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.”
We attended church but maintained a passive religious life. Our family had been going to church and proclaiming, “Jesus is our Savior and Lord,” with our mouths only. It seemed that my heart was gradually drifting away from God.
So, I just put my faith in Jesus. I trust him and it is my prayer that my children and the entire community will know Jesus because of my faith. Our salvation should not be only our own. We should encourage other people.
I’m no longer worried because I have come to learn that God’s timing is the best. You cannot hurry God. These days, all I do is wait, no matter what, I just wait. I know my time will come and that time is God’s time. So, I keep on waiting for God to do for me wonders.
I’d gotten saved but it took another two years for me to actually submit myself to Him. I eventually wound up on a park bench. What led me to this park bench was that I knew I needed something different. I just didn’t know what.
In 1988 I started God’s Power and Light Company, a nonprofit Christian theater group that shares the saving grace of Jesus. I’ve touched many children’s lives. That’s just been a blessing to me.
I think the closest that I came to God in my nursing career was working with Hospice patients and families. My goal was to was help people go through all the steps. The last step is acceptance. I think that’s when the patient is the closest to God.
I stand at the entrance and stare at my feet. I willed my right foot to lift up. As I put my foot down, the only thing I could think was, “How blessed are the feet of the one who came to proclaim the good news.”
It came to the point where I was crying while using drugs, asking myself, “Why am I doing this? I don’t want to be doing this anymore. God please help me.”
I realized that even though I was always helping people, I never even talked about my traumas. I never talked about attempting suicide twice in the past. I never talked about my depression or my anxiety. I never talked about constantly feeling hopeless. Now I’m able to talk about it.
Pastor Mark asked us to close our eyes and pray. Then he asked us to raise our hand if we were ready to put our faith in Jesus. Just then, a calm, serene feeling came over me and I was overcome with peace. I realized that I have little or no control over my life or the lives of family, friends, or acquaintances.
I had to be broken for the light to get in. God had started working in my life. He had taken the desire to use drugs away from me long before I asked Him to, so that He could work on me with a lot of other things.
My son died at age 28 following a long illness. I was angry, very depressed, and in pain. But at his funeral a sense of calmness came over me.
In May of 1982 Carolyn and I went on a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend. Here was where God opened my eyes and heart to his role in my marriage and life. That weekend changed my relationship with Christ.
God has given me my dream of serving as a choir director. I see lives change as we are singing. Singing correctly is sometimes less important than letting the Spirit come to us as we practice.
I remember an incident when the Lord rescued me from a person who intended to do me harm. God’s protection was a miracle in my life!
I wasn’t raised in a church; so I knew nothing about Jesus or God. I did go to Vacation Bible School in the summers and heard and loved the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”
I went into the ocean and was immediately swept off my feet by a riptide. There was nothing in the water for me to float on, and I was running out of energy. I asked God if this was how I was going to die.
My faith grew to have a focus on trusting in God’s word as assurance. To believe his promises are true. We experienced the faithfulness of the God who called us in many, many ways. In addition to joyous times, we faced grief and pain.
A child evangelist came to my church and, while performing some magic trick, made it very clear that Jesus loved us so much that He could take away the guilt I felt from my stubborn, rebellious ways.
In my job as a Maryland State Trooper, I asked God to guide me to those abusing alcohol and drugs. I prayed for guidance and protection for all of them.
I love preparing for sermons, I love discovering and rediscovering the majestic wonder and mercy of God behind the familiarity of texts I’ve read and heard all my life.
You see, I never used to pray for myself. I thought I was being selfish by praying for myself, so I would always pray for everyone else but never ask God for anything for me.
What wondrous Love! What a joy to follow, to serve and to obey Jesus. Jesus gave us the gift of the Spirit. The Spirit places the love for Jesus in our hearts.
That’s what is sometimes missing among us. What we lack is to have God in our hearts and do as His word commands. This is my faith: I believe in Jesus Christ.
I was so surprised because my young child taught me much about faith – my faith – so I had to be faithful with my God.
