In september of 2014, ruben and his family were sent out by grace ministries international to begin training pastors in ruben’s home country through the berea bible seminary in leon, spain. The seminary focuses on training pastors, elders, and other men in leadership in expository preaching through seminars and conferences. Through grace ministries international, heartcry is helping ruben and his family with a portion of their monthly support.
TESTIMONY OF CONVERSION
Even though I was brought up in a Christian home, I led a sinful life until the day of my salvation when I was twenty-three years old. Before that, my life was characterized by sin. In fact, it was the only goal I pursued. I was not a moral person. I gorged myself with any pleasure that the world could offer me, only to find myself even more unsatisfied. Honestly, I hated God and wanted nothing to do with Him.
In the midst of this sinful life, my heart, stubborn and blind, never saw its need for repentance until the night of October 21, 2003, when God brought me to the end of myself. I had chosen to walk down the path of sin. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love, made me alive together with Christ. In His providence, He led me to the circumstances that would eventually bring me to salvation. When I abandoned my family and quit my job, when I ended up submerged in despair, desperate and lifeless, He found me. In the most hidden place, in the darkest hour, He shone forth His light and saved me. When I hated Him most, He loved me.
At that point in my life, I was living together with a woman who was an unbeliever. One night, somebody asked me a simple question: “How can you believe that you are a Christian and yet live such a sinful life?” It was then that the Spirit opened the eyes of my heart, and I understood that my upbringing could not save me. I saw and understood the weight of my sin, and I could do nothing else but come to Christ. Immediately after my conversion, I ended that sinful relationship, moved out, and went back home to ask for forgiveness from the people against whom I had sinned.
Since the time that the Lord saved me, my life has changed radically. God gave me an unquenchable thirst and hunger for His Word and a deep love for His Church. Now, I diligently desire to walk in obedience to Him. I realize that this is only possible by His enabling as I strive to know and submit to His Word. I have grown to love God and to realize the vastness of my sin, but I have also found that my sin never surpasses the everlasting grace of God. In the words of John Newton, “I am a great sinner, but Christ is a great Saviour.”
CALL TO MINISTRY
Since the day that God saved me, I have had an insatiable desire for His Word. No matter how much I was getting, it was never enough! I could think of only one thing – to dig deeper and deeper into His Word. This led me to apply to a small Bible school in South Carolina – the Evangelical Institute of Greenville. As soon as I was accepted, I was granted a full work scholarship. It was at that Bible school that my desire for ministry began to increase as God used the school to reveal Himself to me through the truths of Scripture. It was a small glimpse of heaven. There I learned the main lesson that has shaped my Christian life: the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ. This unique truth is life-changing and must be lived out and preached. Jesus Christ is worthy of such commitment. After those years, I could not think of anything else but to show Christ to His Church.
In South Carolina, I realized that the more I studied the Scripture, the more I learned of its divine Author. Hence, my desire to study the Word of God grew more and more. Nevertheless, God had different plans. In July of 2007, I returned to Spain to minister full-time at my home church. The elders confirmed God’s call on my life for ministry, which led me to prepare even more diligently. I saw how I was just an unworthy servant who was able to serve only by the wonderful grace of the Father.
Eventually, I decided that I wanted to study at The Master’s Seminary. Humanly speaking, it would be impossible for me to attend, but God miraculously opened the door and made a way. He faithfully provided everything I needed as I studied for both of my degrees. In addition to studying, I was also able to serve at the Spanish ministry of Grace Community Church, where the opportunities to teach grew exponentially. The elders of this church also confirmed my call to ministry, and now they have sent me back to Spain to serve there by training pastors and preachers. The Lord has graciously opened the door for us to serve Him and His Church in my home country.
If I could summarize my call to ministry, it is simply an unquenchable desire to serve God’s Church through the preaching of His Word and discipleship. God created a great desire in me to study and preach His Word. I cannot ignore it. It is like a burning fire, and I cannot see myself doing anything else with the life that God has given me. This desire is what helped me to understand my call to ministry. A desire that was then confirmed by God’s providence in allowing me to be trained at Master’s Seminary and then to return to Spain. My life’s goal is to bring glory and honor to His name, only by His grace.