It is easy to get caught up in big-picture ministry activity, and forget that God is at work building his church by calling one person at a time into his kingdom. The following story highlights the way God called a young woman, Crismayri Perez, to faith in Jesus Christ, and gave her a passion to bring others to faith, by using the Santo Domingo church, Iglesia Fundamento Biblico, the student arts/music ministry Generation of Change, ministry leaders, and Christian friends, to bring about his will for her life!
Crismayri was our interpreter in our recent ministry planning trip to the Dominican Republic, and traveled with Roger and Susan Wedel for several days to Azua Province, and then back to Santo Domingo. She is now a precious friend to us, and we wish to share her powerful testimony with you. (She is a Spanish speaker, but shared this testimony in English for our North American friends).
Crismayri Perez Testimony: What God has Done in My Life
December 16, 2017
In 2010 at age of 16, I was a normal girl just like the others, at school, in a life with no God. I used to go to the Catholic church, but I stopped going because I found nothing there that gives meaning to my life, so I was just living an empty life like the others without God and without hope.
In that same year I noticed there was something different in a friend of mine named Edgar Gonzalez, who had changed, and he was not the same person that he used to be the year before at school. So, we started talking and he told me that he became a Christian and he wanted me to go to a biblical group, saying “Maybe you will like it”. So, I said yes, and on a Tuesday afternoon he took me to Generacion de Cambio (Generation of Change) in a house of a brother named Franklin Lopez that use to work with the youth of Katanga. So, I was there, we sang songs, Franklin spoke about the Bible, and God started to move my heart.
I told my friend Edgar I wanted to keep going and learning. God moved my heart to be there, to learn, and I really liked it, it was totally new for me. But even though I liked it, even though I was there, and I enjoyed it, I was not a believer yet (this leads me to think that a person can like God’s stuff without believing him). I think it was in my 4th or 5th visit to GOC that my friend Edgar told me “please come to our church” (they invited me several times before, but I couldn’t go) but this time I said “yes, I will go!”
I remember my first time at Iglesia Fundamento Biblico, I arrived there, and it was like they knew me. I saw so much love, they treated me with so much love, that I couldn’t understand why, if those people don’t know me, how they can bring me so much love. I also remember that pastor Castillo was preaching, I cannot remember the topic, but I listened, and I started to feel more curious. I wanted to know how that is possible to give so much love without knowing someone. I can even remember I gave my phone number to Pastor Huascar’s daughter, Magdiel, and she called me to check how I was.
I kept going to Generation of Change (GOC) also and learning about the Word of God, asking Franklin and Edgar about my doubts. They became as a family to me, and in that same year, in April I remember, God changed my life completely and I became by the grace of God a believer! I wanted to go to the church, but it became a problem with my Catholic family. I had this hunger for the Word of God, but my family didn’t want me to go to the church. Those were horrible times in my life, but God always has a purpose. My family didn’t want me to go to the church, but they allowed me to go to GOC, so I used to go every week to learn about the Word of God, to learn the songs, and about the Christian life. I also participated in the character drama performance of some activities that GOC did.
In those months of suffering my family didn’t want to give me the money for public transportation for going to the church. I remember sometimes them telling me: “if you don’t have the money to go, you cannot go”. So many times, friends from church gave me money for public transportation, but for almost a year my family only allowed me to go to the morning service. I remember praying to God so many times to help me to go to the evening service and help me with the situation in my family.
What happen to me then was amazing. Franklin introduced me to a sister from church name Ana that is in charge of Human Resources in the company that I work for today, so I started talking to her about God and we became close friends. At the same time, my family started to see how God was working in me and changing me; I was not an empty normal girl, I was new, and different, and they started to see that, and they liked it. It was an amazing blessing to me the time I heard: “Cris, don’t you go to the church today?”. The joy that I felt in that moment I cannot explain it with words.
And God is so good, that I remember I was talking to my friend Ana and as a joke (because I was just 17 years old) I told her, “Ana, get me a Job there where you are”, and she told me, “Of course, send me your resume”. Maybe 2 or 3 days later I received the call for the interview, my first job interview! God was with me and sent Ana to be a part of what was about to start in my life. I got the job, and because of it I had to change my college schedule from the morning to the night, and guess what??? I started going to church at night, ohhh yesss! God answered me in an amazing way!
From that time until today I continue going to Iglesia Fundamento Biblico. I got baptized a year after I started going to the church, and I’m an active member there. I really give thanks to God for Jesus Christ who saved my life in such an amazing way, and also, I thank God for the people that he used in my life to get me there.
My desire now is to glorify God, and preach the Gospel to those who are empty as I used to be. I want to study piano for helping in the musical ministry at church. I want to be a Christian with joy, living with integrity in the Word, and I desire with all my heart the return of our King Jesus and to be in his presence forever!
– Crismayri Perez