At age 15, Jose Cortes Jr., the North American Division’s associate ministerial director for evangelism, wanted to be a doctor—not a pastor. Being a wise father, José H. Cortés, Sr., who serves as president of the New Jersey Conference, encouraged his son to pursue his dream. But early one morning in Madrid, Spain, Cortes Jr. heard his heavenly Father’s call to become a pastor. “I believe that [my father’s] wonderful and exemplary ministry during his early years influenced and silently encouraged my call,” says Cortes Jr.
Earlier in the year, members from across the New Jersey Conference started praying for their friends and reaching them by showing acts of love and compassion. Members then invited their friends to more than 200 small groups, where they studied about God’s compassion and faith. By April each of the small groups held a week of evangelism, led by lay evangelists.
Everyone, at some point in life, has been guilty. Whether you’re guilty or innocent, in prison or occupying a high government seat, it makes no difference to God. You are a human being, and that is what is most valuable to Him.
No one—other than Jesus—has ever lived on this earth with a mission to save the entire world. No one has ever had an agenda as important as Christ. His mission was clear: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10, NIV).
José Cortés was a young pastor when he was thrown into jail in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Cortés shares this story in one of the North American Division’s sharing books, Never Lose Hope. Read more about the book and our interview with Cortés below.