LIFE at Wheaton Bible Church

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Manny Favela

How long have you been a member of Wheaton Bible Church?

I have been attending here since 1999, when my wife and I returned to the Chicago area from Puerto Rico, where I spent several years on a job assignment. My sister and her family were members of Wheaton Bible Church/Iglesia del Pueblo, and invited us to attend a Sunday service. We immediately knew we had found our church and became members that same year.

Describe one or two memorable church experiences.

I’ll never forget the Step Out/En Marcha service celebrated under a tent on the new property. We were voting as a church to move forward with the building. The entire church—Spanish-speaking and English-speaking—came together and made a commitment to move forward.

Most important to me in that experience was how it became clear for the first time that God was in control. Despite my doubts about our ability to get the funding commitment needed, our congregation responded in a way that only God can make happen.

How long have you been an Elder?  

I became an Elder in 2004 and served two consecutive terms, ending in 2010. I was asked to serve again in 2013 to fill a vacant position left by one of the Elders who could not serve his full term.

What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of being an Elder?

The most challenging part is acknowledging our imperfections and making sure that all we do is for God. Our role as Elders is to pray for wisdom and guidance, to seek God’s direction, and to be true to Scripture. The most rewarding part is to have the privilege to serve our Lord in this capacity and to get to know other Elders, staff, and ministry leaders.

When did you accept Christ as your Savior?   

I accepted Jesus Christ in my life in February of 1987. However, due to my limited knowledge of Scripture and the lack of a support structure to help me grow spiritually, it was several years before I fully committed my life to Jesus Christ.

Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?  

Yes, Matthew 6:31–34: “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

These verses help me put things in perspective regarding how I should approach life. There are so many uncertainties and variables, and we have so little control over most of them. The best we can do is put our faith in Jesus Christ, seek His kingdom, and put Him at the center of our desires and everything we do.

Tell us a little about your work. 

I am a numbers guy and have always been in finance. This is one of the reasons I struggled to wrap my head around our Step Out campaign to build our new campus. In human terms, the numbers we were talking about seemed impossible, but God has shown me over and over that if something is His will, it will be done.

Tell us about your growing-up years. 

I grew up in Mexico in a family of five children—one brother and three sisters. My father passed away when I was 11. We grew up in a Catholic environment and had an aunt who accepted Christ. She is a prayer warrior and an important influence in my life.

Describe your family.  

My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for fifteen years—the best fifteen years of my life! We have three boys, ages thirteen, nine, and six. My wife serves with the Iglesia del Pueblo worship team.

Can you tell us something about yourself that gives us insight about your life and your walk with God?   

I have been blessed beyond anything I could have asked for. I have a wonderful wife who has helped make me a much better person, and three great boys that fill me with joy. I have been blessed with a great career, but in the middle of all of it I have seen God’s hand. I realized very early that God was blessing me beyond my abilities and that things were working for a greater purpose. I give God all the honor and glory for all that I am and all I have accomplished. I feel called to use my skills, abilities, and resources for the Kingdom. God’s Word keeps me grounded. Without it, I would be so lost.

If you could speak with each member of the congregation, what would you say/ask?    

We have a great church with a great mission, where we can serve and help people come to Christ, but we must never forget to seek God’s wisdom and guidance in all we do.

My Story

Manny Favela at McDonald’s headquarters, where he serves as Chief Financial Officer, McDonald's Latin America

Manny Favela at McDonald’s headquarters, where he serves as Chief Financial Officer, McDonald’s Latin America

I grew up in a Catholic environment, but I lived a secular life, focused on being popular and improving my financial position. Once I had accomplished everything I thought I wanted, I was still empty.

While attending a charismatic Catholic retreat as a young man, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. A short time later, I was back to my old lifestyle. I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, but I did not know what to do next.

I tried to read the Bible but did not know where to start. It seemed long, and hard to understand. I attended church services, but the preachers were not really prepared and kept repeating themselves.

Frustrated and wanting to fit in to the corporate world, I continued to be pushed further away from the Lord.

But the Holy Spirit was making me feel uncomfortable with the way I was living.

Many voices from different denominations were preaching to me, but I wanted God to lead me in the right path, so I continued to read the Bible and pray, but I felt the need to do it in private. I wanted to see God speak to me through His Word, not be swayed toward someone else’s point of view.

As I continued to read the Bible, I finally came to understand what salvation really means—that Jesus Christ had died for my sins. All I had to do, regardless of my past, was confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead.

My salvation is a gift from God—a gift received by grace, not by my actions or works.

I had heard these words many times before but never with such clarity. I saw that everything I had valued and thought was important was insignificant. I felt as if my entire life had been wasted going after those things.

That was when I placed my trust in Jesus Christ and asked Him to change me and help me stop doing all that was not right in his eyes. Over time, Jesus Christ changed my life, and I no longer found pleasure in many of the things I used to do.

I have been walking with the Lord for 18 years now. In Christ I have found meaning and satisfaction. My professional life is no longer the force that drives me but rather a means to provide for myself and my family.

Many of my loved ones have not yet accepted Jesus into their lives, and I pray that He will touch them someday in the same way He touched me.

I will never be perfect, but I have put my trust in my Lord Jesus Christ, and God will continue to change me as I live in obedience and faithfulness to what He teaches me in His Word.

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This entry was posted on December 1, 2013 by in My Story, Winter 2013/2014 and tagged , , , , , , .

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