Spirituality and faith are things that some human beings take a lifetime to figure out and discover. Though many of us often grow up practicing the very religion that we were born into, others have to travel multiple avenues until they find the faith that best suits their way of life, the faith that answers their questions, and the faith that accepts them for who they are. This was the route of Andres Heber Pichinte took. I went to high school with Andres and even had music class as well as a couple other classes with him. At a point in time, Andres' interests in cults and witchcraft were very outspoken. As someone raised in a community where these practices were rare, I was a bit taken aback and scared, to say the least. Though our lives moved to their separate ways, I was still able to witness Andres' transformation through social media. I was bewildered and shocked at his very stark transition to Christianity. So I asked him about it.
1. Can you tell me a little bit about before you found your faith? What religion were you practicing if you had any?
Before I found I faith in Christ, I was born and raised in a Christian home with very strict rules. Though we stopped going to church, we always believed. However, when I was a freshman in High School when I found the interest of other religions, sects, cults etc. But I soon later found myself to practice the arts of witchcraft and occultism. Later on I started to lean torwards Atheism and reject anything that spiritual or related to any set beliefs.
2. Is there any reason why you no longer had that sense of faith or spirituality?
I lost my sense of faith and spirituality because of the hypocrisy I saw in some Christians I knew at the time, but because I would question everything from why is there war, to child abuse, to increase in storms and increase in crimes. They were questions that weren't explained to me quickly at the time.
3. Around what time did you start finding belief in God again? and why?
I started to find my belief in God again when I was 18 in around 2015-2016, it was a study lesson the pastor of the church that my sister and I attened that really hit home for me. My questions were finally being explained to me. I saw the sacrifice of Christ, for the loving character he has shown to the world, that he took our place on the cross, we should have been the ones to die, but its the calling of having a second chance in life to live anew and be born again.
4. Was this realization immediate?
Before the lesson it was slowly growing on me, because it was very hard to convince me but some things such as archaeological history and apologetics slowly started to take away my skepticism and I was later found reading the Bible. After the lesson I felt something, probably the Holy Spirit, telling that I should get baptized.
5. Can you talk a little bit about the spiritual work you do now?
Well it has been a while I've done spiritual work but I plan on getting back to soon, but what God has led me to do so far was doing work with my church conference, where we go door to door talking to people and sell books based on the Gospels and on Prophecy. God has led me to start a ministry which did take a while to get a website ready and some information on there too, but the greatest thing God has led me to do for him was speaking in churches and in small events, it's an amazing experience speaking in front of so many people who have the same faith and study the bible. But now I feel God is calling me to do minister to people in different ways, going to school again, and work, and talking to people about my faith and sharing his word with whoever is willing to hear.
6. What's your advice to people who are exploring spirituality
My advice to people in their spiritual journey is they should study of course whatever spirituality they are searching for, but never let others tell them what to believe in, spirituality is a natural right we all have regardless of ethnic or whatever background their is. Concerning Christian Spirituality, have strong faith in the Lord and do as the ancients did which was to pray to the Lord at all times as Christ did when he was even being persecuted by the Romans, to stand strong till the end.
7. Why do you think faith is a difficult thing to explore/understand?
I think faith is a difficult thing because we are believing in powers that are not visible to the naked eye but a spiritual relationship we have with the Lord. Though many may want to try to disprove of a god or anything spiritual related, some people are actually happy when they find something to believe in or practice in their daily lives.
8. What do you plan on doing now with this new kind of spiritual guidance?
I am unsure of how I will implement spirituality in future works, I leave my worries to the Lord however he will use me to spread a message to the world in the works I do, but one thing I know for sure is that I will talk to anyone about spirituality whenever I am asked of the subject.
Andres' experience teaches us that life is a constant journey of change. Interpret this as you may, but it just so shows how people are in a constant state of development.