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The Sanctuary » TEN » TEN: Ortega

TEN: Ortega


Before coming to CrossTown Church, Eric Ortega described his life as a “mixed up, jumbled up mess.” Eric said he spent most of his time working or hanging out with his biker friends. “I didn’t care about anything other than, probably what my wife thought of me.”

After losing his job, Eric started going to Caribou Coffee each morning to fill out job applications online. “Who comes walking through the door, but bee-bopping Ronn Smith!” Eric said.

Although they were strangers, Eric said Pastor Ronn struck up a conversation with him. Eric started asking Ronn questions about religion, the Bible and Christianity. At Pastor Ronn’s prompting, Eric prayed for a job and was shocked the next day when he got a call from a security company with an offer.

He told Pastor Ronn about what had happened, and Ronn invited him to come to church. Eric said he had “no intention” of ever actually coming to Bolingbrook High School, but found himself in the parking lot one Sunday morning.

At first, he was reluctant to even walk in the high school auditorium. But after several visits, he felt God speaking to his heart and eventually made the decision to follow Jesus.

Eric got involved in a small group, and soon he and his wife, Dar, were amazed by the generosity of the church when they needed help with some major kitchen repairs. Men from two small groups showed up at his house; demolished the kitchen and floor; and installed a new floor, cabinets and appliances.

Today, Eric says the people at The Sanctuary are like family to him.

“The bikers were my family. Now, The Sanctuary is my family,” he said. “This Christian thing is a whole new thing for me, but it’s something I’m going to hang on to. If I look at it the way it is now, I have no more than I did before, but now I got all that I need.”

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