My name is Chris Trevino, and I am pursuing a Christian education to minister at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here). I have a wonderful wife, Mindi. We live on the eastern side of Washington state. On the prompting of the Holy Spirit, my journey has taken me through a bachelor’s degree in ministry leadership at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA, and a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies at Western Seminary in Portland, OR. I responded to God’s direction through the Spirit. Since giving my life to Christ, I have loved serving the Lord and serving others in ministry. I trusted in the Lord’s plan, although I have not always known precisely what His plan is.
Led by God to a Christian Education to Minister
I also had not considered becoming ordained until a couple recently asked if I would officiate their wedding. That’s when a flood of recollections took place: my mother always prayed I would become a minister; my wife said before we met that she knew her husband would be a pastor; friends asked when I would have my own church; people asked where our church was located; and, finally, the couple who asked if I would solemnize their vows before the Lord.
I searched online for what options might be available in becoming credentialed to officiate a wedding relatively quickly. However, the option needed to be Christ-centered, with a sound theology demonstrated by the Statement of Faith, and not present itself as a brand name mail-order minister-mill. The option that stood distinct from all others is the Christian Leaders Institute. CLI offers a Christian education to ministers. This is a new direction that, once again, I had no plan for, but the Lord knows the plans he has for me (Jeremiah 29:11).
My Religious Childhood
My parents were good people who raised me as well as they knew how. We went to church every Sunday. I grew up knowing religion, but I didn’t know Jesus. The denomination in which I was raised took prayers to trinkets, talismans, statues, and clergy, but never to Christ himself. At the age of five, I knew something was wrong, but it would be the only form of Christianity I knew for many years.
My Adult Life of Sin
I drank and chased women. By the time I was in my twenty’s, I had married and divorced three times with a string of illicit relationships and children born out of wedlock. My religious upbringing had familiarity with the occult, and I fell farther and farther from Christ, dabbling in it. I was ‘successful’ in my career, with a six-figure income. However, all of it was spent wastefully on my life of sin. I had several arrests for alcohol-related charges of domestic violence and lost my rights to see my children. Each time I somehow skipped through the legal system and avoided accountability. On the night of November 26, 2012, I was arrested again. This time I knew it was the last time as could not continue to live like this.
I Surrendered, and Christ Showed Up
In jail, I desperately admitted to God that I need him and cannot live like this anymore. So, I surrendered myself into God’s hands. I then noticed some snacks in the bunk above me. The other inmate noticed me looking and violently came toward me. Gripped with fear, I thought I might not live through the night. Then a voice behind me shouted, “That’s him! That’s the guy!” The tense situation suddenly stopped, and calmness filled the jail.
About a month earlier, I met a homeless man in a grocery store trying to buy food at the deli. However, he didn’t have enough money to pay. Without thinking it over, I paid for his food and bought him a gift card loaded with money so he could get food for quite some time. The next day, he went back to use the gift card, but they refused to accept it. He was arrested without explanation and held in jail without any hearing. He told everyone in the jail about this man who helped him buy food, so everyone knew about the “kind” man. It was his voice behind me that shouted. Everyone greeted me and asked if they could do anything for me. I was freely offered the snacks.
The next day I had my court hearing, and so did the homeless man. He was released from jail, and so was I. Coincidence? I could say, “Perhaps.” Instead, I put my faith in the Word that an act of hospitality had unknowingly received an angel. “…Do not neglect hospitality, because through this some have received angels as guests without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2). At that moment, when I placed myself into the hands of God, when I called out to God, he was right there waiting for me.
Today, I serve alongside my wife in adult care and recovery ministry. We support others in their Christ-centered recovery from addictions and unhealthy habits. My past relationships began with lust and acts of the flesh, but it began with Christ at the center of our relationship when I met my wife. There began a pure love between us absent of sinful desire. Later, the desire for each other was revealed as if blinders had been kept on our hearts. We have difficulty explaining it as many who hear our story find it difficult to believe there was no physical yearning at the beginning of our relationship.
Today, I parent my children from past relationships as much as I’m able and struggle with not being fully present in their lives. I led one of the women from my past to Christ, and she has made progress from her own addiction to alcohol with my wife as her sponsor. My wife and I also serve as worship leaders and lead a home fellowship. I squandered my wealth years ago during my life of sin. However, now my wife and I have been blessed with stewardship to serve the kingdom of God. Over time the Lord has entrusted us with a little at a time, and today it has accumulated over which we remain stewards (cf Luke 16:10). We also know all we have belongs to God and not ourselves.
I trust in God and work daily to give attention to the Spirit’s prompting. I came to Christian Leaders Institute on that following of the Lord. In the present, I’m to officiate the vows of a couple who wishes me to conduct their marriage. It was not in my plans to ever pursue a Christian education, and it certainly was not in my plan to become a minister. Such is the joy of faith in trusting God that every day is a wonderful gift from him—even if it doesn’t make sense at first. Wherever God leads and with whatever God gives us, it’s going to be amazing!