Before I had a personal relationship with Jesus I did everything in my power to push back against the idea of fellowship and being a follower of Christ. Ultimately this led me down a path of dangerous addiction, depression and an overall unhealthy and unhappy existence. I was just going through the motions.
Being raised in a Christian household eventually helped me to make the decision to turn to Jesus. My decision to turn my life over to God came in parts. My first step towards opening up my life to God was in a therapy session during a hospitalization in 2013. Next, I saw God’s love was when my first daughter was born in November of 2017. I finally knew why past attempts to end my life had failed and God kept me alive. Then, I faced many hardships beginning last November- a really important person in my life succumbed to cancer, a pregnancy loss a month later and then that same day my dad was hospitalized in a pretty critical situation. Through all this, I finally stopped blaming God and questioning his every move. I was angry and sad, but I knew I might not make it if I tried to do it alone.
Now that I’ve truly made a decision to turn my life over and start the most important relationship I will ever have I am excited about the possibilities. I enjoy coming to God’s House every Sunday with my husband, my daughters, my parents and siblings to thank him and praise him for the easy times and the challenging ones. I have a faithful and mighty God who cares about me and gave the ultimate sacrifice for me. The thing that amazes me most is that no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, he still loves you and it is never too late. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I grew up in a Christian home but I was very disobedient to Christ and didn’t follow the Bible. I did what I wanted to do and not what God wanted.
Last Summer, I went to Silver Birch Ranch. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was nervous. My friend Briar really made me feel safe. While at SBR I had a deep talk with my camp counselor, Natalie. At that moment I realized that God put people in my life that could relate to me and show me what God’s love is.
The next day I prayed a surrender prayer and fully gave my life to Jesus. I now know God has always watched over me. After I made this decision I had a new trust in Christ. Knowing I can put my life in Jesus, I feel more confident. It inspires me to know that God will always choose me and love me more than I can understand.
I grew up in a christian home and always knew God loved me. I loved him too and decided I wanted to follow Him. In December of 2016 my grandpa passed away from cancer. I knew that he was getting very weak, but when he died I was in complete shock. I didn't understand how God could take such a compassionate and graceful person from me. I was very angry at God and began to wander from Him without realizing it. I thought that my walk with Christ was fine, and I made myself believe it was. Two years later my family and I went to Massachusetts. While there, I brought up Jesus in a conversation with a boy on the playground. As I was telling him about God's mercy and grace, my eyes were opened. I realized how selfish I was and how God had been with me the whole time. I then decided to rededicate my life to Christ and truly accept Him as my Savior and Lord.
I would absolutely love to thank my mom who is my best friend, my dad who will always be there for me. My uncle Rory has shown me how to truly show generosity. Also my older sister Madelyn who has shown me wisdom. My younger sisters Gabby and Sophia are great listeners and are very considerate of my feelings. My sister Isabella who I look up to as a role model. And to my Papa who helped get me where I am today.
I tend to be self-destructive and not as trusting as I could be. In the past I struggled heavily with anxiety, worry, and the lack of control that I had over my life. I was anxious about the smallest things like going out in public or taking a test.
A few years ago, I started to experience some health issues, and that manifested into mental problems and depression. I didn’t want to live anymore — I wished the minutes, the hours, the days away. I read my bible daily, prayed fervently and still there was no change. I felt as if God had given up on me, it was as if He wasn’t listening to my pleas, my cries of pain.
I had an abundance of questions, concerns and doubts, but I couldn’t seem to shake them, no matter how hard I tried. Inside I was empty. I wanted to give in and quit believing, and maybe at some point I did. Even though I gave up on God and felt deserted by him, that didn’t mean He wasn’t listening to my prayers. He was always there, through it all. He carried me when I could no longer hold my head up—when I lost belief in Him. God was always there, with me at all times, even if I couldn’t see Him, or feel His presence.
He forgave me for my lack of trust and sinful heart. He saved my soul from destruction, and I now have salvation and everlasting life in heaven because of His son, Jesus.
Know that God is always there. He is all-powerful. He is the ultimate healer, the Prince of Peace and Lord over all. If you allow Him into your life, truly and wholly except Him, He will change you—heal you, piece your shattered heart back together, as He did mine. He completely changed me, my personality, my outlook—and now I can live eternally in heaven because I know with certainty that I have salvation in Him!
