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Read Eden's Story »

1. What was life like before coming to Christ? What about before Bible College? ( The more specific, the better!)

Before coming to Christ, wow... as a teen I always felt hopeless and basically just surviving. Hopeless because I always believed I would end up just like my father and brother, my dad was cocaine, heroin addict, gambler, and criminal. Most of my childhood, unlike my peers who were having BBQ's and get together on the weekend, mine consist of visiting my dad in prison. My dad would end up getting busted for bank robbery and ended up on the top ten most wanted. We found out when my older brother saw him on the front page of the Herald. Hopeless also because my older brother was an active gang member in a Hispanic gang and would also end up in prison at the same time my dad was in jail.

As a teen at the age of 14, I was already hooked on crack cocaine and speed. I think I did every drug except heroin. Was kicked out and expelled from every high school attended, dropped out in the 11th grade, well honestly I wasn't allowed back to any school, started selling drugs at 14 to support my addiction, was sexually active at the age of 12, and the list goes on and on! I was basically self-destructing and the worst teen you would want your kids around...I really believe I did all those things because I did feel hopeless. I never really saw myself living past 21; I thought I would be dead by then.

At the age of 17, that thought would almost come to pass, when I was brutally attacked by about a dozen gang members in Hollywood. They were trying to basically beat me to death, beating me for about 10 minutes, crushing my skull in with Q-balls from a pool table. Having to learn how to talk and walk, after replacing part of my skull.

I could go on and on about life before Christ, but that’s kind of the basic story. Life before bible college was great, being married, having children and having a job was all things I never thought I would ever have, especially having a wife like mine! but just like so many of us who found Christ and was on fire for Him in the beginning stages of our new life with Christ, I found myself just going through the motions of Christianity, work, church, work, church, work, church, work, church and so on...and there’s nothing wrong with that because I was blessed working between 60 and 70 hours a week, tithing and just being an overall good man, but there was still something missing, almost like I felt like I was in neutral, just coasting through life!

2. When did you realize God was calling you to be in Bible College? (Was there a moment in church, at home, while you were reading the Word?) Please describe this moment in detail.

I honestly didn't have a feeling that God was calling me to bible college, it was more because everything around me in my life was falling apart and I didn't know why? I need answers and I couldn't find them on my own. Prior to going to bible college, like I said, I was working hard, providing for the family, tithing, going to church, being an overall good man and had just given our birthday miracle offering! Then I got hurt at work and was told I would be off for several years and possibly never go back to my career, my best friend and brother in law was killed in a motorcycle accident and I remember praying for him while he was laying in the street dying, really believing God would heal him! and then he dies...also was probably going to lose my house, my injuries from work were also triggering some old symptoms from when I was a teen when I was almost murdered, just gave our birthday miracle offering and all these things were happening and I just didn't know why? So I realized I had to go to Bible College because I needed answers to WHY?

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3. What moment in Bible College was the most impactful and life changing? How has TRBC propelled you into the future you’re living right now?)

Everything in bible college was impactful and life changing! The moment in Bible College that I will never forget is actually going home every Tuesday and Thursday sharing what I had learned in the bible college to Maricel! And I was so excited those nights because I was learning so many things and was getting my answers as to WHY? and the moment Maricel also said she wanted to go to bible college was life altering for the both of us!

The TRBC has forever impacted my life and is still impacting my life! And will forever be part of my walk with our King! TRBC has helped give me a deeper and more heart relationship with my King, TRBC has helped me have a deeper love and appreciation for my wife and children, TRBC has helped me have a deeper love for His bride, TRBC has helped give me a deeper understanding of how to work in a secular career, TRBC has impacted my life because I have been able to use what I learned every day since attending.

I believe because of the TRBC, I have been able to propel as a usher in the house for 9 years now and have been able to be a service leader in the house, been able to serve in children's ministry for the first graders with my wife, this year my wife and I have been asked to lead a team to the Philippines, with Mike Keyes Ministries on their summer missions tour for TRBC, and also this year I was appointed Chaplain for the railroad in San Bernardino. First chaplain for the UTU in San Bernardino ever!

4. What part of your story would be most encouraging for the person reading your story who feels stuck, lost and hopeless?

I think my story can encourage 3 groups of people, the ones who have such a messed up background and childhood that they never thought they could go to Bible College and graduate.

To the ones who just feel stuck in their walk with God and want to ignite that flame again, and to the ones who just have the WHY? In their hearts!!!

5. What would you say to someone who wants to go, but isn’t sure if its for them because of their circumstances, challenges, past history? (And they have the same circumstances, challenges, past that you did prior to going to Bible College.)

I would say to someone who wants to go, but isn't sure it’s for them, with my similar background and situation, is to ask themselves some questions...and that is ( are they OK with living the way they live now for Christ the rest of their lives? are they going to let their past really determine their future? are they OK with having the WHY? burning in their hearts forever? and like myself, before I found Christ, I was reckless and lived on the edge of death, are they now living that for Christ? reckless and on the edge for HIM?

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