Testimony of Conversion
It is very obvious that our lives apart from Christ are not anything good, since that is our nature as descendants of Adam. Throughout my youth, I was a rebel. I was disobedient to my mother and I felt great hatred for my father. He was married to another woman and could not live with us. As the years passed my hatred for him became rooted in the deepest part of my heart.
From the time I was fifteen years old, God sent men to preach the Word of God to me. I rejected all of them and the gospel of Christ that they were preaching. One time they had me repeat a prayer and told me that I was saved by Jesus, but in my heart, I continued rejecting the message of Christ.
I finished my studies in school in 1976 and was certified as a mechanic. I immediately joined the Peruvian army and I served my country for one year. God used one of my comrades to speak to me about the wonderful Word of God, but every time I rejected the message of the gospel.
When I left the army I went to work in other places to practice and gain experience in my trade. I ended up in Lima where I lived for two years and God sent other preachers to me there, but I kept refusing the gospel.
I returned to Sullana and worked in the city of Piura. It was there that I met my wife, Clorinda. We began living together in 1981 and our first months were not good. I was a very carnal man. Our daughter Ruth was born at that time. I verbally mistreated Clorinda and I did not want anything to do with her, to the point that she eventually returned to her mother’s house with our daughter Ruth. She left me alone, and I thought that this was best for me. It was in that state that God worked powerfully in my heart.
After Clorinda had left and had taken our seven-month-old daughter with her, I began to feel in my heart like something important was missing. I did not understand what was going on, but I felt deep anguish and desperation. While I was in bed in the midst of this depression not knowing what to do, God worked in a surprising way. I looked up to the top part of my wardrobe and saw part of the leather cover of the Bible sticking out. The Bible was given to me as a gift many years prior. I began to read the Gospel of John because when the person gave me the Bible they told me that I should start by reading that Gospel.
So, that is what I did, and as I read John it became more and more interesting to me. Even though I did not understand everything I was reading, I kept reading and I came to understand three things, at least at a superficial level:
First, I understood that Christ was the great I AM. His miracles, healings, Lazarus’s resurrection all convinced me that He was the Bread of Life that I needed. I saw that He died for me and that He carried my sins away and that I needed Him as my Savior.
Second, I understood through His Word how sinful I was. I saw how empty my life was and that only God was able to fill it.
Third, I understood that at that moment, a miracle happened. God changed my heart and I began to weep and I cried out to Him. Everything was the result purely of His grace.
When all of this happened, I made the decision to go to Piura to see my wife, but she did not want to see me. I had to talk with her mom and ask her for forgiveness for the terrible way that I had treated her daughter. I asked her to give me another opportunity. My mother-in-law went to talk with Clorinda and a few minutes later Clorinda came out to see me. I asked her to forgive me for the terrible man that I had been toward her and I asked her to give me another opportunity. I told her that if I continued treating her badly she had the freedom to return home. I told her about what the Lord had done in my life. She forgave me and came to live with me again with our daughter.
After this great miracle, I began to attend a Baptist church called Divino Redentor. The pastor there was Angel Colmenares. To God be the glory today and forever for all of the wonderful things He has done and for saving me through the gospel of Christ!
Call to the Ministry
While I was a deacon in the church I also studied in a theological seminary in Sullana for three years. As was the practice for all the students, I visited other churches in our region and God allowed me to help those churches in the work of the ministry.
I finished my studies on August 9, 2002, and a few months after finishing, Pastor Angel invited me into his office and asked me if I would like to be the pastor of a church in Mallaritos. I accepted the invitation. I told him, “It is a great privilege and responsibility to serve the Lord in the ministry to which He calls me.”
When I arrived at the church, there were only three people present, all elderly. Through the years God has added believers to the church who have been redeemed by the Lord. Throughout all the time that the Lord has had me in the ministry, I have seen his marvelous hand at work in the building up of the church. To Him be the glory! I ask the Lord to give me the strength to continue serving Him in the preaching of the gospel.