I want to give a shout-out to my incredibly supportive family, for always being there and loving me unconditionally even when I am clearly unlovable. To my father, who is an amazing example of how much my Father in heaven cherishes me. And to my unfathomably sacrificing mother, who was always there, in the darkest parts, helping guide me along.
All my life I knew God in my head, my mother and grandmother often talked about God and Jesus. I was baptized in a Church that I wanted to be married in, and I thought that was what I had to do to get to heaven.
I knew God was protecting me when after my significant other passed away, I went down a dark path, I lost one job, but God led me to the place I work now. There I met Eleazar Arellano, Sandra Pryor, Wila Figueroa who with my mom began watering the seed again that had been planted in me years ago. My Goddaughter Candi took me to a Christian Concert where, as Toby Mac sings, “Love Broke Through.”
As my mom’s health was failing we had deeper talks about Jesus. Mom passed away Christmas day 2016. I felt a void like there had to be something more to my life. I was trying to help my dad cope with the grief, and several months later, I was on a walk and cried out to God for help. He led me to Christ Community church. When I finally got the nerve to go in, I felt so welcome. The first time I heard Pastor Eric say “if you never fully surrendered your life to Christ.” I thought to myself, I really don't think I have, so right then I surrendered. Then I went to Chris Reid for prayer because I was overwhelmed with grief, (from losing not just my mother, but uncles, and close friends I called family all in within 9 months) and feeling of despair. I knew I needed Jesus' help. Chris prayed for me and when I came back, she introduced me to Jan Oncken, and I started Bible Savvy. Chris, Jan and our group encouraged me to try Grief Support, and now I also volunteer at Epic. Now I truly know Jesus in my heart.
I was born going to church and as a younger kid I always knew my church was caring for kids and it was a very loving church.
My salvation journey all started with me going to church and connecting with my 3rd grade Epic leaders Claudia Wallace and Janet Spence and continuing that connection this year with my current leaders Adam Stone, Chris Dosch, Bill Lambert, Eric Takeda and Dave Bieker.
On October 10, 2018 Pastor Lee asked me about surrendering my life to Christ.
I said a prayer of salvation with him that night at Epic, asking him to be my Savior. After I got the next step packet that night, I talked about baptism with my dad but I was only in 3rd grade so I needed to wait. I am now in 4th grade and I heard pastor Eric say there was a baptism class and he challenged the men of the church to go get baptized. Once I heard there was a class I immediately asked my dad if I could go. After all, I've been wanting to do this since 3rd grade.
John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". This is a verse you always hear and learn as a kid and today I know Jesus died for my sins. He is the only one that will ever go before me and is always there with me. He knows when I sin and he loves me anyways. I love worshiping God and getting to know him more every day.
Before I surrendered my life to Jesus, I was fearful about my future and what was in store for me. I worried about what others thought of me and I felt that I needed to make a change in my life.
One day during the summer of 6th grade I was invited to a youth group at one of my friends’ churches. I went that day and I had felt the change that I had been longing for, I felt God speak to me. I felt his presence with me and at that moment I knew that I wanted to keep coming to youth group. I started to read the bible more, I took notes, and I put God first. I started attending church and encouraged my family to attend also. He opened up my heart and I saw a whole new world with God by my side.
Since then, my life has changed so much for the better. I now know that it doesn’t matter what others think about me because God loves me just the way I am. He made me in his image and he has a purpose for everything he does. There are always going to be tough times but everything happens for a reason. I am no longer fearful about my future because I know that God has a plan for me and his timing is perfect. I know God will guide me through life and always be by my side. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.
When I was seven, I went to a place called Crossroads VBS. I overheard a kid and a counselor talking about putting their faith in God. I thought about it on my own. I decided I wanted to put my faith in God. I went in a bounce house, prayed, and I fully put my trust in God that day.
I believe that God created me to worship him. He has given me everything I need, including the best family in the world.
I want to follow Jesus because he loves me and the only way to get to heaven is Jesus.
