Miguel Burgazzoli serves as a pastor in a church renewal project in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is a city and capital of Gran Canaria island, in the Canary Islands (Spain), on the Atlantic Ocean.
Testimony of Conversion
I had just turned ten years old, the first time my father, who had been recently saved by the Lord, took me to church along with my mother and my brothers. During the following years, I attended Sunday school and Sunday services without any major problem. However, when I reached my teenage years, I slowly began to lose interest in the things of the Lord and my life started to be characterized by pretending to be someone I was not. I attended the church, because my parents took me, but I was truly not interest in the Lord. As I entered my late teens, my spiritual situation worsened. I went sporadically to church, but my life was characterized by living a sinful life. I argued with my parents and started to frequent night clubs where I would drink and date girls. Afterwards, I would go to church, not to hear the Word, but only to please my parents so that I could go out with my friends.
During that time, despite being apathetic to the Lord in my own heart, the elders of my congregation patiently prayed for me and even encouraged me to be baptized. I took a “preaching” course, and I even preached some sermons on Sunday Morning and Evening services, but it was all farce. Thus, the years passed and I lived a double life without the fear of the Lord or love for Him. Years later, when I was thirty-six-years-old, the Lord in His mercy rescued me from my sin and saved me. At that time, I had a stable life and a well-paid job. I had been dating an unbelieving woman for ten years and we were going to marry. I had everything I needed to be “happy” according to the world. However, on Friday, August 20, 2004, I became very sad. I could not stop crying and I did not know why. I thought I was depressed, so I decided to do what my pastors always told me to do—pray. I prayed and I prayed, and I prayed to the Lord with tears: “Lord, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but please take away what I have.”
The following Monday, August 23, I lost my job and my relationship with my unbelieving fiancée was broken. Just like that all my plans were gone. In one weekend! The next six months were horrible, but only one thought came to my mind “The Lord saved me.”
Since that day, 16 years ago, the Lord has gradually redirected my life and my heart. Although my struggles did not end, the Lord gave me love for Him and His Word. I began to study the Bible. My younger brother lent me a book by Pastor John MacArthur, entitled, “Slave.” I read it in one night. Immediately, I started looking for MacArthur sermons on YouTube. Those sermons opened my eyes to the truths of the gospel, and I understood that the Lord had shown me great mercy, because despite having been His enemy and a scoffer, He loved me and even saved me. Shortly after, I fell ill with what seemed to be laryngeal cancer. Praise the Lord that it was not, but that illness, which lasted several months, made me see that without Christ there is no hope. At that moment, I resolved to live each day as If it were my last and not waste my life but serve the Lord.
A few years later, the Lord gave me a wonderful gift in my beloved wife, Alejandra. The Lord even put in my heart the desire to be trained to know Him more and to serve Him in my local church. This is when I began to attend the Berea Seminary. The Lord has been very good to me in my life: He gave me a new life, a wife, and a purpose to live. God has been so good to me. I did nothing. The Lord has done it all in my life!
The Call to Ministry
Since the Lord saved me, my only desire was to get home from work and dedicate myself to reading His Word, Bible commentaries, and watching sermons. However, it never crossed my mind to become a church elder or preacher. It was not that I did not have the desire, but I always saw it as distant and improbable because of my past life of sin. My desire was to know more about Christ.
In time, the Lord saw fit to disband that elder board of the church. Some passed away, others left the church, and even the youngest member got sick and died. This was devastating for the congregation because it was left bereaved of any leadership at that time. Those were very difficult years for our church body. The preaching was not what it should have been and there were hardly any ministries functioning at the time. Although the Lord took care of us, humanly speaking, the church meeting was not marked by the preaching the gospel or the exaltation of Christ.
In time, I began to see a growth in my desire to know and serve Christ better. Alongside other faithful young men, we took the responsibility to lead our local church. At the same time, we were trembling because, many times, we did not know whether or not we were doing things the right way. Because of this, after a time of prayer, the Lord gave me the desire to study the Word of God at a seminary. I believe that He directed me to study with the purpose of continuing the work of the ministry and to train other faithful men. I shared this desire with my fellow elders and after praying for months, the Lord gave me the opportunity to study at the Seminary “Berea” in León, Spain.
Currently I serve the Lord as an elder, by preaching and teaching His Word. I get to serve in, what is for me, the most beautiful church in the world. This is where the Lord brought me as a ten-year-old child. This is the place where the Lord was patient with me while I lived in my sin for over 25 years. And this is where the Lord is still giving me many opportunities to serve Him so that others might know Him. This is where I preach His Word and exalt our blessed Savior.