Josué Sánchez, 32, from El Salvador, knows all about risk.
“I grew up in the most dangerous town in Central America,” Josué said. “There are violent gangs who fight for territory and will kill for no reason. Everyone in El Salvador faces this every day. It’s a matter of knowing how to survive. It’s like, ‘Welcome to the jungle’.”
Josué came to know Jesus’ love as a child, when a classmate invited Josué to his house, and their family invited Josué’s mother to church. “We started going together, and three years later, I accepted Jesus as my Saviour.”
At age 17, he committed to serving Christ with his life. At the time, he was in Panama on a short-term mission trip with Operation Mobilisation (OM).
Josué volunteered with OM for three years, serving with short-term teams in Central America. He earned a degree in communications, studied English, and worked with a local ministry in El Salvador for nine years, all while serving at his church. He had his own home and owned a motorcycle. It was a fulfilling life.
Then God asked him to give it all up.
It started simply. One day after nine years of ministry, Josué realised he needed a break. “I took a two-year sabbatical and worked in a call centre. But in 2018, I felt like God was calling me back to ministry. He told me ‘I need you to remember that you made a promise to Me.’ So I contacted a friend with OM in Costa Rica and joined them on an outreach to an indigenous jungle tribe.”
At the end of the trip, he was asked to join OM in Costa Rica for three months. “I quit my job that week,” Josué remembered. “For the next two months, I translated for short-term teams, and during that time, the support came in for my trip.”
While in Costa Rica, Josué helped with logistics for Logos Hope’s arrival, as well other ministry tasks. Then, he was asked to consider joining OM in Costa Rica to help with communications.
It was the ultimate risk for Josué. “At first, I was afraid to leave everything. I owned a lot of things in El Salvador—my bed, my motorcycle, my washing machine, everything I needed. In Latin American culture, it’s not often for someone to leave their parents’ house and live independently, but I'd been living by myself for almost eight years,” Josué remembered.
“I prayed for two weeks, and eventually decided that if the Lord needed me in Costa Rica, He would show me the way. I started fundraising, sold my possessions and God provided everything I needed. Now, I’m here for one year, but it could be longer.”
Through this process, Josué has learned a powerful lesson: “You grow up thinking that by a certain age everything will be figured out, that you will be financially stable, will get married and will have your own house, your own things and things you worked hard for—things that prove that ‘you can do it’. And then God says to you, ‘I want to break you down. Come over here and focus on me.’”
But Josué says it’s worth the cost. “God has been there and has had my back through it all. Before, I found security in money. But now I have found security in God.We all have bills to pay, things we need or want to buy—or maybe we want things we can’t purchase, like a relationship. It’s natural for us to want these things. But we need to find our fullness in Christ first, and after that, everything will be added to our lives.”
God taught Josué that he doesn’t need earthly possessions. “I only need Him. My full mind needs to be concentrated on Him and what He has for me, and He will provide the rest. I lost everything I had, but I gained more than I could ever have on my own, because I am denying myself everyday so Christ can live in me. I might not ever have the means to build a house on earth, but I know I will have a really sweet home in heaven.”
Josué is amazed about the love God has shown him through Christ. “I just cannot stop sharing Him with others. Now it’s a matter of showing with my actions what it means to follow Jesus and to love Him.”
Is God calling you to take a step of faith and trust Him in sharing His love with others? Click here for more information: www.om.org!
Kate Toretti loves to tell stories about what God is doing in the world. She currently serves in communications for OM in Argentina.