I am so blessed and thankful to God for saving me and adopting me as his child despite of my denial, disobedience, rejection and sins against him. I write and share this with you from the depth of my heart to the root of my soul that God saved me from sin by convicting me and allowing me to see who I really was, a sinner. The Lord has open my eyes and showed me that my little knowledge of the Bible; my Christian background, my goodness, my pride could and cannot save me. By rejecting and not responding to the Gospel elevated my indulgences in sin, and widen the desires and love for this world which produced my addiction to pornography that was not only a destruction to my life but hell for eternity. (1 John 2: 15).
What does the Gospel mean to me?
I sin and rebelled against God and that he takes my punishment and pours it on his son on my behalf and tells me that he has forgiven me. The gospel is good news about the grace of God that I do not deserve. Watching the movie passion of the Christ brings me back to my needs of weeping, and I can only thank God for what he has done.
I am joyful and grateful to have Christ in my life, and I am glad knowing what it means to have personal relationship and fellowship with God. I am save not because of whom I am, or what I have done but because of God’s grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2: 8-9). God’s work that he has done in my life is too vast of a story to write down. I now understand the punishment that Christ paid on the cross for me to be saved. This is beyond comprehension to see God’s immeasurable love for us to leave this world and spend eternity with him forever. It is past my imaginary and humanistic mind for God to substitute his son on our behalf, to make Christ who was innocent, knew no sin to be punished for our iniquity; this is the love of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). I can only thank him as I am welcome into the family of many other Christians that have been saved and are living testimonies to the creator of this universe.
The four truths of the gospel.
I believe that God is sovereign and I had nothing to do with my salvation. It was all the working of God, little did I know that I was okay for the kingdom until the Lord got hold of me and showed me how sinful I was and that I will have to repent and turn to him. Jesus is my savior, my Lord he paid the fine of the crime that I committed. Sin is my disposition natural and that it is a disease that lies inside of me. Without the working of the spirit I continue to sin because I am sinful. I look at sin to be a disease, but Jesus Christ is the cure. Everyone must respond to this great news to escape the wrath of God that is to come. This has to do with the work of God, before birth and escaping the war of my home town. The Lord has been so gracious to me and my Family.
I am from West Africa Liberia where majority of the people are Christians and believe in God. The country was damaged by 14 years of brutal civil war that killed many people. The war had an effect on every one but it is only God that has kept us moving. We always pray to God for peace and stability, and that God will end the war someday, and he has. God has finally giving us another opportunity by bringing peace to Liberia in 2003. The war left scars, left people hopeless, created a larger orphanage home for children who lost their parents, family members, and the increase of poverty and numerals atrocities. My family and I fled to neighboring country where we reside as refugees, until God open doors for us. After 14 years of horrifying events that took place, Liberia is slowing climbing back on its feet due to the almighty God. We can only heal by forgiving our brothers that were giving arms to kill their own countryman, women, and children because of power. We pray for God to answer our prayers for us to have peace in Liberia that was uniquely founded under Biblical principles by our great grandfathers. Thank God we moved on.
I was fortunate to have had a family that nurtured me with the little knowledge of the Bible that they knew. I was raised in a Christian home with my mother’s brother who’s been a pastor ever since I can remember. He is still continuing what the Lord has started in him. I was very active in the church as a kid. We used to participate in Bible dramas about the life and death of Jesus Christ. I never open the Bible to read or understood the significance of Jesus Christ death on the cross. These dramas were all verbally practice and we became familiar the stories which was implanted in our mind growing up. There were no scripts written, that we followed.
We memorize what we were told to say and when to say it and that’s how we known the story. I remembered being the lead actor in my Sunday school plays; I was the one playing the role of Jesus Christ. I became familiar with Biblical stories and Bible verses through dramas, churches, friends and my families. I never open the Bible to read to its understanding until I got saved. I strongly believe that God was in control of everything. I would pray to God for everything because my mother told me God is the answer to everything. I prayed for healing when I got sick or when mom or other people in the family were ill. I pray when I was afraid, I was completely reliant on God.
