My wife, Monique, and I were over 2,000 miles apart when we got the call to make a change in our lives. It wasn’t the first time God had spoken to me.
I was saved at a birthday party for Pastor Larry A. Lee of The Gathering Place (San Bernardino 2 Foursquare Church) in San Bernardino, Calif. Pastor Larry asked me if I knew Jesus, and, by day’s end, I had committed my life to God. God cured me of my addiction, and I promised to serve Him for the rest of my life.
I am originally from Mexico, and Monique is Native American. We began serving alongside Pastor Larry and sent missions teams to orphanages in impoverished parts of Mexico before settling in San Bernardino and starting Armonia (San Bernardino North Hispanic Foursquare Church).
Just when everything was going well, we got a call. At Foursquare Connection 2010 in Atlanta, God told me that it was time to begin ministering to Native American nations. When I came home, Monique told me that God had spoken to her, as well, through a prayer vision.
We were confused about the road He was asking us to take. With a blooming Hispanic ministry, we were trying to understand both how and why God was speaking to us about change. But the Word says that, if we listen diligently to His voice and are careful to do all that He asks, blessings will come upon us and overtake us.
Taking a year to build trust in the Native American community, we fasted and prayed to make sure we had heard God clearly. We wanted to be sure that it was His will, not ours, for us to go. Eight years into our Hispanic ministry, the Lord showed us it was time to leave.
Leaving our church—a congregation of 80, where our kids, Aidan and Aharon, were born, and where we served for 18 years—was difficult. But I believe the Lord facilitates the process in our hearts and helps us meld together when He places us in ministry positions.
God has used us in remarkable ways with the Native American people. We began by serving on the Navajo reservation and now are helping build a training center on the Soboba Indian Reservation in the foothills of California’s San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County. Through Arise, our mission is to equip Native Americans to become pastors and teachers on their own reservations.
We have ministered to tribes in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico and North Dakota, and have been encouraged by the response, always relying on God to show us what to do and what not to do. We continue to rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in everything. It has been amazing to see the doors that are opened for us everywhere we go.