Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1)
This verse is a part of scripture that I have tried to follow all my life. To forgive: do not wait until it is too late. This is a way to prepare to meet Christ.
My favorite hymn is “I will Sing of My Redeemer.” It is uplifting and it shows the way we should feel about Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I also like the song “Down to the River to Pray,” by Alison Krause from the movie “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.”
I went to Our Lady of the Valley School for first grade. Then we moved to the shore and I attended St. Peter’s by the Sea in Point Pleasant Beach. I went for two years. When they tried without success to change me from writing left-handed, I began to stutter; so my mother took me out and sent me to public school.
I attended the Visitation Roman Catholic church. It was there that I met a wonderful man who drove me to church every Sunday and helped me with my First Communion classes. At age 12 we moved again, and I did not continue to attend church, because there was not a Catholic church nearby. As a child I felt that God was unattainable, but in my adult life Jesus became my intermediator.
From my teens until my early forties, I did not attend church. My focus in life at that time was on the ways if the world and not God. In my twenties I met my future wife. Twenty years later I was still focused on the ways of the world, my wife, children, job, and travel. My life did not include God or the church.
By my mid-forties I joined a Presbyterian Church in southern New Jersey, when I realized that I needed to set an example for my children. I hoped that they would become more aware of God’s presence and teachings in their lives. I became very involved in all the activities available.
We moved to Delaware in 1998. Again I chose not to have God as my central focus. Then in 2003 I realized that something was missing in my life. It was God and church. It was at this time I began attending a Presbyterian church close to home. I felt the church was very welcoming and friendly. The first two people I met made me feel at ease.
The reason I love Jesus is that I have been on a journey with cancer. I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus has always been there for me, even when I did not realize that he had been directing me on the right roads of my life. He has never left my side. I have often felt his presence. He is my life and Savior.
More Faith Stories
I remember being in church and going up to the altar and crying. I was so tired of the life I was living. I needed help. I felt a sense of peace at that time and knew that if this Jesus thing can work for some of these other guys, then it can definitely work for me.
I said to myself, “Why should anyone envy me and want to be in my shoes?”
God has led me to amazing places in my life, so let me explain how God led me from South Carolina to Kenya.
We built the first church with great difficulty. We went back to the States and the board asked us to become mission staff with the Outreach Foundation. That was 25 years ago, just about, and we’ve gotten more involved with Kenya as days and years went on.
I am a chef by profession. I’m happy because I do what I love. Now I work at Villadise Tours and Safaris, where I meet so many different people coming from far. Being helpful is just a blessing to other people.
Then God started tugging on my heart. There was a church sermon series that was about taking your God-given dream off the shelf. I was like, “I don’t know what my dream is. God, if you have a dream for me you’re going to have to tell me what it is.”