Pastor Javier Toyos
“The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Pastor Javier Toyos was born in Artesia, California on June 6, 1973. He was born into a non-Christian home; however, because of the faithful witness of his uncle, Rev. Orlando Vallejo, Pastor Toyos’ parents accepted the Lord as their Savior. During the early years of growing up, his aunt held regular gatherings at her home, so Pastor Toyos continued to hear the Gospel throughout his childhood.
Although Pastor Toyos had always heard about God, he never wanted to be a Christian until he was 24 years old. His uncle, Rev. Orlando Vallejo, led him to the Lord in his bedroom. Pastor Toyos then responded to God’s call to the ministry.
Pastor Toyos met his future wife, Diandra, at Cerritos Crossroads Multinational Church of the Nazarene where they were both serving the Lord as Youth Pastors.
Pastor Toyos has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies from Biola University. He has served our country in Iraq with the United States Army and is currently serving in the United States Army Reserves.
Pastor Toyos’ favorite hymn is “Amazing Grace.” It reminds him a lot of what God has done for him.
Pastor Javier’s Story
Ones life on earth is a very short one compared to ones life in eternity. One has many decisions to make everyday. Some are simple, some are complicated, but there is one decision every human being will have to make. This decision will determine where one will spend eternity. The question is: Will one repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? I made the decision to receive Jesus Christ into my heart and I would like to share my personal testimony with as many people as I possibly can.
It was on July 10, 1996 when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I was twenty-three years old when Jesus turned my world upside down. I immediately began to live a new life. Let me begin by sharing how I came to the Lord so that you might be able to understand where I am coming from.
When I was a small child most of my family converted from the Catholic faith to the Christian faith. My parents would take me to church every Sunday but many times I felt forced to go and I began to resent the church altogether. I can remember a time when a pastor by the name of David showed me the Love of Christ through his actions and not only by his words. Pastor David soon left the church and again I felt anger and resentment toward God. As I was growing up I felt a lot of anger and hate and I would always act on those emotions. At the time I didn’t understand where these feelings were coming from or why I was feeling this way. I never shared my thoughts or my feelings with anybody as I kept everything bottled up inside. At the age of thirteen I couldn’t hold everything in anymore and the result was chaos for me, my family, and almost everybody else whom I came in contact with.
I began to hang out in the streets with my friends. I would come home whenever I saw fit without even considering the sadness and heartache my mom and dad were having to deal with. I can remember one instance when my mother tried to help me with a problem I was having by talking to me in a loving and caring way and my reply to the love she showed me was “I hate you” as I slammed the door of my room behind me. This type of hate toward my family continued to get worse and worse until my heart became hard and emotionless, except for anger and hate.
Out on the streets I began to experiment with drugs and alcohol. I was introduced to marijuana when I was about thirteen years old and soon after that I was drinking, marijuana and using speed which is a drug similar to cocaine. Under the influence of these drugs I hurt a lot of people including myself. I used to think that everything revolved around getting respect and I wanted everyone to respect me. The only way I knew how to get respect was to put others down, to beat someone down in a street fight, or to be with different women. I never thought that a true respect would come from being a man of God. If I had known this I could have avoided many problems.
I remember one night when I went out partying with about six of my friends to an underground (a party inside an abandoned building) in the city of Lynwood. There were at least two hundred people at this party, the music was good, and the girls were looking good as well. As the night went on, I was having an unusual problem; nobody wanted to dance with me! I was having a bad night and was starting to feel irritated. I remember I just sat down at a table and began to drink heavily. I was sitting down minding my own business when a friend came up to me and told me “lets start a fight”. I didn’t really want to but I felt that if I would say no, I would be looked upon as a coward. So I got up and started walking towards the dance floor, with the intention of punching the first person that bumped into me. Sure enough someone bumped into me and I punched him in the face. This person’s girlfriend grabbed him and didn’t let him fight so I walked away thinking I got some respect.
