As a Nicaraguan and Co-founding member of the Who Am I Foundation, I want to let you know that I too lived a life enslaved by addictions. Maybe I did not need a rehab center for God to set me free from my addictions, and I never got to the point of homelessness, but I can assure you that my life was in complete chaos, without hope or any purpose whatsoever.
At 28 years old, while living in Canada, someone very kind and genuine named Stefan invited me to his home church, Warden Full Gospel Assembly (WFGA). That Sunday for the first time, I felt different and special, but more importantly, I felt loved, accepted, and appreciated. The words; "rejection" or "you are good for nothing" did not exist in this place. My past was of no importance but my well-being and sharing their hope in Christ. WFGA was the place where a whole new change began in me, God's grace had arrived; His forgiveness led me to my conversion, my baptism, and a new family.
There was also an elderly couple named Walter Kimmerle and Elsbeth Kimmerle. A couple very devoted to their faith in Christ and their God. Walter was for me a kind of mentor, and much of what I am today is because of what I learned through him in those early years he invested in me, which led me to long for a deep relationship with Christ. The bible calls these men and women of God a "living sacrifice"; they are people who live for God and not for themselves. Their friendship was very significant in my life and for many others. Today Brother Walter and his wife Elsbeth have departed with the Lord, and their memory continues to be a blessing for the glory of God.
As I started developing a prayer life, reading the word of God, and going to church, my outlook towards life and the world started to change. The Holy Spirit was making me alive, God was setting me free through Christ Jesus our Lord. The question of "who Am I?" was starting to settle in, as God was building my true identity in Him. For the first time, I felt at home. Addictions were gone, and I began to see more clearly with hope and understanding. I started making amends and getting involved in volunteer work in different organizations, the only thing that I had in mind was to share the love of Christ that I was receiving freely.
Years later, working, saving, and attending church as part of my new life, God took me on independent mission trips. My relationships and social life with other churches increased. In one of my returns to Canada God directed me to Heron Park Baptist Church (HPBC). On one occasion coming back from the mission field, they invited me to share; there a deep relationship began to develop with them as well, and it was there that God gave me the call through HPBC that I needed to go to the mission field as a full-time missionary.
It is so majestic to see years later how God does things. God led me to WFGA to bring me to a new life in Christ and to disciple me, and God led me to HPBC not only to send me to the mission field but to be part of God's redemptive work in Christ Jesus. Throughout the years, we joined Latin America Mission Canada (LAM), a Christian organization. Today all three form part of our history and partners of this mission.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heaven are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8 NKJV)