I was four years old the day I realized my father preferred another woman over his family. My mom, sister, and I stopped by his house for our weekly visit when we saw him there with another woman. At that young age I experienced abandonment, betrayal and rejection, which I battled with for a long time without knowing it. As I grew older, resentment and hatred grew in my heart. I was about 10 years old when I started to seriously consider suicide. When I ran into one of my dad’s relatives on the street, I insulted them and cursed them with all my heart. When I was 13, I tried alcohol for the first time and gave it an important place in my life because I thought it would help me “forget” my problems. By the age of 14 I started stealing from my classmates at school, and at 17 I tried to perform a much riskier robbery. I survived only by the mercy of God; the four men I attempted to rob punched and kicked me so hard that I never wanted to try something of the sort ever again. But by the mercy of God I started college a short time after the incident. I am the first in my entire family to go to college. Still, I continued to drink alcohol and by 19 I was an alcoholic. A young man from my college preached to me and invited me to a church that was in the G12 Vision, Caracas Christian Center (Centro Cristiano de Caracas), with Pastor Hernando Brochero. The leader who invited me (Tony Olivero) did exactly what the Vision says to do with a new believer. He called me right when I was doubting if I was doing the right thing by attending the church, he then visited me and gave me life-changing advice. A short time later I attended my encounter (Life Class), where I was completely transformed. I received freedom, got to know the power of God, I forgave my dad and received the revelation of God the Father.
I was trained to be a leader in the Vision. I taught Life Class, ministered at encounters and had my cell group. In 2009, I met and befriended the woman who is my wife. In 2011, God gifted me the blessing of marrying the most beautiful woman in the world, Laura. Due to the complications in my country, Venezuela, we felt the need to move to the United States. Our pastors in Venezuela sowed faithfulness to the G12 Vision deep in our hearts. As a result, when we arrived in Miami we began attending G12 Church and joined pastors Julian and Lorena Gamba´s cell group. We came to Miami to receive the teachings of the G12 Vision firsthand. Migrating is not an easy thing, we didn’t have any relatives in this country but Pastors Cesar and Claudia Castellanos, along with their family, made us feel right at home. We even spent our first Thanksgiving and Christmas with them. I remember that that Christmas Pastor Sara bought me a gift without even knowing me. She took the time to ask my preferences and my size. I loved my gift, but what struck me most was the gesture.
The first miracle I received while at G12 Church was a prophecy from Pastor Claudia. The immigration interview to obtain my American residence was scheduled for sometime in January 2014. Although the process seemed easy since my wife had been born in the U.S, there were certain requirements that we did not meet and it was likely that they would reject the request. Two days before the interview, Pastor Claudia asked us if we were going to attend the annual G12 conference in Bogotá. My wife told her I couldn’t leave the country because of my upcoming interview. Pastor Claudia replied, “They will approve his residency and you will both go to the conference”. Honestly, that sounded very difficult, but we answered with a sure amen. I went in for my interview, completely forgetting what the pastor had told me. The officer asked me several questions and told me they would review my case. If I was approved they would send me the residency certification in three weeks. I insisted several times that I needed it sooner because I had a job offer. I insisted so much that the officer sat down again, turned his computer back on to review, and stamped my passport. He turned to me and said, “Your residency has been approved, as of today you can enter and leave the country.”! It was at that moment that I remembered Pastor Claudia´s words. The next day I was on a plane to Colombia for the convention, as the pastor had prophesied. It was truly a miracle.
That same year we received the news that we would be parents of our first baby. However, two months later my wife had a miscarriage. This happened two more times; they were hard blows to our hearts, our marriage, and our faith. We thank God for Pastor Cesar who always supported us, gave us words of encouragement, and ministered to us. After the third loss, Pastor Cesar told us that we should ask for a Word before trying again. God gave us Isaiah 65: 17-24, where He promised us, among other things, that we would conquer a house and that we would not have children who would die within a few days or be born under a curse. In January of 2016, we were able to close the purchase of our house!
One Friday during a prayer meeting at church, Pastor Cesar arrived unexpectedly because he had missed his flight. We soon realized that God had allowed it with a special purpose. That day he ministered about generational curses and explained what the blood that Jesus shed from his forehead in the Garden of Gethsemane did to reverse those curses. That day, the Lord brought to mind an abortion my mother had, so I applied the blood of Jesus, broke that curse and as I did my wife felt something black come out of her. Soon my wife was pregnant with our beautiful son Isaac. He was born on the same day as Pastor Sara´s son, Isaac, only a few hours apart. They were born in the same hospital and had the same nurse. We still had no family here and God took care of everything, once again the Castellanos were with us on that special day. Our son Isaac was born on January 17th, the same day my wife had the second miscarriage years before, God restored all things. We are now celebrating the arrival of our second baby, a beautiful baby girl.
G12 Church is the right place for us. We are under the right covering for our faith to be nourished and grow strong to do the work of God. Pastors Julian and Lorena have been an example of faith and perseverance, they are an example of what it is to be an integral leader. We have seen God’s support in everything we have done. We love our church and we are very happy to be a part of the best community in the world. We see that multiplication is coming and God is bringing beautiful people who are willing to do the Lord’s work. Glory to God for the G12 Vision.
Joel Justiniani, G12 Church