Baptism is important because it shows others I am a Christ follower. I have been saved and someday I will see heaven and hopefully in heaven I will see people that I have told about Jesus.
I would like to thank God, my family, and my pastors for helping me put my trust in Jesus.
Every once in awhile I do a devotion with my mom. One night, she talked to me about praying and asking Jesus to be my Savior and King. I didn’t really think much of it at the time. I tried to go to bed that night, but I couldn’t because I felt God was telling me to get out of bed and say that prayer. After I said the prayer with my parents, I noticed good changes in my life. I was being less selfish and I was not lying as much.
I want to follow Jesus because the only way to get to heaven is through him. The people who have helped me get to know Jesus are my KidsWorld teachers and my parents. Being baptized means a lot to me because it symbolizes that I am a child of God and I always will be.
I had been suffering daily with the issues of betrayal, self destructive life choices, anxiety, depression and the mental scars of abuse. Carrying some of the deepest wounds and the biggest sins. Feelings of failure and despair was my everyday.
For a year a cousin had asked me to attend church and I always dodged the bullet. Until I committed to Sunday plans with no way of saying no to church. I had been raised in Lutheran home and school but had walked away shortly after my school days. That day in Church they talked about Care Night. I left church with care night heavily on my mind and I felt compelled to sign up.
Pastor Diana and the other woman at care night have helped me realize that Christ has the ability to transform my life into a life of hope. I’m telling you, Care Night is hard and a tad messy, but through it I gained a new foundation in Christ. An understanding his enduring love for me. That I am enough. I surrendered all of my suffering and fears to God and asked him to guide me and the hardest part for me to trust him! I made a. Commitment to Christ here with Pastor Dianna at CCC after a lengthy discussion about every reason I thought I didn’t deserve to be loved by God.
I started noticing changes in my life as I started trusting God and his plans for me. People in my life have noticed a change in me. I truly feel I am enough, I feel complete and that emptiness had had for so long Is so much better. I know I was broken but I've been mended through Christ and in turn set free.
During my life before Jesus, I chose things I wanted to do instead of the things I should have done. I didn’t pray regularly and I would only occasionally go to church with my cousins, my friends, and my family growing up.
Before my best friend Mia introduced me to Genesis and Christ Community Church, my cousins would tell me about youth group, Jesus, and the Bible. I have learned more about how Jesus died for us to forgive my sins. I realized my sins, and asked Jesus for forgiveness for my sins and to lead my life. I want Jesus to guide me and my decisions the way he sees best for me. I trust that he will protect me.
Since forming a relationship with Jesus, my family and I set aside time for prayers. I now go to Genesis regularly and am beginning to go to church more often. In the summer I am going to go to SBR summer camp and am looking forward to participating in more church events. I am also working towards serving others. I am trying to become more responsible for my actions and I am trying every day to do my best and be the best person I can be.
I first attended Christ Community Church with a friend in 2004. I was in a dark place and not receptive to a church that was different than what I was used to. My friend and I fought because I felt I already had a relationship with God. Now I know I didn’t because I only thought about God when I needed something. We started speaking again and she was a witness in the journey that led me here today.
I didn’t return to church for another eight years. During that time, I found out my dad had terminal cancer. After surgery, he was comatose. The hospital said he wouldn’t make it. Someone told us about Matthew 18:20 and suggested we pray, “for where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.” My family prayed together for the first time. He soon came out of his coma. We had him for almost another year. Some things that happened when he passed led me to give my life to the Lord.
My family started praying together and we went to church. CCC became our community. I love reading Jesus’ words. I started to understand what he went through for us. I understood how he was working in my life and changing me. I wrestled with getting baptized, but when I doubted, I would read Scripture about it. I’m excited to be here reservation-free, happy to declare how much I love Jesus and am thankful for his help.
I was raised in another religious tradition and I knew who the Lord was, but never had a personal relationship with him. I went through the motions and was not actively present in the church.
I was interested in building a relationship with the Lord, so, I decided to become involved with Athletes in Action (AIA), a Christian organization, through school. I met other athletes who followed Christ and had a personal relationship, and I decided I wanted a personal relationship with him too. I wanted to be all in, present, and consistent with my relationship with God.