This was also part of the foundation of my faith and Christian life. I grew stronger as a child. By 9, 10 years old, I had strong faith in and relationship with God. I remember fasting and praying to God at the age of 13, for God to grant me visa to come to America. I locked myself in my room and disregarded my playing time with my friends and peers. After a week later I received my visa to come to the United States. Here I was with a wonderful opportunity that God had given me to be able to educate myself and better my life and my families’. My adaptations to a new cultural quickly expose me to sinful behaviors and made me fall back to the love of my disposition nature. I took the wrong path, got involve in wrong things, and hung out with the wrong crowds. I was submerging into love of pornography which became my addiction. I was lost and I needed God to rescue me.
What does the gospel mean to me?
I arrived in the United States at the age of 14 years old. Living in a whole new customs, very far away from home, I began my journey to success. I really love school and I wanted to become something in the future that will be an asset to my country, Liberia. My goal was to go back home and help the people of my country. I was really focused during my first year of high school but I later got distracted. As years went by I emerge so quickly into the American culture, forgot about where God had brought me from, also avoiding God and deviating from his word. I had completely forgotten my goal to success and got caught up in the wrong things. I became very disrespectful to my parents, and I became a follower of my peers and started doing what I wanted. My relationship with God was not the same because I was trapped in a different world. With my unrighteous behavior, my journeys to success change to the beginning of my addiction. I had developed a new expedition that made me continue to reject God and adore and practiced sin.
I saw my first pornography when I was 15 and I became very attracted to it. It felt like everything was moving too fast. I started liking porn so much and had no idea I was setting up the foundation for my addiction. It all started the summer before the beginning of my sophomore year of high school. A friend of mine handed me a video cassette, and that was it. It was all it took for me as a teenager to cling to my new idol.
I began to watch porn regularly. The more I watched pornography the more it got closer and closer to me. I was struggling with school; my friends were also my idol. I was making poor choices and finally began a follower of my peers. My performance in school was not good, everything was going downhill. What got me going was God, even though I was a sinner I still pray to God to help me. Luckily I made it through high school, at least not the grades I wanted I felt great about. I struggle with myself trying to let go of my idol. I was isolated from my families and my relationship with them was poor. We never saw eye to eye and I was alone all of the time. Everything I did began secretive and I did not rely on them. With difficulties in school and home I went on to college and never spoke to my parents for a long time. Here I was three hours away from home; I had freedom like never before. I adopted into the college lifestyles of parties and drinking the first week I stepped on campus. This lifestyle also added on to my addiction.
I watched porn regularly, and my mind was being control by the desires more and more. It all rocketed from watching porn for the first time, to liking it, to loving it and it reached a point where I was dominated by pornography. I was addicted. I could not submit to my studies because it was difficult for me to concentrate. My mind was the image of porn and it was all I ever thought about. I could not pick up a novel to read and finish it. My grades began low and my commitment and passion for school were dried up. I would call in from my job claiming to be sick just to stay home and watch porn. I would stay in my room the entire day watching porn day and night. I could not stop myself. My addiction had empowered me and I needed Jesus.
All this while in college I was really headed towards all sorts of things. I had a friend who was leading me towards Islam. I started to doubt my faith and started discrediting the Bible. I went into numerals researches and I could not find anything that would make me change my little knowledge of faith in Christianity. In other words, I was lost. I began to rely on my human reasoning and it really open the door for vanity thinking of the Bible. Was there really a prophet after Jesus? Then what was the point of his Death? These were questions I allowed to play on my mind. I became a lost fool.
I used to always cry out to God regardless. I knew what I was doing was wrong. Pornography is sin and that I was sinning against God. I didn’t really understand repentance at this point and what it meant to confess, forsake your sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. As years went by I was battling my addiction and trying to keep good grades in college. I had full knowledge now, that I was addicted because I watched porn every other day. It became closer to me more than anything else. I could not stop. When porn wanted me to watch porn I had watch porn. I had no control over myself. I became a slave to my sin.
It was senior year when I was arguing with my Islamic friend again about religion and I met two Change Collegian Network (CCN) members; John Chisham and Jake Larsen. I always ran into John and Jake on campus and our conversations were great. I was always receptive of the Gospel and the things of God because of my Christian upbringing. I never rejected them but I it took me awhile to respond to the Gospel Message. And I believe it was the mighty God slowly drawing me in to do his divine work. John and Jake walk around campus sharing the gospel with students. I used to listen to them and go my way. This went on for a long time.
