Portraits of Grace – Grecia Guel

      Hi Everyone. My name is Grecia Guel. I was born and raised in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I was saved at the age of 8 when we had a mini-camp from our Christian School. God granted my wish to go to a Christian College in America, and when I was 19 I went off to study at Golden State Baptist College. I graduated a few years ago and came back home to serve and learn at my church. I´ve had the privilege of teaching in our Christian School, our Bible College, and our church´s and children´s choir. I get the privilege of working with amazing people and learn from them. It´s my desire to increase our faith, trust, and dependence on the Lord, and what better way to do it than by encouraging ourselves through these testimonies and devotionals. Hope its a blessing to you! God bless you! Your Sister in Christ, Grecia Guel

“… for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

      Remember how in my little bio I said God granted my wish of going off to Bible College in America? Well, that was just the beggining of one of my biggest adventures in which I got to see the very hand of God. When I was 8 years old a group from America came to my church and they sang beautifully, I turned, looked over at my Mom and said: “Mom, when I grow up I will study in America.“

      If I go into all the details I would probably bore all of you, but just to name a few things: My parents got their visas 30 minutes before we were supposed to be at the airport to take the plane. Let´s just say it was a very hectic drive and arrival.

      Getting to college was definitely a life-changing experience. It was my first time being away from home for a long period of time, separated from my family, my first time in a foreign country, my first time speaking a different language and of course my first time in college.

      I remember the first night I slept in the college dorms, I felt so alone and I thought to myself : What were you thinking, Grecia? How did you ever thought you were capable to come all this way and be by yourself? Then a voice that said: “Never alone, you are never alone.”

      When the time for papers and projects came around, all of mine were returned because they were unreadible and pretty much without any logic, so again, I prayed: “Lord, help me.” Across from where I lived there was a girl that was an English major, and one of their projects for their semester was to tutor someone that struggled in English and help them with their projects. I couldn´t believe it. There was the Lord again, watching always over me and saying, “You´re not alone.”

There were several times where I didn´t even have a quarter or a penny in my wallet and there was always someone that would say, “Do you wanna come over to my house to eat with our family? Oh, and bring your laundry!” Again, never alone.

I specifically remember one semester where I thought I was not going to be able to go back because we couldn´t afford it, and how I got a special permit and I was able to work on campus. Also, another time that we were short on money and one of my dad´s friend called and said:  ‘Grecia, my wife and I paid for the rest of your tuition for the semester.” You aren´t alone.

      I have literally hundreds of stories that back up the wonderful and merciful sustaining grace of God, and although the blessing were huge and the miracles enormous, the biggest blessing amongst everything  that I experienced was, to see how God answered my prayers. I learnt how personal and intimate God is. I had gone to church my entire life, and I knew God did great things and answered prayers, but this time, He answered my prayers. He did great things for me. After seeing over and over again that the Old Promise I will never leave you nor forsake you is, was and will be forever true, the only thing I can do is to reciprocate His faithfulness by being faithful and to pay back his undeserving mercy by honoring and serving Him for the rest of my days.

      It is easy to determine in your heart to honor the Lord when you look at your life and you understand that without His faithful grace we would not be here.

Portraits of Grace – Veneda White

The Effects of Redeeming Grace

Romans 3:24-26 “Being justified freely by his grace through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to
be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness
for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just,
and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

My name is Veneda Williams White, MK from Mexico. I studied at Tennessee Temple University. Married my husband, Troy White, in December 1981, and arrived back in Mexico in 1983. We now have 36 years of service in Mexico.

I am sure that all of us would agree that redeeming grace has to be the first and far most important aspect of grace in general. Justification, reconciliation, and sanctification are effects of redeeming grace in our lives. However, we as God’s children refuse to sanctify ourselves causing others to reject that redeeming grace.

They say that the slave market of many years ago where some of the bought slaves were set free is a picture of redemption. Although a good comparison, spiritual redemption is so much more. To be released from our bondage of sin by the purchased price of the blood of Jesus Christ is to be purchased, forgiven, and justified (Rom. 3:24-27; I Peter 1:18-19).

Now justification and reconciliation are two of the first effects of redeeming grace. Justification is, according to Strong’s Concordance, “acquittal” (for Christ’s sake). Simply put, not guilty! (II Cor. 5:19). We become righteous in God’s sight. He no longer sees our sins. It is as if we had never sinned (II Cor. 5:21). This is where reconciliation comes in (Col. 1:20-22). God puts us in the right relationship with Him for Christ’s sake (Eph. 2:8-9).

Sanctification from the Greek “Hagiasmos” means “consecration, purification, and the effects of consecration”. The effect of sanctification is being holy, just, pure, righteous, and godly. Titus 2:12 tells us “Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” I John 2:15-17 confirm this. Why then is sanctification and consecration not practiced in our lives and in our churches any longer? God Himself says in     Lev. 20:7, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy…” In I Peter 1:15-16 “… Be ye holy, for I am Holy.”

