In September 2005, James and Ileana were appointed by Missions Door for ministry in Brooklyn, New York, the fourth largest city in the United States.
Since their appointment, God has blessed them in ways they would have never imagined, working side-by-side with Pastor Raymond Ramos as part of his church-planting team. They are reaching recovering addicts, their families and friends and focusing on the vision of the Recovery House of Worship church model.
Witchcraft and pleasure can only describe what James lived for at one time. He was the youngest in a family of three. Idols were what he saw worshiped all his life, and pleasure ruled his life.
James became a priest of darkness at the age of 19, seeking for power to fill the void in a religion called Palo Mayumbe. Sacrificing animals, blood initiation, worshiping spirits and gods were his ways of trying to seek God.
Ileana, his brother’s fiancee’s cousin, the second oldest in a family of four, was raised by drug-addicted parents. She was also lost and seeking for a divine power through the same cult as a single parent with her two-month-old son, Nickolas.
They both knew nothing about Christ yet considered themselves Catholics. James’s brother, the higher priest in the religion, was introduced to Christ by his future wife after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Through them Ileana was introduced to Christ, followed by James in April 2003. His life was changed when he was invited to the Baptist church and was introduced to Pastor Edwin and Pastor Raymond’s ministry. They began to serve the Lord and never looked back.
James and Ileana were married in May 2005. They have three children: Lexi, Kassidy and Nickolas.