I began attending Christ Community Church, Bible study, and AIA meetings weekly. Talking to and about God became a regular activity in my everyday life, and I’ve gained the courage to be able to share my story and my faith with those around me.
I have always believed in God but, when I entered high school, I stopped attending church and listening to God. I cared more about my school and my social life.
Once I entered college in 2011, I found a Christian organization that helped me get back into my faith and believe again. I attended Bible studies once a week and I even attended church services every so often. I didn’t get back into going to church on a regular basis until I graduated college, moved back home, and attended church in my hometown. I then talked to my pastor about getting baptized and he helped me surrender my life to God by praying but I didn’t get baptized.
After surrendering my life to Christ, it has been hard to listen to God but I’ve been trying my best to listen to him and do what he leads me to do. What has been helping me with that is reading my Bible and going to church on a regular basis.
Before I put my trust in Christ, I didn’t act in the way he wants us to act.
I put my trust in Jesus in third grade, but after my grandpa passed away recently, I felt lost. After one of the Sunday messages that inspired me, I managed to pull myself back in the right direction to live my life for God. In the message, it mentioned that nobody was perfect and hard times in our life were a reason to continue trusting in Christ. Since that day, I truly put my trust back in Christ and I haven’t felt so lonely. My Genesis small group leader gave me the confidence and enough trust to help me slowly move back towards Christ.
A verse I learned in Awana that helped me to come back to Christ was Luke 2:10-11 which says, “For the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news and great joy that will be for all the people today in the town of David. The Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord’.” It made me feel safe and that I belonged.
Before surrendering my life to Jesus, I always went to church, but I didn't fully know who God was and I didn't really understand the Bible.
When I was seven, I surrendered my life to Jesus in the Auditorium when Pastor Jim was talking. He asked if anyone wanted to stand up after praying, to remember their decision, so I did.
Now, I like hearing the Bible stories in KidsWorld Large Group and learning about God. I especially liked learning from Teacher Deb in fourth grade. My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
My name is Alana and I’m 12, the oldest of 4 girls. My sisters and I have grown up attending church. I’ve participated in Awana, Epic, and am currently involved with Genesis at Christ Community Church.
Before I trusted in Jesus, life was more challenging. When acting for myself, I struggled with agitating my sisters and forgiving others.
At about age 7, I made the decision to confess my sins and accept Jesus as my savior. Through the encouragement of my parents, and the support of my church I continue to grow in my faith.
Now life is better. Not perfect, but improving. Today I’m trying my best to follow Jesus’ lead and serve others. I’ve enjoyed showing God’s love though serving. My favorite opportunities have been: KidsWorld, Tails Humane Society, Feed My Starving Children, Safe Families, Operation Chistmas Child, and preparing meals for local shelters. I look forward to seeing what God has planned for me next!
I am 10 years old. I have attended Christ Community Church my whole life and enjoy going to Epic and KidsWorld. I love serving with my family in KidsWorld.
I first put my trust in Jesus two years ago before an Easter service when my Mom and Dad shared with me the meaning of taking communion. They asked me if I would like to ask Jesus to forgive my sins.. I said yes and we prayed the prayer to begin my relationship with Jesus.
God saved me from my sins and made me a better person. I love going to church. It is fun every weekend. I love to share kindness and love as Jesus did for me.
I have been attending Christ Community Church for 17 years.
Growing up wasn’t easy. My dad passed when I was 11. Not truly knowing God, I was mad and didn’t understand why life had to be so hard.
On February 7, 2006, during pre-marriage counseling, I realized that I wanted my marriage and our future kids to truly know God on a personal level. That day, I surrendered my life to Jesus.
Being a Christian doesn’t give me a problem free life. I struggle with anxiety and sin daily, but I know that God is loving, kind, forgiving, and patient. He gives me peace and hope. God reminds me daily to “be still and know that I am God...” (Psalms 46:10). It reminds me to not fear the unknown because He is in control. He is my strength and refuge.
My father raised me in a Christian church and I was on fire for God at a young age. I wanted to be accepted and liked everywhere so I did anything to be accepted. As I got older, people took advantage of that. I had a great connection with God and had many gifts, but I decided to choose other things. I pushed God away and, before I knew it, I was stuck and fighting my way back to God.
