Cocaine dreams cracked by the gospel


“My dream was to make enough money to buy cocaine that I could then send to the United States,” says Jefferson Hernandez, of his boyhood dreams in Cali, Colombia. “My dream was to fill up the United States with cocaine.”

Fortunately, sometimes dreams change.

It started with a girl. One night in 2008, after Jefferson had come to live in the U.S., he and his girlfriend Carol visited a Hispanic church in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Jefferson had never attended a church before.

“I was a little afraid I was going to encounter some weird things,” he says. But when “the man in the tie” got up to speak, Jefferson heard something completely unexpected.

“Religion had never made any sense,” he says. “But the man in the tie was very clear—he said because Jesus paid for all the bad things I’d done, there was hope for someone like me. I left the church thinking about that. And several days later, I asked Jesus to reign over my life.”

Jefferson’s girlfriend, Carol, was not a follower of Jesus at the time, and at first, she doubted the sincerity of Jefferson’s conversion.

“I thought he was crazy. But he told me, ‘I’m in love with Jesus, and He’s changed my life.’ It was weird for me to hear that from him and that caught my attention, so I kept going to church with him. And then sometime later, I gave my life to the Lord too.”

Jefferson and Carol, now married with three children, live in Loudon County, Virginia, one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. Lured by the promise of high-paying jobs, Loudon County has been a longtime landing spot for immigrants from Central and South America.

Several years ago, God gave Jefferson and Carol a burden for their Spanish-speaking unchurched neighbors.

“We’d go for a walk down the streets of our town, and we’d pray,” Jefferson says. “And as we went along, we met people. When we witnessed to them, some of them responded positively. And so, we started a Bible study with them. And that’s where it all began.”

They named their new church Campo Blanco, which is Spanish for “White Field.”

“The name came from John 4,” Jefferson says, “where it says, ‘the fields are white for harvest.’” The name turned out to be surprisingly appropriate. Just a few short years after launching, Jefferson’s new congregation now fills up the fellowship hall of a local Anglo church. 70% of the attendees met Christ at Campo Blanco and there are now plans to launch a second work.

“In the past, I thought, ‘Why start new churches?’” Jefferson says. “But I’ve learned that here, there’s the potential to start a church on every block and still we’d need more. So yes, my dreams have changed. Instead of thinking about filling up the United States with cocaine, now my desire is to fill it up with the gospel.”

Jefferson and Carol Hernandez are some of the many church planting missionaries supported by generous gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. To learn more about their story, and to discover how you and your church can support church planting and compassion ministry all across North America, visit

Published March 7, 2024

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