“Be still and know that I am God” -psalm 46:10
This is the story of how with everything came to be…
In 2013 Jesus earned me a degree in Christian ministry, biblical studies with an emphasis in ministry. It is kind of like a business degree (which does include business courses) where the “business” is Christ. The kind of degree a church planter or pastor, biblical counselor, humanitarian or missionary minded person (like me) would complete to get perspective on those callings…and/or is disillusioned, discouraged, and only sure about one thing: Christ cares for me.
See, ever since I was a kid, I wanted to serve God in a big way but (as a child) who dreamed of growing up to be a famous pop star (I love the arts–music/dance), I thought I’d grow up to that like our good samaritan pop star Shakira (but in Jesus’ name)… I moved to USA in 2001 and saw my dreams coming true. Then after a 3 year delay after graduating high school, I started my academic career at a private catholic university on a path to a double major in music (my 2nd passion) and chemistry. I then switch to meteorology after realizing I wasn’t talented or trained enough to pursue music (a very grievous heart break). This led me to a public college where I graduated with my AA degree in Music Education (what I had most college credits on). During that time between the transfer and graduation God began to speak to me and after years of believing and searching for worth and significance through my intellect and frustrated musical dreams, my God finally said, “just study me” and that I did.
I transferred/enrolled at Trinity International University and began to learn about my God full time (which changed my life forever). I graduated in December of 2013 and so in January of 2014, I decided to go on a little God retreat…I had no idea what was next for me after graduation but most importantly my heart was so broken (yes, failed relationship drama) that I did the only thing I knew to do; I ran to God.
I wanted to hide far away and bear my soul before the Lord. He sat me still for 2 1/2 months and used this time to not only comfort me but also give me vision!
I spent 2 1/2 months in the quiet, reading and contemplating the bible and playing my music instruments (guitar and piano and dance for those of you who which to know…). I asked God daily about what all this “Christian ministry” degree meant…until one day.
I was seating on the piano practicing scales (probably the best thing I do on that instrument) pensive in regards to what I could do with my life. 2 words came to my head: Music Therapy (MT).
I had never heard the term before, in fact I was very much oblivious to anything therapy related as I was so far from being connected to anything involving disabilities. I had never had a broken bone nor did I come from family who had experienced special needs (two of my aunts and maybe one of my grandma’s I discovered would classify as physically and mentally disable), Dominican culture doesn’t work that way…but God gave me a friend well familiar with special needs (he has a child with Down syndrome). And he had a year or so before my retreat asked to me to teach his son piano…
This random thought led me to look into music therapy (and even travel to North Carolina to move there to pursue a master’s in MT) which led me to consider a master’s degree in special education for non-education majors which led me into teaching which led me to look into summer mission’s trips (you know, summer vacation for God obsessed people!) and finally part take on the JAF summer internship program (2 years in a row) that led me into transferring 1/2 way through the academic year from teaching 4th grade to an early childhood (preschool) intensive special needs classroom and finally gifting me with a tangible perspective on the real needs behind disabilities; giving birth to the ministry programs listed on this site.
So, as you can see, sometimes being still is not such a bad thing. It can actually be all you need to do for God to share His vision and use you.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jer 29:11
Why did you go to NC? I went to audition for the MT degree at Queens University ( and I got in)
Why did you not become a MT? Time, money but mostly importantly because I realized that God doesn’t need me to be a therapies to do wonderful things through me.
Why pursue an ESE master’s degree instead? For various logical and biblical reason, above all the fact that as a Christian teacher I am held to a higher judgement so I want to do my job to the best of my ability and as effectively as I can, specially if I am to teach the Word of God to exceptional kids.
Is this really free? Yep.
How can you afford it? Well I think the answer is always by the grace of God. I’ve had a few out of pocket expenses in getting things started and all but as of right now, truly truly the only thing that this has cost me is my time and that has always been God’s. I started the organization because I realize that I don’t need money to choose to share what I’ve learned with others; but I’ve come to see that this is not something many are willing to jump in and “give”…”time is money;” although money isn’t always time. What do I mean by that, It truly costs you nothing to write a check or make a monetary donation (which is much appreciated, trust me…everything costs money). But, to give one’s time…that’s a sacrifice in today’s day and age. A sacrifice I highly cherish and truly need. I can (and will) apply for grants and work to sustain the ministry’s financial needs (the bible says to work with your hands what is good (1 these 4:11), that you may have to give (Eph 4:28)…); You can donate and help us in that way too…
But if I don’t have any “field workers”…I’m limited.
I’m just one person; but when united to other ones, we, by the power of one and God, working one-on-one can do much for the masses. And that’s truly how I’m able to “afford” it 🙂
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”