I am glad and honored that I can be part of the story, a story of grace and salvation, a story that does not distinguish anyone, but that it is all about a great love that was once shared to everybody regardless age, race, gender or nationality. That is the way I saw my salvation, that was the same way I thought God would see me and my faith, and I still believe the same.
After few years of becoming a Christian, a strong desire of serving the Lord started to grow uncontrollable in me, and I say it that way because there was not reasonable explication for it. I found myself longing for living a life not only pleasant to God but also dedicated to His kingdom. I questioned myself whether it was a smart thing to do it and even if it was doable, I did not know that God soon would answer my questions.
The summer of 2009 was like any other summer, or at least that was what I was thinking. After two years of knowing about a school for preachers in the area I live, and being determined to find the way to get in, I decided to go ahead and talk to its directors. They knew me for a while and they were gracious enough to accept me. They were loving and caring, they needed to know that I was going to be fine so since the first interview they advised me what was coming. You know the limitations, do you? we accept you by yourself (no husband), but we need to be sure you understand that women work with kids, and in ladies bible classes, that is the way our churches work and we want you to be aware of that circumstance .You are welcome, but you need to know that in this case we are not going to be able to assist you with financial aid. I knew that kids and ladies was not exactly my call, but I desperately wanted to access that kind f education so I agreed in all the terms and I was committed to let God guide the way.
I was accepted indeed, now the question was, who will provide? God will.
My husband and I did not have a clue how we would do this, we never work in founding before and we had zero experience in church matters. We only knew there is a God, and for him everything is possible, but we still needed to know how I was going to be able to quit my job, and go to school again at forty... something. Crazy uh?
I have to confess that after I was accepted into the program I became doubtful, I started to debate myself. I think that it is more accurate to say that I struggled with all kind of fears, fears about the future, about my age, my gender and even my nationality. As a lawyer, it was easy for me to tell myself very convictive arguments about why I should just forget the crazy idea of getting ready for dedicating my life to God's work, after all who was I? I had an answer for that question, my answer was: you are a woman and you are forty four, you are an immigrant, you have nothing, you simply can't. Remember when I told you God was going to answer my questions? He did, I am afraid this story may not be chosen because what I am about to write but I will take the risk.
I was riding my bike a beautiful morning during the summer of 2009. Confused, afraid, stressed out and not knowing what to do I decided to go outside, I knew that pedaling and praying will give me some sort of relief, I did not know what was coming. I do not think that anybody could anticipate that. I started to give thanks to God for all the blessings He had have poured in my life since I got to know Him. I also started to pour out my soul before Him...I said: God I do not know what to do, as a women, at my age, I am from another country, Lord I am so afraid about what the future may hold for me, I can't, I just can't think about starting all over again, perhaps if I want to go back to school I should become a nurse as my husband says, that is what is logical! I should look for a better future in this country. Lord I am afraid, if I do not do something smart now, I will end up old and broken in a foreign land. That is when the Lord spoke to me; yes that is exactly what I said. HE SPOKE: "I brought you this far, you think I will ever leave you?" About two weeks passed. I promised myself I will not tell anybody about this, after all God does not speak in these days, or does He? I better forget about it. Is not possible, I told myself, it can't be possible, right?
I continued to question not only myself but also the "incident". Was that Him? I knew the answer, but I also continued to make all kind of reasonable excuses to support why I should keep my life the way it was, I sat on the floor exhausted of wrestling with my mind and I remember talking to myself: this is it, it is very clear, I am not going to that bible school, nobody will support a woman, my age, my situation, I quit! Before I could totally finish that sentence in my mind, His voice came to me: “I know it is not easy. But will you let me down? I will provide”.
Hesitating about it, a few days later I told my husband the story, first I timid asked him if he thought I was crazy, he smiled and said: just a little, but I was being more serious than ever so he understood something big was coming. He carefully listened to every word I said. I finished saying: God himself is asking me to go, what should I do? If I do not obey Him, where should I go? Should I hide myself under the stones, even there I would remember His voice. I knew I could not live pretending it did not happened because it did!
I can imagine how many possible things could have crossed my husband head at that moment, however with watery eyes he told me; we do not know how, but you are going to that school, if He said He will provided, He will. And He did it, he did it through generous godly men that not only believed my story but that also believe and truly understand God's story. That story says that you can be called and I can be called too!
That is the God that I know, a God that is alive, that still speaks to His servants, a God that keeps His promises and that is not bound to human understanding. I know a God that calls whoever He wants to, because He made us all. And because He can, He does. He is not waiting for us to allow Him.
I always prayed and I will always pray: Lord may you make paths where there are none, May I walk by them because you created them. I am your servant, I will obey.
Today, by His grace, I insist, only because of Him, and beating all the odds, I am a Hispanic Outreach Minister. I belong to a congregation who's loving leaders embraced me as one more, one more child of God, one more servant, just one more.
Sadly this is too hard to understand for many brothers and sisters in Christ around us that I decided not to call myself a minister, after all who wants a title? I serve, I serve God, and I serve the Hispanic community. I am holding His hand, with open heart and mind, I just trust.
Finally, as I stated in a letter to a highly appreciated brother in Christ some time ago, women can do nothing, or too little in this matter of the genders. It will take godly and loving brothers in Christ, who are in leadership positions, to be brave enough to take a stand and speak on behalf of them. Brothers, would you do it?
Love, Janna G