My father came from Haiti in 1951and my mother is a Haitian descendant who was born in Cuba. My father’s friends from Haiti would go visit with us very often and I got to understand French Creole language before starting primary school.
One day the school principal got into my classroom to find out who was going to church. I was the only one attending church in my class then she told me to bring my mother to school the next day. So I went to school with my mother and she was told that she had to choose between church and the school for me. She was threatened, and she stopped taking me to church because if she would do the opposite, they would keep me out of school. Consequently, I would not have been able to learn how to read and write.
Then I grew up away from the church, but at home my parents would keep Bible principles as part of our home education. I did not have a personal relationship with God but I knew He was there. I simply did not fear or recognize Him. I lost my father when I was 10 years old. But I always wanted to meet my father’s branch of the family living in Haiti. God as made that possible for me.
In1989 I went to the College of Education in Camaguey city to study English in order to be a teacher. I took my English degree with honors in 1994. Ana got her Diploma on Biology at the same College. I also got my Diploma on French in 1996.
I was curiously wondering about my name, why my name was Joshua. I knew Joshua was one Bible book so I began to read it from my mother’s Bible. I remember I told her about it and she was glad, but did not make a big issue of it, at least in my presence. My mother was praying for all her children. I also had a Christian man who would tell me about Jesus but, I was spiritually blind and deaf for a while.
My girlfriend Ana Elia Andreu Abril (Ana) later came to Christ and became my wife lived in a different town. She has 3 sisters and two brothers. She was raised in a loving home but, sadly her parents divorced when she was about to get to the University.
One day I was visiting with her and met some Christians who were her friends. Then they invited me to church and I received Jesus as my Savior and Lord. My life has changed a lot since then. In March 1996, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then I was baptized in water and became a member of Assemblies of God church in Florida, Camaguey.
I married Ana in 1997 while I was the students’ leader in the local church of Florida. Then I was chosen to be the youth leader for 8 years. I was chosen to serve as a deacon as well. So I was a husband, the youth leader, a deacon, a school teacher, a Bible school student, a cell group leader and an interpreter. I was also building my own house by that time. Only God sustained me!
In 2003, I stopped working as a school teacher because I wanted to get more involved in His Kingdom. So I became the administrative pastor for 8 years and the church secretary at the same time.
Four years ago, God took me to an area in my town to pray for a lady. She came to the Lord with one of her neighbors. I went there again and started a cell group which turned into a house church then a mission (satellite church) and hopefully this year it will become one more Pentecostal Assemblies of God church in Florida. We are about to get a property where we will meet as a church. God has been good to us.
My wife Ana and I do not have family yet. We are both serving this beautiful congregation of more than 40 people (children, teenagers, youth and older people most of them are ladies). As a congregation we have some musicians, singers, intercessors but, on top of this, we love Jesus. Ana does most of the praise and worship. She also teaches the Bible and preaches from time to time. Ana is a wonderful Biology school teacher who did her Master’s in Natural Sciences in 2011. She has a Bachelor in Theology as well.
Today, we serve as missionary pastors in Florida, Camaguey. I also serve as an interpreter sometimes. I am the Assemblies of God Pentecostal University representative in the province of Camaguey and a student with Global University from Springfield, Missouri.
The Lord has kept us so far and we believe there is more to come for His glory and honor. We are grateful for the help and support we received from CMRC and many other Canadian hands you have helped a lot in making the difference as we work for His Kingdom. May the Lord multiply it to you many times. God bless you all. Thank you very much as well for the great honor to partnership with you.