My name is Mike Pereira, as a child, I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and attended parochial school until 8th grade from there I went to public High School. I continued attending the Catholic Church until I was about 19 or 20 years old. When I was about 16 I began getting into trouble but never got caught, I always thought “if you are going to get into trouble know how to get out of it faster than you got into it. It was mostly cowardly stuff, vandalism / miscellaneous mischief stuff like that. I continued this behavior into my early twenties. I knew about God from my upbringing but at the time I did not have room for Him in my life. My girlfriend became pregnant; we married and had a son. When my son was about 5 years old I began feeling the need to return to God for my son and myself. About that same time, I was reconnected with an old friend whom I had not seen for several years. Knowing our past he was the last person I expected to find out was on a church softball team let alone going to church. Some time had passed after reconnecting with my friend when one day he and I were having a conversation and I stated that I felt that I should teach my son about Jesus. Without hesitation and all seriousness he turn and looked at me and said “God holds you responsible for that!” I was stunned; the words he just spoke hit me like a punch in the face. He noticed my shock and said, “hey I not trying to bum you out or anything but that’s just the way it is”. Soon I began getting up early on Sunday mornings and taking my young son to the early Catholic Mass, it was all I knew, but it just didn’t seem to be the right fit.I soon began attending a Baptist Church that taught from the Bible. If you have been raised in a Roman Catholic Church leaving for a Protestant church can make you feel conflicted. The Baptist church was a good fit and raised both my sons there. The Lord has been able to use me in that church as a Sunday school teacher, as a church Elder, and on the Stewardship Board. I know He is far from being done with me and has more for me to do. God has blown me away by even the simple things I have seen Him do in my life. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. In closing, I would challenge men to come to see what we are all about. Give your life meaning through Jesus Christ our Savior. God can work with the good and the bad, but don’t be Luke-warm because He’ll spit you out. God prepares a path for each and every one of us. We would love your path to lead to SOTC Modesto. In His service

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