I grew up in a Christian family out on the mission field; I guess I am what you call a third generation missionary, because it all started with my grandpa moving to Mexico on a crazy mission. We are still here and our focus is on reaching the deaf children by giving them an education, but more importantly telling them about Jesus. I have lived my whole life in Mexico (Yes, I am an American citizen; my parents drove to San Diego from Mexico and birthed me, and then went back. However, I am also a Mexican citizen, but don’t ask me how that works). I grew up knowing what was right and wrong because I was taught that way, but I was not really living for Jesus. I rarely read my Bible (to a point where I avoided it) and barely prayed, and if I did, it was the same prayer every time.
There are two important events that lead to my rededication of my life to Jesus. One was when I was 18 years old; I worked at Hume Lake Christian Camps. I attended (more likely forced/peer pressured in) a Bible study where the Spirit moved me, and I learned the importance of having a relationship with God through his Word and prayer. The second one happened the next summer on a missions trip to Spain and Morocco, and there I learned from the missionaries how we should Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, the second greatest command is love your neighbor as yourself. And these events deeply affected my walk with Jesus, and it’s a continuous process of understanding of what it means to be a Christian and to love God.
After I graduated High school, I felt this intense desire to stay at my parent’s ministry and help out. This went on for three years, and on my third year I felt like I should go to college. I had no idea where. I looked at Universities in Ensenada, Mexico and also looked at some colleges in San Diego. I wanted to study Biology and be a scientist…I don’t know why, but I just did. I figure that I would major in Biology, and return to teach, not necessarily to the deaf, but at public and private high schools in Ensenada. My father offered to take me to visit a Christian college in San Diego because they had a small biology program, and it was also Christian, so that was a plus I guess. We went to the college, toured the campus and it was really nice, but the tuition was around $20,000 a year. Since being a missionary is such a lucrative business (that was sarcasm if you didn’t know), I thought, “how in the world is my dad going to afford this?” and as usually my dad said, if God wants you there, He will provide.
Now during this whole time, I had started reading a nice little book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. That book brought up so many issues of an authentic relationship with the God of the Universe that I never have thought of, and what loving God, loving people and following Jesus looked like. I had started on my application for the Christian college in San Diego, and as I was finishing my book, my dad tells me, “You know that Francis Chan started a Bible College?” I did not know that. Then he said, “Yeah, it’s supposed to be very affordable.” I said, “That’s nice.” I still didn’t even consider Bible College to be an option; I honestly thought to myself, “why would I want to study the Bible?”
To make a long story short, I checked out the website, I liked their vision on giving an affordable Bible education and I felt like I should go for some reason. So my plan was to go major in Biology, and on the side, go to EBC; little did I know what God was going to do. After my first semester of EBC, my worldview was literally shattered to pieces, to a point that I am still putting the pieces back together, but glued together with a Biblical foundation behind it. I ditched the idea of majoring in Biology, and focused on my Bible education, and I do not regret one bit of it. My view of God has dramatically been changing according to the Bible, and the way I view ministry, the way I view the church, basically everything about my faith is being reshaped according to the Word.
After EBC, I know that I am returning to Mexico. The deaf in general are a very neglected people group, and one of the biggest unreached people group in the world. My heart ached as I thought of the countless of deaf children and adults that would probably never get a chance to hear (and when I say hear, I mean see) the Story of God, and their place in it, because most of them are illiterate. I want them to feel and learn what I feel and learn as I read the Word, and want them to feel God’s intense love for them, and how that flows out of Scripture. I want them to not be ashamed because of their deafness, but to rest in the fact that they are made in the image of our amazing and loving God. I understand now why God placed me at EBC, and this is why I am still going there. It is funny how God works. One moment I am in Mexico reading a book, the next I am in Simi Valley of all places going to EBC.
Un recipiente de gracia y hermano,
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