Photos by Jasmine Rennie
Can you introduce yourself - tell us more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?
My name is Yesenia and Yesi for short!
I love being a mujer. I love what I can give as a woman. I enjoy the beauty of fighting and moving forward to represent not just my gender and raza but also my faith.
I am all about community. I enjoy sharing my life with others and I love when others feel comfortable to also do the same with me.
My roots trace back to the beautiful land of Guatemala. My mama and papa were both born there, and I was born in good ol’ California. I love my culture and all the amazing things it has to offer. I like the respect it demands and the hospitality it gives.
I believe in education for all. My dream is to have my own school. It’s a big dream with many steps along the way, but I know I love teaching. I am all for international education. It will reach all places.
I love ministry. Mark 10:45 the man himself, Jesus, came to serve and not be served. Being able to have started a bible study group called The Seed in my home has been a blessing. Thankfully, through this group we have been able to serve the marginalized.
I always wanted to be a teacher. I would go knock on every door and invite people to my pretend school at my house. I even made ID cards for them. Every time I learned something knew I would want to show everyone.
What inspired you to want to start a school?
What are you looking forward to in 2017? What are some of your goals for yourself and your work?
I turn a quarter of a century old this year. Whoo-hoo! Thankfully, due to the flexibility of my job, I can do some traveling. I am looking forward to a trip to Europe and other places still pending at this time.
This year is a year of lots of physical training for me. I got into triathlons last year, and I have fallen into a love/hate relationship with them. I have a couple races in 2017, but one specific race that will need all of me - it's my first Olympic triathlon. Why did I sign up? I don’t know, but it’s going down.
I will also start my teaching credential program this year. I can’t wait for that.
I am also keeping up with ministry and involving my young adults to keep serving and loving Jesus. I want to spend more time in the Word and having a prayerful life.
What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about showing the love of JESUS which I learn each day more and more. I’m nowhere near being the perfect model for it, but thank God He is our perfect model. He sets these divine appointments where he’s like “GURL WHERE YOU AT? Get serving. Get ready because I ain’t playing” and I’m like “Alrighty then, I see you”
What’s some advice would you give women looking to step out and pursue their purpose ?
I will say to all my little mamis out there. Don’t you compare yourself to another woman. Instead, encourage and seek out one another. Competing with each other doesn’t take us anywhere. Learn from each other. Appreciate each other. Congratulate each other. We all come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but what matters most is the size of our hearts and who our hope lies on. Your purpose is to work hard and hold on to the promises laid upon you. Don’t be ashamed of anything but move forward towards joy.
Name a woman that inspires you.
My Grandmother. She's meek, but so bold and powerful. She's a good listener but at the same time she will tell it like it is in a genuine and loving way. I admire her silliness, how she prays for others, and the amount of faith she has.
What are your words to live by?
Heart, soul, mind and strength. It’s great when these 4 things come together.
To see more from Yesi, follow her on Instagram
Friends of Grace highlights women pursuing God-given purpose while living fully in grace.