SALVATION TESTIMONY – Manny Rodriguez
I was saved in November of 1988. I was raised a Catholic. I went through Catholic school as a child and was an altar boy. Due to marital problems, my parents separated when I was about 10 years old. My father lived in New York city. My mother lived in South Carolina. My sister and I moved down to South Carolina to live with our mother and baby brother. After a while, we became acquainted with our neighbor’s children who lived across from us in the trailer park we lived in. The mother of our new friends was a godly black woman named Mrs. Kamille Perkins, who was raising 4 children on her own. She began witnessing to me and inviting my sister and I to church. Going to a Baptist church was a culture shock for me considering my Catholic background. Through the preaching of the Gospel I soon found out that I was a sinner on my way to hell and that only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ could save me from my sins. One night I got under great conviction about my sinful condition during the preaching of God’s word. When the preacher gave the invitation, I was compelled by the Holy Spirit to go forward and receive Christ as my Saviour. But due to fear, I didn’t do it that moment. On the way home that night, the conviction of the Holy Spirit wouldn’t leave me alone. I couldn’t go to sleep. Finally, I decided to surrender. So I knelt by my bedside and trusted Christ as my Saviour. Over 20 years later, I’m just as excited now about the Lord as I was when He first saved me. Eventually, I was able to help lead my parents to the Lord. God saved our home as my parents have now been married for over 40 years. Praise the Lord!
CALL TO THE MINISTRY
Throughout my youth, I always had a fascination about preaching. Preachers were my heroes. I would sometimes walk off to a remote place in the woods where I lived and practiced preaching. I preached my first message at a youth meeting when I was 13 years old. I preached my second sermon at a Youth Camp Meeting when I was about 14. When I was about 17 years old, God began to deal strongly with me about living a consecrated life of service to Him. One Saturday I went to downtown Bay Street in Beaufort, SC to pass out Gospel tracts and to support the men in our Church who were street preachers. As I witnessed the open-air preaching, God began to stir my spirit about preaching on the street. When the last street preacher finished his open-air sermon, though unprepared and unplanned, I stepped up and preached on Hell from Ps. 9:17. I was so excited about that experience afterwards that I made a promise to God that evening that if he’d teach me how to preach, I’d dedicate my life to the Gospel ministry. To make a long story short, it wasn’t long before I was not only preaching on the street on a weekly basis, but I was receiving opportunities to preach in the church, to the youth, as a fill-in for the Pastor and Assistant Pastor, as a fill-in for Pastors of other churches. Before I knew it, I was preaching in funerals, nursing homes, tent meetings, Bible conferences, Christian day schools, on mission-fields, and even in a hospital on one occasion. Over and over again, God would confirm His calling upon my life to be a Gospel preacher.
I graduated from our home church’s Bible Institute in 1999. Ever since then, we’ve been involved in ministering to Hispanic people. God gave me the privilege to start a Spanish ministry and serve as its Director for several years. In fact, it was through this Spanish ministry that I met my wife. Then around 2007 we answered the call to serve as church planting missionaries in the island of Puerto Rico.
We served in Puerto Rico for several years and saw souls saved. God did a wonderful work as we had part in the establishing of a church in the mountains of Jayuya.
We are now serving as church planting missionaries in Paraguay, South America. We also operate the Paraguay Bible Institute in which we are training over 30 men for the ministry.
God has been good to me. He has blessed me with the best wife a preacher could ever have and 4 beautiful children. I am both humbled and honored that God would call an unprofitable servant like myself to serve Him in any capacity. May God be glorified in all the we do in His service.
* 3 Years of Bible training under my Pastor at the Beaufort Bible Institute. Graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.
* Many years of experience as a Street Preacher.
* Taught Theology in the Beaufort Bible Institute
* Founded and Directed a bilingual Spanish/English ministry for several years.
* Taught in the Bible Institute in Villeta, Paraguay
* Served for 6 years as the Pastor of Iglesia Bautista Monte Calvario (Mount Calvary Baptist Church) in Jayuya, Puerto Rico. Later handed it over to a national whom we trained.
* Started the Jayuya Bible Institute
* Administrating, directing, and training men for the ministry in the Paraguay Bible Institute
* Planting churches in Paraguay, South America
SALVATION TESTIMONY – Maria Rodriguez
I grew up in Brownsville, Tx. My family and I have attended Iglesia Bautista Fundamental pastored by Victor Alvarez since I was five years old. A lady had spoken to me and told me that if I wanted to go to heaven and not go to hell, I needed to pray and ask God to save me, and so I did. Some time later our church started up a christian school. My parents decided that they wanted us kids to receive a christian education, so they put us in the church school. Listening to chapel services and church services I realized that I wasn’t saved. I had never admitted that I was a sinner and that I needed my sins forgiven. I now realized that Jesus had died and shed His blood for my sins and without His forgiveness I was on my way to hell. So that wednesday evening I walked to the altar and received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal saviour.
At the age of twenty-one, I joined the navy. I got stationed in Beaufort, S.C. for my first duty station. I arrived in Beaufort in March of 2000. I started looking for a Spanish-speaking Baptist church that I could attend, but could not find one. A few months later, in September, I was walking into La Nopalera, a Mexican restaurant in town, when I saw a flyer on the door. It mentioned that Calvary Baptist Church was offering bilingual services. I started attending and found it to be what I was looking for. The person in charge of those services was Manny Rodriguez.
After a few weeks we started dating. When I went home for the holidays, I spoke to my pastor, Bro. Alvarez about the relationship I had with Manny. He told me that since I was dating a preacher that if we wound up getting married I should be ready and willing to be a pastor’s wife or missionary’s wife. But I wanted to finish my enlistiment, do my four years of college, and then go on with my life. Being a pastor’s wife or missionary’s wife did not fit into my plans. So when I returned to Beaufort I explained to Manny that I didn’t think things were going to work out between us and so we quit dating. But afterwards, God started dealing with me about the matter. He made me realize that I was putting my plans first and not His will. After a few months of mentally arguing with God, I surrendered myself to His will. I let Him have total control of my life. Soon after that, God brought Manny and I back together. We were married on November 10, 2002.
A few years after getting married my husband told me that God was calling him to the mission field of Puerto Rico. I was willing and ready to go with a glad heart wherever God wanted to lead us!
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