April 24, 2009

Testimony of Ánderson Godoy

My name is Ánderson Godoy Salguero and I’m 21 years old.  I was born in Bogotá, Colombia.  I want to share how God came into my life and changed everything.

I was born in a dysfunctional family; there are 4 children from three different women.  My mother used to work 10 hours a day to get money to buy food for my sister and me.  I suffered from depression as a child.  During my teen years I become violent at times and my depression led me to thoughts of suicide.  I fought with my mother and even threatened her physically.  I moved in with my father thinking I would have a better life.  However, it soon became obvious that the fighting continued; only the opponent had changed.  I sought a solution through my catholic tradition but it didn’t satisfy my needs.  I felt empty and alone.

Nonetheless, others had a different image of me.  I was an excellent student and was on scholarship throughout high school.  I finished high school with one of the best averages of my city and received scholarships to many different colleges.  But I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I took the admissions exam to a very prestigious college, the National College of Colombia.  Although I was only 16 years old, I entered the college with one of the highest averages and began to study Pure Chemistry.

None of my academic achievements managed to fill the emptiness in my heart.  I began to attend a Church of the Nazarene in my city.  While I was at college, dramatic things happened to my family.  Among those, my grandmother died in my lap.  This event led me to reflect on how temporary life is and how we must take advantage of it.  I asked God to confirm the reason why I was on earth, because, until now, my decisions were based on my own desires; however, in that moment I needed to hear His voice. God answered my prayers on December 14, 2004.  His Word was so real for me, like the air that I breathe and the blood that runs through my veins.

I quit college in spite of the high average that I had, and this decision marked the beginning of an extremely difficult stage in my life.  There were moments of terrible money shortage in my home and I heard words like, “If you were studying at college we would have hope of coming out of this poverty,” and other things that defied my faith.  I had to work to continue to move forward and every day I served God in my local church. In August 2005 I had the opportunity to come to the South American Nazarene Theological Seminary.  I understood that when God calls you to the ministry, He also calls you to prepare in an excellent way.  Since May 2006, and without any financial guarantee, I decided to act by faith and obey the calling of the Lord.  He has given me provision in miraculous ways.  I have learned about ministry, Bible, missions and other topics that allow me to bless the local church and also the universal church.  I have one of the highest averages among the students.  In December 2008 I graduated from the 3-year program at the Seminary and I’ve already completed more than half of the requirements for the next level.  I’m also leading teenagers, teaching, leading a Bible study, and participating in evangelism and missions in my local church.

It’s amazing to think how things have changed.  My mother and my sister are now Christians.  My father is starting to go to church and has asked me for forgiveness for not believing in my calling.  All my family asks me to pray for them.  My relationship with my family is better than it ever has been.  Now I understand what it really means to be a new creation in Christ.  For the very first time in my life, I have friends and people who love me in a sincere way.  I know I am not alone, and my trust is in Him.

The Lord has given me dreams and vision for my life.  I want to be a global missionary for the Church of the Nazarene.  To make that dream come true, I am giving my best in these years of training.  I long to bless many lives and to teach them the truth about the gospel.  I pray that God will use my talents and gifts to reach those who are lost.  I promise that the last breath I breathe will be for His sake.  The future may be blurred, but I know that if I seek first the Kingdom of God, all these things will be given to me as well.

Note:  Anderson speaks English and would love to hear from anyone that would like to correspond with him.  HIs email address is jahnootoko@gmail.com.