Testimony of Conversion
I was not born in a Christian home. I was raised under the customs of Roman Catholicism and for much of my childhood I worshiped images and enjoyed the Catholic festivals. We never read the Bible in my home and we never talked about the God of the Bible. We only talked about ceremonies for our idols and prayers for the dead. That was the closest I got to religion for a long time.
However, occasionally I was able to attend the events for children on Saturdays in the Baptist church—the same one where I would later pastor. During those events, they talked to us about Jesus Christ and we sang hymns together.
When I was twelve years old, an adult that attended the church at the time talked to us about the Word of God in a very personal way. That conversation convinced me that I needed to know this God that I had not yet come to know. I began attending the church faithfully and brothers and sisters from the church got around me and encouraged me to continue attending. I attended for nearly three years but I had a conflict with one of the brothers of the church and I stopped attending for a time.
A while later, after not attending, my older brother took me with him to a service for youth in the church. After that, I started attending frequently once again. But still, there was no transformation in my life and I was still seduced by the things of this world. But I kept going to the church.
The friends that I had at school had a very bad lifestyle and even though I did not participate with them in many of the things they did, I always wanted to be with my friends. This began to cause conflicts in my own mind, but nothing changed.
Around that time some of the students from the theological seminary in Sullana came to the church. They taught in a very clear and personal way and I began to experience different convictions. There was a group of young people who attended the church together, and since all of us were mere hearers of the word and not doers, one day we all went to a party together. The following Sunday I attended church convinced that I was fine to continue living this way without any problems. One of the seminary students opened the Bible and began to teach us, and at that moment I was broken by God’s Word. I felt like the filthiest person on the planet. But he also said that God could make us clean from all our sins.
From then on, I was never the same. Although the rest of the young people never came back to church, I continued attending by God’s grace. I got to know the believers in the church in a closer way and I enjoyed meeting with them. The pastor was an older man, but I appreciated the way he showed concern for me, and I was more and more encouraged each day. I was discipled and baptized in the church.
Call to the Ministry
The pastor of the church always talked to me about the lack of leaders in the church and I myself could see the need. The pastor began to give me certain responsibilities in the church and I enjoyed them. I always wanted to serve the brothers and sisters in the church and I wanted to be present for all of the church events in order to help. I also found that teaching and preaching the Word was something that I was passionate about.
I started bringing my parents to church and the Lord used my preaching to lead them to give their lives to Christ. That was something that encouraged me even more to serve the Lord and He put the desire in my heart to study at the seminary in the city of Sullana. So, when I finished high school I began my studies in the seminary.
Unfortunately, after the first year of studies, I started to suffer from a strong stomach illness, and along with that I also ran out of funds so that I could not continue in the seminary.
From that time on, I experienced constant struggles with my health. The pain was frequent and very difficult. I spent a lot of time praying and studying during that time because I was unable to work. I was growing in my knowledge of the Lord but I was always disappointed that I could not finish my seminary studies.
Because of the fellowship that I shared from time to time with other pastors in our area, I began to come to a better understanding of the Scriptures. I started reading good books and listening to preachers that helped me grow in my teaching in the church. My interest in Reformed theology grew more and more, so I wrote a bookstore that had Reformed books and they gave me several books for free, which was a great help to me in the ministry.
My sickness never went away and even though I have learned to live with it, it often causes me great difficulties. I have been close to death at times, but the Lord has delivered me each time. In 2021, the Lord delivered me not only from death as a result of the illness but he also preserved me through a bad accident in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
In the midst of each difficulty, I have seen the hand of the Lord at work. When I first got sick I was able to meet my wife and four years later we were married. The Lord has blessed us with three marvelous children. In some ways, my life has not been easy, but I also know that I am very privileged. God has given me the blessing of being ordained as a pastor. It is a great responsibility and something my heart is burdened for continually. I want to give my life in this work and I desire that those who listen to my teaching can come to know God as He is revealed in His Word.