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Ulices Rodriguez Jr. (Nasi BDK-English)

Shalom, my name is Ulices Rodriguez Jr. I was born in Fresno, California in 1993. I grew up in a Mexican-American family with my father’s side of the family emigrating from Mexico to the United States just before he was born. As a result, I grew up with a blend of traditional Mexican and American values, and these values were heavily influenced by Catholicism on both sides of my family. Therefore, I would say I grew up in a culturally Catholic family.

I call it a culturally catholic family because although we went to church on Sundays, there was not much focus on studying Yahweh’s word and pursuing a meaningful relationship with Him. However, much to my family’s credit, they made a great effort to raise me and my brothers according to biblical principles. However, because we did not study the word of Elohim, these biblical principles stuck with me into my teenage and early adult years but were challenged as I began to explore the world on my own, separated from the influence and guidance of my family.

To further elaborate on this, I must explain what life was like for me growing up in California. Life, in particular, as I remember was difficult for me. From a young age, I had a difficult time fitting in with my peers due to my focus on walking according to biblical principles. Because I lived life this way I learned how to develop a connection to Elohim but didn’t know that’s what it was at the time.

And, while most children thoughtlessly went outside and played with friends, I was not this way. Although I still went outside and played with my brothers, cousins, and friends, I often found myself contemplating the meaning and purpose of life, asking for Yahweh to reveal it to me.

I believe for this reason, I stood out and had a difficult time fitting in amongst most groups of people, even into my teenage and adult years. It’s difficult to have things in common with your peers when you are not interested in similar things and as a child, when you are this way it’s easy to end up on the receiving end of a lot of bullying growing up.

This is exactly what happened to me, and as a result, I developed a meek personality and began to wonder why this was happening to me, which led me to question a lot of the biblical principles I was taught growing up, mostly because my peers did not seem to live by the same principles as I did, therefore they did not seem to have such a difficult time fitting in.

They seemed much more confident in how they carried themselves, which I earnestly desired for myself. This led me to seek ways to build confidence and self-worth at the expense of pursuing a meaningful connection and relationship with Elohim.

Now just to clarify, this never led me to completely abandon a connection and relationship with Elohim, however, it did lead me to wander into the sort of mischief and sin that teenagers typically experiment with, which only distracted me from having a deeper connection and more fruitful relationship with Him.

Now, It has taken me many years to truly understand what it means to be a biblical man, a man who fears and loves Elohim with all his heart. And, along this journey of mine, I have done several things throughout my young adult life, most memorable of all for me, was my time in the U.S. Military which I enlisted in the US Navy when I was 22.

My time in the military led me to Navy Seal training, where I ultimately did not make it through the training, but it taught me many valuable lessons that I still employ today, and this is an experience I am grateful to Elohim for leading me through.

While in the military, going through boot camp, and Navy Seal training, Elohim was constantly working on my heart, which led me to develop a relationship with a really good friend of mine I met in boot camp who exemplified what a real relationship with Elohim looks like.

The sort of confidence and self-worth that I had been searching for all my life, I finally saw it realized in another young man. As a result, I inquired more and more about how to acquire a real relationship with Elohim, void of the distractions we impose on ourselves. Still to this day he and I are good friends. This is also another experience and friend I am grateful to Elohim for bringing into my life. Which in large part has led me to where I am today with Nazarene Israel.

While I was also in the military, I met my wife, Ysa Rodriguez. Initially, when we began dating we had no real idea of how to cultivate a biblical relationship since neither she nor I had any real example. However, by the grace of Yahweh, He led us through our many trials as a young unmarried couple.

This led to us getting married not too long after initially meeting each other, where we experienced more trials as a young married couple. Again Yahweh has led us through these trials, and by His favor, we now have three beautiful children that He has blessed us with. My family is a gift that I am most grateful to Elohim for.

Now to further elaborate on how I came to develop a real relationship with Elohim and how I came across Nazarene Israel, I must go back to when I first enlisted in the military. Early on after I enlisted in the military, as I mentioned above I inquisitively desired to know more about what a real relationship with Elohim consisted of, and how to acquire one.

This led me to repentance and get baptized. It was soon after this that I began to study scripture for myself, where I then realized that much of what I had been hearing from the pulpit of my church did not match what scripture was saying. I then spent the next several years studying and diligently seeking the truth, and by Yahweh’s Spirit He led me to Nazarene Israel the same year that I left the military and married my wife. Now me and my family have been faithfully following Yahweh through Nazarene Israel since the early part of 2019. This is also an experience I am most grateful for.

Since finding Nazarene Israel, I have learned much and Yahweh has blessed me with the opportunity to preach His word to His sheep. This is also an opportunity I do not deserve but one that I am eternally grateful for the call to serve. My name is Ulices Rodriguez Jr. and there is no greater calling in my life than to serve Yahweh’s people.

To all who read this:

May Yahweh bless you, and may He keep you. May Yahweh make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May Yahweh lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

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