About me:

  • Place of Birth:  I was born in Rocha, Uruguay.  You may wonder where that is . . . well, that a very tiny fist-shaped country on the Atlantic coast squeezed between the two huge countries of Brazil and Argentina.  My parents were missionaries in there and both my younger brother and I were born in a tiny town near the northeastern boarder of Brazil.  It was a great place to grow, although in my teenage years the leftist Tupamaros became very popular and then it wasn’t so much fun to see “Yankees go home” written all over the place!  Yet, God has great, loving people everywhere, people who impacted my life and with whom I still keep in contact.  God is real and powerful and I was able to see the impact of His Word in changing lives, healing lives, and redeeming lives.
  • Family Information: I am married to Tony Gonzalez – since 1978 – can you believe it!?  That’s some sort of a record now a days!  We have two grown boys, Jonathan and David, who are attending college and working, and together with our dog, Baxter, and cat, Charlee (short for Charlene), complete our little family.  I  can’t speak for the dog and cat, but the rest of us love the Lord and endeavor to following Him each and every day.
  • How did I come to WCA? I came to WCA because I was invited – novel idea, don’t you think?!  After Tony and I were married, we attended his church in Los Angeles for many years and were very involved and committed – what a joy to be part of growth from about 80 to 90 people to 600!  In 1991, we moved into Orange County and decided that we needed a church closer to home, but where do you even start searching for a new church?  We started to pray, “lead us to a good place, that believes, teaches, and lives the Bible, and where we can be useful.”  Very soon after, we received a phone call from some friends telling us about a great little church – family friendly, lots of things to get involved in, and as they say, the rest is history!  We have been members of WCA since 1992.
  • What is my role at WCA? First and foremost I am a believer in Jesus Christ who craves and needs fellowship with like-minded believes and is committed to WCA as a church body.  Through this relationship I get the awesome privilege of serving Christ through serving other and am blessed by the service of others.  During the years at WCA my roles have changed, but at this time I am serving as Children’s Ministries Director, and help wherever needed.
  • What is my favorite part of my role here? I love being loved!  No matter what my role is at the time, I feel like I belong to a great big family.  We appreciate each other and celebrate our victories and cry together in our defeats.  I find it such a privilege to teach children about God and how to trust Him since their first steps.  There is absolutely nothing more important than knowing Christ as your personal, loving Savior.  So, I find no greater joy and fulfillment than to see kids worshiping God or trustingly praying, or hear from a parent how a child put a lesson into practice at home.  I love it!!  And the wonderful, lovable hugs I received from them are just icing on the cake!
  • Who is my favorite Bible character,and how do I identify with him/her? I have a few favorite Bible characters, especially those on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak.  As I go read down the genealogy of Jesus, I find some wonderful women who give us all hope.  One that comes to mind is Rahab, a loose-living woman to say the least and not a Jew.  Yet, by faith, in the flash of a second, she believed the words of two spies, hid them, and helped them escape.  Her life was changed from that moment on, and it was spared when the Israelites took Jericho.  Another is Ruth.  She is a good woman, but not a Jew and doesn’t know much about this Jehovah God.  She marries into a Jewish family, far away from their land.  Her husband dies, her brother-in-law dies, and her father-in-law dies.  She is totally bereft and by custom and law she should return to her paternal family.  Yet she follows her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to her native land (foreign to her) and follows all her mother-in-law’s customs, beliefs, and instructions.  God in turn, honors her faith, protects and provides for her by having her marry a “kinsman redeemer.”  This is not only a match of convenience but a love match and she becomes a King David’s great grandmother.  I love the story of these women, for it gives all of us great hope that our lives can be different from the moment we believe.  Doesn’t matter your past, it doesn’t matter where you come from, or who your parents are.  It only matters that from now on you choose to put your trust in God and follow Him.  Your life can count!
