Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Guatemala. When I was a year old we moved to El Paso, Texas. Dad pastored there until we moved to the West Coast. When I was around 12, Dad wanted us to return to Guatemala to be closer to our family and our roots.
Describe your parents. Dad was an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and was one of the best pastors I ever knew. A wonderful church planter with so much charisma. An encourager who believed in passing on leadership to others by preparing them and challenging them and taking them to another level. He was also a district superintendent in Guatemala when we returned there. Later, he pastored in Maryland. We still consider that congregation to be “family.”
Mom was amazing, caring, and talented. She graduated from Pasadena College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) with an education degree. A true prayer warrior, she taught Sunday school and played the piano. Also, she taught English in Guatemala at the school I attended where she was interested in her students learning for their own good and benefit.
Favorite childhood memory? Spending time in Dad’s home town in Guatemala and being with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher. But instead, I am a bilingual secretary.
Favorite food? Churrasco (grilled steak), tortillas, chirmol (Guatemalan salsa), and similar Guatemalan foods.
How did you meet Gustavo? When I was a young adult, Dad was called to pastor the Landivar Church in Guatemala. That’s where I met Gustavo. I was the pastor’s daughter and very involved with the youth; Gustavo was the youth leader. At that time I was engaged to someone else. But a year later God had other plans and here we are 30 years later.
Share about your children. Raquel lives on the East Coast and is in marketing and sales management for a large company. Beth is in Kansas City and is an RN at a large medical center. They are both bilingual and are the joy of our lives.
Who inspires you? We have to constantly be open to being led, mentored, and inspired by others. I have great women in my life who have been inspirations to me, from family to dear friends. Both of my daughters inspire me in different ways. When they set their minds on something they get it done. And they are both encouragers.
Why is it important to think in global terms? Because we are a global family. Because God so loved the world. Because there are answers for every single person—the Word has no cultural preferences or limitations. One thing that has impressed me about the Church of the Nazarene is that we are family. We are connected one way or another around the world. Prayer is a huge connector.
Why do you do what you do? We get in planes and cars, and for hours might have to stand in lines for immigration, and so on. But, when we get to our destination and gather with the church we say, “This is why we do what do.” I have found that every chance I have to sit down and be part of any event around the world, even if it’s just a smile from a child, it melts my heart. I ask God to break my heart with what breaks His heart.
What is your dream for the church? The word I can offer the church here and now is, Be a forgiving church, full of grace. God will honor that. Be transparent, and do all for Christ’s kingdom.
What helped in your spiritual formation? Once we moved back to Guatemala, my brother and I attended a Christian school, “America Latina.” God seemed to have the right people in my life to teach and patiently guide me, including “forever friends” with whom I can still get together and pick up where we left off.
What brings you joy? Gathering with these friends and family brings laughter and joy to me. That reflects that I am surrounded by people who mean something in my life and represent something special and I find laughter in our long and fulfilling talks.
A meaningful Scripture? This passage was meaningful since we started dating, was on our wedding invitations, and on the wall of our homes ever since—Jeremiah 29:11. Our girls know this verse so well that they have use it in moments when they felt prompted to also.
How or where do you recharge? Being at home, my safe haven, my quiet place of rest. When we are on trips, I want to be fresh and attentive to my surroundings with the people and churches we visit.
Rachel Crocker is a bilingual mother, wife, encourager, and leader. She and her husband, General Superintendent Gustavo Crocker, travel extensively to serve Christ around the world.