Couples Ministry Dream
My name is Courtney Rivera. My husband and I have a couples ministry dream to serve where God leads us. I am 22 years old. I grew up in Los Angeles County, California, and recently relocated to Klamath Falls, Oregon, to serve at a church here with my husband, who is a worship pastor.
I came to know Christ when I was six years old when the Gospel was explained to me in a first grade Sunday school class. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and asked Him into my heart. Even at that young age, I immediately started to grow in my faith by reading the Bible, praying, trying to obey God and live a life that pleased Him, and sharing my faith. I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a Christian school, where I learned much of the Bible and how to grow in my relationship with God. I was passionate about growing in my faith and took an interest in missions. I decided that I wanted to be a foreign missionary when I grew up.
However, when I became a teenager, it seemed that God was redirecting me away from foreign missions and toward serving and ministering in my own country, the United States. I was able to go on two local mission trips to Joplin, Missouri, in 2012 to provide relief to victims of the EF5 tornado that occurred there. While there, I was praying for God’s will for my life. During that trip, I knew God was directing me to pursue nursing and to stay and serve Him in my own country. So, when I graduated high school, I applied to the nursing program at Northwestern College in Iowa.
The summer before I left for college, I met Carlos at a church young adults retreat in the mountains. We talked and shared songs that we had written and talked about our common interest in leading worship for our churches. When I left for college out of state two weeks later, we kept in touch. After a lot of prayer about God’s direction for our relationship, we began dating six months later. I returned to California later that year to finish my education and got my nursing license as an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse). In the meantime, I worked as a volunteer tutor for children with special needs at my former high school for six months.
Carlos and I were married in January 2017 and continued to serve together on the worship team at our church as I worked as a nurse. I enjoyed caring for others as a nurse and was successful in that field. But I began to feel that nursing was not where my heart was at. I missed being able to focus on ministry and missed my volunteer position as a tutor. My husband was working multiple jobs at fast food restaurants while volunteering as a worship leader. We were praying for a position to open up so that he would be able to focus on ministry full time to devote more time to what he felt was his calling for our couples ministry dream. God answered those prayers by opening up a position for him to serve as a worship pastor at a Baptist church in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Earlier this year, we moved to Klamath Falls, where my husband now leads the worship and creative ministry. I have been blessed to be able to work as an after-school tutor at the church’s Student Life Center, which is an outreach program to the community that provides free tutoring services and activities for children from local schools. I also serve as a vocalist and pianist on the worship team and co-lead a children’s ministry class once a week.
One of the greatest struggles in my spiritual walk has been overcoming fear and anxiety. Since I was young, I have suffered from anxiety. I have had to work to overcome fear and anxiety to be able to interact with and serve others more effectively. This keeps me dependent on His strength and not my own. My husband and I have also needed to greatly rely on and trust in God for His provision throughout our relationship. At several points during our relationship, our being able to pursue a passion for ministry did not seem possible due to financial constraints. Again and again, though, God has opened doors that we did not know were possible, blessed us more than we ever expected, and given us opportunities to serve and be used by Him in the lives of others around us. He has shown Himself strong in our lives over and over.
The opportunity to pursue Christian higher education through Christian Leaders Institute is significant to us because we both have a deep desire to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word and in skill to serve Him in our couples ministry dream. Paying to attend Bible college would not be possible for us at this time, as we are recently married and starting a family. It is an amazing opportunity to be able to pursue a quality education in ministry and be able to grow in knowledge and skill when we thought it would not be possible to do so.
Our vision for the future is to continue to serve our church and community. We pray for God’s direction and calling for our future in our couples ministry dream. My husband is passionate about leading worship and helping our church to grow, and I am developing a passion and skill for teaching and mentoring the children and youth at our church. We look forward to seeing what God has planned for our new life here in Oregon!
Learn about minister ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.