iran guzman

 "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
Iran Cesar Guzman was born in1971 in the small village of Santa Cruz, Mexico in Oaxaca. He was the third of four children who would be raised by his mom, who had just given birth, when his father left the family to pursue his dreams in California when Iran was just two years old. Growing up without a father in the village left the family vulnerable, heartbroken, and in poverty. He struggled never knowing his father feeling unlovable, angry, and hopeless. He struggled with homelessness, hunger, and harbored a heart of hatred towards his father and his physically abusive family members.

Iran went to work at the age of 6 years old to help the family survive. He worked before and after school and from dawn to dusk in the fields during the summers planting and harvesting tobacco, alfalfa, peppers, tomatoes, raising chickens, and a variety of other jobs. As people took advantage of him and underpaid or neglected to pay him, dark thoughts of discouragement clouded his mind. Alcohol became a refuge for him in his preteen years. At the age of 12, Iran was involved in a horrific truck accident that resulted in two deaths and a run for his life. The nearby villagers chased him and his uncle with machetes as they intended to kill them to avenge the accidental deaths. In spite of the trauma and disadvantage, Iran was an excellent student and motivated to succeed. He let his guard down, however, and became involved with the wrong crowd and started to drink more heavily. His mom left to go to the states in order to provide a better life for her children and a young grandson that had joined the family. Six months later, at the age of 15, Iran was ready to head North. He got on a bus and took the three day trip to Tijuana with three compadres. After an adventurous crossing into the U.S. sans cell phones, GPS, and a command of the English language, he eventually arrived at his father’s ranch in Valley Center. There he finally met his dad, his new wife, a brother, and a sister who were English only communicators.

Iran’s education was not a priority due to the isolation of living outside the city and time constraints. He went to work with his dad in hopes of being able to support his mom and to bring the rest of his siblings and nephew to the states. His father was going through tough financial times and Iran was often not paid, or paid very little. Even though he had been reunited with his dad, the word dad didn’t manifest in his heart or roll off his lips. Iran continued to drink, work, and took some English classes. His sister, Yadira, soon came to the states and was attending a Christian church. She called him early one Sunday morning to share a dream she had about him. “Hermanito, God gave me a beautiful dream,’’ she said excitedly. “I saw you behind a pulpit teaching the word of God with so much joy in your face. It was so beautiful!” Iran hadn’t sobered up from the night before. He told her she was loca. “I don't even go to church and I don’t read the Bible!” he slurred. He was convinced she had joined a cult and lost her mind. He hung up on her. He later found out his mom was attending the same church with her and was praying for him.

In 1994 he met and fell in love with two girls. His now wife Linda, and her precious 2 year old daughter, Chelsea, came as a package deal. The trio spent a lot of their time together on family dates. A year and a half later, Iran’s best friend, Eddy, invited him to Pastor Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusade at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. He turned his friend’s invitation down on Friday and Saturday evening, and then he finally relented on Sunday night when his sweetheart, Linda, had plans with her friend, Rainy, for the evening. Little did either of them know that they were both at the event that night and gave their lives to Christ on the same field on July 28th, 1996. Eddy invited his newly saved friends to Calvary Chapel Vista where Iran and Linda were exposed to and fell in love with the word of God. They were slowly crawling in their walk with the Lord as no one was discipling them. In 1997, Iran and Linda welcomed their treasured son, Gabriel, into their family. Eventually, Eddy’s wife, Monique, partnered with the Holy Spirit in exhortation and urged Iran to get married and honor the Lord. He finally yielded to the conviction and responded. In 1999, Iran and Linda were married. Iran’s dream of adopting Chelsea as his own daughter was realized shortly thereafter! Iran went on to finish his high school education through Mira Costa College and obtained his Citizenship just prior to the wedding. It was a busy time as God was on the move in their little family!

The Guzman family began attending Calvary Chapel Oceanside in 1997. Together, Iran and Linda grew through the book of Romans, and Iran soon joined the Spanish ministry. His sister, Yadira’s dream came to fruition. Iran was discipled as Pastor Jimmy Garcia took him under his wing and he was soon teaching God’s word from the pulpit with joy on his face. He served with Ernesto Dada and Roberto Gutierrez then, and they continue to serve in CCO ESPAÑOL today. Iran has been serving in many areas and has taught weekly Bible studies for In His Name Food Ministry. He currently serves as a pastor on the Board of Elders. The Guzman family has grown to include a son-in-law, Carlos, and the blessing of two beautiful grandchildren, Kiah and Roman. Iran has been touched by the goodness, grace and mercy of God. Looking back, he can see that God’s hand was always on him, His presence was always with him, and His love continually sustained him. He had not been forsaken, forgotten, or abandoned by his heavenly Father! Iran now knows the joy of being forgiven and being able to forgive others. He has been able to forgive his father and embrace the peace that comes with a personal relationship with Christ. Psalm 66:16 ESV Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for my soul. 1Timothy 1:17 ESV To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.