Assist CCC in its mission of creating more and better disciples of Jesus Christ by:
(1) Coordinating the implementation of systems which assist partners and non-partners track their process through the 6 Foundations at CCC: Partnership, Spiritual Transformation, Ministry Calling, Financial Stewardship, Doctrine & Theology, Evangelism.
(2) Coordinating the implementation of various discipleship classes which will help people understand the 4 Realities and purposefully engage in the 4 Pursuits so that the can grow in intimacy with Christ.
My faith journey:
I was raised in a Christian home whose family was devoutly Pentecostal. Not the long dress no makeup kind, but definitely the pray for long hours kind. My biological father died when I was about 3yrs old, and my mother went through a lot raising four boys in the middle of NYC on her own before she met the man who I grew up to know as my father. A man’s whose example showed me what it means to be a husband and a godly man. Statistically speaking a Latino single mother raising four boys in NYC the odds were not in our favor. However, thanks to God’s sovereign mercy we were not a victim to statistics.
I am convinced, the medium God used to show grace to our family was my mother’s long arduous prayers before a loving Father. She was the persistent widow who incessantly beat on heaven’s doors asking for God’s grace to captivate our hearts and turn us to Christ. She was not concerned about our financial lives, or removing us from the projects, but rather that we all would come to know and serve the Lord. In addition to her prayers, she would make sure we understood we had no choice when it came to attending church or daily Bible studies. Here she would not have us read for consumption but for understanding. Looking back, it amazes me to see God’s sovereign hand as he led an untrained widow by the Spirit to teach her boys to ask the very questions I learned to ask in Seminary while studying the Scriptures.
With this foundation, I left land went to college to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering. Faced with the hedonism that plagues college life, the daunting presence of atheists all around, and the mixture of various faiths and truth claims from sincere, good, and kind hearted people I was forced to ask myself “Why am I a Christian?” While studying for engineering I also studied various religions, truth claims, and scientific evidence for or against God. I wanted to know that I was serving God not because of my mommy and daddy told me to, but because He was absolute truth and there was nothing else.
After years of study I was fully convinced that the God of the Bible was 100% truth and I had a newfound desire to equip Christians with the tools needed to defend, share, and live out their faith. I became passionate about discipleship, but I had to be equipped myself, so I started on my Pursuit towards my Masters in Divinity once I graduated college.
Now 10yrs later, after slowly chopping away at my degree due to full time work, military commitments, and family life, I am near the end of my degree and here at CCC. God in his sovereignty has placed me here where I am not helping to coordinate the discipleship systems of this church. I am excited about helping to equip others to effectively share, defend, and live out their faith as they passionately endeavor to be more like Christ.
My father and mother are Rafael and Gladys Almestica and I have three brothers, one of which is also a partner at CCC with his family. I was blessed to marry my best friend, the love of my life, Karin Ramos Rivera, and we have one son Xavier Alejandro Rivera.
Passions for the Kingdom of God:
I am passionate about being and making disciples of Jesus Christ. I am passionate about apologetics and I love teaching others how to effectively defend their faith in love. I am passionate about church history and helping Christians understand the history of their faith and not the caricature that is promoted by the world. I am passionate about doctrine and theology and helping Christians form a Biblical worldview.
Places I've lived:
New York, NY (Brooklyn, Manhattan)
Minneapolis, MN (Summer job with my older brother)
New Jersey (Summer job with my older brother)
Daytona Beach, FL (College)
Djibouti, Africa and Kandahar, AFG (Military Deployment)
In my free time, I love to...
Spend time with my family, read up on current affairs, discuss the forbidden topics of politics and religion, shoot handguns and rifles
Books I recommend:
Ooooh this is a tough one.
Theology: In general, after the Bible (preferred are ESV or KJV translations): anything by John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, JI Packer, RC Sproul, Timothy Keller, David Platt, Ravi Zacharias, etc. There are just so many great theologians.
Politics: The Law by Frederic Bastiat, Animal Farm George Orwell
Leisure: I am a huge fan of almost anything by Tom Clancy and Brad Thor.