The following week I saw the John and Jake again and this time it was us three. We sat down and they started talking to me about the Bible. They open up to me so quickly and began to tell me how God convicted them before becoming Christians. Jake Larsen opened up to me about his struggle with pornography and how God save him and change him. I thought it was a coincident at first, God has directed these people in my life and here I was listening to someone who God had redeemed and saved from sin. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). I mean, I was so attentive to what they were saying and it was so convicting to me. I went home that night and I ponder about what they had told me and became conscious about it. I believe God was working in my life and he was showing it to me. As the Bible says, it is the Lords kindness that is meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). If our Lord and savior was to come 4 years ago I this time I would be in hell because I was unregenerate. I began to question myself if I was a Christian. I knew I was living in my sin and I needed to get right with God.
My junior year I went home and apologize to my parents and reconcile with them. I was still a sinner, still struggling with my addiction. The Lord was really operating in my life. The last semester in my senior year I started going to Bible study with the same guys and started going to the pastor’s church. I became active in the word but I was not saved. The thought and idea about going to Bible school was on my mind for a while I had no idea why Bible school was part of my goals. My planned was to do my masters in International Relations and get a Bible degree alongside after I graduate. I had no idea why these thoughts used to always be on my mind. My conscious always spoke to me. I sit here and wonder about the same thing today and say God has been a part of my life before I came into this world. Living in sin and thinking about a Bible degree, it was uncertain to me.
As time went by I graduated finishing poorly from college. I was not too happy with myself because of the grades I graduated with. It was all part of my struggle. I knew I could do better but my addiction had a huge effect on my performance. I never give time to studying, even if I did it never worked because I did not control my mind, my lust did.
All this while I had stayed away from parties and hanging out with friends. I was not broken and saved yet. I was fluctuating with wanting to serve God but I was being drawn back to my addiction. I really wanted God in my life and wanted to obey and submit to him. But my addiction and indulgence in sin separated me from God. As summer went by I was taking a year off to see what God wanted me to do. It was our homecoming the following year for students that were attending school. I was still living around campus, working and saving some money for my master’s program.
It was just really strange for me when my friends came around and we decided to go to the homecoming game. I planned to go to the game and come back home. I went to the game and went out to eat with friends afterward. While being out with friends I was enticed and decided to go out with my friends to party. I had not been out for the last semester of my senior year. Here I was in the mix of the same people with the same atmosphere. We partied late that night and I went home while my friends went to an after party.
I slept Saturday night and was turning in bed Sunday morning. There were two voices talking to me, one said wake up and go to church, and the other said stay in bed, you were up late last night. I kept on turning around in bed for almost ten minutes. And by God’s grace I just woke up, don’t even remembered if I shower that morning but I got dressed so quickly and went to church. While I was running to church I felt my heart being so heavy, it felt like someone was standing on my heart. I felt so guilty. I sat there as the pastor was asking for prayer request and praises. I think it was the first time I stood up and spoke in the church. I said, I just thank God for opening my heart in seeking him and being able to learn his word. I am grateful to be active in the things of God, wanting to know him more and more. Right after I said that I sat down, cover my face and started weeping and crying out to God and asking him for forgiveness.
My addiction my denial my rejection, I repented and give my life to Christ that day and nobody knew or saw me crying in the church until I later told my pastor what had happened. It was a great joy, I give my testimony to the church and remained under discipleship for almost a year and got Baptised. Ever since, I have been involved with the same campus ministry and reaching the lost, evangelizing, witnessing and telling people about Jesus Christ (Mark 16: 15). My planned for graduate school in International Relations has change. All I want to do is preach the word of God. I also took another year off so God can speak to me on pursing a pastoral degree. I have been preaching around the country ever since then. I believe that God has called me to ministry and this is what I want to pursue, to become a pastor and join my uncle in Liberia and preach the Gospel.
I thank God for saving me from sin, from my addiction, from the love of this world and adopting me as his own. This all loving God has spared my life to everlasting fellowship for eternity with him. I look back and say thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins, saving me from the wrath to come. I will be foolish and selfish if I don’t tell people about this good news. (1 Corinthians 9-16). There are a lot of people out there that needs to hear this message and that are living in sin. I desire in reaching the lost, especially young people like myself. I just thank God and I pray that he continue the work he started in me. I prayed that he used me for his purpose for him to be glorified. Thank you for taking this time and reading my testimony. What God has done for me and why he would save someone like me? I give him thanks. I hope that this brings joy to your heart that God is savings souls. Thank you and please pray for me.