I went from a Catholic upbringing to a livelier church. I went with my mom. We attended the New Believer’s class together because she didn’t want to attend alone. I was bored out of my mind, clueless on how to look up Bible passages. I would highlight my King James Bible because others were and why not?
When I was 15 I was a Sunday School teacher’s aide for the kindergarten class and the teacher was teaching the class about the Creation. I sat with the children in amazement that God spoke and bam! the world was created. The children were becoming excited about the Old Testament and often shared stories from it. Afterwards the teacher thanked me for pretending that I didn’t know God created the world.
I was not pretending.
As time continued and I heard more amazing stories, Joseph, Moses and Jonah to name a few, the children were asking their parents to find stories for them to share with me. Adam, a six-year-old share about the donkey speaking (Numbers 22:28), but he just gave me the reference. The next week he asked if I liked the story. I confessed I did not know how to find it. He patiently took my Bible and showed me how to look up verses. He went ” Tsk, tsk, the King James version. That’s the one old people read.” He had his mom buy me a New King James version with his birthday and chores money. It was much easier to understand.
One day in class when he was seven, he could not stop crying, so I was asked to get his mom and to take him outside to comfort him. She held him and rocked him gently and asked what was wrong. He shared how Shelley. does not know Jesus and she will not have a mansion and she needs to be up in Heaven with us. I lived in a trashy home that was condemned. So, the idea of a mansion sounded really good to me.
Adam asked his mom to help me to say the sinner’s prayer. She told him to help me say it instead. So, he asked me to kneel next to him and to fold my hands and to repeat after him–he whispered “I will say my name, but you say your own”–“Jesus, this is [Shelley.] and I have sinned and I’m really sorry. Please come into my heart and fix it. I love you. Amen.” I repeated those words, at age 16. His mom then became my mentor in growing up in Christ.
Shelley. just got a degree in Social Services from Lane Community College, Eugene, OR and is looking for a job working with emotionally wounded military personnel.
Everyone has a story–especially everyone who has come to know Jesus Christ personally. I am posting a series of personal testimonies from around the world to show that Jesus is not exclusive to Westerners or Americans or people of a certain race or socioeconomic situation, that His family is international!
If you want to share how you or someone you know found Jesus Christ in an interesting way, send me anything from one sentence to one page. Include a photo if you can. I may not be able to use all of them and I may edit some down, but I will try to include representative stories from different nations and cultures. I may also cull some from missionary magazines. Send to Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.