021 | Daren Busenitz
Cuco was a dear and valued team member as a ministry developer on our World Impact Mobilization team. I had a great amount of respect for Cuco and the work he put in to prepare himself for that role. He was doing so well and such a great part of our team. A strong and wise man with a pastor’s heart that always blessed us in our meetings. He was gaining traction at getting TUMI going in Tijuana and many other connections. He was passionate and excited about our work as it connected with his deep passion to come alongside other pastors, church planters, and ministry leaders. His absence will leave a big hole on our team. May God grant us and especially his family his continued grace, mercy, peace, and comfort during these difficult days.
January 29, 2021 | Gregory Olson
I attended Pastor Cuco’s Spanish speaking church with my wife Hilda who spoke Spanish. I, however do not. Pastor Cuco always made it a point to come greet me and speak to me as best he could in English. He was always very kind and made me feel like part of his family. I will forever remember his kindness and Christ like example. My faith is strengthened by Pastor Cuco and wife Robyn.