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.
After completing 9th grade Raul quit school, later on he tried to continue by attending night school, but that was unsuccessful due to many bad decisions he made, many of which included women and alcohol. One night, at age 19, at a discotheque, he met Ceci, who would become his wife. A few months later he and Ceci decided to live together in a common law marriage. At this point he was working as a brick layer and had returned to night classes to finish High School.
After one year of total turmoil in their home mostly due to Raul’s alcoholism, they decided to visit Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva where Alex Hernandez’s father also attended. Raul admired Alex’s father very much and he had repeatedly invited them to church. The second Sunday they attended, in 1999, Raul and his wife, Ceci, spontaneously accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. They had never discussed this beforehand; the Lord simply touched both their hearts at the same time. Immediately Raul and Ceci began the discipleship process led by Nelson Rivas and Alex Hernandez. Both were baptized and on April 3, 2001 they were married.
Two years later Alex Hernandez was sent to help plant Vida Nueva Lourdes, Raul and Ceci volunteered to go with Alex in this new project. In 2003 Ceci was diagnosed with cancer which was a hard blow for their family. The cancer was extensive, in her ear, breast, stomach, and ovaries. This led to 8 surgeries and much follow up treatment. In 2006, while Ceci was still being treated, they were invited to join the new church plant, Vida Nueva, in Managua, Nicaragua. After much time in prayer, they decided to help with this new church plant.
In early 2007 they were officially sent by Pastors Steve Kern and Julio Contreras to Vida Nueva, Managua, Nicaragua, to help Pastor Felix Canizalez with that church plant. Unfortunately by September 2007 they had to return to El Salvador permanently due to Ceci’s complicated health and a new tumor that was causing her a lot of problems. This was another difficult circumstance for them since they were doing very well in Managua and had become well established in the ministry there.
Fortunately a position opened up for them and they rejoined Alex Hernandez at Vida Nueva Lourdes. Raul took the position of Youth Ministries Assistant, and served in Discipleship, and Life Groups. When Vida Nueva Lourdes became a campus of Vida Nueva, Raul returned to work at the Miralvalle Campus as a Seminary and Video Assistant. A few years later, Raul also took on the responsibilities of Assistant to the Lourdes Campus Pastor which he continues to fulfill.
Raul and Ceci have one son, Alexis.
Raul’s life verse: Psalm 84:10 “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.