I shall never be afraid. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
I get hope for life that I should never give up for He is always there for me. He protects me when danger comes and when my enemies try to discourage me.
I cannot explain to this day what happened next. Suddenly my car went out of control for no reason. I’m on the New Jersey turnpike and there’s a truck next to me, a truck behind me, a truck in front of me. I said, “Oh my God, I’m going to die.”
I remember her giving me a little booklet and there was a lot of singing. Then she gave me this picture of this beautiful man with a little glow behind him, and she says, “That’s Jesus.”
The people that were doing the auditions with the African Children’s Choir came to my church and they were looking for children that could sing. Because I was active in Sunday school, I was chosen to be in the very first African Children’s Choir in 1984.
I was 12 in a small Baptist church when the pastor made it very clear that a decision needed to be made to accept Jesus and to follow Him. It was a very sincere commitment to surrender my life to Jesus when I was 12.
I was 16 when my father died. He had just come back into my life and I was crushed. I started to question a lot of the things I thought I knew about God. I started to veer off course and make bad decisions.
I play baseball. I personally think that I am very talented at baseball and I have a gift. I appreciate this gift and use it a lot in my life.
I was home doing all domestic works when I was only nine years old. This forced me onto the streets of Uganda.
After witnessing firsthand the loss of many lives, I was desperately trying to think of a way to save them. In 2017 I chose to stand up and fight for the desperate lives of many street kids and orphans in my community.
I was laying in the hospital, and I didn’t really know what praying was at this point. I was just ready for life to be easy.
If you draw lines from wide to long, and deep to high, they form a cross. On the cross I behold a love that went infinitely wide to forgive, infinitely long to finish the work, infinitely deep to be forsaken, and infinitely high into glory. Only Jesus poured out a love like that!
He said he would love to take my virginity from me. So, as my friend, Michelle, watched, he did, bent over me in the kitchen. It seemed as if only thirty seconds went by, and then it was over. I couldn’t understand the big hype. But I found out I could get pregnant in those 30 seconds.
I’d been drinking all day long and pulled out into the path of an oncoming vehicle with a with a woman and all of her children packed into this car. They T-boned me and at that moment everything went blank.
One Sunday the music director said the handbell choir needed more members. I thought, “No, I wasn’t ready to get involved.” At the end of the service I found myself volunteering for bell choir!
One Sunday afternoon I was sitting drunk in a bar, and I’m looking around. The only ones in the bar were the bartender, some shady looking guy in the corner, my ex-boyfriend’s mom, and me. I heard this voice in my head say, “What am I doing here?”
This past year I found a black dot on my thumbnail that looked like a pencil point. Nothing much to it. Then it became an abrasion at the end of my nail. My doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who found it to be malignant skin cancer.
At that point I said, “I can’t do this myself. It’s in your hands, God.” That part I remember clearly. It turns out that it was really, really was up to Him (and a good surgeon).
So when drugs and alcohol came around, it was easy for me to say “yes,” because I didn’t have anything in me saying “no” anymore. As I got more involved with drugs, I got into more crime. I started committing violent crimes, selling drugs, abusing drugs ended up back up in prison.
Losing my eyesight when I was nine years old was a difficult diagnosis to accept. My eyes welled up in tears and I became apprehensive for my future.
But God has taken the mess of my life, all my heartache, all my troubles with everything I’m going through now, and He’s got it. I’m not worried. I have learned that through this you have to take baby steps. What I would tell someone is you do your best fighting and talking on your knees.
When it was all added up, my life was going nowhere. Had trouble even deciding what I wanted to study at school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. “Nada.”
So many nights I would pray, “God, I REALLY mean it, please come into my life.” I expected some kind of feeling or at least an angel appearing outside my window!
As a child I was fascinated with the moon. Maybe that’s because to me the moon represented God…Very Big and Very Far Away.
Peace, serenity, tranquility – I was desperate to find these spiritual gifts. My home life was anything but peaceful.
So on a summer roofing job atop a house, I said “Jesus, I do not know if You are real or not, but I accept You into my life and I’ll give you two weeks to show me who you are.”
