Testimony of Conversion
When I was young, I began attending a mission that was near our house, where I lived with my parents and my two younger sisters. When I was in fourth grade, my family moved to another area, and we stopped attending church altogether. When I became a young man, that’s where my spiritual crisis began, but I was still not attending any church. At 19 years old, I attended an evangelistic event in a Baptist church nearby, and while the preacher spoke about God I came under conviction of sin and repented, asking the Lord to forgive me for my sins and save me. From then on, I began attending that church, where I was baptized in September of 1987. There I began to grow spiritually and to serve the Lord.
In 1991 I felt that God was calling me to the ministry, but I almost ignored it because I wanted to continue serving without so much commitment and responsibility. The following year, the pastor along with the other leaders of the church proposed to me that I go to begin pastoring a mission in another town. Actually, it was the same mission that I had attended as a small child. The missionary that had been there for many years had passed away. Thanks to the grace of God, our work in that place was fruitful, and the mission was formally recognized as a church.
Call to the Ministry
Without really noticing it, God began to involve me more and more in the ministry and began to overcome my resistance to the call to serve him full-time as a pastor. I moved to another city and we began to devote all of our time to the work of the Lord. I began studying in a seminary, but as I finished my third year my scholarship was taken away because of doctrinal differences. That caused me to really question whether or not the Lord had called me to the ministry because it seemed like things had come to a screeching halt. But the words of Psalm 138:8 always came to mind, “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.”
During that time I married my wife, and we moved to her hometown. After getting to know the pastor of a nearby Baptist church, we began to attend there.
With time, the other men that had been removed from the seminary along with me (due to our doctrinal convictions) began attending that same church. As you would expect, we began to discuss among us these issues, and we decided to meet regularly to study these doctrines more thoroughly. We began to pray that the Lord would grant us the opportunity to form a church in which we would be able to teach what the Lord in His kindness had taught us from His Word. At that moment, we spoke with the pastor to communicate to him what we planned to do. Once we began to meet on our own, God was pleased to bless us, and He began to bring to His feet other lives to whom we preached the gospel. So the group began to grow little by little, not only in number but also in knowledge. On the 24th of January 1999, we were constituted as a church, and the brothers decided that I would be the pastor.