Rafael “Rafa” Blanco Mendez grew up in Venezuela, where he first met Jesus after his family was rocked by infidelity. His mother, desperate for comfort and community after her husband’s affair, decided to take her children to church.
“This very painful event in our family led my younger sister and me to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Rafa says. “From that point on, we were committed believers.”
Rafa excelled in school and earned a degree in aeronautical engineering. He traveled to several other countries to work as an engineer, but eventually felt called to return to his home country.
“I could not find a job as an engineer in my hometown,” Rafa says. “This led me to work in another area which I am passionate about — writing. I now work as a content developer. I have created small groups curriculum for churches, and I wrote a book called ‘How High Can You Fly: The Aeronautics of God.’”
Rafa and his family in Venezuela.
As Rafa became more involved in his church, he decided to study theology. He became a teacher at his church’s Bible institute and later served as its director.
Rafa wanted to complete the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) because he knew God was calling him to share his faith — he was always more comfortable leading Bible studies among believers than sharing the Good News with people who didn’t know Jesus.
“Before, I thought sharing the Gospel only corresponded to those who had the gift of sharing the Gospel, but after the HLE, I feel more responsible for fulfilling this mandate,” Rafa said. “From now on, it will be impossible for me not to seek the thousand and one ways to present the Gospel to others through my gifts and talents.”
This engineer turned writer turned Bible teacher knows that God can use anyone, anywhere, in any way to end Gospel poverty. He is excited to continue to learn new skills and venture outside his comfort zone for the glory of God.
Written by Jill Clair Gentry