Grace College of Divinity’s mission is a global one; it fuels the heart behind the several countries and regions that God has called us to be involved with outside of the United States. Currently we are involved in 5 Latin American countries due to the partnership and tireless efforts of the late Alan Winter. These countries are Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, and Honduras. Due to our involvement in these countries, we have had the privilege of equipping and getting to know amazing leaders both young and old from these parts of the world. Their stories and their hearts inspire everyone involved with GCD staff and faculty to serve our students both domestic and abroad with excellence.
One of the students that we have met along the way is Astrid Quezada. Astrid has been a student with us for about 4 years, studying long distance as an online student in Honduras. She is one of the many students that were introduced to us by the hard work and influence of the late Alan Winter. Astrid first encountered Alan at the age of 15 on the first of many missions trips she had taken on his team. Alan became like a spiritual father to Astrid on these trips. She describes Alan as always being able to identify the brokenness that she dealt with and knew how to get through to her every time. Alan continued to inspire a heart for missions in Astrid, and she is currently involved in several ministries in her hometown.
Astrid’s main skill that she brings to the table within ministry is her ability to translate. She has been translating messages from from both Spanish to English (and vice versa) since her teen years. As a matter of fact, on her very first trip with Alan she was brought on as a translator at the age of 15. She is still heavily involved in translation for her home church by translating messages whenever American teams come to visit. Aside from her translation ability, Astrid is an outstanding leader, who is involved with raising funds to pay for the tuition of many children within a local orphanage known as “La Casa Del Nino.” Astrid adds that many of the leadership qualities that she taps into when accomplishing these ministry tasks were learned or put into practice within her GCD classes. She is currently seeking her Bachelor’s of Arts in Christian Leadership and hopes to complete her degree on campus in 2019.
Astrid’s pursuit of a life in vocational ministry was and still is heavily inspired by the life and legacy of Alan Winter. She admits to the fact that she was reluctant to go on her first missions trip because she felt as if the choice was made for her. Her heart began to change however as she began to prepare as a translator for Frontline Missions and was immediately moved by the love and guidance of Alan’s leadership.
“He was like an adoptive father to me. I always felt that God had sent Alan to my life to make me feel the love that God had for me. He taught me to love others as much as I could, because there are so many people out there who need to be loved. We need to love others no matter what, and we need to love them as much as Christ has love us.”
Alan’s life was one marked by enormous influence and obedience. Astrid, as well as many of Alan’s closest friends, attest to the heart he had for every person he met. Dr. Crowther, President of GCD, describes Alan as being able to “disarm people by loving them.”
“ I truly admired him for his strong faith and obedience. Whenever we were on a mission trip and had a situation that we could not handle he would always pray and listen to God. Only after that he would act.” – Astrid
Alan’s lifestyle of love and obedience inspired so many people like Astrid to pursue lives in ministry in order to carry on that legacy that he leaves behind. Here at GCD, we want to honor that legacy as well. In order to do so, we’ve built a scholarship designed with international students like Astrid in mind. It was one of Alan’s dearest wishes that Astrid have the opportunity to travel to the United States to complete her degree on campus at Grace College of Divinity. For years to come, we want to give students like Astrid the opportunity to pursue their callings both abroad and domestic. To find out how you can become a donor follow the link below for more information.