Ventura Missionary Church began a partnership with Pastor Chuy Mondragon in 1998 when our youth group served at a variety of ministries he led in Mexico. Cristina Matus is Pastor Chuy's daughter. She says, "I grew up in church, loving the Lord and being involved in the ministry as a Pastor's kid. But when I started attending college, that's when all went down. I started hanging with the wrong crowd, still attending church, but not following the Lord with all my heart. After I graduated, that's when I felt alone with no sense of direction, and dealing with a lot of issues. A church visited my Dad's church in Tijuana, and the leader gave me a word that changed my life forever. Today, it is still in my heart. He read Jeremiah 29:11: 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
God's plans for Cristina included launching the Alguien Me Ama (Somebody Loves Me) teen Center. VMC was there to help with the first steps of the Center. Cristina left her job in San Diego and began to work for His Kingdom full time.
Cristina's husband, Rene, says, "I also grew up in the Christian church, knowing the Lord for what I saw in church, but not really because I had a relationship with the Lord. That happened after I finished High School. I had a lot of friends that were watching me because they knew I was a Christian, and I knew I had a responsibility to be a true example. Being married motivated me to begin serving the Lord full time. I knew we both had a calling on our lives."
Rene and Cristina have three children. Currently they serve as Senior Pastors of La Pena Church, continue to lead the Teen Center and coordinate camps for youth that teach the value of sexual abstinence, all through Love In Action Partners, Inc. You can find their Adopt a Missionary card on the Missions and Outreach wall in our inner lobby. To support their ministry, choose the "Missions & Outreach" option online., or note "Missions & Outreach" on your check or bill pay through your bank.