  • Who are my favorite sports teams? Believe it or not I am not that great into sports.  Ah, don’t groan!  I’m still likable!  I like to keep up on who is winning and the few great people that arise once in a while.  So, the teams I like are those where there are Godly examples of leadership or sportsmanship.  I think of such teams as the UCLA Basketball Bruins (UCLA being my husband’s alma mater).  Whenever I hear of the Bruins, I think of the great coach John Wooden who not only led the Bruins in 10 NCAA championships, but left a legacy of excellence, godliness, and simplicity.  Others have said that he always carried a piece of folded paper with a message from his father: “Be true to yourself.  Make each day a masterpiece.  Help others. Drink deeply from books, especially the Bible.  Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.  Pray for guidance, count and give thanks for your blessings every day.”  Wooden lived by that creed, as many a player attested.  Today,  I follow the Broncos carefully – you know why, right?  Yup, you guessed it – Tim Tebow!  Tim has made his belief in Jesus Christ totally public and that is really something!  He is in a position to really show how a Christian lives in victory through the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I pray for him often, that he will never forget the influential place he is in and totally rely upon God.
  • Who is my favorite musical artist or group? By now, you probably guess I not that young anymore, at least chronologically speaking! So, you may not even remember some of these groups:  The Carpenters, ABBA, Aerosmith, The Eagles, Bee Gees, Earth Wing & Fire, The Beach Boys, Anne Murray, Barry Manilow, and John Denver.  Two of my favorite songs of all time are:  John Denver’s “Sunshine on my Shoulders,” and the Carpenter’s “We’ve only just begun.”   At the same time, some outstanding precursors to our praise and worship music emerged in the 70’s:  2nd Chapter of Acts, Amy Grant, Barry McGuire, B.J. Thomas, Petra, Keith Green, to name just a few.  Today we have some great Christian music – I love the stuff from all of Hillsongs groups and the great stuff coming from England.  Two of my all time favorites still remain “I Can Only Imagine,” and “Word of God Speak.”
  • What was I like in Junior High?  Who thought of these questions, anyway!?  But really, I totally skipped Junior High!  Honest!  You see, in South America, where I was born and raised, there are 6 years of elementary school and then you go straight to High School if you are aiming at going to University, or Trade School if you are going for a trade.  After High School, you would continue to Preparatory College before continuing on to University.   When I returned to the USA, I was a High School sophomore by Uruguayan standards.  I found that according to all the credits I’d taken I could be a Senior in the USA, but because of my age and the need to take more English, American History, and Government, I was registered as a Junior and encouraged to take all the electives that were not available in my country of origin.  I had a blast taking an English and History class and then choir, Home Ec, speech, etc.  However, chronologically, I was 13 and 14 at one time, long ago!  And I must admit I thought I knew it all, could do it all, and was being held back my own parents who did not recognize how truly wonderful I was!  Yup, we all grow up after that!
  • If I could only have one book to read (other than the Bible), what would it be, and why? What a difficult choice this would be.  I can think of so many, but I would have to say I would choose to read the classic Christian fiction book by Charles Sheldon, “In His Steps.”  This book inspires, and ignites the fires in my heart every time I read it.  Set in England and written more than 100 years ago, it asks the question that is still asked today: “What would Jesus do” as one minister and five influential parishioners commit to living one year by that motto.  The miracles and life changing testimonies will ignite you and challenge you to also live and do as Jesus would want you to.
  • If I could choose my last meal on earth, what would it be, and why? Italian, Italian!!  I would have as an appetizer the “Scampi Scallops” from the Oyster Bar menu at the Fish Tale Seafood Restaurant, oldest seafood restaurant in Long Beach, CA.  Followed by a side of “Manggiano’s Salad” from Mangianno’s Little Italy restaurant at South Coast Plaza, Santa Ana, CA.  The entrée would be the personalized “Half and Half’ with half tortellini with creamy Alfredo sauce, and half spaghetti with mizithra cheese and butter, and a side of fresh steamed broccoli from The Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton, CA.  This would b accompanied with “Garlic Cheese Bread” from Clearman’s Northwood Inn in La Mirada, CA.  Last but NOT least I would have two desserts!  One would be the “Whole Bean Vanilla Crème Brule” from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and a slice of “Lemon Cream Cheese” pie from Marie Callender’s.  This is total comfort food for me – rich, creamy, and savory!
  • What makes me laugh? Kittens playing; kids laughing; the dog chasing his tail; people on the street walking to the beat of my music; misspelled signs; trying to talk after swallowing helium; my son’s deadpan humor; animals grooming each other; flowers bopping in the breeze; and oh, so many random things!
  • What makes me cry? The pain of others; injustice; consequences of bad decisions; unselfish acts of love; true love; sweet songs; God’s presence; unashamed, whole-hearted worship of God; God’s chastisement; chopping onions.