God said, “Daughter I’ve called you to be a singer, songwriter, worship leader, and inspirational speaker.” I did not want to go into music at all.
As Christians there will be hard and painful times, but God promises to never leave us. This promise definitely came true in my life during this time.
The doctors weren’t sure if I’d survive, but I did! I also started struggling with depression and anxiety. After this, in a last ditch attempt to finally get my life together, I cried out to God, and he answered me.
Back then I really struggled with finding who I was in Christ. I really didn’t live for God and did a lot of things at a young age I probably shouldn’t have.
End of February I must enroll for university literally we have no cent, no decent clothes to wear and I wonder if I will be able to register but I’m still praying. God is Faithful.
Suddenly I heard a voice telling me that this is your day to be delivered and healed. Within no time I found myself down front. I was prayed for and received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior through confessing and believing in the Lord.
Steve had been in foster care for 3 months. His natural father had broken both arms and a leg. His smile took my heart.
I love jesus because he helps me through rough times, even though I’m kind of young. Things happen and Jesus helps me through them.
I love Jesus because no matter how many mistakes, worries, lies, or bad decisions you make in life, he will always forgive you if you lean back to him and ask for forgiveness.
I had been a quiet, shy child who never enjoyed speaking in public. And yet, now God was challenging me to become a pastor! Who could have ever imagined such a thing? God did.
I’m supposed to be out having fun with friends right now. Not sitting cooped up inside, doing school online, and having my sports pushed back for months because of a global pandemic.
This was another turning point with my faith journey. Because I understood more clearly that Jesus’ love for all mankind is never ending, I was able to understand that my mother’s death was part of God’s plan.
I’ve known Jesus my entire life, but it took a tragedy before I was able to have a relationship with him. In 1997 I was in a car accident. The friend traveling with me was thrown from the car and later died.
I did not like church. In fact, I hated it. I also hated God. What kind of person would make a six-year-old boy wear a tie and have to sit still and be quite in a non-air conditioned church in Florida in the summer?
This trip proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can persevere through the most difficult of times if we have our faith.
He pulled out his revolver and stuck it in my chest. He told me to empty my pockets, but I refused. I didn’t care if I lived or died. Then, he shot me once in the chest and ran. I fell forward, hitting my head on the pavement. I couldn’t feel my legs.
I was invited to a Church in 1984 where I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. When I went to the alter I was transformed. I was delivered from drinking and smoking.
Graciously, through my childhood, teenage rebellion, and adult passivity God remained steady. Consistently guiding me to Himself.
I had lived life on my own terms, not interested in anything but my own selfish desires, and wasting my life. That was when God came after me.
I knew many of the Bible stories, but I had never studied them as an adult. I realized that I needed to know what the Bible says.
I became a new person. Jesus became my Savior and my Lord. After I met Jesus, my life started to change in many ways.
The doctor pulled a chair next to my bed and asked me whether I believed in God. My first thought was, “I’m dying.”
“Just talk to Jesus like he is sitting next to you. No fancy prayer is necessary. Just speak your need. What have you got to lose?” So, I did. I said, “Jesus, are you for real?”
I needed to start loving myself in any situation, instead of the situation I was trying so desperately just to get through.
“I love Jesus because when my friend Diana had cystic fibrosis she almost died. She was put in the ICU and had only a few hours left to live. About 10 hours before her lungs were supposed to stop working, they found a pair of lungs that fit her. I prayed for her when she was going through all that, and Jesus answered my prayers by letting her live.”
I had lost my company, my marriage was on the rocks, and my financial future was discouraging. How was God working for the good in my life now?
My oldest son was killed in a car accident. Through the pain of loss, God heard my prayers and sent loving people to help me gain some peace and understanding.
My prayer was simple. “God, let me live to see the light of day.
“I love Jesus because he always has a silver lining in store. Jesus shows this by bringing us beautiful days with beautiful people.”
I began to learn about and develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through an excellent teaching pastor, a loving congregation, and participation in the choir.
