Ivan Contreras was born on December 6, 1968, the fourth of five siblings. His father was a country man who studied hard to become a lawyer and graduated from college in Spain. His mother came from a very wealthy family. When Ivan was 2 years old, his family was living out a nightmare. Not only were there conflicts in the home but his father received multiple death threats because of his political affiliation, and their house was attacked by small bombs several times. Nevertheless, the Lord used this turbulent time in their lives to guide them to the Prince of Peace. Both his parents sought Christ, received Him as Lord and Savior and began to walk in new life. In this context, Ivan grew up in a Christian home. He made a profession of faith at the age of 7, and by 11 he totally understood what it meant to follow Christ, thanks to his Sunday school teachers. READ MORE>>
Mario Del Valle, Director of Small Groups and Biblical Counseling
Mario del Valle was born in San Salvador, El Salvador in 1972. Growing up in a family as the fourth son to an alcoholic father and non-practicing catholic mother was very difficult. Despite the abuse, neglect, and violence God’s grace was greater. Mario came to know Christ personally on June 2, 1991 through the bold witness of a high school classmate and a gospel message delivered by a Panamanian preacher. Over the next 3 years, God miraculously saved nearly all his immediate family. Mario’s first church home was Miramonte Baptist Church of San Salvador. READ MORE>>
Fran was born in San Salvador on October 29, 1983, the oldest of 3 siblings. He had the good fortune of growing up in a Christian home with his brother and sister as his parents became Christians right when he was born. His father is a medical doctor and his mother is a stay at home mom.
Fran personally met Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was 6 years old. He heard a sermon one Sunday about heaven and became concerned that he was not going to heaven. When he told his father about how he felt, his dad took a gospel tract and explained the gospel to him using the illustrations found on the tract. It was at that time that he chose to believe in Jesus and receive Him as his Lord and Savior. Fran was baptized at the age of 11 and began his service to the Lord at that time by playing the keyboard with in the Praise and Worship band. Over the next few years, the Lord allowed Fran to grow physically as well as spiritually. He began discipleship and learned how to share the gospel, as well as serve in missions, teach children, and disciple other youth, all prior to graduating from High School. After graduation, in 2000, Fran moved to Canada with the purpose of learning English. During that time, he was invited to stay in Canada more than once, but God had placed a clear call upon his heart that he wanted him in El Salvador. READ MORE>>
Guillermo was born into a Catholic home who believed in God but without a healthy respect for Him. The first time he visited a Baptist church was with his maternal grandmother. She was the only one in the whole family that had a personal relationship with Christ. She was good enough to take Guillermo to church with her a few times between the ages of 8-10.
When Guillermo was 16 years old, he met Ana Gloria, the person who would become his wife at the age of 19, in 1977. Shortly thereafter, their first son was born, Guillermo Mauricio. God used his little newborn life to get Guillermo’s attention, his response was to make a pact with Him. The baby got very sick, was diagnosed with onset meningitis and was so seriously ill, that the doctors said only a miracle would save him. READ MORE>>
Erick Fuentes, Director of Praise and Worship
Erick was born into a Christian home on October 19, 1982. His father was the pastor of a church who raised all his children in the Lord. Erick trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 14, in 1996. One year later he signed up for drum lessons and quickly discovered his love for music. Soon he joined his school’s band and also began to play during church services. He took every opportunity to further develop himself within the Praise and Worship ministry.
In 2000, during his last year in High School, he met Silvia Arely “Lila” Hernández, who would later become his wife. For 6 years they enjoyed a quality friendship. In 2006 they entered into a formal dating relationship. Lila was a member of Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva and served in Children’s Ministries. In 2008 she invited Erick to come with her to Vida Nueva. Very quickly Erick felt a part of the church and transferred his membership to Vida Nueva. READ MORE>>
Raúl was born on August 14, 1978 in the very humble community of Zacamil, San Salvador, to parents of minimal resources. He was raised by his grandmother, his father’s adoptive mother, who took on the role of mother in his life. Unfortunately he did not know his biological parents during his childhood. His grandmother was strict and taught him good values, something he will always be thankful for. She and Alex’ Hernandez’s father both operated small businesses in the same market place. God would use this connection to reach Raul for His Kingdom in the future. He grandmother passed away in 1998 when Raul was 19 years old. READ MORE>
Vladimir was born on December 30, 1976 to a Jehovah’s Witness mother and an atheist father with militaristic left wing tendencies. In 1981 his father immigrated to the United States leaving him and his brother with their mother who raised them to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. His father returned to El Salvador in 1985 which caused his mother to be expelled from the Jehovah’s Witness congregation because they were not married. Although his father was physically present there was no father-son bond between them. Vladimir was also deeply hurt by the expulsion of his mother from the congregation he had grown up in. READ MORE>>
Daniel was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, on February 3, 1988 into a Christian home. Jesus and His Word were a daily part of his life as was his attendance at Templo Biblico Getsemani in Santa Ana. When he was 7 years old, Daniel gave his life to Jesus. He understood that, even though he had grown up in church, he was a sinner and needed to have a personal relationship with Jesus. When he was 18, he began his University studies in International Relations in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Daniel’s convictions were tried during this time as he faced the realities of life as a young man who did not have a strong relationship with God. He experienced a period where the consequences of his poor decisions negatively impacted his life. Soon thereafter, he truly learned what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” This verse changed his life so much that he firmly committed himself to living for God rather than himself and to grow to become more like Jesus. READ MORE>>
Eduardo Garcia, Pastor to Junior High Youth
Alejandro was born on July 25, 1987 in San Salvador, El Salvador. He is the youngest of 3 siblings. He was born into a good home with both Father and Mother present, however they did not know the Lord. One day, a family friend invited them to a small group meeting at the ELIM church. It was there, at the age of 8, that Alejandro learned in a children’s class that he needed to know Jesus personally to be able to go to heaven. So that very night, he trusted Jesus as his Savior and Lord. One year later, in 1996, a close family friend and neighbor, Guillermo Hernandez (current Metro America 0 20 Level 2 Missions Director for Vida Nueva), invited his family to come to Vida Nueva. They accepted that invitation and ever since then, Alejandro has been a member of Vida Nueva.
Alejandro’s youth years were not that easy for him. Even though his whole family had come to know Christ and were members at Vida Nueva, his parent’s relationship was not good. Soon his parents were separated. READ MORE>>
Ena Sofia Avelar was born on September 19, 1968, the oldest of 3 children. Her father was a notary and lawyer, educated in Spain, her mother was a secretary who worked for the government. Her parents practiced no religion, but rather wanted their children to grow up free to make their own decisions. Fortunately, they were never opposed to Ena’s interest in seeking God and in her going to church.
As a young lady, Ena studied Dentistry in college. There she met Koky Lopez, and before graduation, the two participated in a dental health seminar held at a public school. The director of that school was Christian, and she shared the gospel with them. Because of her upbringing, Ena had no idea who Jesus was and did not understand what she was being told, but nevertheless, she (an Koky, who was her boyfriend at the time) prayed the sinner’s prayer by faith and right then and there received the Lord. READ MORE>>
Director of Children’s Ministries (TBA)