About Me

I am a sinner, and my sinfulness is a constant reminder that I am in need of a Savior. The story of how I found my Savior started more than 9 years ago, when I was still living in my country, Nicaragua. This  is going to be a long story, so grab a cup of tea, or coffee if you prefer, relax and read on...

I was born in Managua, Nicaragua on August 25 1985. I was raised Catholic, but since my parents were not very devout, I found myself being one of the millions of cradle Catholics, rarely following my faith, only by the mere path of tradition.

My life changed when I was 14 years old with my parent's divorce. I won't dwell on the painful details of this unfortunate event. Needless to say, it was a very painful experience that left me wounded. As a result of this, and the increasing debt they found themselves in, my parents were forced to move out to the United States, while my sister and I were wandering off between Honduras and Nicaragua. It was in Nicaragua that I finally found what I was looking for...
Managua, Nicaragua

Finding Christ In Nicaragua

While living in Nicaragua in 2002, I started attending a Pentecostal school that was half a block away from my residence at the time. The Gospel was constantly being preached at the school, and its message attracted me. Something that was not so attractive to me, however, was the constant anti-Catholic rhetoric that I had to endure. I started to get interested in God, but also, ironically, in my dormant Catholic faith.

I bought a Bible and some books on Apologetics for my birthday. I read them. And then some more. I then bought books of the lives of the saints. I devoured those books, some days spending more than 8 hours straight reading! This is surprising, given that up to this point, I hated reading! My sister, seeing this, once told me "You are reading too much, you are gonna get crazy!" and while she said this I was reminded of  Don Quixote and his unfortunate clash with insanity.

I started to skip recesses at school in order to debate my religion teacher. I also started to debate my Evangelical classmates. I was notorious for getting quite passionate in these debates, as I felt that it was my duty as a Catholic to defend my faith. Wait, as a Catholic?! Yes, I didn't even realize it, but in this process God was slowly changing me. He was opening my heart to His love. Old sinful habits started to disappear almost without my noticing. Sinful acts lost their taste. Everything in the world lost its taste, except God.

I remember when I started to read the Bible, starting with Genesis. By the time I had finished Genesis I felt that I had fallen in love with God! This is to show that His Word is a living Word, and it has the power to change a life as sinful as mine!

I started to attend Mass every Sunday. I was longing to receive the Eucharist, but I knew that I couldn't do so until I went to confession. You see, I was embarrassed to confess my sins to a stranger. Confession, unfortunately, came a few months later, just before my Confirmation.

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

But wait...I am getting ahead of myself. I suspect that this part of my testimony is not going to be popular with some of my Catholics brothers and sisters, but my conscience permits me not to skip it, as it was essential in my conversion.

My religion teacher, seeing my stubbornness in sticking to my Catholic faith, decided to invite me to the annual retreat of the school. Only a few were selected from each classroom to attend, and I was one of the few fortunates. At the end of the retreat there was a prayer to the Holy Spirit. Leaders were imposing hands on students. Some started to cry, almost uncontrollably. Others felt to the floor. 

A friend of mine was crying, his shirt wet from sweat, while someone was praying over him. This someone was our Chemistry teacher. She called me, asking if I could hold him just in case he fell down. I agreed, and when I touched his back, his shirt soaking in cold sweat, I felt Something that came into me. A force so powerful, that my knees started to tremble! I cannot explain exactly how I felt! This force was powerful enough, that I felt that if it (or better said He!) decided to destroy me, I would be completely defenseless! And yet it was tender and loving, expressing an overwhelming sense of love and peace!

The teacher, seeing my nervous state (I didn't know what was happening to me!) started to pray over me. She laid her hands over my heart, and it started to beat almost uncontrollably. I was trembling, nervous of what would happen, but at the same time I was being filled with the love of the Holy Spirit! Yes, I am still a Catholic, but I cannot deny what happened during that prayer. All I can say is that the Holy Spirit does move in the Evangelical Churches. I believe strongly in Ecumenism, and it is my passion to work in union with other Christians brothers and sisters.

Confirmation, and moving into the United States

All of this happened at the end of 2002. I received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church in December. In this month I also received news from my Mom: She had bought a ticket for me, and I was to live with her in San Francisco. In January 12 of 2003, I arrived at SFO, and saw my mother for the first time in 3 years. I was 17 years old.

Life in the U.S. is very different from Nicaragua. And without dwelling in too many details, I will say that it has been quite a ride! Yes, I have had my failures. Even a huge backslide that kept me from the Church for a couple of years. But I eventually found my way back home.

The Augustinians

In August of 2009 I decided to enter as a candidate for the Augustinians. I wanted to discern whether the priesthood or religious life was my vocation, as I felt attracted to the idea ever since my conversion. After a year and a half of discerning with the community, I don't sense God is calling me to be a priest.

Some Augustinians brothers
Call to Youth Ministry and Comunidad San Dimas

I received my calling for Youth Ministry by joining Comunidad San Dimas (www.comunidadsandimas.org), which ministers to gang members in they Bay Area. One day in 2009, this calling was confirmed by someone in the Church. She came to give a topic in our parish, and after that she prayed over many of us. When she prayed over me, she told me that the Holy Spirit was telling her that God was calling me for great things with the youth, that whenever I go they would follow me. That I would bring many young people to Christ. She even told me that I had to give God one area of my life before He would do this with me. I was struggling with a habitual sin back then, one that was very debilitating. I never told anyone, other than my confessor, about that struggle. She also had no knowledge of my desire to work with the youth, nor my involvement with Comunidad San Dimas.

With some members of Comunidad San Dimas, I am in the back, second from the left with a white sweater

I feel God is calling me for full time ministry with they youth. I don't know exactly what's ahead of me. But I know this story isn't over yet, and indeed, I'm just starting this journey with God.
Yes, I have lost a lot of weight...