Missionary killed in Moscow | NevadaAppeal.com

Missionary killed in Moscow

Rhonda Costa-Landers, Appeal Staff Writer

Hector Gido had a heart of gold and was one of God’s greatest gifts to people of many walks of life, according to his friends in Carson City.

Gido’s 34 years came to an end Dec. 11, when he was stabbed to death in Moscow.

He was a missionary in Russia, who shared his work in the United States and worked as an interpreter in Russia for Revival Fires Ministries. It was there he met the Rev. Ken Haskins of First Christian Church in Carson City.

For more than 10 years, he helped Haskins distribute Bibles and spread the word of God.

“The police are still investigating his murder,” Haskins said. “They’re not sure of a motive, but there are a lot of possibilities.”

Haskins suspects robbery. Gido worked with Americans, and his killer may have wanted his U.S. currency.

“It’s hard to know at this point,” Haskins said.

He said when he told his wife, Cathy, about the murder, they sat down and cried. He could barely speak the words to her.

“We have so many great memories of Hector. He touched so many lives, not only in Russia, but in our country,” he said.

Haskins met Gido in October 1991, in what was then the Soviet Union. Haskins was on a crusade, and Gido was an interpreter for the trip. Gido also worked with evangelist Billy Graham and Josh McDowell, an apologist and author.

“He worked with me on six of seven crusades,” Haskins said. “We just loved Hector. On our trips, we would visit hospitals and orphanages. He started God’s Gift Ministries and raised funds for a children’s camp.

“He was a very talented and skilled person. We’re really going to miss him.”

After graduating from Moscow State University with a degree in teaching English and Spanish, Gido worked as an interpreter. He spoke Russian, Spanish and English fluently. He was born and raised by his mother in Moscow and frequently visited his father in Colombia, learning to speak Spanish from him and at the university. He also played the piano and sang.

“There wasn’t much the guy couldn’t do,” Haskins said. “He’s a great loss to the kingdom. But we know he’s in a better place. We’re praying for his mom, Nadia Agafonova, and his widow, Lena. They were only married about two years.”

Haskins once took Gido to Disneyland.

“And he just loved our supermarkets. He was overwhelmed with our stores and how plentiful food was. And the buffets — he just went nuts over John Ascuaga’s buffet.”

Gido also loved Christmas. Haskins said Gido was in the process of getting a visa to visit again for the holidays.

Carson City resident Cheryl Moreland, a nursing teacher at Western Nevada Community College, used Gido as an interpreter on a visit to Russia.

“He escorted two tours for me,” Moreland said. “He became one of my best friends; he was wonderful.”

Moreland said she and Gido spent a lot of time together. He taught her a little Spanish and Russian. She also spent a month in Russia with Gido and his wife.

“Hector wanted people to know there were good Russians,” Moreland said. “All the people I met were warm and welcoming. This is a very sad loss.

“Hector would give up food so his neighbors could eat. When he was here, we’d fatten him up before sending him back home.”

Haskins will hold a memorial for Gido at First Christian Church on Saturday.

“It’s open to anyone who would care to be there,” Haskins said. “He spoke in a lot of churches, schools and to service clubs in our community. This is an opportunity to show our respect. His was a life lived in the service of the Lord, as a selfless person.”

IF YOU GO

What: Memorial service for Hector Gido

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: First Christian Church, 326 E. John St.

Cost: Love offering accepted for Gido’s family. Tax-deductible donations may be made to First Christian Church; note Hector Gido fund on check

Call: 883-4836