This I Believe

Ernesto - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: Christianity
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This I believe.

I believe God gives us all an opportunity.

God has opened doors for me throughout my life. My father has dedicated his life to helping others, especially the poor people in our home country, El Salvador. Through every aspect of his life, my father has set an example for me and my siblings to follow God‘s will and I have seen how God has mapped out our lives to carry out His plan. El Salvador was in the midst of a civil war when my father was sent to a school of preachers in Lubbock, Texas to avoid being drafted by both the national army and the rebel army. The events that changed my father’s life after he graduated from the school of preachers have in the end molded my beliefs and views regarding life. By the age of four I had lived through a civil war, an earthquake, and a late night attempt to set our car on fire in the garage by the gorillas. Then my father suffered third degree burns and was in the hospital for two months after he was kidnapped by gorillas and left to burn to death in a car they set on fire. Thankfully, my father escaped. We moved to Canada as refugees of war as soon as he recovered. We lived in Canada for seven years but my father’s thirst for God’s will sent us back to El Salvador. I attended a Christian school, and even though I was the son of a preacher, I still questioned my father and his purpose for wanting to be back in El Salvador. I did not understand why I had to suffer through all these hardships for a God who has shown him nothing but suffering for eight years. What I didn’t understand at the time was that God had been preparing my father to carry out His plan. I would go to church, I would see my father passion when he preached, but still my heart was as hard as a rock. When I was 16 my parents planted a church and a children’s foundation in a small village outside San Salvador. They showed up in several cars with friends and asked all the children to come meet them. Hundreds of them came out of their adobe houses. They where all treated to food, games, and the word of God. I just sat back in the car watching. Then a couple of the older kids from the village came up to me and started talking to me. “Nice watch”, “cool necklace,” “what do you have in your hair?” It was hair gel. The foundation now sponsors 120 impoverished children. The first college graduate from the village was raised through the foundation. Finally, at the age of 23, I began to ask myself what do I really want to do with my life, and all I see are those kids faces. I have seen the example my father has set with his passion to help people and I want to do the same. The greatest thing my father has taught me though, is to never give up. I know that there will be many disappointments in life, but God is in control and has a plan for my life. He will always provide me with opportunities to carry out His will.