In September of 2014, Ruben and his family were sent out by Grace Ministries International to begin training pastors in Ruben’s home country of Spain through the Berea Bible Seminary in Leon. The seminary focuses on training pastors, elders, and other men in expository preaching through seminars and conferences. HeartCry is helping Ruben and his family with a portion of their monthly support.
Testimony of Conversion
Even though I was brought up in a Christian home, I led a sinful life until the day of my salvation when I was 23 years old. Before that, my life was characterized by sin. It was the only goal that I pursued. I engorged myself with any pleasure that the world could offer, only to find myself even more unsatisfied. Honestly, I hated God and wanted nothing to do with Him.
In the midst of this sinful life, my heart, stubborn and blind, never saw its need for repentance until the night of October 21, 2003, when God brought me to the end of myself. I had chosen to walk down the path of sin, BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love made me alive together with Christ. In His providence He led me to the circumstances that would eventually bring me to salvation. I had left the church and destroyed every single relationship that I had, abandoned my family, and quit my job. As a result, I was submerged in despair, desperate and lifeless. But it was then that God found me. In the most hidden place, in the darkest hour, He shone forth and saved me. When I hated Him most, He loved me.
At that point in my life I was living together with a woman who was an unbeliever. One night somebody asked me a simple question, “How could you believe that you are a Christian and live such a sinful life?” It was at that moment that the Spirit opened the eyes of my heart, and I understood that my upbringing did not save me. I saw and understood the weight of my sin, and I could do nothing else but come to Christ. Immediately after my conversion I ended that sinful relationship, moved out, and went back home to ask for forgiveness from the people that I had sinned against.
Since the time that the Lord saved me my life has changed radically. God gave me an unquenchable thirst and hunger for His Word and a deep love for His church. I diligently desire and strive to walk in obedience to Him. I have grown to love God and to realize the vastness of my sin, but I also find that my sin never surpasses the everlasting grace of God. In the words of John Newton, “I am a great sinner, but Christ is a great Savior.”
Call to Ministry
Since the day that God saved me, I have had an insatiable desire for His Word. No matter how much I was getting, it was never enough! I could think of only one thing – to dig deeper and deeper into His Word. This led me to apply to a small Bible school in South Carolina—The Evangelical Institute of Greenville. As soon as I was accepted, I was granted a full work scholarship. God used the school to reveal Himself to me through the truth of Scripture and to increase my desire for ministry. It was a small glimpse of heaven. There I learned the main lesson that has shaped my Christian life: “The centrality of the person of Jesus Christ.” This unique truth is life-changing and must be lived out and preached. Jesus Christ is worthy of such commitment. After those years I could not think of anything else but to show Christ to His Church.
In South Carolina, I realized that the more I studied the Scripture the more I learned of its divine Author. Hence, my desire to study the Word of God grew more and more. In July 2007, I went back to Spain and began to minister full time at my home church. The elders confirmed God’s call on my life for ministry, and this led me to prepare even more diligently. I saw that I was an unworthy servant who was able to serve only by the wonderful grace of the Father.
In time, I decided to study at The Master’s Seminary. Humanly speaking, attending was impossible. But God miraculously opened the door and took me there. He faithfully provided everything I needed as I studied for both of my degrees. In addition to studying, I was also able to serve at the Spanish ministry of Grace Community Church, where the opportunities to teach grew exponentially. The elders of this church also confirmed my call to ministry and have sent me back to Spain to serve here and train pastors and preachers. The Lord has graciously opened the door for us to serve Him and His church in my home country!
If I could summarize my call to ministry, it is just an unquenchable desire to serve God’s Church through the preaching of His Word and discipleship. God created a great desire to study and preach His Word. I cannot ignore it; it is like a burning fire. I cannot see myself doing anything else with the life that God has given me. This desire is what I understood as my call to ministry. My life’s goal is to bring glory and honor to God’s name, only by His grace.