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Responding to God’s Call

October 17, 2011
Responding to God’s Call

God first called Jose Alfaro when he was just six years old. On a stormy evening in his native country of El Salvador, Jose went out into his front yard and began looking at the sky. “I felt compelled to do it,” he remembers. The clouds parted suddenly, and he saw a formation in the stars. “I don’t remember their shape, but I remember distinctly hearing a voice say to me, ‘Remember that we are in a battle.’”

When he was 12, a religious leader came to Jose’s school to recruit for seminary. Without really understanding the man’s intentions, Jose tugged on his clothing and told him, “I want to go with you.” Jose enrolled and spent the next four years learning how to serve the Lord at seminary. “The school was very conducive to contemplation and meditation. It was a very good discipline to learn.” But life got the better of him, and he left seminary at 17.

JoseJose had never truly considered the lifestyle he was supposed to adhere to while at seminary, and the internal and external pressures on his young life became too much to bear. He immediately enrolled in military school, which along with the world at large, taught him “totally the opposite” of what he had learned at seminary. He ultimately drifted even further from the Lord’s will.

In 1968, at age 19, Jose arrived in America. He moved to San Francisco, learned English in six months, and enrolled at the University of San Francisco. He made many friends, played sports, and generally “lived life to the fullest.” He got married and had a son named Andres, though the marriage ended shortly after the birth of his child. He next moved to a suburb after graduation and began working at a tech company. He enjoyed the work and put his life into bettering his career.

A New Invitation
One day, Jose received a flyer advertising Bible studies in a nearby town. Even though he had drifted from God, he never gave up on his love for Him. He attended the meetings to learn more about the Lord. “The teachings were profound,” Jose recalls. It was at these studies that he vividly remembered his experience with God from the past, and his spiritual life profoundly changed. “Remember that we are in a battle.” The words rang as clearly in his mind as an adult as they had so many years before. He saw the battle played out in the pages of Scripture, and he knew beyond a doubt that his childhood experience must have been real.

God had called him; God had warned him. So Jose began to pursue God again, and it was only the beginning of his journey.

Jose began attending many different churches in his quest to find one where he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. He joined one for a time because of the church’s emphatic interest in the Bible, but he later went back to the church of his youth. Yet he felt something was wrong. “It felt more like a ritual,” he says, “not real communication or time with the Lord.” Jose’s quest was to find a church that could help him nurture his love for God. “We are in a battle, and I am one of God’s soldiers who has been invited to fight the battle here on earth,” he explains. He desperately wanted to find the right headquarters.

Over the next few years, Jose eventually moved to Los Angeles and became involved in real estate, but he still hadn’t found a church home. Although this frustrated and saddened him, he kept trusting and praying that one day the Lord would lead him where he needed to go.

Ten years later, when the real estate market crashed, God finally led him home.

For Those Who Love the Lord
“I moved to Sacramento after I went bust,” he says. “One day, a member of Amazing Facts came to my door. The Lord told me I should listen to him, so I did. We studied the Bible together, and before I knew it he invited me to hear an evangelist speak at a local church.” The man who came to visit him was a student from the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism (AFCOE), and the prophecy meetings were part of the AFCOE program. “Pastor Doug Batchelor was also there, and I had heard him on TV before. I felt compelled to listen to the messages.”

Jose baptismJose recalls, “I felt at home right away at Sacramento Central Church, and I was very pleased with the love for the Lord that I felt there.” Jose heard amazing things from the Bible, things that often conflicted with the theological training he had received as a young man. “My eyes were opened, and I simply could not believe the lies I had believed all these years!”

Following the prophecy series, Jose took several more classes about Revelation. “They impacted me significantly,” he says. “I was re-baptized after that.”

Jose now realizes that it was this moment in his life that God had warned him about so long before. “Remember that we are in a battle,” God had said. Then the Lord, through an AFCOE student, knocked on his door to invite him to join it.

“Yes. We are in a battle,” says Jose, “and I have found my headquarters, finally! Thank the Lord!”

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