Margarito Balon, a business owner and member of Champion Forest Baptist Church, has been able to share the gospel with different professionals in the Houston area by offering a personal and organizational training through John Maxwell’s leadership course.
“I can’t keep quiet about what God did in my life!” Balon said.
His business offers maintenance and repair for commercial kitchen and refrigeration equipment, serving an average of 100 restaurants. Balon said all his clients are now his candidates for sharing the gospel through the leadership workshops he offers.
Balon was born and raised in a town in Mexico called Tetelcingo, and he came to the United States at a very young age. When he migrated to this country, he came with many dreams but said he made bad decisions that led him to become a drug dealer and work for the mafia. He was in jail for a while and on the verge of losing his family — his wife, Marta Guzman, and their three children.
While he was immersed in alcoholism, his family came to know Christ through his son’s girlfriend, who is a Christian. Through the persistent invitation of his now daughter-in-law, Balon was the last in his family to receive Jesus as his Savior. She invited him to church, and he agreed to go until, little by little, he surrendered to God’s love.
Now he is doing the same work, walking people toward the cross through the second chance God gave him. “I have seen many people come to Christ through this leadership program,” Balon said.
For five years he has served in this ministry accompanying his pastor and mentor, Esteban Vazquez, who is the Conroe campus pastor for Champion Forest. Vazquez is the director of the leadership program “Un Millón de Líderes” (A Million Leaders) in Latin America and John C. Maxwell’s “Más Allá del Éxito USA” (Beyond Success – USA). Balon was trained by Vazquez, and he assisted the pastor for several years before becoming a trainer and course leader himself.
“At first, I didn’t want to because I didn’t feel qualified, but with God’s help and the support of my pastor, I was able to begin to share with others what I learned,” Balon said.
He said the pandemic did not stop him from continuing with the trainings.
“There are no excuses; it is a matter of wanting to,” he said. Balon began to teach the course to family members in Mexico via video call and at the same time began contacting the owners or leaders of the restaurants that serve as his clients.
Balon has been leading the courses for two years. During that time he has trained about 10 businesses, in addition to former colleagues and family members, and seen an average of 40 people come to Christ in Houston and other countries.
Balon is now in charge of the Texas area to raise up leaders so they, too, can teach others this evangelistic leadership course.
“We use the model of Christ, who prepared his disciples so that they could then go and prepare others,” Balon said. “Many are surprised that this course is free of charge, but it is. My pastor once told me to never dare charge for this course because the gospel is free.”