The path by which people with no church background find their way to Christian faith is particularly varied. Normally, however, it seems to involve a partnership of divine and human agencies.
Looking back, I can see how God has been calling me for a very long time. Although I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, my best friend’s family were Christians and I used to attend Sunday School at their church for three years as a child. I enjoyed going, but whenever they talked about “asking Jesus into your heart” I would become nervous.
After high school, I went off to university and lived as many do, seeking happiness as my ultimate goal and living selfishly. I thought money, girlfriends, travel, and a good career would fulfill all of my desires. However, I couldn’t deny that in my heart all was not well. There were broken relationships in my life and I was a pretty unhappy young man, desperately seeking direction and the answers to life.
In my mid 20’s, I began work in the restaurant business and became friends with a Christian. After work, we would occasionally have a beer and chat about life. Inevitably, we would talk about religion and the human condition. Those discussions took place over about three years. Though I did not know it at the time, through this time my roommate’s mother, who was a Christian, was praying every day for me to come to faith, though she had never met me.
One day, I was having lunch with my friend and I was asking him about Jesus. This time, he looked at me and said that while he had always been glad to answer my questions, it was now time for me to go to the Source and ask God in prayer if he really existed. I went home, and I remember praying to God, saying that I needed to know if he was real and that, if he was, I was prepared to surrender.
After about 3 months, one hot summer’s night after work, I went home and lay down on my bed with the window open. I didn’t plan on praying, but it seems that the Holy Spirit led me. I prayed to God, confessing my sins and asking for his forgiveness, asking Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Saviour, and giving myself to God. I remember weeping for a long time out of sadness for my past life, but also for the joy that was now deep inside me which nothing could take away. I was so thankful to God for what he had done that I told him I wanted to be his servant and to do whatever he wanted me to do.
I was baptized on Holy Saturday at St. John’s on my first Easter as a Christian. It was a very significant moment as I was able to make a statement to the community that I was part of Christ’s family. I was overwhelmed by God’s love for me when I was baptized and I remember being moved to tears. I also felt grateful that I was baptized on Holy Saturday evening as I felt that it had significance with regards to the spiritual reality that I had died with Christ and I will be raised with Him also. Afterwards, I had a party with friends to celebrate.
The next day I told my friend what had happened and he was overwhelmed with joy, and we prayed together. That Sunday I went to his church. I joined a small group for seekers and new Christians who wished to learn the basics of Christianity. It was in such Bible study groups that I realized how much I loved being involved in ministry.