“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” Mark 8:35
This verse from Mark was instrumental in my decision to leave my home and move to Mexcio. Hi, my name is Deanna Jevas and I would like to share with you my testimony and how I came to live in Tijuana, Mexico.
I am extremely blessed to have been in church all my life, basically, starting out in the Lutheran church. I didn’t know God personally for many years but came to know Him little by little. I grew up in Southern California, and had lived there all my life. I have one brother, Paul, and my mom, Kathryn. My Father passed away in 2008 of Leukemia.
I was a Kindergarten teacher, and then worked for Head Start as a teacher for many years before moving to Tijuana. A friend brought me to Calvary Chapel in 1993, and that is where I came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. God began to work on my heart in the area of missions all the way back in Jr. High. I can remember attending the Youth Conferences every year with my church, and the missionaries that would speak about their adventures in different parts of the world. I remember staying after and talking with them, asking them all kinds of questions, like, “how do you eat the food?” I was fascinated by their stories of life as a missionary and, little did I know that God was already preparing my heart for the mission field!
In 1995, I was invited to go on a day trip to Tijuana with my home church, Calvary Chapel La Mirada. They were helping to build a church in a little colony up in the hills of Tijuana. I, along with some other sisters, was invited to a family’s home to eat, and I immediately fell in love with the people! I then committed to going every other weekend for one year to help out in Pedregales, the name of the colony where Calvary Chapel Pedregales lies. I never dreamed I would one day live here! I loved my life back in the U.S! Well, God had other plans for me. Little by little He was showing me that I was to make this place my home. I didn’t want to live here at first. I was fighting God—(I was terrified to leave the security of my job, and to leave my family, friends, and home church—I couldn’t imagine it). I did enjoy the weekends here, but I equally enjoyed crossing the border into CA and coming “home.” Well, finally one Saturday night, as I was praying, I said, “Okay Lord, you want me to go to Mexico. I’ll go! But I don’t have a place to live!” Well, the very next day, Sunday, a friend at church told me, “Oh, Deanna, if you go to live in Mexico and need a place to stay, my friend said you can stay with her!” My jaw dropped to the floor! Mind you, I never told anybody about the conversation I had with God the night before. I knew this was confirmation, and so this started my move to Tijuana. I was sent out by my home church, CC La Mirada with a commitment for one year. That was in 1996, and I’ve been here ever since!
Now, when I leave Mexico and cross into San Diego, I feel that I am leaving home! This is my home now and I love it! I have established friendships that have roots that go very deep. I look back on my life and see how God has prepared me even in my childhood to be here. I took piano lessons as a child and have used that here in the worship. I learned Spanish in school and at my job in the U.S. and am now fluent in Spanish. Much of what I have learned about child development in Head Start, I implement here with the children in the after school program and teachers. God had a perfect plan for me and it’s just like a puzzle with every piece being important. I consider it a privilege and an honor that He chooses to use me in spite of all my shortcomings! I love to teach and I love to learn new things! I love the fact that every day here is like an adventure! I know very well that “God’s ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts!” I have let God take the wheel of my life and I’m just a passenger, or a willing vessel that He uses as He pleases.
God bless you, Deanna