Ladies, I cannot stress enough the need we have to maintain a Godly testimony. We MUST be Christ-like. How can we show the world the need for redemption when we look like them (dress, tattoos, body piercings, etc.), do and act like them (Rom. 1:29-31), go to the same places as they do (casinos, movie theaters, etc.), and many “churches” look like discos, with that type of music. We have changed to “fit in” or to “make them feel comfortable”. NO! I tell you, we MUST live Godly in this present world! We MUST tell sinners they are on their way to hell and their need for Redeeming Grace. Teach it as it truly is: God sent His Son to die for all sinners; He shed His precious, just and holy blood for all who would repent and believe on Him. He took our place and paid the only price available for our sins. THAT IS REDEEMING GRACE!

Portraits of Grace – Mary Chacon

My name is Mary Chacón. My husband is Evangelist Carlos Chacon. We have been serving the Lord For almost 18 years. God has allowed me to be the mother of two beautiful daughters, Carla and Celeste.

When we started our ministry we had only one thing, “Faith.” We did not have vehicles. We did not have a tent or equipment. We did not have a house nor children. We had only that simple faith, that two young people starting their life together believed that the grace of God could do something with their lives and we only prayed for our requests.

A few months passed and I found out that I was pregnant with two babies (twins). That joy of motherhood was in our lives, but in a few months I suddenly lost my pregnancy (Miscarriage). A sadness flooded my heart. We were traveling and were far from our family and in case it was not enough my husband arrived late to a missionary appointment in a church that evening that he had to keep. We were living off of love offerings only at that time. When he got home, I asked him how it went. Did you present the ministry? He said no because he was late. Oh, but did you explain why? Yes. I had another question, but did the church pray for me at least? He answered, “No.”

A feeling of sadness flooded my heart thinking, “Lord, we are alone!” The Lord with his sweet voice said to me, “Yes, daughter, I am trying to teach you a lesson. You and your husband are alone, both in my hand.”

Isaiah 41:9-10 Thou whom I have taken from the end of the earth. And called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee,thou art my servant;I have chosen thee and not cast thee away. Fear thou not;for I am with thee:be not dismayed; for I am thy God:I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

[Bettina’s note: Mary has been a long time writer of Spanish devotionals on Facebook. You can find and follow her page at “Hadasa Devocionales by Mary Chacón.”]

Portraits of Grace – Terri Shuerger

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

     I am 53 years old, and I have been married for 35 years to the best husband God ever made! (sorry, girls!) I have 2 sons who are 31 and 33; 3 beautiful granddaughters, and another grand on the way! I am a First Generation Christian. I was raised in a nominally Catholic home, but got saved when I was 20 while we were stationed in Madrid, Spain. We were called into Full-Time Service in 1991, and for the last 20 years, have served as Church-Planters in Zacatecas, Mexico, and Tucson, Arizona.

     I would like to speak to you about the Grace of God that is present even when we are unaware. When I was 9, my    parents divorced. I was an only child. Ultimately, my dad was awarded custody of me due to abandonment/neglect issues concerning my mother. It was not long before I began to be sexually abused by my father. This continued off and on until I was 15, at which time I was considering suicide. It was during this time that I met my now-husband. A few months later, in hopelessness, I called my mom and asked her if she would come and get me. After I told her what had been going on, she accused me of lying. I was crushed, and seemingly abandoned again. She took me back to my dad’s house to get my things. She also sought counseling for me. I was eventually referred to a group called Daughters United; for girls who had been sexually abused. It is during this time that the Grace of God was actively at work in my life, yet I didn’t know it until almost 15 years later.

     Let me jump ahead and give you the retrospective; when my sons reached the ages when my abuse had begun, I     became overwhelmed with feelings of anger, resentment, and hatred towards my father, “How COULD you?! I was just a little girl!!” I became eaten up with these sinful emotions. Then, a sister in the Lord gave me a workbook for victims of abuse. I began to do the study, then one day the question came, Where was God during your abuse? I was floored. HE had let this happen to me! Why?! Where was He when a little girl who had been abandoned by everyone else in her life   needed Him?! I became angry at God! Then, slowly, but surely, the Light began to dawn; He WAS there! I had felt Him in my room when I asked to die; I believe His angels took me in their arms and carried me safely over the threshold of death (being unsaved, I would have gone straight to Hell, otherwise).

     Then, He brought me to Daughters United where I learned strategies to survive the abuse and neglect that I had suffered my whole life. But, more importantly, He had brought my 16 year-old boyfriend who drove me to the Daughters United meetings 2x/week, and waited in his car for me; he never asked me any questions. He was just there; quietly,   patiently waiting for me. When I looked back and saw that the arms God had used to sustain me in that awful time were the arms of my husband, I was brought to my knees with thankfulness at the mighty and wondrous grace of God! He had never left me! Even in my unsaved state, He had sent a pair of loving arms to hold me, to comfort me, to be there in the darkness! (Isaiah 41:10)