Peter is working to plant biblical churches in Germany. Throughout the week, he and his co-worker Nathanael Armisen are teaching, preaching, and evangelizing in the streets. Peter is a member of the Reformed Baptist Church in Wetzlar (Hessen). He and his wife Priscilla have one son, Josiah.
This testimony was written to give glory to Christ alone. It is not about me but about the sovereign grace of the Lord. He shares His glory with no one else, so we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.
According to Godâ€™s providence, I was born in Germany in 1985. I experienced a godless and consequently, sorrowful childhood. I grew up in an atmosphere of complete neglect, in a house where all of the rooms, including my own, were trashed with piles of rubbish. My mother left me when I was about 9 years old and fled from Germany. Some days later, I was found alone. My father was rarely ever at home, as he worked as a truck driver. I was sent to various psychologists, but none could help me. I had already seen and experienced too much, and there was nobody who could heal my deep wounds.
My life did not change. As a matter of fact, it was quite the contrary. My stepmother was a strong alcoholic, and this brought my life even further into the pits. Having no rules and no purpose in my life, I started drinking and doing other things to daze me. Rage was burning like a fire inside of me, and those around me had to suffer from it. I became a criminal, and while still a child, I carried weapons. I stole things, rioted, and got involved in fights. At school, I humiliated and threatened my fellow students on a daily basis. I hated my life, the people around me, and God. I thought that if He existed, He must also hate me and must have cursed me.
At the age of 16, I lost all desire to live. I decided to commit suicide; yet my destructive plans never became a reality. One night, I visited a Filipino friend whose parents were Christians. At his house, I found a tract about Jesus Christ and His work of salvation on the cross. I did not know the Gospel, and my Filipino friend also did not consider the message of Christ important enough to believe it with all of his heart and share it with others. Except for the fact of God directing things according to His providence, I cannot explain why I took the tract with me and read it when I got back home.
In His incomprehensible love and grace, it pleased the Lord to do a great work for me. Though I was an enemy of God worthy of damnation, He opened my eyes to see by faith Him who can save the greatest of sinners. Through the Word of God, the Spirit of God noticeably convicted me of my great sin, and I saw how much I needed Jesus Christ and His work of redemption on the cross. His call in that night was so real and irresistible that I had no other choice and no other desire than to fall on my knees and ask Him to forgive and save me. He gave me new birth; granted me repentance and faith; and declared me righteous, not on account of my works. I had nothing to show, but solely on account of Christâ€™s blood and righteousness. It was He who in grace drew me to Himself even though I did not seek Him.
That night, I experienced how He took away all my rage and set me free from all my chains. He filled me with a peace that passes my understanding and changed my heart so that I now hate sin and love Christ. I could not keep this incomprehensible grace that I experienced to myself. Instead of beating people, I now began passing out tracts and telling people about Christ. I bought myself a Bible and would often read it all day long.
Through studying Godâ€™s Word, my desire to be baptized and become part of a church became increasingly greater, so that I asked the Lord daily to lead me to Christian brothers and sisters. I knew no Christians who would invite me to visit their church. After some months of solitude, my longing for baptism became especially great. I stopped in front of a big church. Thanks to Godâ€™s providence, my heart was beating wildly, and it seemed to me that the Lord forbade me to enter that church. At that time, I did not understand why, but I wanted to be obedient. Today, I know that this church, like most churches in Germany, is liberal and does not preach the crucified Christ. I thank the Lord for having protected me.