New Faces in Chaplaincy: Nov 2019
November 19, 2019
Updated November 21, 2019
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I am married to Linda, and I have 4 adult children and one grandson. I was a Chiropractic Physician, who nine years ago, because of alcohol addiction, lost literally everything worldly, physically, and spiritually. Laying on a bunk in a homeless mission, I was prayed over by pastors...Christ and only the comfort he has, came to me in a powerful way.
Since that time, seeking His kingdom and righteousness. God is reconciling our marriage and children into the image of Christ. He counted me worthy to graduate Calvin Theological Seminary. I became a commissioned pastor in the CRCNA and planted a church for Celebration Fellowship. I am currently employed with Marketplace Chaplains and volunteer as a chaplain with Spectrum-Lakeland Health System while finishing my third unit of Clinical Pastoral Education with RC Freedom Ministries.
I served in parish ministry from November of 1990-98 (First Barrie, Ontario CRC) then 1998-2016 in St. Albert, Alberta. I enjoyed pastoral ministry a lot, yet began to feel like I was being ‘birthed out’ of it. I knew I had to leave the congregation to discover God’s next call. I took two units of CPE and enjoyed both placement sites. In July 2017 I answered an ad for a chaplaincy position with the Salvation Army in inner city Edmonton. Our facility, the Edmonton Centre of Hope, provides two year transitional housing for 150 men, as well as a four and a half month residential addiction recovery program (28 men). I serve in support of both programs as well as to community clients who come for Food Bank, meals or other services. I continue to learn more about homelessness, addiction, mental health, trauma and stress and how the loving presence of Jesus brings hope. My wife Audrey and I are empty nesters, our four children are grown and flown. I’m a cyclist, runner, hiker and kayaker, cross-country skier and get out on skates when possible in the winter. I’m happy and blessed to be a chaplain.
I am originally from Mexico. I moved to the US after I married my wife who is from Grand Rapids, MI. In that same year, the Lord opened the doors for me to plant a Spanish speaking church in Wyoming, MI, which I led for almost 7 years before I felt called to go to seminary. I went to seminary hoping to get better equipped to serve God and hopefully plant another church after graduation, but the Lord had different plans for me. In my 4th year of seminary, the Lord opened a door for me to be a resident chaplain at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. As a resident chaplain, God opened my eyes and my heart to the ministry of chaplaincy, I didn’t know how much I loved meeting with people in their darkest times and how much I enjoyed providing pastoral care to them, I found it meaningful and rewarding. Currently, I feel God is calling me to care for the men and women that serve our country in the military. Last but not least, the Lord has blessed me with a supportive wife and 4 beautiful kids.
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