Sandra Collazo-Lopez, RN
Tell us about God's specific call on your life for the gospel and care for the poor.
I've had some pretty tough conversations with God about His plans versus mine. I never thought God had such a sense of humor that He would call me, of all people, to ministry. I was too busy, too critical or judgmental, too focused on myself and could not see what God was prepping me for. God combined the observational skills of the criminologist, the desire to help people live a healthy life, the patient advocacy of nursing, and the passion for service, caring, and sharing the Good News of the Gospel to open a whole new world before my eyes.
I was too engrossed in dealing with the harsh consequences of crime that affects the victims and their families to take a hard look at the brokenness, despair, hopelessness, and fear that extended past the boundaries of my world and that were part of the root cause of criminality. Nursing and my recommitment to Jesus Christ began a process of opening my eyes to the pain, trials, and deep sorrow of people and allowing me to share their experiences and emotions rather that be a bystander. Soon after I received the call to ministry and the opportunity to use the harsh lessons and experiences learned in the criminology field, I adjoined the caring heart of nursing with the life-giving good news of Jesus Christ to roll up my sleeves and stop sitting aon the sidelines so I could truly care for the poor and broken physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Each of us called to a missional life walk different paths, but the journey for those that choose Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, is filled with deep joy, the comfort of His grace and mercy, and the assurance of His everlasting and relentless love.
How has being involved in CCHF impacted your life?
I've been able to share the experiences of many like-minded people that are pursuing ways to provide anything and everything necessary to provide healthcare to the poor by traditional or new ways. I've valued the opportunity to share with medical and nursing students, encouraging them in their search for the place God is calling them. I've experienced the struggles and successes of clinics and the heartbreaking decisions they sometimes need to take, but also how fellow clinics come together to support each other. CCHF is community and has truly help me understand the meaning of living the gospel!
What is your life verse?
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Isaiah 41:10
Don't let your yesterday occupy the space of your today and don't let your today stand in the way of the glory of what God's plan is for tomorrow, continue to give thanks in every circumstance, for God's will is sovereign and His provision, grace, and mercy are as relentless as His love!
Tell us about your family.
My husband Miguel and I are the proud parents of 3 girls, Alexandra, Michelle, and Valerie. Two of them are married and have to two wonderful children, Shane and Michael, the other still at home and now working as a dispensary coordinator at Esperanza. I'm the Senior Pastor for the Philadelphia First Church of the Nazarene and my husband is a tractor-trailer owner operator. We've just recently moved into the parsonage and are experiencing some new emotions, a few challenges, and definitely a change in our routines.
Name three interesting facts about yourself.
- Served in the Armed Forces and Federal government law enforcement agencies as a forensic criminologist for 24 years.
- My first jump out of an airplane during a training session required a loving kick to my very low back!
- I keep in contact with over 400 of my former students through FB.