My name is Joshua Delgado. I have grown up and have been raised here in Alabama for most of my life. I am Mexican-American and have been blessed beyond measures by the Lord for that. Growing up, I was brought up through the catholic faith (as many hispanics in the world would be). I didn’t know much about Jesus or what it meant to be saved, all I knew was to do more good than bad and if you did something bad that week, you had to go to church to be forgiven.
When I was around 12 years old, I, along with my siblings were invited by our neighbors to a VBS at this southern baptist church across the road where we lived. I was introduced to a loving Jesus who was longing for me. By the end of the week, I was sure that I wanted to give my life to Christ. I then started going regularly to this church on Sunday. I was young and didn’t understand anything being taught but I wanted to know more!
After a while, my journey with God became lonelier. I started to turn from God once again, I stopped going to church and started going back to my old ways of thinking and believing. I was simply trying to be a good person and thought that was sufficient for me to be loved and accepted by the father.
A few years later, my mom converted from catholic to christian with the help of her friend who later became a pastor after feeling called to be a pastor. This was a very charismatic church labeled as a non-denominational. She would bring us to church and I began to get this spark and fire for Jesus again. Over some time, I started to question some of the things that were being taught and done at this church. I would not get answers to my questions so I began the search for the answers.
In the searching for answers, I thought Bible college would be perfect for this. I went to a bible college here in Alabama, only to be led astray even more. I was exposed to the prosperity gospel and I got sucked in. Leaving it was harder than I thought but after a semester of being there, I knew the teachings and their methodology were harmful and wrong. I knew God was calling me out of that so I left after my first semester there.
I then came back to my hometown with the thought of just giving this whole faith thing up. There was so many unanswered questions that I had and so much church hurt I carried over the years. I didn’t want to be part of the Christian faith no longer or even believe in Jesus after all of this. When this guy named Joel McCarty heard that I was back home from college, he texted me and asked if I wanted to go out for lunch. So we went out for lunch where he literally just listened, he answered all the questions I had, he sympathized with me, and most importantly, he loved me. He pursued me and offered me to come to his church one Sunday so I did. I felt at home the day I went there.
Since that day, I haven’t stopped going back. I am happy to say that I am now an intern at this church called “New Eden Church” in Decatur, Alabama! This church has brought me so much joy and love for the Lord and his people. I’ve met some of the most amazing people of my life there, one of those being Jason Jenkins. Before I ever talked to Jason, it was so clear to me this man was in love with Jesus. I was very introverted when I first came to this church so I never got to know Jason on a deeper level until about a month or so later. I was part of an MC (missional community) and on one of our serve nights we went to love packages to help sort and pack stuff with Jason. This was the first time that I had ever heard of love packages. I fell in love with this place the day I went. I left convicted but also very encouraged to see the missionary heart that Jason and the love packages staff and volunteers have.
God somehow made a way for me to come and be a part of what He is doing at love packages. I have gained this passion to reach unreached people groups. To think that the smallest bible we receive can change someone’s entire life is absolutely crazy to me. I’m thankful Jesus has me here and I’m thankful that I get to tangibly see his love for all His people every single day. It’s an honor to play such a small part in His great story.