Petra Managua: Founded in 2005 by Pastor Jared Cox
Current Sr Pastor: Hamilton Rizo – 2016 to present
Pastor Hamilton’s Testimony: I was born in 1984 in the city of Jinotega in northern Nicaragua; I grew up in a dysfunctional home. My mother was a believer and my father was an atheist. When I was 7 years old I received Christ as my Lord and Savior. I believe it was the grace and love of God in my life. My mom was faithful in bringing me to church, but at the same time I grew up with a distorted image of God.
I grew up with a huge amount of pride in my heart for the moral things I did, but I also had a great fear because of the lack of identity in my heart. When I was 15 years old I learned to play the guitar on my own, so my pride grew because I thought I was a super special man for God. I disguised my pride with a false humility, but my fear became even greater. There were great conflicts in my life that pushed me to look for God, but I took refuge in music instead. I locked myself in my world of music, which was my way of connecting with God, I spent hours and hours with my guitar and the Bible.
At age 21 in 2005, I liked to help churches that did not have musicians, I liked it because it was the way I felt useful, but I discovered that it was the way I told God that I was indispensable, a sad way of thinking. At the end of September 2005 I received a call from a young man who worked in Petra, my cousin Beatriz gave him my number (Wife of Pastor Arnold by Petra Matagalpa), then this man called me and told me if I could help him with the music in his church, of course I did not hesitate. I remember that it was my way of feeling useful for God and thinking God needed me. I met with Pastor Jared and visited Petra. To the Glory to God, that is when God started to radically change my life.
When I arrived in Petra I was a moral man, respectful, and a man that I thought God would use. That was my human, fleshly thinking. But when I heard the direct message of the Word of God, He confronted me and destroyed my pride and my false godliness. I said in my heart “I found my home”, I was happy, and now I saw for the first time that I was dying and God rescued me from my agony and sin.
The preaching of the Word was another world, the Word of God impacted my heart deeply even to this day, also I know something I did not know before. “Discipleship”, never in my 21 years of age in the evangelical culture nobody asked me “How are you?”
I mean, He really wanted (Pastor Jared) really wanted to know how my heart was before God. Believe me, the churches in Nicaragua do not know what discipleship is; I learned it by the grace of God.
God start to show me His greatness, His power, and start to show me the depth of sin, and I am still.
On February 2009, after being a volunteer in Petra Bible Church, God called me to work full time in the Ministry. And that’s how I started my Pastor process. That year God works in my heart in immense ways. I married on December 17, 2009 with Jill and by the grace of God we have a beautiful family, Esteban, Liz, and Benjamin.
God molded my heart to become Petra Managua’s Senior Pastor today. I was taken by surprise and I was very afraid, but God taught me to trust Him and rest in Him. How did I learn it? First it was what God was calling me to be, and secondly, because of a long process of discipleship.
My role as pastor is simple, after seeing the role of my pastor over me; I can define it in three very important things:
- My time in the Word, not seeking knowledge but being a man broken by the word, applied to my daily life affecting every millimeter of my life.
- My prayer life. Nothing moves without faith or prayer
- Time to disciple others.
The work in the ministry is huge, from seeing the administrative details of the NGO that is part of my job description, to watching over the heart of the church. Today, that is what I dedicate my life to. To learn from God and to teach the things of God, and to train men, to disciple them to be the men God wants. It is not about information and facts, though those are important. It is about having a strong conviction of the God’s power, through the gospel transforming hearts and lives for His glory.
Sundays 9:15 a.m, 11:00 a.m.
Small Groups for Newcomers
Tuesday, 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.