My name is Isa Monteiro. My family and I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am a language teacher by trade, a student by nature and am passionately in love with my Maker, His Word, my husband, and my daughter who has just entered her first year of residency at University. Glory to God!
As far back as I can remember I have considered myself to be, and have been labeled by others, an “extraordinary” optimist. Amid many horrendous wilderness moments throughout the course of my life, I have refused to stay down for very long, even while battling severe on and off bouts of depression for nearly 35 years.
I was born in Lisbon Portugal and immigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my young parents at the age of five. I was not raised in a Christian upbringing but my parents were both loving, moral, dedicated to family, and believed in Providence.
Although an over achiever, I struggled with an emptiness and heart wrenching void that was inexplicable; I hungered for and was in constant pursuit of truth. I was married for 15 years to a highly respected lawyer; a brilliant “intellectual” mind; and very ironically, an atheist! Upon reflection, I make sense of the loneliness, void and the misery that accompanied the absence of God in that relationship. I was able to bypass an excruciatingly painful divorce and emotional breakdown.
It was not until the Lord miraculously and most unexpectedly blessed me 11 years ago, with the gift that is my current husband and mighty man of God, that I was introduced to and began to seek an intimate relationship with my Maker. I had always sensed the Lord’s hand on my life, so to speak, but I had walked a very secular walk and had not known Him personally.
Since then (2003), I have been on an exhilarating walk with the Lord and am testimony to His consuming love, grace, mercy, miraculous power and unwavering faithfulness. I find myself, without fail, the one that others run to for encouragement, support, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with until their stomach hurts, when all else looks bleak. Before surrendering my life to the Lord, I had always felt “alien like”, as if there was something uniquely different about me. I was able to separate myself from the natural world and realize that all was temporal, that all was as it should be and that there was a “mighty power source” in control of everything. In addition, I have a heart that not many are able to relate to; I am incapable of focusing too long on anything that distracts my ultimate feeling towards anyone but love. I am able to discern past flesh; see the spirits at play behind the scenes, and continue to love everyone unconditionally. There is nothing that gives or has ever given me greater joy, then the intrinsic love I feel to love. Satirically, this has been a great cause of heartache and feelings of disassociation, for unconditional love is clearly not of this world, yet it is my deepest yearning for all mankind.
It’s crazy interesting (God’s ways are awesome) that it wasn’t until I was in my first year of University, enrolled in religious studies, that a Muslim student, in one of our seminars, told me that my name, “Isa” meant Jesus in Arabic. I thought at the time, it super cool, as I was exploring all things spiritual; reading and learning about different religions and philosophies, but I somehow majored in psychology and English :). Nearly three decades later, not that I would ever dare refer to myself as “Jesus”, I can see something quite spiritually symbolic about my namely connection to my Lord; just wanting to be more and more like Him and a reflection of His love.
I compare my optimistic nature in the natural, or what I often refer to as my “alien like” faith in the spiritual, to the Roman Centurion in the Bible. God’s Word tells us that Jesus “marveled” at the faith found in this man while basically saying, “Lord do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof…
The Centurion had so much faith in Jesus, that he recognized the powers of Jesus’ very words! I believe that there is no greater faith than to trust the WORD of God! It has never ever let me down!
This unwavering belief in the every Word of God, and an unconditional heart of love, are my heavenly gifts; gifts that wholeheartedly inspire me, and of which I am committed to sharing with all the world.
Throughout the course of my walk with the Lord, I have been prophesied over numerous times, and many a time in reference to the church that I will plant and pastor; confirmation of the vision God has planted in my heart.
Currently at the age of 48 and an empty nester, I am eternally grateful for a scholarship at CLI which will help to equip me with vital respected ministry tools necessary for the fulfillment of this fervent call.
I am eager and fully committed to proclaiming our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to be found in Him all the days of my life.
Love and all things beautiful unto all God’s children is my forever prayer.