I cried my first day of school in kindergarten, and every day for months after that. I was afraid to leave the comforts of home, meet new people, go to unfamiliar places, or pretty much do anything unknown. I ate the same peanut butter sandwich on Potato bread every day, and yes, it was extremely dry and hard to swallow. But that was me. Picky, shy, quiet, emotionally dependent on my parents.
If you would have told me that I would grow up to be a world traveler, travel to 20+ nations, and lay down my life to preach the gospel of Jesus, I would have taken my blanket and peanut butter sandwich, gone to my corner and cried.
Adventure, passion, boldness, are all learned traits for me.
I grew up in San Diego, California, and never left. I went to a Christian School, with the same friends for 10 years. I lived in the same house, attended the same church, and prayed the same prayer every night before bed. My life was far from unique or adventurous, that is until I met Jesus for real. Not theological Jesus, real Jesus.
When I graduated High School in 2009 I had no idea what I wanted to do or become. One of my teachers said, “Pray and ask God to shut all doors that aren’t him, and keep only the ones that are him open.” I said the prayer, just to say I did but never believed God would answer until He did. Two events happened:
- Though I had a 4.2 GPA, and in severe financial need, every University called me stating they would give me no financial aid.
- My brother came home from being a missionary and asked me to join him as a missionary.
Just like that, all doors closed, and only one door opened. Why does God answer the prayers I don’t want him to?
I promised my ego only 6 months away as a missionary, buying time to re-apply for a college scholarship, and give me a chance to see the world for 6 months.
6 months has turned into 10 years, 20 nations, and full time pastoring.
While in my Discipleship Training School I met Jesus. I felt his love, his healing, his grace, and His Holy Spirit. The adventure began to grow into my heart, Passion began to burn, and boldness began to rise.
I went to live in Colombia for 3 months amongst the most broken in the world. Drug Addicts, Prostitutes, Orphans, the homeless and destitute, these became my life, and my friends. My world turned upside down. I saw the power of God I did not believe in heal people. I saw the cross set people free from addiction and bondage, and it was then that I decided that I would give my life to see Jesus’ name spread throughout the Earth.
I then traveled to China and North Korea and lived with the underground church for a while, and then off to Cambodia to the tribes of the jungles. Here we saw entire revival throughout entire villages. It was in the midst of this revival in Cambodia that I felt God ask me, “Can I do this in America? Can I do this in San Diego?”
My heart immediately answered before my words could, “No.”
“Am I the same God in California? Can I do there what you saw me do here?”
In silence, I knew that there was only one way I would ever know.
I moved back to California and have been here ever since, Pastoring in San Marcos to Junior High, High Schools, Universities, Churches, and much more. I have seen the Lord do everything I saw in Cambodia and more, and I know that this is just the beginning.
I have dedicated my life to seeing Jesus’ name known in my City, and the rest of the world. It has been a wild story, and I know I am just finishing the prologue. Let the Story truly begin.