Being a sinful man because of Adam's fall, I was prone to evil. I had no intentions of loving God, nor did I ever want to. I was lost in my transgressions, blind to all good.
Then in God's awesome mercy, he gave me the ability to believe. Christ came to earth and died on a cross receiving God's judgment in my place, so that I could be saved. He gave me the privilege of loving him, and glorifying him. He loved me before I ever would have loved him. He drew me to himself, and with his power I believed on him. Now, I couldn't resist Him nor did I ever want to again, and because I was now in him I was transformed into a new creation. The old had gone, and the new had come. I was blind, but now I see.
I believed in Jesus and asked him to come into my heart when I was about 5 years old. My dad, mom, and older sister, helped me to pray and ask Jesus to come into my life. Even though I was unaware, many people were and had been praying for my salvation. I then proceeded to go to church with my family until I was in middle school. During that time, I went to McLean Presbyterian Church in Virginia, and became a member under the pastorship of Rev. Steve Smallman. I was challenged by fellow members, teachers, and family to grow in the Lord. When I was just finishing eighth grade, our family was called to the mission field to serve in the Andes Mountains of Peru.
We left a month before the school year was over, and moved to a town called Huanta. I was surrounded by new, Peruvian believers, and realized that they were looking up to me, "the missionary" to give them an example of a Christian. So being still very young in the faith, I was challenged to live up to that name, and be the Christian these Inca descendant brethren expected me to be. I began by helping with the youth group by providing games for Saturday nights. Then as there were problems in the church; many leaders and members left, so I began to lead the youth in music regularly. Playing the only guitar we had for Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday meetings, I became the guitarist for the church. The church was growing, and many new believers were joining. Christ worked in me, taught me, and let me know that I was never going to do anything without him. He gave me a group of friends that challenged me even further.
My dad began to teach my friends and me more about the Word of God. We had Bible studies almost daily, and grew in knowledge, and faith on the things of the Lord. We enjoyed the sermons, Bible studies, and communion that we had found in the Lord. He was preparing and refining us. In church and at home, I was being shown the way I was to go. From all sides the Lord was working on me. I was beginning to trust the Lord for big things, not just little things, and to have faith in him. I was beginning to know what it was to love him, and obey his commands.
He has now brought me back to the U.S. with my family on furlough, and has provided me with a strong local church and mature brethren who help me grow even more. Surrounded by people who fear and love God, I cannot help but to want the same. Given a loving, God-fearing dad, friend, and pastor in one person, I have had the privilege to be brought up in the way I should and will go. Having a prudent, upright mother as a friend, as well as a missionary grandfather and grandmother, a soon to be pastor as a brother-in-law, I cannot help but thank God for the way he has brought me up to serve him.
I plan to go to Covenant College to learn more about the Lord, and then on to Seminary to become a pastor if that is the Lord's will. I believe that the Lord is leading me to become a pastor, and I plan to pursue it for him, through him, and in him with all of my heart, soul, strength, and mind never forgetting that my chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.