Sunday, January 15, 2012
I realized that I've never posted my Christian testimony, and since this is a journal of my life, I decided that it was time to share it with you. So here it is!
I grew up in Papua New Guinea in a Christian home with Christian missionary parents who taught me about Christ from a very early age. When I was 3 years old, I asked my mom to help me pray the prayer of salvation and I initially accepted Christ, but I chose not to live for him until I was 11, when I committed to follow him.
As a young teenager, I delved into a couple of sins that I shouldn’t have and I struggled long and hard to overcome them. It was only when I cried out to Jesus to help me stop that I finally did because he was helping me. I had to surrender my everything to him, and when I did he set me free.
For the majority of my high school years I attended a weekly Bible study with girls from my class. From that Bible study, I gleaned much about Christ and how to live for him. We studied the book of James, Song of Solomon, and a series of different topics which encouraged me to continue deepening my relationship with Christ. I also went to Sunday School and youth group faithfully to be taught by spiritual leaders in the community.
Throughout my teenage years, I was involved in Christian service in several venues. Beginning in 7th grade, I started serving in the church nursery on a monthly basis, looking after babies and children under the age of 3. I also helped look after young children during mission conferences, which took place every other year. In 11th grade, I went with my youth group to do some painting and cleaning at another Christian camp.
When I was in 9th grade, I went on a spiritual retreat with my high school and the theme of the retreat was, "Making Jesus Lord of your Life". Before then, I had only ever thought of Jesus as my Savior and friend, never as the one in charge of my life, but during that retreat, I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life and my perspective changed. I learned that as a Christian, Christ is the one in authority, who I must trust and obey.
In 11th grade my family took our year long furlough in the US, and the large number of obese people scared me. I was worried that I would become overweight and I struggled with my self worth so I started eating less and in about 5 months, in November, I had lost 10 lbs. My parents didn't realize how underweight I was until May and then they encouraged me to eat more. It was hard, but I started eating more and slowly over time gained the weight back. I hadn't really grasped that my worth is defined by God, who looks at my heart and loves me for who I am and not what I've done, instead of people, who value others based on appearance. It wasn't until I got to college that I really came to understand where true self worth comes from: God.
My first year at Cedarville University was a year of growing and learning how much Christ loves me. I had never really experienced the love of Christ expressed through good friends, but at Cedarville I made friends who loved and accepted me for who I was in Christ, not for what I looked like or could or couldn't do. In the past, I had had a fear of initiating conversations and a fear of not being accepted, but my college friends helped me overcome that with their overwhelming kindness towards me.
Christ also taught me to surrender everything - family, friends, jobs, etc. - to him. My family was halfway around the world in Papua New Guinea so I had to learn how to live without having daily conversations with them or going to them for quick advice to a question. God brought wonderful people into my life to provide for my needs and challenge me in my walk with Christ.
When I went back for my sophomore year, I continued to have an unnatural fear of initiating conversations and asking people some questions because I was afraid of what their response might be, but I confessed that to Christ and asked him to take it away, which he did.
This past summer, I was a volunteer at my church for Kid Mo, the summer program in grades 1-4. The kids learned weekly Bible verses, watched a short video with a biblical lesson, and prayed together regularly with us leaders. I grew in leaps and bounds as I had to rely on Christ to help me lead and teach the students more about him and his qualities.
Just this year, I have joined a ministry called God's Girls, which reaches out to inner city girls ages 7-12 in a nearby city. We eat dinner with the girls, teach them a Bible lesson, and play games with them every Friday night. It's been a great experience and I'm so glad I can make a difference in the girls' lives! I'm excited to see what Christ has in store for me in regards to service, especially as I believe that God has called me to overseas missions in the near future.
The past several months I’ve been plagued by doubts as I let homework and other meaningless stuff fill my life instead of focusing on my Savior. I was only reading my Bible for a class and glancing at Scripture verses on Facebook but not taking the time to soak in the words of truth. At the end of the semester, I realized how far I had fallen so I confessed my sin to God and asked him to forgive me. God convicted me with his words in John 15:4, which says, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me." These days I take time to read my Bible, pray, and diligently seek what God has in store for me every day. In 2012, my heart's desire and sole ambition is to remain in Christ and serve him wholeheartedly.