Personal Testimony - Gerry Gutierrez

Isaiah 66

My father died before I was even born; my mother lived her own life, so I grew up with my grandparents. My grandfather was a very strong Communist leader for 45 years, but Grandma was a very devoted Roman Catholic.

At the age of 14, I decided to follow Grandpas footsteps, and for 10 years I indulged in the dangers and thrills of a life committed to a cause which I thought worth living for; namely, justice for the poor.

It was in the University, when I was the General Secretary of "The Students Revolutionary Front", that I was invited by a senior high school student from my home town to speak to the graduating classes of that year on any matter of my choice. I had no second thought but to accept that opportunity to propagate my Marxist conviction and persuade those future university students for the cause of our "Revolutionary Front".

All went well until this high school student came to me at the end of my talk and invited me to have lunch at his house, where he shared with me his love and the reality of Jesus Christ in his life. My response was politely sarcastic, but I was impressed with his faith. This was the first link in a long chain of Christian witnesses.

The following year, I was introduced to Hugh Powlison, now a PCA missionary in Guatemala, who did not hesitate to spend sleepless nights reasoning with me about his Lord. Again, what impressed me was not his well-prepared answers -- but his faith.

From then on, I was the target of many "Christian set-ups" to meet so and so, to read certain books, to attend a certain meeting or to be a participant at a camp or conference. Anglican speakers, Scottish preachers, Australian Christians, American missionaries, inter-varsity workers, national Peruvian leaders, Christian intellectuals of all sorts -- all of these and many more were instrumental in tightening Gods fishing net around me. Still I resisted, till the power of Gods Word in Prov. 3. "Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil," speared with conviction right into my heart. Then the words of Jeremiah 20:7-9 came to me as though in a prayer, "Oh Lord, thou hast persuaded me and I was persuaded; Thou art stronger than I and hast prevailed... Vs. 9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him nor speak any more in his name. But his words in my heart were like a burning fire shut up in my bones. I was weary with forbearing and I could not stay."

Yet there was still some fear of leaving my former friends and way of life, for which another verse came to men, "I will not leave thee nor forsake thee; Lo I am with you even to the end of the ages."

Thus after 6 months of intense spiritual crisis, in the office of a Christian friend, a heavenly courage, unknown to me, caused me to confess my sins and ask the Lord for His forgiveness and His Lordship in my life to do with me whatever He pleased. I knew from that moment on that I belonged to God forever.

Since then I have been witnessing, studying, preaching, teaching, evangelizing and having the joy of seeing many coming to the saving knowledge of the Lord -- among whom are my relatives, some of my former friends, my brother (who also spent 8 yrs. as a Marxist) and now is an ordained minister of the Gospel, having had 4 yrs. of Seminary preparation. My Grandmother became a Christian around the same time as I, and my mother also made a profession of faith. Last, but not least, I had the privilege of leading my Grandfather to the Lord. The man who led me to Communism was led to Christ.

Gerry Gutierrez