Everyone Has a Story. Meet Pablo (Part One)


In September of 2010, our family moved to Charlotte, NC to volunteer with an inner city youth ministry called One7. It was founded in 2008 and now has kids from Africa, Vietnam, Burma, Mexico, El Salvador and the United States. The One7 vision: To reach and transform inner city communities and families by intentionally forming cross cultural youth ministry teams while focusing on holistic change and spiritual growth. We are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves, and we have never regretted the decision to move. One thing we have come to understand is that everyone has a story. All it takes is some time and active participation in someone’s life to develop a personal relationship. Just because a person is smiling on the outside, does not mean they are not ripped apart inside.

DSC_0464Meet Pablo. He is from Argentina and one of our most outspoken leaders at One7. On and off the soccer field, he demonstrates his passion not only for the game of soccer, but also his love for God. So many lives have been touched and changed by his words. He is an inspiration to all who meet him. He has a very bright future, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for his life.

I asked Pablo to write out his testimony.

Growing up as a child, I had everything a kid might desire. My father was a successful manager of a steel company in New Jersey. Consequently, I become spoiled and selfish. I began to create this image that the universe revolved around me. Greed, lust, and idolatry were words that could describe the person I was becoming.

About six years ago, my life was completely turned around when my father lost his job. I lost everything I had. My friends, my home, even my self-value…all were gone. I was so enveloped by the little world I had created that money and material items had come to define who I was.

Watching my parents fight, having little to no food, wearing hand me downs to school, and not having any money humbled me to the bone. Life became a daily pain. Pushing through every day knowing that my family might not have even a piece of bread to eat for dinner was depressing. As I look back, I am reminded of the ways I would escape the pain of having a hole in my heart. Even until this day, I am embarrassed to speak about it. I was introduced to things that no child should ever go trough at such a young age.

Although I could temporarily escape my pains, nothing was permanent. While on a mission trip to Kingsport, TN, we attended a youth service at Higher Ground Baptist Church. The pastor preached about a man named Jesus. Growing up with a religious family, the story was not new to me. I had heard it many times, but for reasons I cannot explain, this time is was completely different.

I felt as if the pastor was speaking directly to me. He kept repeating the words, “He loves you!” The phrase echoed in my mind. Tears began to gently flow down my cheeks. For the first time in my life, I felt as if my heart had melted. I could not explain why, or how, but I felt as if the world was lifted off of my shoulders. The feeling of being cleaned and renewed engulfed every thought in my brain. Jesus had come to Earth to die for me! I considered myself garbage at that point, but God looked at me and said, “You are mine.”

I am still not a perfect human being, but I have come a long way. To me, every day that I wake up is a new day to glorify the God that forgave me and died for me. Greed, selfishness, and lust are all temptations that I still struggle with today, but Ephesians 6:10 encourages me to keep fighting for His glory. I now realize that no matter how much the world around me is falling apart, it is continuously in His hands and under His control. I have nothing to worry about.

If you have ever felt this way or maybe you feel like giving up, I strongly encourage you to seek Him. He is always knocking at the door of your heart. It’s just a matter of if you want to let Him in. He died for you, so why not live for Him?

SPACE

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook by clicking on the appropriate link to the right. Thanks!

Have a blessed day,

Chris



Categories: General, ONE7

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26 replies

  1. i really love this inspiring story of Pablo…thanks

  2. Hi Chris, thanks for following me. I love the vision of One7. You should bring the group down to The Ramp some time for a youth conference. You can get more info at theramp.org. Great blog!

  3. Bless you and your work Chris. I have mad respect for you brother because your right out here digging in the streets with the rest of us. Bravo. How old is Pablo? What an amazing young man he has become. So many young minds have become so convoluted by commercial designs established to turn everything into profit. It is refreshing to someone break free and see things with such clarity at an early age. What a future he has ahead of him. Keep up the great work. Cheers

  4. Reblogged this on Thoughts of a Father and commented:
    I’ve been keeping an eye on this blog for a bit. Chris is an author, but the insights he shares from his experiences volunteering at One7 are incredible.

    I’ve been strongly challenged lately to release my selfishness and ego; to focus more on Christ and to give attention to the thoughts and needs of others. As I read Pablo’s story, I was impacted by his story, and I hope that I will not need the dramatic experience he had to have the change of heart that has been his.

