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AK: How did you find Jesus?
AV: I was born into a Catholic household and went through the motions of traditional religion; I have always had respect for Jesus, but can’t say that I really knew Him until later in life. In December of 2006, that really was the moment that I fully surrendered my life to Him and gave Him permission to have all of me. I raised my hand in church and responded to an altar call as a public acknowledgement that I now wholeheartedly belonged to Jesus. I remember my younger sister got saved first…she and her boyfriend at the time, kept inviting me to church and they were persistent. I remember when I walked into Mission Valley Christian Fellowship there was definitely something electric going on in there. It was the Holy Spirit and it was something I had never experienced before. Raising my hand that day was the beginning of my transformation.
AK: What do you do to make a living?
AV: I have done all kinds of different stuff, be it my jobs in the military or my work in real estate now as a civilian. In many ways I consider myself an entrepreneur. My family walked through a ton of hard times growing up … my father was deported to Mexico and my brother is stilI in prison in the U.S. Their paths seemed full of pain, so I chose a different path and enrolled in the United State Air Force. After fulfilling my duties I felt God nudging me to take this class for a military transition program… I went for three weeks and really connected with the trainer. We met later for coffee and he shared with me that because of the transparency I exhibited in class with my faith – that he had started attending church regularly and now goes to Rock Church… his girlfriend just gave her life to Jesus last week. Recently he offered me his position to be a facilitator for nonprofit that helps military transition to the civilian sector. I have a background in real estate and still take opportunities to work in that industry too. In fact in many ways my identity was in real estate until the market crashed… I pulled back a ton. I had a ton of clients and couldn’t help them… I walked away and focused in on school. I still have my license.
AK: What are the joys of sharing Jesus in the marketplace?
AV: It’s cool to know I am not in bondage and can speak freely about my faith… it’s an amazing feeling when God speaks through you and uses you to touch someone else’s life. There is a lot of peace in that. I don’t have to try to do it on my own strength… the Holy Spirit shows up and loving on other people seems effortless… there is no striving.
AK: What has been difficult about living out your faith in the marketplace?
AV: Yea – there have been times when I have held back from sharing the love of God with someone when I know I should have. There were different jobs that I had when I first put my faith in Jesus where I was told to tone it down and not share openly about what God had done in my life. One particular time, I had just returned to work from my lunch hour spent at Chick-fil-A. One of my board of directors made the statement that “we don’t eat there or support those kinds of people.” He despised the Christian values and principals Chick-fil-A has become known for. Biting my tongue at key times has been hard – especially when I experience the grieving of the Holy Spirit.
AK: What is your favorite part about giving to support the kingdom?
AV: It’s cool to know that you can invest in things that go towards the Kingdom of God. My investments will bear fruit beyond what I can initially see and that fruit is eternal. My money is all His anyways. It’s only by grace that I have it. I am just giving back to Him what He has given to me.
AK: If you could leave readers with any nugget from your life experience what would it be?
AV: Give your situation to God… whatever situation you are in, surrender it to God and just watch how He will show up.