“There’s no other place but the CRC for me!”
Victor Perez-Ballesteros gave that testimony as he began his studies at Calvin Theological Seminary this fall. He expressed deep gratitude for the support he has received from God, from his wife and family, and from the Christian Reformed Church through Third CRC in Denver, Colo., his regional classis, and the seminary.
Perez-Ballesteros’s journey to ministry has been a long and winding road involving significant sacrifices, but one that shows God’s faithfulness.
Born in Mexico into a Roman Catholic family, he took care of his younger siblings while his parents worked. He remembers entertaining them at times by dressing as a priest and preaching to them.
At age 18, Perez-Ballesteros moved to the U.S. and worked to support his family back home. His life shifted away from the church during those years, but he says God was always watching out for him. As he took classes to complete high school and get a college degree in electronics and engineering, he kept wondering about going into the ministry, but thought it was an impossible dream.
Then he met his future wife, Sandra, and began attending Third CRC in Denver with her. “From the very first day, I felt like this was my church,” he says. “I fell in love with the congregation.” When Victor and Sandra married, he joined Third CRC and they shared the custodial position there, in addition to their other jobs.
A few years later, Perez-Ballesteros could not sleep because the call to ministry was so strong. When he went into Pastor Tom Draayer’s office to clean, Draayer asked him, “Do you ever think about becoming a minister?” Perez-Ballesteros told him how he hadn’t slept for three nights thinking about exactly that.
He applied for seminary, but first had to take courses at the community college because his electronics degree did not provide the necessary prerequisites. He started his training at Denver Seminary before moving to Grand Rapids, Mich., this summer to study at Calvin Seminary.
Asked why he switched to Calvin, Perez-Ballesteros said, “It was the CRC faith that allowed me to know Jesus at a different level. That means a lot. I owe the CRC. If I want to be a minister, it has to be through the CRC.
“I could stay in Denver and have a job along with school, and not pay extra rent, but I know that Calvin Seminary is the seminary of the CRC. I want to learn to read the Bible properly and interpret it rightly, get the best education, and be faithful to my newborn life in the CRC. There’s no other place but the CRC for me!”