I was born on March 17, 1966. My parents are and were Christians before I was born. My mother came to the Lord in the 50’s and during that time it was very hard to be a Protestant in Chile, a country governed by the Catholic Church. Protestants were persecuted and discriminated by Catholic Church and society. When my father fell in love with my mother he didn’t know the Lord. He started to go with my mother to the Sunday services but he waited outside the building. It was there that he started to hear about a God who is merciful, loving and forgiving. He discovered a new God!!! They married in 1964 and two years later I came into this world. Since then, I was instructed in the Word of God, attending every Sunday our church as Proverbs 22:6 says: “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.” (NLT)
Many could say that I was a Christian or at least did what a Christian does, but when I was seventeen I started to think about my personal relationship with God. In that search for a personal experience, I received the Lord into my heart as Lord and Savior. It was during a special Holy Communion service when I felt the Spirit of God burning in my heart. I started to cry uncontrollably. My friends were looking at me, but I couldn’t see them because my eyes were full of tears. So marvellous was that moment that even today when I think about it, I feel the Spirit of God moving in my heart. Praise the Lord!!! Hallelujah!!! Now I know that what I was missing in my life was the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in me. I had received the Word of God (Acts 8:14) but I needed power from the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:16). From this moment on I dedicated myself during my youth to serving God, including preaching in the streets, hospitals, jails, orphanages, and homes for children at social risk. I did this with the young men’s group at my church (“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”, 1 Peter 1:8, NIV).
When I was 24, I was honoured to be a leader in my church and I started to teach at Sunday school to the young men. The Lord taught me his mysteries to share it with my brothers in faith every Sunday (“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”, Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)
In 2001, I went to the USA to attend training courses put on by the company that I was working for. I spent some time before the flight to home to visit my cousin who is living in Fort Myers, Florida, but deep in my heart I wanted to visit the church he attended. I didn’t know why but I knew that I needed to be there that Sunday. Well, the service started that morning and I could sense that something would happen. Then my eyes started to fill with tears. Every song was a message from God that was breaking my heart. The sermon was in Matthew 4 in which Jesus calls us to be fishermen for him. I sensed the Lord was calling me to be a fisherman! More tears!!! The service ended and I couldn’t stop crying until we were at the parking lot. There the wife of my cousin started to prophesy over me. We were full of joy from our Lord!!! Aleluya!!! In God’s timing, God will bring you to where he wants you to be, as long as you seek to obey him and serve him.
That experience made me start to learn more about the Word of God and the need to go deeper with God. To do that, I joined a Youth Bible Study group at an English speaking church. After two years in that group I started to feel some emptiness so I prayed to the Lord for guidance and He took me to a Men’s Bible Study at another English speaking church. In the meanwhile, I taught a Sunday school class at my former church, but, as David said in Psalms 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (NIV)
I felt a need for a closer relationship with God. I started to pray to the Lord for His guidance and He led me to this verse: “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15 (NIV). In that search, the last year I felt the call of God to move me from my former church to the Anglican Church (“La Trinidad”). This was a hard decision due to the many friends that I had in my former church. Nevertheless, the Lord has shown me his mercy, giving me the assurance that he is with me in this new era (“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5-6 (NIV). In these I can see the Word of God accomplished “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened”, Matthew 7:8. The Lord wants a closer relationship with each of us, if you turn to your Lord He will not reject you. Just come to him. He wants to do great things through you for his Glory!!! Taking the words of Rick Warren, “True worship – bringing God pleasure – happens when you give yourself completely to God. Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about.” (From, “The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren.)
And now, what is next? Now I’m trusting God to help me to go the nations and make disciples, because He is my almighty God.
I encourage you, in the name of Jesus, to seek God’s way. There’s nothing like being a child of God, knowing the forgiveness of Jesus, and living with the power of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in you, who will guide you in this life, and who assures us of safe passage to the next life (Ephesians 1:13b-14, NIV “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory”).
In His Love,
David M. Elgueta