Vanesa Giselle Hernaiz, M.A.P.S. ’02
OCCUPATION: Bible Teacher and Social Conference Speaker, La Puente, California
LESSON LEARNED: What God has destined to be will come to pass, regardless of your circumstances and limitations.
MY STORY: “Now the Lord said to Abram, Go out from your country and from your family and from your father’s house, into the land to which I will be your guide” (Genesis 12:1). Vanesa Hernaiz’s story begins much like Abram’s. She left her home country of Argentina, her comfort zone, to come to America, a different land with a very different culture. “In obedience to God’s call, I was pursuing my theological and academic development, planning to enroll in a Bible institute for two years, and then return to my home country,” she said. But she soon discovered God had other plans.
“I realized that He wanted to use my life for Hispanic ministry in the United States,” she said. “Despite the challenges I had to endure in order to attain my academic goals, I had the overwhelming desire to keep pressing forward.” Eventually, a mentor told her about Azusa Pacific University. “I clearly remember that day as my mentor encouraged me about the gifts and calling God had instilled in me. I was only 23 years old—I’d be the youngest in my class—but I accepted the challenge to enroll for a master’s degree.”
A class on urban ministry, taught by Enrique Zone, Ed.D., was a turning point for Vanesa. “The class opened my eyes to the importance of being a bicultural leader and how my ministry could have a powerful impact in our communities,” she said. “I’ll always be grateful for Dr. Zone’s invaluable dedication and tutoring.”
After spending some time serving in youth ministry, Vanesa now provides formation for Christian leaders, and speaks at various Bible institutes and social conferences throughout the United States. She also founded a ministry called “Resteach” (from the words “restoration” and “teaching”). “The ministry helps change lives through the teaching of God’s Word,” she said.
“Attending Azusa Pacific was a very important step in my ministry. The academic foundation I received was the key to developing efficient ministry tools that I apply every day,” Vanesa said. “I’m passionate about my ministry as I walk toward the destiny God has preordained for me. Like Abram, God called me far from home, and I know I was born to live and serve Him in this time and place.”