We would like to introduce you to our new boys’ home house parents, Ceferino and Rosa Elena Gonzales. They have two beautiful children, Daniel and Milena, 15 and 13 years old. As we introduce this couple, we must tell you their story of how God has for years been weaving them into the lives of the kids at La Casa. Ever since we were in the home in downtown San Salvador, Rosa Elena has been volunteering her time to cut hair. They have also taken children on youth retreats with them and found other ways to pour into the lives of the children. So, God has been at work for quite some time, and; it was no mistake that when we needed a couple to take over the responsibility of being house parents, God had just the right couple, just the right circumstances, and just the right timing. Listen to their story, as written by Ceferino:
For many years now, I have been pastor of various congregations, preaching the gospel in churches, even outside of my country, but never have I experienced the sensation of the Gospel being so real or so powerful in my life than I do now. God directs us to care for the orphans, widows, and the poor. These passages were running over and over in my mind, but in a comfortable office with air-conditioning, counseling people in comfortable places. I am not against that kind of pastoral work, I’ve been much a part of it all of my life, but God wanted me realize and understand the real significance of Jesus coming in the flesh as it says in Philippians 2:5-8 where Jesus leaves His throne and takes the form of a servant.
God has continued to pursue me, often in surprising ways. About five years ago, we were invited to become a part of the ministry at La Casa de mi Padre. I said “no” because I was a youth pastor at our church, but God continued to make me more uncomfortable in my current position and my wife continued to dream about being a part of La Casa. God’s timing is perfect. Through this, the Lord was preparing us for something bigger.
Later, I received an invitation to pastor a church in the United States. We thought God was moving us there, so we started to prepare for this move. However, in August, immigration declined the churches’ request for us to move to the U.S. That dream came to a screeching halt; we began to ask, “Now what? “ Once again, God placed Joshua 24:15 in our hearts; “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Our prayer was for us to serve as a family, no matter where or in what country. We only dreamed of serving, being a pat of a ministry that focused on restoring lives and cared about families.
On, Wednesday, October 31, we received a call from La Casa de mi Padre. We’ve been here for a couple of months now and we have found the true meaning of living out the Gospel. La Casa has given us this awesome privilege to get to know each boy’s’ story and to now become a part of that story. The boys have stolen our hearts as we’ve watched them laugh, eat, play, and cry. We’ve seen that as a family, God is allowing us to be His extended hand as we hug them and laugh and cry with them. Although we’ve not been here that long, we hope that God will continue to use us as He continues to teach the boys “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
We feel privileged to be a part of this ministry where we can live out God’s Word, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Ceferino González and family