Investing time, not wasting it

For Roberto Ramirez from Costa Rica, serving God in missions has been one step of faith after another. He lost his job, financial security and even his fiancé—but he gained so much more.

Roberto, 31, was raised in a Christian family. But,” he said, “that didn’t automatically make me a Christian. When I was six years old, I met Jesus while in a children’s activity run by missionaries.”

By age 21, Roberto was an industrial engineer, a job he did for nine years. He enjoyed his job, which provided well financially, and also volunteered with ministries in his community.

It was a good life, but God had different plans for him.

“One day, I asked myself, ‘What am I doing?’” Roberto shared. “I had a good life and good things, but as the Apostle Paul said, these things don’t have eternal value.”

“I realised there was more than having a great job and wealth, and God was inviting me into something bigger: investing my time on this earth instead of wasting it. The world is getting worse every day. As a Christian, I need to do something about that. I need to share God’s love with others with my life.”

Roberto was working in a secular job when God spoke to him. “He said, ‘When you are in front of Me in eternity, will you say, ‘I spent my life investing my efforts in this job, and now my boss has a lot of money and employees’? What will you say when I ask you, ‘What did you do with My kingdom?’”

“That blew my mind,” Roberto continued. “I think that as Christians, we think it’s ‘our lives with Jesus’, but it isn’t my life. It’s His life. There’s a big difference.”

Roberto’s passion for missions and the least reached also grew, which others noticed. At the time, he was serving with a youth ministry alongside his girlfriend. “One day, the ministry leader, who is a friend, said to me, ‘Why are you serving in this ministry? Because every time I see you, you talk about people who are dying in Asia or Africa and don’t have the Bible in their language.’”

“I said, ‘I am serving God.’ But he replied, ‘Are you here because you are passionate about this ministry, or because your girlfriend serves here and it’s convenient with your job? You are not going to use my ministry as an excuse to not complete God’s work for your life.’”

“I was shocked,” Roberto shared. “But a few months later, I was no longer with the ministry.”

One day, Roberto saw a flyer on an announcement board at church about a short-term mission trip to El Salvador with Operation Mobilisation (OM). He joined the team sharing the gospel there, and later attended volunteer meetings and missions mobilisation events in Costa Rica. He also went on mission trips to North Africa and Taiwan.

However, Roberto struggled with the idea of joining missions full-time. “I was worried, because by then I was engaged. I knew God was calling me to missions full-time, but my fiancé didn’t want it. She loved to serve God, but she had different plans unrelated to missions.

Eventually they made the painful decision to break their engagement.

“After that, I asked God, ‘If I quit my job, I won’t be able to pay my bills. Please do something in my work.’ A month later, I learnt I was going to be laid off. It was my answer from God, because I could live for a year with unemployment insurance after losing my job.”

“I joined OM in Costa Rica full-time in April of 2018, where I now work in operations, fundraising, administration and with short-term teams who come to Costa Rica to serve. Our focus is raising up missionaries to send to the least reached.”

After over a year as a support-raised worker, God has provided financially in many different—and unexpected—ways. Roberto isn’t worried about the future. “God will provide. He’s my boss. I have a great job because I have the best boss. He is taking care of me.”

Through his journey to joining full-time missions, Roberto has learnt to trust God. “God helped me understand that even when things are hard, the only thing we need to do is obey Him.  He will do the hard, impossible things. He’s not looking for superheroes. He’s looking for you and me.”

How will you invest your life? Does Roberto’s story inspire you to explore how you can share God’s love with others? Click here for more on what God is doing in Costa Rica and how you can be part of it: https://www.om.org/en/country-profile/costa-rica

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