Changing Lives One at a Time
Changing Lives One at a Time
By Elder Pastor Saul Garcia
In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told that Jesus did not begin his ministry until he left Nazareth and moved to Capernaum. Once there, Jesus began to preach a message of repentance; one day as he walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon better known as Peter and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen by trade and as Jesus called out to them, they were busy casting a net into the lake. I can see Jesus standing at the edge of the water, raising his voice and calling out to Peter and Andrew saying, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When they heard Jesus they immediately left their nets and followed Jesus.
A little further Jesus saw two other brothers, James and John they were in a boat fishing when Jesus calls out to them. I believe James and John were also invited by Jesus to become fishers of men. Their response was immediate, they too left their fishing nets and followed Jesus.
The first four men Jesus summoned, he summoned with a plan in mind. He was not looking for religious fans, or what today we would call groupies. No, he was looking for converts, disciples, and followers. He told Peter and Andrew, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus was calling for a change; those that answered his call were going to be transformed. No longer were these four men going to be throwing their nets into the deep dark blue looking for fish. They were now going to be fishers of men; they would now be throwing spiritual nets into the deep dark world of sin where men and women are lost.
This is the calling of Victory Outreach International. We have been called to be fishers of men and women lost in sin. We have come from all over the world. We are different skin colors, different nationalities, different languages, and different cultures, what we had in common, was we were sinners. Then one day from the edge of our life, we heard Jesus calling us. He said, “Come follow me.” Now we are sinners saved by Grace. The story of Victory Outreach International has been that of reaching one, then another, changing one life, and then another through the saving power of Jesus Christ.
The story of our ministry had its genesis in Brooklyn, New York. Every story has a beginning. This story began when a young man stuck a needle in his arm. From there on, his story was no different from the life of any other junkie, one fix, and then another, always needing another. Assaulting, robbing, and burning others was the occupation of the junkie; that was their way, that was their life, and that was their truth. This was the life of Sonny Arguinzoni, he was, if I could, put it this way on a boat, lost, drifting, going nowhere, and his life was getting worse. When Christ called out and said to him, “Come follow me.” Sonny immediately followed and his life was changed from a dead-end junkie to a sinner saved by Grace. Pastor Sonny has continued to build the ministry one life at a time. Over the years, changing lives one at a time has become an inherited trait by Victory Outreach. Regardless of the size of an event, we may be having, because we remain a people who fish for souls, according to Jesus’ calling of Peter and Andrew. When it is time to make the invitation, we throw out the net. Whoever is in the net is dealt with individually and God gives the increase, changing lives one life at a time.