Greetings to all who read this, I hope my testimony will encourage and inspire the younger generation.
This is something that isn’t easy to do, cause as I think back to the condition of my life before I accepted Jesus, there’s so much pain. Trying to recall the pain is like trying to exhume a dead body, it’s ugly and not something I’m proud of.
I come from a broken home, my parents separated when I was about 12;
The security of a family was ripped out from under my feet. Because my parents were finding their own way to recover from this, I was on my own. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd, which was the only way I knew to be. I started being with a gang member and eventually got pregnant at the age of 14. I had to drop out of school in the first semester of 9th grade, because back then they didn’t want me to be a bad influence on other girls my age. Of course, I didn’t know what love was and held on to an abusive relationship. By 16, I was pregnant again, but because of our on again, off again relationship, I feel deeper into things that would ease my pain, so I began drinking liquor, and taking heavy drugs. But I thank God that every time I did, I ended up sick and hung-over.
Finally God got my attention one day when I was walking to the market to buy diapers and milk for my babies.
At that particular time in my life I was empty, miserable and tired. I felt like I was searching for happiness, trying everything I could to feel whole and fulfilled, but nothing worked. There was a big empty space in my life, I was bitter toward any guy and wanted nothing to do with them.
As I walked with a friend toward the market, we saw about five guys walking toward us, so, we decided to cross the street. But God knew what He was doing, cause we ran right into them on the way back, it was a group of brothers from Praise Chapel outreaching. I knew one of them, he was my brother’s friend, and he used to be so messed up on drugs that we all thought he lost his mind. As he was telling us about his experience with Jesus and how He changed his life, I wanted so desperately to have whatever he had. I could see it on his face, he found fulfillment, and that’s what I was looking for.
Bro. George (a.k.a Sinner man) began telling me about God’s love for me and asked me to pray and except God’s love and forgiveness right there in the middle of Payless Shoes grand opening parking lot. We prayed and Jesus came into my heart and changed my life. That was May 8, 1982, the day my life began. The next day they picked me up for church and for the first time I walked into Praise Chapel Maywood.
I knew from early on that one day I wanted to be a pastor’s wife.
I was a young mother with no high school education and had not taken a Bible course. But I believe that God doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called”. John 15:16 says: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.”
It’s been 26 years since Jesus came into my heart, the best years of my life.
In 1986 at 21 years old, I married Mark Amaya and in 1989 we went out to pastor in San Antonio, Texas. It’s been a journey and one too long to explain, but we presently pastor an awesome congregation in Whittier, CA. God is using us to build a family of fellowships in Praise Chapel. Our church has the call to “win one, build one, and send one”.
God has been so good to us; we love what He’s doing in our lives.