Faith, Love and Marriage. A Pastor Story.

September 19, 2013 by Fabiola Johnson

Pastor Oscar never imagined he would be at the head of a congregation. Along with being a devoted husband to Alicia and a great father of Daniel and Miriam, serving the poor has become his mission. This is the story of the faith, love, and marriage of a servant of God.

Pastor Oscar was born in Sinaloa and grew up in Mexicalli. He moved to Tecate when he was a teenager to live with his family. As a son of a pastor, he grew up in the faith. However, by the time he was 15 years old he walked away from God and kept his distance for nearly a decade. He dropped school and worked and lived for himself.

Soon after he had moved to Tecate, he met Alicia, a beautiful girl with big brown eyes and even bigger dreams. From that moment on, they became inseparable. It was while he was dating Alicia that he made his way back to God. One day, Alicia began attending a Bible Study at the local Catholic Church. Her studies reignited conversations of faith with Oscar, which brought them closer to the heart of God.

Their new faith united them like never before. Young Oscar grew in his faith, rediscovering the passionate love of a God who never left him. And one year later, Alicia gave her life to Jesus.

Alicia and Oscar dated for 12 years. He knew he wanted to marry her the moment he laid eyes on her. Alicia loved Oscar, but she was busy going after her dreams.

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When Alicia was a child, her mother pulled her out of school. She was told she needed to get a job, undermining the importance of getting an education, presumably because as a woman someone else would take care of her.

One day as she was heading home from the furniture store where she worked, she got the epiphany that she should learn to sew. Not only that, but she wanted to learn the techniques and details of haute couture. Despite opposition from her mother, Alicia found a school where she was able to get her certificate by taking classes in the evenings after work.

Even though her aspirations were keeping them apart, young Oscar admired Alicia’s determination. It made him want to work hard for her. And Alicia had given him an ultimatum: She would not marry him unless they could have their own home. He dedicated himself to his work, while Alicia found a job with a local tailor making ‘Quinceanera’ dresses. Together they saved money to buy a piece of land and build their first home.

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Once Alicia and Oscar got married, they began leading the marriage and youth ministry at the church his father, Pastor Ezequiel, had funded. However, soon after Pastor Ezequiel left the leadership of the church at the hands of the elders because he had been called to plant a church in Cerro Azul, an impoverished community in the mountains in the south of Tecate. After several failed attempts to find a replacement, one of the elders approached Oscar and told him that he should be the Pastor. He prayed about it, knowingly that serving God in this manner would require a tremendous sacrifice for his entire family. Pastor Ezequiel had been working with Amor for 15 year, so he invited him to partner with Amor.

Amor has been a vehicle to enter into communities to help families in need. Through Amor he has been able to know and meet their physical and spiritual needs. Through his ministry he has been in close contact with the rawness and destruction of poverty. Yet Amor has been one of the keys to enter into their lives and see their lives forever changed.

“We become like springboards for people to know about the love of Jesus and the hope that is in him.” Pastor Oscar said. He likes to be present when the families receive the keys of their new homes. “They doubt it will really happen. They don’t understand why anyone would do anything for them asking nothing in return.” he said. But one face and three words carry all the weight of what it means for him to partner with Amor: “I’ll never forget the face of the youngest child of one family when he approached me and told me straight into my eyes ‘Ya Tengo Casa’ (I got a home)”

Alicia is now also a part of Amor. When the food program ‘La Cocina’ was envisioned at Amor, the idea was that one of the wives of our Pastors would cook their traditional Mexican dishes. Alicia became a perfect match. With her mother recipes in one sleeve and her resourcefulness in the other, she has made of ‘La Cocina’ one of the most delicious traditions of the Amor experience. She continues preparing herself and with the help of Amor she is now in the process of receiving her English certificate.

Pastor Oscar is a carpenter. A trade he learned from his father and that he hopes to pass down to his children. He has his own workshop at home and continues making improvements to the home he started building many years ago with the love of his life. Oscar and Alicia are still committed to marriage ministry. Their marriage of more than a decade has flourished by putting God at the center of it all. “A faithless marriage focuses on economic goals,” he says, “but it has a need it cannot satisfy. When a couple can’t figure out what is missing, they fill themselves with fear that makes their marriage fail.”

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Topics: Pastor Stories

    

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