I grew up in a perpetual cycle of chaos which prepared me to remain in a state of high mental anxiety.
I saw the weight of my sin leave my body and fly through the wall of that church, and it became as far from me as “the east is from the west.” I knew that the Holy Spirit had grabbed all my garbage and pushed it under the waterfall of God’s love.
Ever since I was a child Jesus has been part of my life. I may not have been as aware of his presence as I am now, but I know he has been with me.
“A way to show Jesus we love him is to go to church!”
“I love Jesus because he forgives my sins and answers my prayers. While the east coast went through a hurricane, the odd earthquake, and the massive shootings, I prayed that my family and everyone affected would be safe and protected during and in the aftermath of each occurrence.”
I seem to be a “stiff necked” person who had to be repeatedly shown and taught by many believers before I was finally able to grasp the grandeur of the sacrifices Christ made for us.
Why do I love Jesus? Because God is Love, and because Jesus first loved me.
“He died on the cross for us. He loves me. We pray for his help. He protects us. We go to church and youth club. He came as one of us. He healed people. He teaches us. He cares for us.”
Then, a feeling came over me. “I have a heart for people and have so much more to give,” I felt.
I lost my way as a young adult. Church was not important, and I only attended on holidays or special events.
“I love Jesus because he helps me, he loves me, he protects me, he teaches me, he heals me, he guides me.”
“Some day we might be friends through Jesus. Bullies need Jesus too!”
“A way to show Jesus we love him, we can go to church on Sunday, or we can go to youth group on Wednesday, or we can do our Bible story. We can also pray to God or Jesus, or we can pray to both of them.”
Because of a very dysfunctional family life that was kept secret from others, I came to look to God out of desperation.
There was no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit intervened so that I could attend the retreat. From that point on, my doubts about God evaporated.
“I love Jesus because when I moved to Delaware I prayed that I could make new friends. Jesus answered my prayers by making it easier to make friends, because everyone was moving schools and were relatively new to each other.”
At some point I contemplated becoming a bad boy and engaging in sin so that when I got saved, I would have a proper repentance story.
“Pray that God made day and night. We go to church to worship the Lord. Thank God for creating us.”
I love Jesus because he has shown me in several ways that he is alive, is with me, and continues to protect me.
I have been on a journey with cancer. I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus has always been there for me. He has never left my side.
My loving husband had been collecting pornography on his computer and had been sexually abusing our daughter for two years. This could not be real. I must be having a nightmare.
Over time, somehow – a miracle perhaps, I was able to sing. To harmonize. To perform an occasional solo.
Click to view full image and story.
To this day I regret not telling my father how much I loved him. My new goal was to be as good a father to my children as he had been to me.
His parents fought us in court for five years over custody of John’s son from a previous marriage. The lawyer fees cost so much that we sometimes did not have food in the house.
“Jesus loves us because he died on the cross and taught us how to be kind with each other. We show how we love Jesus by praying, going to church, playing choir chimes, and studying the Bible.”
My husband’s ex-wife would sue us every Christmastime for something.
“Jesus protects us.”
Everyone has a story to share…
Did a life crisis draw you closer to Jesus, or did your faith grow steadily over time? Our mission is to help ordinary Christians become comfortable sharing personal faith stories. We believe a relationship with Jesus has blessed our lives and that Jesus calls us to reach out to the least, the last, and the lost in the world.
Drawing and writing worksheets are provided to guide participants through a step-by-step process of writing concise personal testimonies. Let’s begin writing and sharing your faith story.
Tips on Sharing Your Faith Story
Whether you’re age 16 or 86, you have a unique faith story to share. God created you to shine like a light to the world; to share the love of Jesus with those who are lonely, hungry, sick, in prison, and weighed down by failure. Your story matters.
Tips on Growing Your Faith
Let’s be honest, the pressures of family, friends, work, school, and even church, can be overwhelming and exhausting. There often doesn’t seem to be spare time to spend with the Lord. Good news! Here’s a plan to grow your faith on the run!