My name is Aaron Villanueva from the United States of America. I claimed to be a Christian for a lot of my life but lived a life of sin! Then, God opened my eyes and saved me! Now, I am studying Bible classes and ministry courses at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online free Bible courses, Click Here).
My Youth: Challenges
Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, I was the eldest sibling of seven. I grew up in a good home, but when I was 10, my father went to prison. He did not get out until I was 30. After that, my single mother did her best to raise us in the church. At home, I took on many duties of “father,'” and an adolescent with that much power was not good for my siblings or me. If they did something to anger me, I was sure to get even with them when mom went to work.
I became a tyrant at a very young age. Although we went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, nothing resembled Christ in my life or conduct. I knew all the correct answers about salvation, could quote Scriptures, even claimed that I was a child of the King. I took many friends to church, went to church camps, and had some pretty powerful experiences, but no change occurred in my social life. If you had asked people outside of church if I was a Christian, most likely they’d have said, “No way!” I was honoring God with my lips, but my heart was far from Him. I lived every day for the enemy. Eventually, sin overtook my life and became my lifestyle.
Eye Opening Consequences: Full Surrender to Christ
At 36, I faced three felony charges and 5-99 years in prison. I had been in and out of jail several times. A age 22, they sent me to jail for six months, but nothing of this magnitude. The drug lifestyle was now “sitting me down” for real! By God’s mercy, my sentence was only eight years. Yet, I was angry and bitter. I was mad because that lifestyle took everything from me: my wife, my children, my home, my business, vehicles, and my freedom. However, little did I know at the time God had a plan, and He was working it!
While incarcerated, I began to sober up and think clearly. I realized how blessed I was. God granted me a spirit of willingness which led me to be broken. I was broken down to be rebuilt in Christ. Finally, I had remorse for all of the hurt I caused, especially to those who loved me the most. I FULLY surrendered and said yes to Jesus. I could no longer do it on my own and admitted I needed a Savior.
Study Bible Classes and Ministry Courses at CLI
I investigated what exactly that meant. The Bible was my guide as “absolute truth.” The Bible is the Word of God, so “if it says it, I believe it, and that settles it!” The Lord got a hold of my heart, and I fell in love with His Word. Not only did I read it, but I dissected it, studied it, practiced it, took it literally, and used many versions. I put aside all my religious rituals and traditions that entangled and confused me. I stood on the Word of God. Then, on March 9, 2019, “ALL THINGS BECAME NEW!” Thank you, Lord!
After almost four years, they released me on parole. The Lord continues to work His plan in my life as I walk in obedience. I realize today that obedience reflects our faith. So, I try to live that out every day. He has blessed me with a God-fearing wife that loves Him as much as I do. We live a life with Christ in the center. We committed our marriage to serve others in the sobriety community and the lost.
I wanted to learn more and found the Christian Leaders Institute. The free online Bible classes and ministry courses are a blessing! Thank you, CLI!
Steps to Sign Up At Christian Leaders Institute
Step 1 – Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2.
After you register, you will automatically be enrolled in the “getting started” course. You will locate the course at your “home” button when logged in. Scroll down to find the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2 Link. Click the link and open the course.
Step 2 – Complete Part 1 of this course, and then you can enroll in mini-courses or regular courses.
The Christian Leaders Getting Started Class Part 1 shows you how to enroll in courses and mini-courses. Part 2 of the course connects your calling into ministry with programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute. Part 2 will offer some ministry training and introduce you to the other programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute.