We love kids and young people and our heart has always been to say YES to the Lord wherever He may send us. During our time in Taiwan, the Lord added the most valuable member to our team, baby Sawyer! He has been an absolute joy to have as a son and we couldn’t be happier to teach him the ways of the Lord, to show him that we do what we do and go where we go because we love the Savior. What a wonderful mission we have been given to be witnesses to Jesus! Not out of obligation. Not out of guilt. But out of LOVE.
In March we received an invitation to serve the Lord in a new place: PUERTO RICO. Holly and Micah Wakefield are dear friends of ours (Holly was one of my bridesmaids!) and they live in Puerto Rico. They told us about Young Life: a ministry reaching young people in over 100 countries and has been used by the Lord for over 70 years. They are starting new ministry in a new area of Puerto Rico and wanted Gerardo to head it up!
What we love about this ministry is that it doesn’t start with a program. It starts with people like you and I who are concerned about kids and go to them, on their turf and in their culture, building bridges of authentic friendship. These relationships don’t happen overnight — they take time, patience, trust and consistency. God is at work seeking and saving the young people of Puerto Rico and we have been invited to be a part of that exciting work!
As a Young Life leaders we will log many hours mentoring and discipling high school kids — where they are, as they are. We will listen to their stories and learn what’s important to them because we genuinely care about their joys, triumphs, heartaches and setbacks.
St. Francis of Assisi said: ”Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
Kids’ lives are dramatically influenced when caring people come alongside them, sharing God’s love with them. This is the first step of a lifelong journey; the choices they make today, based upon God’s love for them, will have an impact on future decisions — careers chosen, marriages formed and families raised — all ripples from the time when someone like you and me took time to reach out and enter their world. Youth ministry is our passion! We love kids and want to get out there where they are. So this is a dream come true! Full-time youth ministry. This August we will be preparing to move to Puerto Rico!
There are many beautiful things you might not know about Puerto Rico. It is a small Caribbean Island the size of Connecticut. Spanish and English are both the official languages. It is US territory so if you are a citizen of the United States, you can fly there without a passport. (Cool, huh?) The locals like to eat black beans, rice, and plantains, but you also have most of the American stores like Marshalls, PetSmart, and Taco Bell! There are also many saddening things about Puerto Rico as it is 2nd in the world for divorce rates. The country is going bankrupt and so many people are leaving to find a more stable place to live and raise their families.
So this is why we answered the call and said a wholehearted YES to moving to Puerto Rico! We have been given the immense privilege of telling this wondrous story by which the King of glory died! Together we are to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. We have a story to tell to the nations. We have glorious news for all mankind. We anticipate mentoring and discipling around 250 high schoolers in Palmas, Puerto Rico, and working with many thousands more on the island! We’re so ready for this new adventure!
“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” -2 Corinthians 5:18-21,
Be sure to check for updates on life in Puerto Rico on our Facebook page as well, you know we’ll be posting like crazy on Instagram & here in our Blog.