Joe Zavala

Youth Leader

I was raised in Southern California and brought up in the church. We had a good life and I was very blessed to have grown up in a Calvary Chapel church. However, around the age of 16 I began to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Whenever I would get into trouble I would cry out to the Lord for help and He would deliver me. But I would cheapen the grace of God because I never lived a life of holiness unto the Lord.

What I now realize is there is a difference between “knowing of Jesus Christ,” and “knowing Jesus Christ.” One is without intimacy and was born out of emotion. The other is an abiding love relationship with our Savior. I lived in the world that whole time and found myself lost and I didn’t know where time went.
One day I’m 16 and the next day I’m 30 years old and living a life of self-destruction. I had this calling upon my heart but I couldn’t shake the conviction. I was finally at the end of my rope and I needed a Savior. I remember the night that I fell on the ground crying out to the Lord. My whole life I had done it my way and it got me nowhere. I asked for forgiveness and told the Lord that my life was His to be used as a vessel for holiness and righteousness. I had this hunger to know Him, to know who I was in Christ, and to know the blessedness of our Savior. I had fallen in love and couldn’t get enough of His word. Since that day I have continually been blown away with the love of Jesus. I feel so unworthy to be in ministry.

My heart for ministry is that ministry is not contained just on the grounds of the church – my whole life is ministry from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. What I realize now is that I couldn’t ride my parent’s coattails into heaven. I had to come to a place of humility of knowing I couldn’t do it, but Jesus could. I had to make the decision to live for Him, or to live without Him, and I tried living without Him.

So, my only conclusion was Romans 12:1-2. To live a life holy and acceptable to the Lord and to be transformed daily by the Holy Spirit. Spending time in His word is where I want to live the rest of my life. I truly do believe in the power of the Gospel because it has resurrection power as it turned my world upside down, but my heart right side up. In Christ I have found my purpose and that is to live a life of self-denial. Now I am in Montana answering the call Jesus has upon my life. I don’t know what the future has for me and I am not worried. All I do know is, “ For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain”.



God has really blessed us here at Calvary Chapel Cascade County in 2017, and is beginning to use our fellowship in some wonderful and exciting ways. If you would like to support what God is accomplishing through us, so that in 2018 and beyond we can reach more souls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and really make a difference in people’s lives, please prayerfully consider donating, but only if God lays it on your heart to do so. For your convenience you can either send a check to Calvary Chapel Cascade County, PO Box 1508, Great Falls, MT, 59404, or you can click the Paypal button below.