Since I can remember, I grew up with this kind of verbal abuse during my childhood and teenage years. I was so insecure and had a low self-esteem. I was looking for acceptance, affirming words, love… and the list goes on. These painful words came from someone that was supposed to support me and make me feel secure and loved more than anyone but it was not that way. That person was my father who has a strange way of expressing his love for me. My name is Deltha Gulart and I am from México. This is a small fragment of the story of my life.
When I was 14 years old, I heard for the first time the biblical gospel. I used to be Catholic, but I never understood anything about God until that time. I remember starting to read the Bible for the very first time and I thought: “Will it be impossible to finish this entire Book?” But to my surprise the Book became the most interesting literature I ever read. I started reading every day, making notes and writing down questions, underlining, expressing my doubts, memorizing… I just loved it and after a few months I made the commitment to give my life to Christ. I did not know at that time that the process of being in the Potter’s hands had just started.
For me it was not easy being a Christian. My dear father was always against me and my sister (who is a Christian, too). Any activity in church became a big issue for my father, and it was a big problem to him for us to serve God or even enjoy fellowship with other Christians.
I come from a culture where girls live with their parents until they get married. It is not common to leave your home before the wedding day and as you can imagine, my father is very traditional on this topic.
I was different than the rest of my family. I was always dreaming about the day I could leave home, so when I talked to him about the idea of studying in a different state, he got really upset. He insulted me and decided not to talk to me for months. I was so tired of the way he had treated me all my life that to forgive him was one of the most difficult things I have had to do in my Christian life.
When I was 21 years old I left my home to finish my career in a different state (15 hours away). I was studying graphic design even when my desire was to go to a Theological Seminary, but as you can imagine that wasn’t an option in my father’s house, so when a I went to a different state I just finished what I had been studying back home.
Even though I was so insecure and so petrified with the idea of being alone without my family and friends, I saw this situation as a big opportunity to escape and never come back to that kind of life. I remember praying to God many times: – “When will this situation with my father be over? Please take me away from here!” When I got the opportunity to study at a different university far away from home, I realized that God answered my prayers. This was a big change in my life, and it was for the good. God healed my wounds and after many years I was able to forgive my dad. I accepted myself as I am, as someone God created. My faith grew, my fears lessened, and I became a different person. With this freedom I could serve Christ in my Church in many different opportunities.
I started working with kids, youth, worship, and I went on missions trips to different parts of Mexico. I finished my career, got a job, and rented a house…By the Grace of God, the child that was so insecure with low self-esteem was growing up in the Lord and getting bold and courageous to face new challenges. It wasn’t easy, because fears were still there.
While I was still in college I read the book “Through Gates of Splendor.” This book tells the story of five American missionaries that went to Ecuador to share the Good News with the Aucas. These people end up killing the missionaries, but by the Grace of God many of the Auca people became Christians. After reading this true story I became interested in missions. For me to be a missionary was a privilege and while I was reading the book my heart was burning for this kind of service to God. The idea of giving my life to missions was on my mind all the time and my fears came back. “Could I be a missionary? Where will I get the money from? Who will support me? My Dad will kill me!!! What about my future? Will I get married? Will I meet someone that pursues the same goal? Will I have a house? Who will take care of my Mom when she gets old? How I will survive? Am I ready to die for Christ like those missionaries?”
When I got to the end of the book I found myself crying, with the firm conviction of the Holy Spirit that I will accept this calling, I knew God was doing something in my heart, He was preparing me through my whole life for this, even when I didn’t know it. Despite all my fears I prayed to the Lord: – “If You are calling me I will accept it, but I need Your help. I can’t do it alone. I don’t know how or when, but I know you want me to do more than living a normal life in my country. I’m so scared and you know it. I never believed in myself, in my abilities, or capacities to do “big things” so here I am, be with me always and help me.”
Four years after this prayer in 2006 I joined for two years the Logos 2 and Logos Hope ships operated by Operation Mobilization. These ships go around the world sharing the gospel. I was part of a community with 65 different nationalities serving the Lord as volunteers. When my dad knew about this He told me: “You are not my daughter anymore, if I died during your time onboard don’t bother to come home. I’m dead to you from this moment on.” That was a hard thing to hear; I tried to talk to Him but that was impossible. He didn’t speak to me for many months until I was about to leave Mexico.
To be onboard the ships was the greatest and most beautiful experience that I could ever imagine! I am eternally grateful to the Lord for this opportunity. During my time onboard I met my husband Alex Gulart from Uruguay. We got married in 2009. We moved to Uruguay and we served full time in his home Church and at the same time we studied in a Theological Seminary (which had been my desire). We got the opportunity to share the Word of God in different countries. The Lord blessed us with two beautiful babies, Ainhoa (4 years old) and Bastian (2 years old). Now we serve with GMI (Grace Ministries International) in Paraguay where so many people from different nations and religious backgrounds have never heard the Gospel of the Grace of God.
Do you remember how this story started? The Lord is so great and His plans and thoughts are bigger than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). The Lord never forgot my desires of serving Him. Living for Him is the important part of this life. He is my source of peace, my inspiration, my passion. Sharing with others what He did and what He can do in people’s lives is my motivation. The meaning of the sacrifice of Christ is the reason for why i left my country and my comfort zone. Despite my fears and my lack of faith, He decided to use me for His Glory. That’s the Grace of the Lord.
After many years my Dad continues to reject the Lord. I can say louder I LOVE MY DAD, I forgave him and I pray for his salvation. I have a good relationship with him, and I will never have enough words to say GRACIAS to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His goodness, grace, love and mercy.
May God bless you, Deltha.