After feeling empty from what the world has to offer, I made a decision to follow God like I did as a child. I started choosing to stay away from things that could cause me to go down that wrong path again. I value myself now and spread happiness through God. I choose to fight those voices in my head that God wouldn’t say or do. I choose to live in the purpose God has for me.
I am now starting to become this wonderful woman I didn’t even know existed and people start to see that, too. I feel more free and positive. Sometimes I have days where the lies won’t stop, but I know who I am through Christ. I believe God has many great things to come and I can’t wait to see what there is for my future!
When I was younger, I didn’t care that much about the whole “God story”, and it really didn’t make much sense to me. I would rather do other things than doing anything God-related.
When I went to Silver Birch Ranch summer camp, I understood the “God story” better, and I got excited about what God has in store for me for the future. I also have a better understanding of the Bible. I have a stronger relationship with God. I enjoy going to church more than I used to. When hard times happen, I always know that God is there with me and that I can always trust God.
One thing that also helps me understand the Bible better is Genesis on Wednesday nights. I am glad that our church does Epic and Genesis because I was able to invite my best friend and it has changed her life.
I always believed in God but my choices and my addictions kept God and everyone else at arm's length. Invitations, prayers, and sharing by the Hodsdens, Kristin Peska, Sandy, Linda, and a caregiver group were slowly convicting me that I needed Jesus. I started attending services at Christ Community Church, praying daily, and reading the Bible.
On August 20, 2019, at the Sycamore Cafe with Linda and Sandy, the Holy Spirit took over. I needed Jesus to take control. Sandy walked me through the surrender prayer and I knew I was changed forever. Since that day everything is the same but everything is different. My prayers are different, I have joined a Women's Community Group, and I continue to study the Bible.
JEREMIAH 29.11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I knew that there was a higher power, and I occasionally would go to church on the holidays. There were so many incidents happening in my life, as well as my friends' lives, that I needed something more to believe in. I needed Jesus to give me more purpose in my life and he started pulling me closer to him with the people I was surrounded by. This is when I officially surrendered my life to Jesus.
I try to attend church every Sunday, whether it’s at Christ Community or Calvary back home. I’ve joined Athletes in Action, which is a religious athletes group and I attend Bible studies on a weekly basis. I’ve become a happier person knowing that I am loved by the only person that matters, Jesus.
I’ve always known there was something missing in my life. Before I trusted in Jesus and accepted him as my Savior, I wanted more of a relationship with Jesus and wanted to understand some questions that I’d always had. My grandmother, Phyllis, had taken me to Sunday School with her several times, and that is when my relationship with Christ began. When I was starting to see the life that God had chosen for me, I knew I needed to separate my sins to get closer to God. God then brought some very influential people into my life. When I began my teaching career, I was placed with Amy, my cooperating teacher. She invited me to her church and later introduced me to her mother-in-law, Ginger, who gave me a Bible. That feeling that something was missing started to chip away.
Then God gave me my husband, Drew Sterkel, and his amazing family. Anytime Drew and I were together “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton would play. My husband’s family, especially his parents, Bob and Beth, shined even more light on what was missing. We began attending Christ Community and now that “missing” feeling is gone. I now know that this was all a part of His plan for me and I know it will continue to be.
Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Thank you, God, for this gift.
I grew up in a family filled with love who believed that Jesus died for their sins. I remember always attending church but, as a small child, I never knew or understood why. I always believed in God, but I had so many questions. Then my parents, Bob and Beth, opened my eyes to what God has done for me. They never pushed it on me; they always let me decide for myself.
In 2011, I was moving 3 hours away to my first job. I needed a fresh start, but I was nervous, scared, and worried. I didn’t know anyone, but that’s when I turned to God. I knew I couldn’t do this by myself. God placed me 3 hours away because that was His plan. He knew it would make me grow personally and, most importantly, spiritually. God placed me 3 hours away so I could meet my wife, start a family and come closer to Him. After devoting my life to God, my life changed for the better.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
I was born and raised in a Christian home, always coming to church on Sundays, but to me it didn’t always feel like I belonged at Church. I knew I wasn’t making the right choices in my life, that I was missing something.
