The following article was originally published at: Nazarene.org.
Yoan and Astrid Camacaro recently accepted the call to be missionaries for the Church of the Nazarene in Paraguay after serving as pastors in Ecuador for more than five years.
Both Yohan and Astrid are humble and willing to follow God’s lead wherever it might take them; however, their call to missions didn’t happen overnight.
Yoan grew up in Venezuela in the underprivileged community of Andres Bellos. He started attending the Church of the Nazarene in his early teens and became very involved in church activities.
Ever since he was a child, Yoan’s dream was to be a professional baseball player and rescue his family from poverty. His grandmother gave him a baseball glove as a gift when he was young, and his family quickly realized he was very talented.
As he got older, he got better and was noticed by professional scouts. One day, he received a telephone call from the Atlanta Braves, who offered him a contract to go to America to play baseball. That same day, he received a call from his local district superintendent who believed Yoan had a gift for ministry and suggested that Yoan attend the Nazarene Seminary in Quito, Ecuador.
Lost, Yoan went to his Bible and found the verse in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
At that moment, Yoan knew what he had to do. He declined the offer to play professional baseball, and he went to the seminary.
During his time at seminary, Yoan met his wife, Astrid, who was born into a Christian home in Ecuador and felt called to ministry at 15 years old.
Growing up, Astrid served as a youth leader and Sunday School teacher. She has always a strong passion for discipling, mentoring and involving young people in ministry and missions.
After graduating from seminary, the two were married in 2011. They lived in Venezuela for a while where their son, Yared, was born. Yoan is currently pursuing a master’s degree in cross-cultural missions with Nazarene Seminary of the Americas in Costa Rica.
In 2013, the Camacaros planted a church in Ibarra, Ecuador, where they have pastored until their recent call to missions.
“We are excited to start this new adventure and serve God with love and passion,” the Camacaros said. “We know that great things are coming for the country of Paraguay, and we are ready to develop strategies for growth.”
Now, Yoan hopes that God will use his son to carry out his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.