Personal Testimony

On July 21, 1998, I became a disciple of Jesus Christ. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let me preface my story by saying that my family and I fled from a civil war in Nicaragua (Sandinistas vs. Contras) to find refuge in America. The year was 1978. I was five years old.

Throughout my childhood I was raised to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. When I reached my teens, however, I began to question the goodness of God and ultimately His existence. I asked the quintessential question, “How could a loving God allow so much evil in the world?” But this was simply a smoke screen to satisfy my hollow rationale. Meanwhile, I sank into a deep pool of emotional despair. It took a few failed relationships to bring me to the point of emotional/spiritual bankruptcy. On the aforementioned date, I committed my life to follow Christ knowing full well what that entailed—repenting from my lascivious lifestyle and disciplining my heart and mind for the purpose of discipleship and flourishing.

I’ve been walking with the Lord now for over twenty years and I’ve never regretted a single day of my sanctification. He has completely supplanted my old life of guilt, fear, shame, hatred, depression, and anxiety for a new life of forgiveness, love, joy, courage, creativity, and peace. Since my conversion, God has empowered me to complete an Associate of Arts in General Studies at Saddleback College; a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development (sociology/psychology) at Azusa Pacific University; a Master of Arts in Theology at Biola University’s graduate program (Talbot School of Theology); a Master of Arts in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot.

It was during my undergraduate studies at APU that God introduced me to a beautiful, godly woman named Sari Merritt. I asked her out on a date on February 26, 2004 and a year later—on February 26, 2005—we were married! Four years later, we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy so we named him Nathanael, which means “gift from God.”

We have been walking strong in the Lord together for over fifteen years and we are more in love now with Jesus and with each other than when we first met.

One Response to “Personal Testimony”

  • Jeremiah says:

    Awesome testimony, Chester! Thoroughly admire your honesty and all that you have achieved in such a short time. My love to you, brother!

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