1488 words

Shalom dear friend(s). This is a simple account of how I got saved and became a believer. It happened quite sometime ago, and I can't really recall the exact details that led up to my trusting in the Saviour, but l shall try my best to put into account my experiences which led me to have the longing to find and know the One and true God.

I was born into a family with an Anglican profession where my dad and mom were still holding on to the Iban beliefs of honouring the Iban gods and goddesses, practising superstitions, and consulting shamans. Having been raised in this kind of background in the first portion of my life, I knew very little about the God of the Bible. Very rarely my parents would bring my younger sister and I to the Anglican Church service in a little town where we were living in. Once a year and that was it. I think it was either for a wedding or a funeral. But one thing that began to sow seeds of interest in my heart about God was the presence of a piece of Christian literature that my parents had in the house. Only one old book, in black and white, rather tattered and torn, that opened my eyes to the existence of God and sparked my interest to know more about Him.

This was when I was of primary school age. I recall vaguely reading a Bible story book or rather an illustrated Old Testament storybook of Joseph's dream when he was a young man, in the Iban translation, published by the Borneo Literature Bureau. I found myself loving that kind of story but alas there were not much more Christian materials to read so I kept on reading it again and again.This Bible story felt so different from the fairy tales, fables and myths that I had read in other story books that my parents got for me. Joseph's experience and his ordeals while wrongly imprisoned felt realistic and human.

Since my parents both taught in a rural boarding school, they also shouldered the duties as wardens for the school kids who stayed in the dormitories during weekdays. I still remember these pleasant memories in which there were certain nights of the month, my mom would gather the school children in the tiny school dining hall , to teach them how to sing some Sunday School choruses. The song that has left a lasting impression on me is "Give Me Oil In My Lamp". It became a favourite of mine as a little girl of 6 or 7. It was an action song which my mom taught to the school children which was fun to follow. But I loved it mostly because of the line "...sing Hosanna, to the King of Kings."

Jumping ahead a few years, my family moved to a bigger town because my dad had been offered a new job in a government department there. Life was much better due to the modern amenities available in our rented house like electricity and running water. At this point of time, my parents would be more regular in their attendance at the Anglican religious services at a local parish. From here onwards, I had more exposure to learning more Christian songs and hymns. Though I could not understand much about the rituals that accompanied the public prayers and the worship services, I always had a great desire to know that One and true God. I knew in my heart that there is a Higher Being called God and I felt that there was a void in my heart that perhaps only He could fill. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I heard the name of the Lord Jesus Christ being mentioned in the prayers and sermons. My heart was instantly attracted to know about Him, His majesty, His wonder, His strength and power but sadly, due to the religious system which elevated traditions rather than the authority of the Word of God nothing much was explained. Nevertheless, I continued to enjoy singing hymns. Looking back, many of these hymns were compositions of genuine believers, such as Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts, and Charles Wesley. It was no wonder that hymns like "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" were so powerful and spoke to my heart. I discovered that God has a Son and I also learnt that His Son died on a wooden cross once upon a time and that  made me feel very sad to know that Someone had gone through tremendous physical suffering inflicted by cruel Roman soldiers in His crucifixion. However, I did not know any better as the gospel was not proclaimed. I dutifully followed the system, thinking that it was the right way that led to God. Somehow, God still felt far away and I wondered whether I would be able to reach Him and whether He could hear my prayers. Yet, during times when I was sad, distraught or in trouble, I would call out to God in earnest prayers and to my surprise and delight, some of them were answered.

When the time came to be enrolled into secondary school, my parents opted to have me attend the one nearer to home instead of the one which had better academic excellence further away, to which I was selected as being eligible. Initially I was not very satisfied. I suppose there was a reason why I was brought here, which might not have happened at the better school. It was here that in the first year I came to know a schoolmate. We were not even in the same class so I seriously could not remember how our paths crossed but I became acquainted with her. She had a gentle persistent way inviting me to the Interschool Christian Fellowship (ISCF) meetings held in the school premises. Eventually, I relented, more so due to the fact that I felt obliged to make her happy (this once only I thought) after all the tireless effort that she had put in to extend the invitation.

The first attendance was followed by a second one and before long I was quite a regular. There was one special gathering at the end of that year nearing Christmas, where a preacher of the Word was invited. (His name I remember to this day and dear sir, if you're reading this I want you to know that I am much indebted to the gospel message that you preached on that day, because it changed my life forever and set the course of direction for my future in spiritual matters). On that fine morning, the preacher took up the verse John 3:16 and for the first time in my life it simply dawned upon me that God's love was also meant for me, as an individual, a puny little sinner like me, who had been searching and wondering for many years whether He was within my reach. He did it by sending His only Begotten Son into this world to die on the cross and that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. It was the most beautiful and touching message that I had ever heard. I was already feeling very emotional at that moment and immediately after he ended his sermon, he asked if anyone of us in the audience, who wanted to invite the Lord Jesus into our hearts as our personal Saviour, right there in our seat, to stand up exactly where we were, with our eyes closed and not to look around but to repeat audibly a short prayer after him. Tears welled up and ran down my checks as I repeated the prayer line by line believing every word as I would have also expressed them myself. Upon completion, I felt such peace and joy flooding my soul. There was such a sense of relief because I knew that the burden of my sins had been lifted up and taken care of by the Lord Jesus. He seemed so very close to me finally and I knew that now He resided in my heart and will look after me and be with me for eternity. "My Lord and my Saviour, I thank Thee so much for saving me."

And to that dear friend who was ever faithful and never wavered in her prayers and interest in me to see me get saved, I cannot thank you enough and I thank the Lord God for bringing you into my path, and I pray that I can do the same to those that I encounter along my pilgrim journey.

"Prayer moves the hand that moves the world." E.M. Bounds

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

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