CFP INQUIRER, JANIRA COLON, STUDENT SPOTLIGHT
Janira is preparing to be a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA). She is a member and Ruling Elder at Iglesia Presbiteriana El Redentor in Oviedo.
My name is Janira Colon and I am originally from Puerto Rico but have lived in Florida for over 24 years.
My calling to the ministry came at a very young age, at my bible study group in my home in Puerto Rico. Right then and there I knew that our Lord was calling on me to serve Him. However, life happened. I married very young, became a mother quite fast and very quickly became a single mother, with a million work and personal commitments and more importantly with the challenge of being the mother of two beautiful daughters, without a doubt my biggest blessing.
Nevertheless, my dream of continuing my studies and being able to answer that call seemed further and further every day. I was turning into a woman without hope, without a future and without being able to respond to this sublime call in my life. I became that woman that only dreams but does not have the resources and support to be able to reach those dreams. Once I was able to move to the U.S., I lost hope completely. I would tell myself: “continuing my studies in another language will be impossible, you can say goodbye to that idea”. Many times, I asked God for forgiveness for not being able to respond to His calling from the very beginning. I resigned myself but kept working for God in every endeavor I would take on with effort, dedication, and love, giving everything of me.
About three years ago, while I completed my pastoral studies in the Asbury seminary, I got the opportunity to continue at a graduate level with the Wesley seminary. A Master’s program in Divinity that was 100% in Spanish and online. I applied immediately and was accepted into the program.
I want to share with you all that this blessing has been incredible. I am no longer that woman without hope, without a future and without dreams. Quite the contrary, I have been able to respond to that calling from God with affirmation, with hope, with a lot of studying and with preparation, with the most distinguished honor to be able to say: “here I am God, send me in”.
Wesley has become family for me, in support and in education that has helped me go from that woman, a Hispanic person, an immigrant, and a dreamer, to no longer say that I am not able to do something, but rather to see my dream of an academic career become a reality. I am now in my last academic year of my graduate program and I want to say that the Wesley seminary is a place of pure blessing in my life, my ministry, and for every other person that has answered the call from God with commitment and academic excellence.
Wesley is a safe space, whereas immigrants, Hispanics, minorities, and many times people without hope, we can achieve an academic education of high quality that can continue to bless us and continue to expand the Kingdom of God and the hope that comes with it. Through my studies and preparation, I have been given the opportunity to take the role of spiritual Counselor for the MHLP at a national level. At the moment, I am a Minister candidate in my Presbyterian denomination and have been able to work in different ministries at a local and denominational level, representing myself as a Hispanic woman, a wife, mother, grandmother, leader and worker that can still put in the effort and finish my graduate studies, and in my mother language of Spanish.
Thank You, Wesley Seminary!
This spotlight was copied from a January 6, 2021 post from Wesley Seminary