I want to thank God for the opportunity to be in front of you this day. Thank you, Pastor Edgar, for entrusting me with the pulpit. Thanks, New World Church, because from the first Sunday that my family and I visited, you gave us a very warm welcome.
About three months ago, my family and I moved from Wisconsin to Dallas. I am a pastor in the Methodist Church, and although I am taking a little break at the moment, I am also praying for an opportunity to serve in a church at this conference in the near future. In the meantime, my husband, Alfredo, my son, Isaac, and I will be with you looking for opportunities to serve in whatever we can, and we are thankful to God for that.
Now, this morning I want to share briefly with you part of my testimony. I believe that when we share our life stories and how God has been with us, we encourage each other in our faith to help us keep moving forward. So, part of my testimony this morning is to tell you that after a difficult upbringing, I surrendered my life to God and he transformed everything about me and for me. I know many of you may share a similar transformation experience, that is, a before and after Christ kind of story.
The Scripture I want to quote is Daniel 4:2, which says,
“The signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me I am pleased to recount.”
These words belong to Daniel, a man of God that lived during one of the most difficult times for the nation of Israel. Other nations had conquered them, and now they lived under their rule. Yet, Daniel was an anointed man that dedicated his life to serving God—even while living in a hostile environment.
For this reason, when we read about him saying, “I am pleased to tell you the stories and wonders of God,” it has an incredible significance for us. It means that we can always give testimony to others regardless of whether we are living in good or challenging times. God’s presence is the same in all circumstances. I know that it is a difficult practice when we are going through hardships, but perhaps those are the times when we need to be reminded that God has been with us, is with us, and will always be with us.
Daniel overcame many obstacles and even enemies and starving lions because he remained faithful and was not afraid of showing his faith. That is what I mean by “testimony.”
There is a story I read, an illustration, that speaks about how our testimony is like a light for us and others in a dark place:
It is told of a blind man who lived alone in the middle of a village between mountains; he knew the village’s roads like the back of his hand. When he came out at night, he did something very peculiar. He carried a lamp with him.
One of those nights, when he was coming back to his little house, he met on the way with a group of young travelers who made fun of the man because they realized that he was blind and had a lamp. And one of them dared to question him: “Hey man! Why do you carry a lamp if you can’t see?”
To which the wise old man replied: “Yes, unfortunately, I am blind, but I bring this lamp for people like you, that you can see me and do not stumble or get lost in the dark.”
I chose to share this story with you because it teaches us that a verbal testimony is like a light in the dark that can guide us and others to an encounter with Jesus and so we would not get lost but find our way through the darkness and be saved.
Each one of us is here because someone shared their light with us. I am here because someone shared their light, their testimony of faith, with me.
I thank God because He used several people who were those lights in my path and showed me the way to Jesus in my childhood and adolescence.
So, a little about me. I grew up in a lower-middle-class family, my mother was an elementary school teacher, and my father was a carpenter and mechanic. But, unfortunately, my father was an alcoholic, and because of that, although he was present physically in my life, he was emotionally absent. When I was 11 years old, my mother decided to separate from my father. And sadly, my father not only separated from my mother, but he abandoned us too.
Due to everything that happened, I grew up with an emptiness in my being and many fears, and I became very shy, incredibly insecure, with traumas that limited me, and I felt tied many times.
When I was 15 years old, someone shared with me the gospel of Jesus. Although I was raised a Roman Catholic, we never really went to church or read the Bible. This was the first time I heard and understood about God’s love and grace in Christ, and this message about what Christ did on the cross for the world and me, captivated me, and his love-filled me, enveloped me, and above all, gave me hope.
I was saved in Jesus and became the first person in my home to convert to Christ. I became that light for them too.
Then, after I graduated from the Seminary, he granted me to marry this man who I always say has a heart of gold, fearing God, believing in His promises. God was pleased to give us a son, Isaac, an exceptional young man who reflects the love and peace of Christ.
After all these years and many ups and downs in my life journey, I have seen how God has put the right people by my side, at the correct times, to continue to be a guiding light for me.
All this to say, God is faithful; God keeps his promises; God is good and wants to bless us; God is with us always and through everything. That is the story of my life and what defines me as a person and pastor.
I invite you today to share your testimony, to be a light for those around you. You never know when you will be a light on the path of someone else who will be able to know Jesus and can be rescued from the darkness and be free from everything that tortures them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and that turns off their lives and dreams.