My name is Shawn Villela and I have been on an ordination journey. I am 31 years old. I have lived in the Chicago-land suburbs my entire life. I was raised in a family of four, which includes my only sibling–an older brother. I am a Youth Counselor in Juvenile Justice Center and I have been working there for 7 years now.
While being at Juvenile Justice Center, I began to want more in my life, but I didn’t know what to do. I realized that I wanted more satisfaction in my life, but I didn’t really understand how to get it. I had been a “Christian” my whole life, but I was more lukewarm than anything. Eventually, I began to realize what it was like to have a relationship with Jesus and apply the Bible to my life. I began evangelizing to the youth as much as I could without getting in trouble. It was then that my whole world began to change and my life led me to repentance. From there, I have gone from a life of shame to grace, and my viewpoints began to be that of Christ’s.
I fully gave my life to Jesus Christ on March of 2014 and I have never looked back. In the process of this all, I led one of my best friends to Christ, and a couple of months ago he asked if I would officiate his wedding. I was deeply honored and I knew inside of my heart that I have been desiring to become a minister since I had been doing it at my job with the youth. So, that is precisely why I am here at Christian Leaders Institute on this ordination journey. I plan to begin my education here to enlarge and enrich my faith so that I can minister more effectively.
As of March 26, 2018, I am officially an ordained Deacon Minister with Christian Leaders Alliance. I plan to use this as a catapult to the rest of my ministry work. I feel encouraged to push forth past the barriers the present world has put before me. I want to put Christ more and more at the center of everything that I do day in and day out. Not only am I thankful for this wonderful ministry because of the debt that I don’t have to accumulate, but I am thankful for all the hard working people here at CLI that have taken the time out of their day to improve the life of evangelists. I know by now that the more I walk in the footsteps of our Lord, the more filling and rewarding this life is. Without Him, we are nothing but sheep without a Shepherd.