LIFE at Wheaton Bible Church

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Elder Profile: Martín Hernández

Martín cooks almost every day at one of the restaurants he owns and operates.

How did you first come to Iglesia del Pueblo/Wheaton Bible Church?

My wife, Claudia, and I visited Wheaton Bible Church’s Hispanic Ministry in 2001, not yet knowing the Lord. Previously, we had been invited to a couple’s ministry Valentine’s Day dinner. After that, we attended the regular couple’s meeting, and the Lord used this ministry to reach out to us. Not long after this visit we decided to be a part of the church, and our lives have been greatly blessed.

Tell us about a memorable church experience.

I immediately think of the STEP OUT/ EN MARCHA campaign as we were preparing for the building of our new campus and the unforgettable time of worship on the site of our future church. Such beautiful memories were created in that immense white tent! Two congregations worshiping together—praising our Creator in English and Spanish as one Body, in one Spirit. The church had gathered to honor our Creator with one common purpose, the purpose to which she had been created: loving God, growing together, and reaching out to the world. Faithfully obedient to the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19. It brought to mind Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”

What would you share with Wheaton Bible Church about Iglesia del Pueblo’s ministry?

Most definitely the English-speaking congregation should know that since last fall, the Lord Himself has been writing a new chapter in the story of Iglesia del Pueblo. The story began in 1990 as a vision of a Wheaton College graduate to reach out to the quickly growing Hispanic population in the area. At the same time, the church Elders had been praying to reach out to other communities, specifically acknowledging that in the past decade the number of Hispanics in DuPage County had doubled.

Today our three Iglesia pastors, our leaders, and congregation are witnesses of endless evidences of grace. We have a new identity as a congregation in the teaching and worshiping and in an awakening to local missions. We are a congregation with gratitude in our hearts to the Lord and blessed by our beloved Wheaton Bible Church family, pastors, and Elders. We are a Gospel-centered congregation with a big missionary heart.

How long have you been an Elder?

This is my first term serving as an Elder [Elders are elected to serve a three-year term. They can serve no more than two in a row without a break.]

What is the most challenging part of being an Elder?

Our biggest challenge is executing this great responsibility and complying with the expectations of the role with a sensible heart for the brethren. I look to 1 Timothy 1:12–13,

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer . . . I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

What is most rewarding part of being an Elder?

It is rewarding to actively participate in what God is doing in and through both our Spanish-speaking and English-speaking congregations. May He continue to bless us abundantly.

I also find it richly rewarding to serve alongside our beloved pastors and Elders—each committed to the Lord and His Church, and with a heart for our two congregations. It is a privilege to build relationships with and learn from them.

How and when did you accept Christ as your Savior?

It was ten years ago, and I was going through a very difficult time in my life, when a friend of mine gave me a recording of a sermon based on Psalm 51. That sermon had a huge impact on me, and the Lord used that sermon to begin calling me to Himself. After Claudia and I got married, about a year later, we were invited to Wheaton Bible Church, where we both accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. What a powerful moment it was when I really understood that I was chosen by the Lord Himself. He knew me, He loved me, and He gave His life for me. Infinite grace and unconditional love: how amazing! What a privilege to be able to experience the salvation of God and the work of grace that He demonstrated on Calvary’s cross.

My life has been transformed by the power of the Gospel. I am living and serving by His amazing grace and sacrifice.

Could you share one or two favorite Scripture verses and what they mean to you?

That would be 2 Timothy 3:16–17:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 I would also add Romans 1:16; 1:21–23; 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; and 10:9. These verses reveal to me, and remind me of, the holiness of God. The Romans verses speak to the condition of men and the gift of salvation for all those who confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead.

Tell us about your growing up years.

I was born in a small region in the state of Jalisco in Mexico, but I grew up in the capital of that state. My family had little income and much need. There were eleven of us, nine siblings and my parents. My older siblings had to work when they were very young. I remember those difficult times we had as a family, but today I can say the Lord was present through those times, and we always had a roof over our heads and food on our table. Even in the midst of the need, I was able to enjoy a beautiful childhood with my mom and my siblings.

My mother was a special woman; she was tender, loving, and had a great heart for our neighbors, even when we ourselves were in such a need. She, together with my younger sister and her family, are the only ones who have committed their lives to Christ. My father was hardly ever home because he always seeking ways to feed and support the family. The few times we saw him home, he was very quiet, and sad to say, I never received a word of direction from him. It’s been difficult now to have a good communication with him, although it’s better than it was.

Describe your family.

My wife and I have been happily married for eleven years. Scripture is the authority for our lives. As a family we have a strong commitment to our church and to the community. We constantly rely on God to help us be an example of loyalty and faithfulness to our children, Arturo, Sebastian, and Nicolas. And we have trusted the Lord wholeheartedly that they will rest in His promises.

Read Martín’s Story Here…

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This entry was posted on May 29, 2012 by in Elder Profile, Summer 2012 and tagged , , .

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