Testimony of Conversion

Like every Peruvian or Latino, I was born in a Catholic home with many traditions and superstitions at its core; a lower middle class to poor and dysfunctional home, which was very natural in all the homes I knew.

With such a home and with the many changes of address I experienced as a child, it created a very strong sense of uprootedness in me and a great desire to belong. After several cities, neighborhoods, homes, schools and groups of friends… I found myself alone. Alone and working as a minor and having finished school; “free” from the daily task of cooking and raising my siblings since I was 13 years old and entered college; all new, but … without friends. Searching for meaning in my life pushed me on a wild quest to ‘belong’ to something. It was the time when the massive consumption of drugs among young people began. Without knowing much about them I discovered that, in the new neighborhood, each group of young people had its own standard of behavior and tastes: clothes, music, liquor and… drugs. And the latter was common among them, some groups consumed drugs and others were dedicated to alcohol consumption while staying away from drugs. I wandered among these groups desperately looking for acceptance.

Once accepted and feeling identified by one of them, little by little I was enslaved by drugs; cocaine paste being a poison for me and very subtle poisoning my being, my conscience… poisoning me. My personality and the few values, values at last, instilled by my parents dissolved until they almost disappeared, and I came to consider myself as a total human scum. I suffered a lot on my own, feeling dead and, eventually, desiring her because I gave up my life for lost. I collapsed. Frustrated and impotent, I wished to kill my father; of my mother I thought ‘how can this old woman not die at once’; of my little son, only a few months old, I shook him hard when he cried and rebuked him harshly ‘why were you born alive’; finally, I challenged God to kill me if I really was; I cursed him for not taking my life and allowing my family to continue suffering because of me.

Having given my life lost to drugs, I decided that death was the only solution and began to seek it. I kept telling myself, “Either a ‘tombo’ (police, slang then and now) kills me with a bullet; or another ‘drogo’ (also slang, for drug addict) kills me with a stab wound or the drug kills me, but to die.” After much searching for help, someone told me about a rehab center and, although I was already resigned and ready to die, something inside me encouraged me saying ‘go, maybe it is the last plank of salvation’; obviously I went and there I met my Savior and Lord, after many times of listening to very emotional and manipulative evangelistic messages, someone preached the Gospel with clarity and, defeated, I fell at His feet crying out for forgiveness and pardon. Not only did He forgive me, He saved me! I thank God that He ignored the bluster of a dead worm like me and made His love and the blood of His Son shed on the cross have the value and effect that from eternity past determined what is not to be true that which flows from Him as such.

One day, reading the Bible in Arequipa where I was invited by the then missionary in Peru, Pablo Washer, while I was interned in the NACER center, the Lord marked my life with a verse which is a sign of His will for me, maybe I do not like much what it says, but it generates a great joy to submit:

“But of nothing do I heed, nor esteem my life precious to myself, provided I finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I received of the Lord Jesus, to bear witness of the gospel of the grace of God.”

Since then I have been involved solely in serving Him. The first few months as a believer many times I sought secular work to support my family, but the Lord thwarted the opportunity to do so every time it presented itself. I understood that He wanted me in His full-time service; I always wondered, and still do, how can a dead worm like me serve the Lord of all creation?

Call to Ministry

I have been called to work with pastors, leaders and churches in the field, and the more remote the locations the better. No matter what I am called to do, whatever I am commissioned to do, I will do it when I am convinced that they will do a better job at the task they took on with joy. The scars on the heart and soul are a small reward compared to what these precious men and women carry in their own hearts, in their own souls. I am left with the joy that in eternity I will watch them, admiringly and from afar, as they are received by their Lord, acknowledging and thanking Him for the privilege I was given to serve Him by serving them.

How good the Lord is!