Ricardo is a native of Bogotá, Colombia (South America), and graciously, the Lord brought him to the Master’s Seminary to be equipped and trained (Masters of Divinity, 2010 and Masters of Theology, 2012). Vonna is originally from Oregon, and the Lord allowed her to earn a Masters degree in Biblical Counseling from the Master’s University (2008). They met while Ricardo was finishing Seminary and were married – sharing a common passion: to serve their Savior and advance the Kingdom of God. In January 2012, they were blessed with a daughter (Viviana Grace). From 2012 to 2017, Ricardo shepherded a Hispanic Church plant in Santa Clarita, California.
They are now excited to serve the Lord in Colombia, a place where Ricardo’s training and shepherding experience is greatly needed.
Though plagued by wars and violence for almost a century, Colombia’s greatest need is not just political peace, but the power of God (the Gospel) to change the hearts of its people. Colombia is a predominately Catholic country that in recent years has been flooded with false teachings such as the charismatic movement. Spiritual experiences, good works and financial giving are peddled as the means of salvation. Though hungry for the Truth, most Colombian pastors shepherd with a very rudimentary understanding of the Gospel and have never attended any formal biblical training. Their faith is not established on the right interpretation of Scripture, but on emotions and spiritual “fads.” This reality makes pastors and their congregations easy targets of false teachers.
Observing the consequences of this fiery attack on the Gospel and the Church has motivated Ricardo to work alongside Fernando Jaimes to establish a TMAI (The Masters Academy International) Training Center in Colombia. The mission statement of TMAI sums up the Morales’ reason for going to Colombia: “TMAI is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission by training indigenous church leaders to be approved pastor-teachers, able to equip their churches to make biblically sound disciples.”