Last Christmas Eve service, something changed. While listening to the sermon, I saw all the wrong I was doing in my life, putting other things in my life before God. In that moment, I knew I needed Christ in my life. At the end of the service, I gave my life to Christ, acknowledging that he is my Lord and Savior and that I needed him in my life, and took a Next Steps packet to see what I needed to do next in my faith walk.
Since I gave my life to Christ, I feel as though my life has changed. I feel much closer to God than I ever have before. I began to give him all my problems and ask for forgiveness for all my sins. I know that there will still be temptation and sin in my life, but now I know God is in control and I can always trust in him.
Before I trusted in Jesus, I was not as kind and did not think about my actions as much as I do now. When I got nervous about something, I didn’t know what to do, even though I was being raised in a Christian home and going to church regularly. One day, Jesus spoke to me and I felt moved to put my faith in him so I talked to my parents and they helped me say the prayer that helped me give my life to Christ. After I put my faith in Him, I was being more kind, thinking before I acted, and praying more often.
Now that I look back, I think that it was the right decision to put my faith in Him. I have seen so much change in my life. I now serve in KidsWorld and come to Genesis every week. I have also grown closer in my walk with Jesus during discussion at Genesis. Sometimes it is hard to trust God’s plan but it is always good to know that His plan is the right one every single time.
I went to church with my grandmother as a kid. I think it was her way of keeping me off the streets and out of trouble. Life was tough growing up, and I found myself becoming a dad at the age of 15. I had to grow up quickly to care for my family, work, and go to school. It wasn’t easy.
I eventually met and married a beautiful young woman who helped me find faith in God. Our marriage struggled and didn’t last. The difficulty brought me to a place of trying to end my life. While I was in the hospital, I surrendered my life to Jesus and found the courage to live for God, myself, and my girls. I am not alone. God is good!
I was born and raised in a Christian family. When I accepted Christ as the Lord of my life, I was in first grade. Growing up, I went to Silver Birch Ranch summer camp (SBR), Genesis, Mosaic, and became part of the Genesis worship team in college.
My real walk with God didn’t start until summer 2017 at SBR. This was my last year of summer camp because I had just graduated high school. Jen McGraw was a huge influence on me that year. God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 has taken me very far since high school, opening up opportunities I never dreamed possible, like singing on stage, going on two GoTeams to Brazil, and playing college basketball.
I’m grateful to the people like Jeff, Tricia, Courtney, Cassie, Skip, and Barb, whom I love and continue to guide me on my journey.
As long as I can remember, I have been attending church. In fact most of my memories are centered around events like Hot U, and InsaniaMania.
At a very young age, I surrendered my life to Christ, but at the time it was my parent’s faith, instead of my own. All of that changed after attending SBR during my seventh grade year. While I was there, I really felt God's presence around me. On the last night of camp, they gave an opportunity for those who already had surrendered to Christ to recommit to him. After doing that, we received a small rock with a fish drawn on it, which I still have to this day.
Since then, my relationship with Christ has only grown. Now, when I attend weekend services I am learning new information that has further enhanced my relationship with Christ. I also have been attending House group which has allowed me to learn about God, and to interact with people who have similar backgrounds as me. Serving has now become a big part of my life. I try to serve at least two times a month in Kidsworld because it brings me so much joy to share my faith with children.
I cannot wait to see what God is going to do in my life. Like it says is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Hi my name is Lillian and I have been a Christ follower my whole life, but I didn’t realize how much I needed Jesus until about a year ago. I surrendered my life to him and I started praying on a daily schedule, compared to just occasionally when we went out to dinner, and every time I prayed it made me feel a dramatic difference in my headaches which had been constant for over a year.
The time I was encouraged to get baptized was when we first went to Christ Community Church. It is my favorite church I have ever been to and that is hard to say because I’ve been to MANY churches in town. But CCC has really inspired me and my faith!
Since attending, I have a relationship with Christ and see that there is a big difference in my life. My constant headaches also went from me crying every day to being completely fine. Now I read my Bible more, and I pray every night so I can have a happy and healthy relationship with my family and with Christ.
