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By Grace
Alone By Adam Fridenstine
The story of Carlos and Sandra Hernandez
illustrates how God is at work in Cojutepeque,
El Salvador. He blesses His biblical plan of soul
winning, baptism, and discipleship.

Carlos and Sandra were a normal El Salvadorian
couple wandering through life enduring the
tough times and making sure they were doing
their best to be “good enough” to go to heaven.

They occasionally went to a church that taught
one has to maintain his salvation and “feel good”
to really be right with God.

Sandra became pregnant with twins—it was a
rough pregnancy and delivery. Once the baby
girls were born, some old childhood friends
went by to see them. These friends were Walter
and Mayra Menjivar, our first disciples in
Cojutepeque. They encouraged Carlos and
Sandra to visit our church and offered any help
needed with the new transition of twins.

Finally, one day they showed up. Carlos really
liked the church, but Sandra thought everyone
must be a hypocrite and did not trust this whole
salvation by grace alone with no works attached.

However, she was impressed by the friendliness
and love shown, so they kept coming. After
several months, Sandra asked if they could be
members. I said we needed to meet and hear
their salvation testimonies and answer any
questions they might have, knowing they really
Adam & Esther
Fridenstine and
family 14
were not saved. We met and began studying
the assurance of salvation discipleship lesson.

After several weeks of explaining Scripture after
Scripture, verse after verse, and passage after
passage, Carlos and Sandra bowed their heads
and received Christ as their personal Savior.

Soon after, they were baptized, and they started
fully into discipleship. It was not an easy
process. Every type of trial came their way from
extended family to health, marriage, financial
problems, deaths in the family, past failures, and
relationships. After three years they graduated
from our 9–12 month discipleship program!
Many times we were tempted to “give up” on
them, but we knew God wanted to use them, and
He was only working to make them more into
His image. We kept giving the time, meals, and
investment into their lives.

Today, they are one of the top couples we call
for help and service. They only want to serve
and support. Carlos is a faithful usher, and he
disciples others and oversees our roof expansion
project (he is a professional welder). Sandra sings
in the choir and groups, heads up the church
nursery, and cooks for any event as needed. She
also disciples two ladies. Recntly, they gave their
testimonies and taught their first Sunday school
lesson to the teens. They have led several people
to the Lord and are constantly bringing visitors
to the church.

The Gospel changes lives, and the freedom of
salvation by grace gives a desire to serve and live
right. The results of discipleship, investment, and
prayer are beyond description. Serving God is