Free Ministry Training Journey
I am on a free ministry training journey at Christian Leaders Institute. I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia and am the oldest of four children. I grew up in a Catholic home. My great grand uncle was monsignor Carlos Valiente who was the builder and founder of the first cathedral in my city, the first school for poor children, and also a hospital. I always went to Catholic school and learned from the priest. It was at the end of my teenage years that I went to a Christian event in my city with Pastor Yiye Ávila from Puerto Rico. It was the first time I witnessed a complete stadium full of people praying so devoted and happy. That to me was a very exciting moment and also to hear the Bible for the first time openly preached that my heart never forgot the experience. (Personal note: Until 1999, the Catholic priest would not teach you 100% based on the Bible, and in fact, I will never forget the two times a priest told my whole class, and I quote, “If you read the Bible you go crazy.”)
In 2005, I was hired to work with a company called Eternal Pictures, to produce and distribute Christian movies, documentaries, and animations. Soon I was invited to go to a service at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I just remember I was overwhelmed with love for Jesus. As soon as I was asked if I wanted to give my life to Him, I said, “Yes without a doubt.” I started going to church more often, got baptized and participated in many Bible study groups and also started with another Christian brother an addiction study group.
I sensed God calling me into ministry in 2014 and I was avoiding the call. Everything went down the drain in my life (just like Jonah) to the point I was asked for a divorce (for no reason), my business started to go bad, I started drinking, and I struggled with my desire to go back into a business versus God calling me into ministry. I reasoned with myself that as a believer in Jesus at the end of my days He would not condemn me for continuing my path in business. And in my heart, I promised to be faithful in tithing when the good job came. Then when finally I gave up the alcohol and my weaknesses, the Lord started turning everything back to me. A good job came and I joined Christian Leaders Institute on my free ministry training journey.
The call to serve in ministry was still upon my heart. Eventually, I moved on from working in various jobs but with feelings of not belonging, being very unhappy and my life stagnant.
When I finally started to study at CLI, it was like all the crying, all the wailing, and all the begging to our Jesus to forgive me for not listening was finally heard and the blessings started to come little by little.
I stopped drinking for good (the Lord showed me the worst of the addiction), joined a gym and started to work in Real Estate again. My eyes have been open wide, my heart is loaded with happiness, and my mind is guided by the Word all day long. I feel like Jesus made me a brand new creature and with all my senses, my heart, and my mind waiting for his order to serve wherever he wants me to.
I really appreciate with all my heart, the fact that the Lord used CLI to show me my path and my spiritual freedom again. I will never forget it. These are the best days of my life.
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