I was raised in a Christian home. I have been a member of the Apostolic Faith Church (www.apostolicfaith.org) my whole life. When I was almost 11 years old, I was attending an annual youth camp in southern Oregon. Even though I had been raised by Christian parents, and had always attended church, I didnít have a personal relationship with Jesus. I was really unhappy at this time, even as a child and I knew I wanted to make my heart right with God. I had a really hard time praying to God and believing that he could come in my heart. I prayed and asked God to forgive me for my sins and to come in my heart, but I didnít believe that he had. But, I didnít give up. I spoke with a youth minister and he encouraged me to believe that Jesus would come in my heart and save me from sin. The bible promises that if you come to Jesus, repent of your sins, ask for forgiveness and believe he will forgive, that he will come into your heart and help you to live a better life, according to his word. The next meeting we had, in a simple chapel in the woods, with a rough wood altar at the front of the room, I knelt down and once again asked Jesus to forgive me and to come in my heart. This time, I claimed his forgiveness and believed it. I left that chapel with a new heart. Everything around me looked brighter. The unhappiness was gone and was replaced with a peace. Even as a kid, I felt that. Iím almost 27 years old now, so that first meeting with Jesus was a long time ago, but I have wanted to have Jesus in my life ever since then. My life wouldnít be nearly as good without Jesus there to depend on.
May 4, 1991 I was the maid of honor in my best friend, Jennifer Miles' wedding in Tacoma, Washington. After the wedding I went to stay with friends in Seattle, Washington for the weekend. That was the first time I officially visited there, otherwise I had just driven through it on the way to visit my sister in Canada. On the way back to Eureka, California with my parents, I sat in the back seat of the car and read my bible. We were driving through the trees and winding road of Highway 101 and the sun was shining in beams through the trees. I felt a voice inside me tell me to move to Seattle. It was a very strong feeling. I recognized it and kept it in my heart. In June 1991 I graduated from Eureka Senior High School. Even though I had felt the call to move to Seattle, I toyed with moving to San Francisco or Medford, Oregon as well as Seattle. I weighed the pros and cons. I ended up in Medford, Oregon trying to get a job while I stayed with my sister, Penny Solomon. I got a phone call from my good friend, Loree Lacey while staying there. She encouraged me to come up to Seattle and give living there a try. We arranged for me to get up there, and so at the beginning of September, 1991, I was in Seattle at the "Garrison House" trusting God to give me a job so I'd know if living there was truly his will. I prayed a prayer. "Lord if you want me to live here, please give me a job." Within a month, I had a wonderful job. I worked at McCune, Godfrey & Emerick for 2 1/2 years. Coming from Eureka to Seattle, from wages of $4.50 per hour to $1200 per month, what a wonderful start as a young person in a new place. At the same time I was struggling with decisions for my future, my husband, Abraham Dejesus Santana was also trying to figure out his future. He moved to Seattle from Chicago, Illinois the same month as me. From totally different worlds, we converged on Seattle. We met in October through the local Seattle Apostolic Faith Church. We became friends first and then dated for a short time before becoming engaged. We got engaged in October 1993 and married September 1, 1994. I have always felt like life was giving me a fresh start in the autumn. Maybe that is why God worked out such major events in my life during that season.
The above are major life changing events that have established me as a Christian and as the person I am today. God has done so much for me and continues to be with me today.