I heard the most beautiful testimony from our camp cook, George, today in chapel. It brought tears to my eyes! He told about being raised in an orphanage after his parents died from alcoholism. He said he left the orphanage with a big hole in his heart. The food and clothing didn’t fill the hole left from unmet emotional needs. He said all of the orphans leave this way, empty inside.
As a young adult God reached out to him through a friend’s invitation to go to church. He accepted Christ and he said after that he heard the birds singing for the first time and began to notice people smiling and laughing. He has been walking with The Lord now for over twenty years.
I’ve heard many wonderful testimonies since I’ve been in Romania. Everyone seems to have come from a different place in their life before they accepted Christ. Some are raised in Christian homes and are led to Christ by their parents. Others come from different religious backgrounds and are ostracized by their families because of their decision to follow Jesus. Some have actually been kicked out of their homes. After hearing these testimonies I realized that I haven’t thought much about my own testimony, so I decided to sit down and write it out.
This is my testimony. I grew up in a home with parents who did not attend church or profess to be Christians. At an early age a neighbor invited me to attend church with her and her family. I began attending regularly and remember the sweet spirit of my Sunday school teacher.
At ten years old I accepted Christ as a result of my Sunday school teacher’s guidance and my friend’s influence. I followed The Lord in baptism later that year. I’m still close to this childhood friend after meeting each other over fifty years ago. We’re like sisters!
I believe God reached out His loving hand to me through my friend Leslie. She was raised in a Christian home. Even though I didn’t have the influence of Christian parents, God did not forget about me. I am so thankful that He did not forget about me!
I continued to attend church every time the doors were open. I started a small Bible study group at school in the fifth grade. I read my Bible every day and felt Jesus walking close to me. Sometimes my family and some of my school friends would tease me for praying before meals and for going to church so much. But, I didn’t care. I felt the Holy Spirit strengthening me to follow Christ.
As a teenager I attended Christian youth camps for six years and loved it! When I was fifteen my twelve year old brother became sick with leukemia. I had the privilege of kneeling beside him and leading him to The Lord before he died.
I’m so glad God didn’t forget about me! I’m glad my friend Leslie invited me to go to church with her and her family. And, I’m grateful for the Bible teaching I received to help me grow in Christ.
But most of all, I’m thankful that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” John 3:16. This has made all the difference in the world for my life. I’m not perfect and I’ve made mistakes in my life, but God has always been faithful to me. He is faithful to forgive our wrongs and longs to have relationship with us as His children.
If any of you come from a home like I did where you don’t have the opportunity to be led to Christ by your parents, I want you to know that God has not forgotten about you. Jesus loved you so much that He died for you and He’s reaching out His arms of love to you right now. You have the opportunity to accept Him as your savior. And, as it has been for me, your decision will make all the difference in the world!