Two brothers are leaving their home in Ocoee to follow God’s call to join Circuit Riders, a California-based ministry.
OCOEE Saul Romero was working as a barber in Winter Garden, with the goal of one day owning his own business. On his way to building his career, he felt God change his motivation.
“I felt God telling me to lay it all down for the sake of the Gospel and to reach a generation that doesn’t know Jesus,” he said.
Saul didn’t ignore the calling. At the beginning of 2016, he and his brother, Jonathan Romero, spent several months with the “Carry the Love” tour, which traveled the country to share the Christian faith at college campuses. Now, at the end of August, Saul, 27, and Jonathan, 23, will pack their bags and move to California to join Circuit Riders, the organization that created “Carry the Love.”
It’s a big step for the brothers, who have spent their entire lives in Central Florida, much of which has been in the West Orange area.
“We’re leaving everything,” Jonathan Romero said. “We’re leaving our comfort, we’re leaving our jobs. Selling everything.”
At 19, Saul was experimenting with drugs. He was depressed and often had suicidal thoughts. That changed when he was invited to a small church, La Roca, where his eyes were opened to Christianity for the first time.
“I’ve been different ever since,” Saul said. “He helps me every day to overcome temptations. It’s a great journey — so I want that for people my age. There’s people out there who are lost. They don’t know that there’s a better life than depression, a better life than taking your own life.”
Since then, Saul and Jonathan, who become a Christian at age 8, have been working to spread the message locally. Jonathan performs spoken word around the area in churches, schools, neighborhoods — anywhere he can go. While working as a barber in Winter Garden, Saul often told his customers about his faith, many professing faith for the first time while sitting in his chair.
“God is a loving father; He brings hope to the fatherless,” Saul said. “Jesus loves us so much that He would give his life to die for us and take our sins upon Himself so that we would be reconciled to God. Really that’s the message that we preach. Nobody is ever too far from the love of God. No sin is ever too great for Him that He won’t reach you where you are.”
Saul now cuts hair from the home in Ocoee he shares with other men around his age. People drop by the home often for haircuts and encouragement.
While with the Circuit Riders, Saul will lead worship, and Jonathan will perform spoken word. The brothers first found out about the organization when it visited the Orlando House of Prayer, where Saul currently leads worship.
The Romeros still are searching for housing while they are in California but also will spend much of their time traveling.
Now more than ever feels like the right time for the brothers to follow the call.
“All the suffering our nation has gone through this past year has tenderized our hearts as a country,” Jonathan said. “That makes it the perfect time to cry out to God. Jesus has His arms wide open right now. … He’s always been like that, but now we can actually feel it.”
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].
ABOUT CIRCUIT RIDERS
The original Circuit Riders was a movement of individuals who gave their lives to sharing the Christian faith.
To learn more about Circuit Riders, visit crmovement.com.
WANT TO HELP?
The Romeros will rely on support while with the Circuit Riders. To donate, visit gofundme.com/2d492fcf.