Catching the Call
My birthplace was the Dominican Republic, and during my early years, I lived with my grandmother who was a fine Christian lady. She would get me up at five o’clock every morning, and we would read the Bible and sing together. Because of her, I learned about the Gospel while I was very young.
From the first through the seventh grades, I was sent to a private school, and the studies were all in English. Also, as I grew, I became very active in sports. The national sport in the Dominican Republic is baseball. Many of us young people hoped to be professional baseball players. By the time I was fifteen years old, I was considered to be a star at baseball and seemed to have a fair future in sports. Some of the government teams wanted me as a player. My involvement was leading me into the things of the world, but the Lord plucked me as a brand from the fire.
In September 1953, I was walking down the street in Consuelo when suddenly, I began to cry. I tried to control the tears, but could not. I went to the park and sat down under a tree, wondering what was happening. Then I clearly heard the Voice of God say, “I am calling you.” Immediately I arose and went to some friends, telling them, “Tonight will be the end of my life in sin.”
Revival meetings were going on in Consuelo, and I went to church. When the message was finished, I went forward and prayed. I cried out, asking God to forgive me and save my soul. God was faithful. He lifted the burden and Heaven opened. Something precious came into my soul, and for the first time ever, I began to say, “Praise the Lord. Thank You, Jesus!” It was a glorious night.
God put it in my heart to give up playing baseball. The people who lived in my vicinity could not believe that God had saved me and that I was willing to give up everything to follow Him. A crowd set out after me as I went to my home the evening I was saved, but what God had done in my life was real—He had wonderfully changed me. For two years, the young men I had played ball with awaited my return with my uniform, but I told them, “I meant it with all my heart, and I am going through with Jesus.”
A month after I was saved, the Lord marvelously sanctified my soul. Oh, I am praising God for that! A month later I was baptized in water, and I remember promising the Lord that I would go all the way with Him. Two years later, the Lord wonderfully baptized me with the Holy Ghost and fire. The Gospel has surely changed my whole life, giving me a life of victory. Thank God that He helps us to find shelter in Jesus Christ! As long as the world goes on, the temptations and cares of life destroy the lives of many people, but I am sheltered in Jesus Christ.
One of my early privileges in the Lord’s work was playing the trumpet. When a group of Gospel workers would visit a town for special meetings, fifteen or so of us would march through the town playing our instruments. This would generate interest and draw a crowd for the meetings. People would hear and follow us to the church.
At the age of twenty-one, I married, and my wife and children are all in the Gospel. God blessed our home because He was the center of our lives. For thirty-four years I worked in a large sugar factory in the city of La Romana. I was a foreman there for twenty-one years. When I began considering retirement, my employer wanted me to stay on, and my supervisors offered again and again to raise my wages and give me all kinds of incentives. But I had put in my years of work and was ready to retire from that. Now when I go by the factory, I do not even look to see if smoke is coming from the chimney.
At the age of twenty-four, the Lord called me to the ministry. Later I was asked to be the first national youth leader for the Apostolic Faith churches in the Dominican, so I was in charge of the youth activities for about twenty-eight churches. Then in April of 1994, God gave me a further trust to keep in the Dominican Republic. I was called to be the district superintendent of the Apostolic Faith churches in the Dominican, and I mean to be true to that trust. I would not change my title to be the president or the king. It is good to lead people to the paths of righteousness, and I can say as the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.”
Thank God for the power there is in the Gospel! I can recommend Christ to any person. He has been real in my life. I have peace and joy and happiness, and I want to live in the center of His will so I can hear when He speaks to me.
As I look back at the years that have passed, the memories are sweet. I want to keep going forward until Jesus calls me Home, because the Gospel is more than life to me. It is my strong desire to be faithful and true to God.