Two cadets from the South America East Territory have joined their Central Territory sessionmates in Chicago for their second year of training. Here we share their stories which show that God, in His loving kindness, keeps pursuing us.
Cadet Yaqueline Felix
I was born in Peru and raised in a Christian home since age five, thanks to an invitation my mom received to attend home league. Every Sunday after that we began going to church; it was very emotional for me to hear that I had a friend—Jesus—who loved me.
As a young adult in order to follow my career, I left my good friend. I was far from God pursuing worldy pleasures and believing I was free though I was enslaved by sin.
But God never stopped loving me. He spoke to my heart. I began to study, work as a lawyer, be a better mother and obedient to God’s call to serve Him.
I began officer training in 2018 in the South America East Territory, where I adapted to a new schedule of classes, homework and activities. God supplied everything my daughter and I needed. Five months into my second year, I got an unexpected call from the director who said my sessionmate and I had a meeting with the territorial commander!
He wanted us to go to the U.S. for our second year of training—something I’d never imagined! They also offered to take care of my daughter, Giovanna. I had mixed feelings; joy but sadness at leaving my daughter for the first time. I thank God for His guidance in making this decision.
I arrived at the College for Officer Training in Chicago last August. It has been a marvelous experience with challenges, especially not being fluent in English. But with the help of translation and seeing other sessionmates being faithful to God’s call, I enjoy every day with God’s provision. Without a doubt, this is a beautiful opportunity confirming God’s plans are perfect.
Cadet Gonzalo Juárez
I was born in Tucumán, a small province located in the north of Argentina, and raised in a Christian home due to the strong influence of my grandmother. My spiritual journey began at age 9 when I was a junior soldier after accepting Christ as my Savior. I was committed to the idea of a life of service to God, and growing up I was involved in many corps activities.
But at age 18 when I began working there were many opportunities to stop focusing on God. After a while I began to sense an emptiness in my life. I had everything, but I was not happy or satisfied. Thinking about how God would have me live, I realized my egotistical lifestyle was far from Him.
I began to pray daily to feel His presence again. After a time of seeking God, He revealed Himself, filling my heart with joy and peace and a new plan to serve Him as an officer.
Many difficult situations came after I began to pray to fulfill God’s will, but He confirmed my calling in the middle of adversity. After not being able to walk for 40 days due to a medical incident, I prayed, “Lord, you are the doctor of doctors. If it is your will that I serve you in fulltime ministry, heal me.” The next day I was cured.
God has shown His graciousness time and again, including allowing me to come to the U.S. to finish my officer training. I’m glad God showed me His ways are higher than mine, and I am trusting He will guide my steps in ministry just like He’s always done with infinite love and faithfulness.