Although growing up in a Christian household, I never felt like my relationship with Jesus was mine. Whether I felt my faith was derived from my parents or for some other unexplainable reason, I believed my relationship was not as genuine or heartfelt as my consciousness made it out to be.
This all changed the summer of my freshman year in high school. I decided to join a mission trip through Reach Workcamps. There, I met friends and companions that I will cherish for life as well as rerooted myself within my belief, and began a growing personal relationship with Jesus. This led to me rededicate my life to Jesus at the end of the mission trip, permanently changing my life.
From that point forward, I saw Sunday services through a new lens and I joined a house group with my Reach friends that school year. I still go to Reach and Silver Birch Ranch every year, but with even greater excitement and joy anticipating the new ways God will reveal himself to me and others through my faith.
Just recently, I started the process of membership at Christ Community Church and I could not be happier. The aforementioned activities and beliefs I have embarked on are a result of my steadfast and ever growing faith in God. Although I know there will be future times where my faith will be tested, I look forward to this with hope knowing my heavenly father will faithfully support me. As Isaiah 40:30-31 states: Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Before I found Christ, I thought that it was OK to go against him and put everything else in my life above God. I soon figured out that this was slowly leading me to a life of sin.
I surrendered to Christ because I saw that there was something missing in my life. This happened when my parents began bringing me to KidsWorld, and I began learning about Jesus. After a couple of years, I asked Jesus into my life at a Genesis worship service. I am so thankful to my parents and the pastors at church who taught me about Jesus and what it means to follow him.
Now that I have become a follower of Christ, I have noticed a certain change in my life that has made me treat people with more kindness. Because I am a follower of Christ, I get to go to church every Wednesday and learn more and more about him to further enhance my relationship with him. I am so grateful that I get to have Jesus in my life and that is why I try to spread Jesus into other people’s lives.
Since I was a young, I have been drawn to Christianity. I used to recite the Lord’s Prayer and sing the national anthem nightly before bed. I guess that’s why I chose to fly for the United States Air Force, “God and country”. I was a good student and athlete and achieved success in my military career.
I flew a trip to Russia in 1992 and delivered DeKalb seed corn to their starving people. We met with the equivalent of the Governor of the Russian province of Veronezh located SW of Moscow. He was so proud to take us to the first openly Christian Church since communism. It was amazing to witness their excitement to be able to openly worship Jesus, and I realized that I needed to improve my relationship with Christ. The pilot with me was a Bible scholar, and we talked about Scripture, and it renewed my interest in God.
However, the motto of many servicemen is “work hard and play harder”. I love to fly, but over time drinking became more important to me and caused many problems. After a DUI in 2016, I attended counseling and got the help I desperately needed. I started attending Christ Community Church in 1999 and went on and off for years.
Now, I never miss a service and I volunteer with building services. Even though I knew in my heart that Jesus was my Lord and Savior, I had not made the commitment to being “born again” because I had been “talking the talk” for years, but not “walking the walk”. After many hard lessons, pain and heartache, I came to the realization that I was tired of being sick and tired.
My surrender to Jesus took many years. I knew it was inevitable because I have always been a believer. I was just praying, hoping, and reading scriptures for so long that finally, the Spirit moved me to make the most important decision of my life to get baptized. I thank God for leading me to Him and to Christ Community Church!
Before I trusted in Jesus, I was very alone and afraid. Depressed about life and myself, I struggled to find meaning.
Then, somehow I felt compelled to finally come to Christ Community where I found some great friends and was introduced to Care night by my friend Derek. The support and love I received from the group helped me become aware of my sadness and the many truths I should recognize. I know that God has been watching over me and guiding me my entire life. Realizing how good God has been to me, on Sunday, January 26th, I completely surrendered my life to Jesus and attested in front of others that he is the King and Savior.
Trusting God, I have been able to realize I can control my happiness and walking with him allows me to feel more of his grace. I appreciate every little thing so much more since I used to be so down mentally and emotionally; but now with him by my side I sense the peace that we all deserve.
I was raised Catholic and never fully believed God existed. Especially when I was diagnosed with depression, high anxiety and OCD. Why would my “Savior” bestow such afflictions upon me? I was fourteen years old.
