My name is Araceli Marquez. I was born in East L.A. and shortly thereafter moved to San Bernardino. I am the oldest of 5 children: four girls and one boy. We were brought up Catholic and went to church every Sunday. We had loving parents who really cared for us. My parents are both from Mexico and came to the U.S. before I was born so that my family and I could live a better life and grow up to be successful.
Growing up, my first language was Spanish, so I struggled in school and did not like it. My first year in high school, I started to rebel and became violent and angry. I didn't want to listen to my parents. I got kicked out of school my freshman year and went to a trade school to do better, but that plan failed. I got pregnant with my oldest daughter Jessica from my boyfriend who I'd been with for 2 years. I ended up marrying him.
I was 17 years old, married and pregnant. I lived a miserable life, being verbally and physically abused. He was a jealous guy and would always put me down. He made me feel insecure and worthless. Two years later I got pregnant with my second daughter Reannica. After 10 years with him i got finally got the courage to end our relationship. I remained a single mom with no help from him. I became very independent and started to party to heal my pain. I walked around with a smile, but inside I was crying and hurting. I turned to alcohol, friends, nightclubs and a promiscuous life.
In 2007 I met Juan, who I am now married to. I got pregnant with my first son Angel the same year I met him, and moved in. I finally decided to settle down, but the past tried to come back. He tried to physically and verbally abuse me due to his drinking problem. And that’s when I knew there was more to life. I refused to stay and repeat that lifestyle, so I cried out to God, and my best friend at the time introduced me to Shiloh Tabernacle Church. On August 7th, 2009, I went for the first time to Apostles Puredi and Ruth’s home for a Bible Study. I'll never forget that day and how God showed the Apostles what I was going through. God broke me, and since then I've never been the same.
God restored my relationship with Juan and family after undergoing rigid intense discipleship, which included deliverance from my past, 911 calls, counseling, encouragement and training on how to be a doer of the Word. I believe that God hand picked us for this ministry. Apostles Puredi & Ruth married us September 27, 2010 and a year later I gave birth to my youngest son Israel. We now have 5 children, including Juan's daughter, who we have full custody of, as God promised.
The Apostles never gave up on our family. They saw something in us that no one else did. My family and I serve God with all of our hearts, not forgetting what He has done for us. It was not easy to get to where I am today. It took a lot of prayer, rebukes, discipline and dying to the flesh. But by the Grace of God I am who I am today. Praise God, we are now both Pastors, by God’s grace!