A former child soldier on Tuesday told Trevecca students how God changed his life.
Reverend Luis Quinonez, former child soldier and current Hispanic ministries director of Kansas District Church of the Nazarene, spoke in chapel this morning as a part of social justice awareness week.
The service followed a community conversation Monday night including both Quinonez and Rondy Smith, Trevecca alumni and founder of Rest Stop Ministry - the first human trafficking safe house in Nashville, TN.
Quinonez was born in Escuintla, Guatemala and turned child soldier during the rebellion against the government of Guatemala.
He can recall his time as a child soldier and describes it as a time of confusion.
As a child soldier, he delivered guns to other soldiers in the rebellion.
"I didn't know what I was doing," said Quinonez. "We were told not to look inside what we were carrying. I had no idea."
Quinonez was a member of the Guatemalan National Soccer team during his time in the rebellion.
At the age of 18, when he was fully convinced of the rebellion and claimed to be a part of the Red Army, his mother had a conversation with him about Jesus.
"She told me, Jesus Christ changed my life Luis," said Quinonez. "...and when I am gone, and you die, I want to see you in heaven."
This conversation changed his life and he believes that by surviving his time with the rebel soldiers, God has a plan for him.
Quinonez was called into full-time ministry and has since been a part of planting many churches in Guatemala.
“I don’t have time to talk to you about all of the churches we’ve planted in Guatemala, but I do want you to know that without Jesus we have nothing.”
Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice, chose the theme and speakers for social justice awareness week.
"Child slavery is an issue that if we don't see it happening on our social media feeds, we don't think it's happening anywhere," said Casler.
Casler hopes that through social justice awareness week, students become more aware of social justice issues and how God can use college students to make a difference.