When my friends and I were leaving the party the guy I punched in the face was waiting outside, apparently he wanted some respect too. A huge fight broke out and within a few minutes we were out numbered and things didn’t look so good anymore. I remember beating up one guy and then when I went to fight the next guy I was suddenly looking down the barrel of a .22 riffle. At this point I thought I was going to die and I began shouting “shoot me, come on, shoot me, I don’t care if I die!” I really didn’t care if I lived or not. I thought it was better to die than to lose respect. I didn’t lose my life that night but if I would have I’m certain that my eternal life would not have been in the Kingdom of God.
Every time I went out something negative would happen. I would either get drunk, get into a fight, or find a girl to spend the night with. It was always the same thing. I continued this way of life for many years. By the age of 17 I had been arrested twice, once for vandalism and the other for burglary and I had a girlfriend which was pregnant with my child. Sadly enough I had already convinced myself that all hope was lost and my life meant absolutely nothing. I continued to live in these conditions until July 10, 1996 ; the day Jesus showed me a love that extends further than what any words can describe.
I had some powerful experiences which enabled me to see that God is real and that he really does love me. These are the accounts of how I set my sights on Jesus Christ.
There were a few nights where I would go to sleep after doing drugs and in the middle of the night I would wake up screaming like a scared little child because I could feel an evil presence all around me. I couldn’t see anything but whatever it was sure felt evil and dark. On another night I was using drugs and found myself sitting in the parking lot of a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) waiting for the sunrise. This time I felt something looking down at me from the sky, I didn’t feel scared this time but I did feel ashamed of myself. I didn’t know what to make of these things that were happening to me. On yet another night I found myself high on drugs and walking through the river bed with a couple of friends. As we walked under the freeway we noticed someone sleeping in the middle of the walkway. My friends were startled and ran off but I stood there leaning over this person. I had a gun in my possession and I put it to this guys head. I was going to kill this person just because he was in my way. I remember the thought “kill him, kill him, kill him” kept racing through my head. I didn’t kill this person but about a week later I was talking to my uncle, Pastor Orlando Vallejo, when he received a vision of that night in the riverbed.
My uncle was explaining in great detail what took place that night. I tried extremely hard to dismiss this as pure luck or coincidence but my uncle even knew what I was thinking that night. My uncle told me that I had the thought to kill the person in front of me. I never told anyone that I thought about killing that person in the river bed. I told my uncle “if God is really speaking to you then ask Him to tell you something else about me”. My uncles reply was that God revealed to him that I had two weeks before something would happen to me but he didn’t tell me what was going to happen.
One week had passed and I had a gut feeling that I was going to be killed due to the life style I was living if I did not make a choice to surrender my life to Christ. Based on this feeling I invited my uncle to my house and asked him if God had mentioned anything else about me. My uncle didn’t have anymore visions but he used this opportunity to share the Word of God with me. I tried to convince myself that I would be okay without God but deep inside I knew that without Jesus, life was not worth living. I decided to be a man and follow Jesus Christ but I did not accept the Lord peacefully. I began to shout obscenities until I finally yelled out “I want to join God”. Instantly I fell to my knee’s and began to cry because I felt a Love that I had never ever felt before. We prayed together and I am very happy to say “ I became a child of God”. I made this decision based on the knowledge that He loved me first and that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”(John 3:16 NKJV).
I have been living my life for the Lord now for some years and I am experiencing many changes. With the help and grace the Lord gave me, I was able stop drinking, doing drugs, and I was able to control the tendency to become violent. Although I felt lonely at times, I separated myself from the friends I had and the life style I was accustomed to. Jesus Christ had performed a miracle in my life and I will always be thankful that He loves me and always will for the rest of eternity. The relationship I had with my parents made a 180 degree turn and now my family is closer than ever. I am learning to be a better father to my son and I will do everything in my power to be a positive role model for him. I feel in my heart that the Lord is calling me to be an evangelist.
By the grace of God I was able to attend Biola University and I graduated with a B.A. in Biblical Studies, where I have acquired the tools which will enable me to be an example of His power and glory. I have decided to live by faith and I know that God will not disappoint.
I want to make it clear to everyone who reads my testimony that God is real. God wants to be in your life but He will never force you to do his will. God can perform miracles and He will never fail you or leave you. Take a look at my life, God rescued me from drugs, violence, alcohol, and gangs. He replaced a life without hope with one overflowing with love, peace and hope. God can do the same if not more for you. Give Jesus a chance.