  5. Hi Chris,
    I nominated you for:
    THE VERSATILE BLOG AWARD
    Come to my blog and receive your award.

    http://robinclaire.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-versatile-blog-award/

    robin claire

  6. Thanks for sharing Pablo’s story……..I emailed it to my kids for inspiration.

  7. Hi Chris, “We all have a story” captures our need to be in community, and how the support of others gives us courage to know our life has meaning. The beauty, we are not alone on our journey; God’s love and compassion is made known through our willingness to support, to love and to encourage. Happy New Year! Blessings, Pat

  8. Hello Chris, I don’t know if you know who Joyce Meyer is, but she always says to let your life be a testimony. I know that hearing Pablo’s story or anyone else who has come to Christ vs. only theology is what gets my attention. Being on the autism spectrum and desperately wanting to experience having more of a life that all who enjoyed a sensory integrated life had brought me into a relationship with God. I believe He inspired me to do the research that lead me to make my ear-gear! I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit that June night in 2010. Keep sharing testimonies!

  9. Chris,
    When I saw that you are following my blog I was in awe and I am more so after reading some of what you have written. You are doing wonderful work and inspire me to better myself.
    Thank you, Simi

  10. Love the fact that you quote Scripture. God Bless! Dropped by to let you know that you’re being awarded a blog award tomorrow on my blog. The post will be coming out tomorrow. Just thought I’d let you know!

  11. Thanks to you and to Pablo for sharing this testimony. I’m reminded that sometimes the Lord has to break us down to reshape us into what he needs us to be. I know He does, because it happened to me too. God bless you both and your ministry.

  12. I can understand exactly what he means by it being a humbling experience. I have gone through the same situation, though under different circumstances. The main point being I understand how material things can come to consume your life. There is so little else youthink of when you become that person that when you lose that wealth you are really astonished at how many other things are important in life. I am not a particularly religious person, but findin something that can help ake a difference in your life as well as others is something grand.

    What has made my life better has been my dedication to my writing, to developing a voice in the world which not only gives an opinion, but genuine advice others can use to help themselves. Honesty has become something ai champion and value much more than material wealth (though I now have that wealth back). Compassion for others as well as using my wealth to help those in need are things that come to define me. Material wealth is not something to be hated, but when that is what comes to define a person that person has lost something fundamental to human nature.

  13. Wow, I truly enjoyed reading that! It was really nice. :)

  14. WOW! Powerful. wise and loving…exactly what we all need to know and live! Thanks!

  15. Chris,
    thanks for sharing Pablo’s testimony. What he said about keeping our hearts opened to the Lord, is the key. Our humility. Thankyou for sharing this testimony & all of the other testimonies of the one7 family :)

  16. A nice article, thanks, and a touching story. I’m a staunch atheist though, so I can’t say I agree with the leanings here! Always fun to see other people’s opinions, though.

  17. Hi Chris, Hi Pablo,
    Thank you Chris for letting Pablo give his testimony here, and thank you Pablo for being so candid and honest. It is very touching, and I encourage to keep moving forward. I can feel where you were. You see, as a university student, I got caught up in the Philosophy books of the world, and it took me some time to discover there is no philosophy that can outdo the word of God.

    I am thankful today that God roped me back in at the appropriate time. I believe he does that for everyone with whom he has a special plan for their lives. Not that God has favourites, because he doesn’t. But there are some people that are called for a special work and God has a goal directed purpose that only they can fulfill, just like Moses.

    Maybe, just maybe, you are one of those people, and I pray that your heart stays humble and your ears stay open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    God bless you.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

  18. God is really good. Glad to hear the story of Pablo.

  19. God truly works in miraculous and wonderful ways. Blessed be God forever. Thank you for posting Pablos’s testimony.

  20. Thank you for sharing this with us and for following my blog. Best wishes, H.

  21. If in writing, we can touch just one person and make them think about things that they don’t normally think about, it is well worth the time taken to organize testimonies and write things that might touch another’s heart. We all have a story and sometimes that one story and what they are going through might touch someone across the country and never know it. Thank you for sharing… I too have heard stories like this but for some reason, I needed to read this one today.

  22. You know I’m not religious, but I really enjoy reading your blog! Happy New Year!! ……Paula x

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