Testimony of Conversion
When the Lord saved me, I was serving time in a high-security prison. This was my fourth time in prison. Every time I found myself released from prison with a “fresh start”, the good intentions never lasted. I always found myself in the same patterns, with the same people, leading a sinful and damaging lifestyle. What lay ahead of me was a shattered life with no hopes of a good future.
During this fourth stint in prison, an inmate lent me a New Testament to read. I began to read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I remember being struck by the beauty of the Person of Jesus Christ. It was obvious to me that he was holy. When I began to compare myself with him, I became aware of my own sinfulness for the first time in my life. He was and is so unlike any of the rest of us. He is not just like us, but better, he is entirely other! This sensation was so strong that I was terrified, appalled, and disgusted by my own image in the eyes of God.
When I read John 14:6, I realized that I needed Jesus because He was able to rescue me and lead me to God.
I began to pray and confess my sins to God. The next day I woke up with a strong desire for a different life – life without sin. I also began to think about how I can get rid of all my sins known to me and live for God.
A days later, some prisoners who were believers gave me a booklet with a presentation of the Gospel. When I read it, I was simply shocked because I realized that Jesus paid for all my sins on the cross. I had one question pulsing in my head: why didn’t I know about it before? Reading the bible paved the way for me to read this booklet which clearly laid out the way of salvation in Christ.
Immediately, I began to pray and thank God for Christ’s death on the cross and forgiveness of my sins. Then I asked Him to change my life so I could like for Him. God answered that prayer for me and He still answers my pleas. My life. isnot perfect, but God has worked diligently to change me and shape me to conform me to the image of Christ.
My life has changed dramatically and is still changing because God is so good as to change a person like me.
I was baptized a year after this conversion experience. After I got out of prison finishing my time in high-security, I sought a local Baptist church to join.
Call to Ministry
Since I got saved, I have always believed that to be a Christian means to serve. So when I became part of a local church, I always tried to be involved in its ministry. It was something that came easily and naturally. By his providence, the Lord led me to minister to other believers in our church through teaching, encouragement, and various means of support.
Because of theological differences with the leadership, I had to move to a new church in another town. There I began to lead a Bible study which met in a rented hall. Eventually, we got a group of six people coming. After a while, the elders of the church which we attended blessed our family to minister to these people in our town.
Over time, this new and small fellowship of people who had a desire to follow Christ continued to meet together and serve one another. We searched the Scripturse and talked with pastors from other churches, which led us to a conclusion that our small congregation needed a pastor.
All the people in our congregation called me Pastor because I was acting as a pastor. However, I still was not fully convinced that the Lord was calling me to this ministry. After much thinking, praying, studying Scripture, and talking with pastors from other churches, our congregation finally chose me as the person whom God was calling to this ministry. This way, through my congregation, the Lord called me to pastoral work in our local church. Glory be to him!