My name is Gil Paiz, I am 28 years old, husband of a beautiful and amazing woman, father of a very energetic and special little boy named Isaac, and son of a Christian church pastor, now a missionary in Honduras. I lived my childhood and part of my teen years in Honduras where I was under the care of my two aunts because my parents had divorced. After that they both moved to the United States but in 2001, my father brought me to the states where I resided in Maryland. My dad was a pastor of a small hispanic church there. Recently I moved to New York where ministry is easier than other places, we are not persecuted for preaching and still have freedom of religion. It is also challenging, since people have greater opportunities to get all the material stuff they want, they are focused on working every second of their lives to pay for what they have.
Being a preacher’s son gave me the opportunity and blessing to be raised at church, I had my times of “rebellion” but always returned to the right path. In one of those times I decided that the church I was assisting at was not for me, I wanted to serve the Lord but the church never gave me the opportunity, so I started going to my cousin’s church. I went to their Sunday school where they were talking about the prodigal son, which made me think about my spiritual situation. When the class was finished all the classes got together and the pastor gave the call to receive Jesus as Savior, I went forward, I knew it was the day the Lord had prepared for me. About a year later, I got baptized, and started serving the Lord as a kids club leader.
I have been through a lot of things in my life, and I had no one there to tell me not to do the things I was doing. I am not making excuses for what I did, but one thing is for sure, I would have loved to have had someone there to guide me. That’s my ministry dream, to help youth come to know the Lord, to help them learn how to walk with God, and to be of assistance to them with any questions, doubts, or issues the enemy brings into their lives and hearts.
Personally I identify myself with the ministry of a youth leader, even though I have been called pastor many times.
When I was in Maryland, my pastor always treated me like a leader. He used to sit down with me and tell me about the ministry and the church; he even told me that I looked like a pastor. In July of 2013, God opened the door for our church to go to Puerto Rico as missionaries, during our visit to the various places, the local church leaders called me pastor all the time. I did not see that as a call from God until the last day we were there, at a dinner with the main church in Puerto Rico, one of the local pastors came to me and said, “you have a calling to preach the word of God.” After that he gave me a book about pastoral ministry. To me, that was a calling from God.
I mentioned in the beginning that ministry in NY can be easier because Christians are not persecuted here, but it is also challenging because people have their hearts set on material possessions and addictions, especially in the area where our church meets, it is filled with drug addicts and dealers. However, we understand that the Lord has placed us here for a reason.
My church supports me in everything the Lord tells me to do, but as for this part of my life and ministry, they still do not know that I am taking classes or pursuing ministry training, but I am sure that if they knew about it they would support me 100%.
I come from a family of ministers, or so I have been told, my great grandfather was a missionary, and my father a pastor, church planter and now missionary.
A CLI scholarship would be of huge help in my calling to serve the Lord. Right now I am in charge of the youth group at my church, by getting the scholarship I would be given a chance to learn the bible a lot deeper and to pass that on to the group. I looked for an affordable option for ministry training but unfortunately without a job for almost a year, I could not find anything. I came across CLI and fit right in. By finishing the getting started class, I proved to myself that not only could I do it, but also found that this is a really high quality training.
Please pray for my spiritual life, to not give up on this new part of my life and for my family to always understand that I am doing this for the Lord, not for me. And also for them to help me get through each class with their support.