“If at this time we do not rise with courage to continue to evangelize effectively; God will use others, but we will have lost the opportunity to serve Christ and fulfill our life mission.”

Over the years, Haggai leader Cristina Juárez de Amaya of El Salvador has used her multiple degrees and leadership positions ­ ­– including Doctor of Medicine, dean, addiction specialist and researcher, and, currently, rector of a private university in El Salvador – to shape the next generation for Christ. But it was the Virtual Haggai Leader Experience (VHLE) at the beginning of 2021 that revitalized her approach to leadership.

“I didn’t know much about Haggai, and I thought, ‘it will be one more training on Christian leadership.’ …But I can only say that there is a ‘before and after’ the VHLE. God spoke to me so directly, renewing in me a passion for His work in the University… He used the VHLE to give me ideas, projects, and goals so that together with the leaders of the university we could raise a projective strategic plan.”

Cristina Juárez de Amaya

In her leadership role at La Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador (The Evangelical University of El Salvador), Cristina, who became a Christian “in the classroom” after a professor shared the Gospel, holds enormous influence with El Salvador’s future Christian leaders. She works hard to ensure she and the leadership team she’s in charge of representing the university’s values well, knowing that their lives are a testimony to Jesus.

“We see the university as a ministry for the service of higher education and an extension of advancing the Gospel in our country. We not only want to develop excellent professionals… we want to sow the seed of the Gospel through the testimony of our lives.”

Cristina is committed to fulfilling God’s call on her life and has seen God’s faithfulness and guidance through life-changing experiences like the VHLE, the adoption of her daughter 19 years ago, and a battle with mental health.

Cristina and her husband disciple young men and women through their church and professions.

Since attending the VHLE earlier this year, Cristina has helped equip twelve new leaders in El Salvador, and she is also actively discipling young men and women through ministry groups she and her husband lead through their individual professions and their church. They aim to encourage young men and women of Christ to stay in El Salvador, transforming their nation for the sake of the Gospel.

“My husband and I have a strong call to the children and youth of our country, to the most vulnerable, to the marginalized and rejected, and to women who cannot have biological children and believe that God forgot about them and they are without purpose.”

Cristina has seen firsthand how the Holy Spirit has changed multiple young people’s lives, many of whom come from harsh backgrounds. She wants her legacy to be that “the next generation of children and youth people in El Salvador know Jesus and believe that only He can make them free.” Cristina also knows the value of mental health support and is working to implement a comprehensive mental health project with a spiritual component, especially for students pursuing high-pressure careers in healthcare.

She believes that the country’s young people need men and women leaders to open up a better future for them so that the next generation sees they are a part of something much greater than themselves. Through Cristina’s leadership, she’s introducing them to the Gospel, the ultimate story of hope.