I am now forty-two and have lived throughout the years angry. I resigned to a belief that I have been forsaken. In my twenties, I began to self medicate with drugs and alcohol. Prescription drugs and therapists were not working. Within the last several years, my depression and OCD had become debilitating, and my drinking out of control. I managed to work, but was otherwise in isolation with no friends, and something had to give.
I got down on my knees, praying, begging the Lord for forgiveness. During these pleas, I developed a sense of hope again. I have a coworker, now friend, whom I had known to be of strong Christian faith. Approaching timidly, I began asking questions regarding his beliefs, and soon found myself intrigued that I too am a child of God!
He offered an invitation to Sunday service, where my eyes, mind, heart and soul were opened. As the pastor spoke, it felt as if he was speaking directly to me. I sobbed. Others around me put their hands on my shoulders and back. I found a home and a new family. I stopped running and surrendered my life to Jesus as Savior and King.
Great things have continued to arise. I joined a Care group wherein I have found friends. God has intervened and I have even attained sobriety. I am alive again. God loves me. I know he always has. He never left me. I give my heart to him. I will continue to lift him high.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13
I grew up in a Christian home. I’ve been going to Christ Community Church since I was three. When I was in second grade, I decided to put my faith in Jesus. To me this means trusting Jesus and being more empathetic and joyful. These are gifts God has given me naturally that I can use for him.
My mom and dad have helped me learn more about God. After being baptized, my life will be different because everyone will know that I put my faith in Jesus.
My favorite thing about God is that he helps us get through hard times. I want to be like him and help other people through hard times too. One Bible verse I really like says, “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15
I grew up in a Methodist church. I was baptized as an infant, confirmed as a teenager and surrendered my life to Jesus upon my confirmation. I have always had a belief in God. I attended church regularly until I graduated from high school. Throughout my twenties, I had drifted away from my faith. I was doing whatever I wanted and was not particularly concerned with what God wanted.
After my wife and I were married and began a family, I realized that I needed to find my way back to my faith. We had children and began looking for a church to attend. We began attending Christ Community about 6 years ago. Over that time, I have reconnected with my faith.
My wife was very instrumental in helping me reconnect with God and for that I am very grateful. We are now part of a community group, serving in the church and active in helping our kids with their faith. I am looking forward to being baptized with my daughter and continuing my faith journey.
Jesus was with me all of my life, but I stopped going to church around the beginning of 2018 because that was the worst year of my life. My parents argued every night and that was the first year I went to middle school.
When I got into middle school, I went to Genesis at Christ Community Church, and my leader, Jeremy, is one of the nicest and caring people I know. Two months ago in our small group we talked about the Surrender Prayer and that is what made me want to surrender my life to Christ.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Now that I have said the prayer, I feel like I have been involved in Christ a lot more than I had before. I love this verse: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
My friend Annabelle invited me to Genesis when we started sixth grade. Before that, I maybe went to church once every two months with my family. I did not know how I felt about church when I first started coming, I just kind of kept coming.
That changed when I went to SBR in sixth grade. I liked church a lot after that, and I kept coming. I knew He loved me and I loved Him but I wasn’t super passionate. Before surrendering, I wanted to take the seventh grade year to learn more and listen to more stories about Him. I remember talking about the verse, John 3:16, and realizing how much God really loves us. He was willing to send His son for me and die for me, just to protect me.
So, one night at SBR during seventh grade, when we were doing a night of worship, I finally decided that it was the right decision for me and I gave my life to Christ.
Since that night, I have been thinking through my decisions more and asking myself, “Is this what God would want me to do?” I also have been trying to share God with others at my school because I did not know how drastically my life would change, and I think that if they went to church like I did, they would find out how much their lives can change too.
My parents, Amy and Ryan Light, and my family have always been strong believers of Christ. Ever since I was a little girl, I would attend Promiseland at Willow Creek, Awana once we moved to St. Charles, and volunteer at Feed My Starving children. My family and I have gone through a lot these past several years. Even at times when I felt alone, I knew Jesus had a plan and that everything happens for a reason. I now know that God only gives you what you can handle and what can make you stronger.
I started drifting away from my faith last year which was my high school freshman year, but my Dad, Ryan, and stepmom, Linda, insisted on taking us to church on the Sundays my brother and myself were with them. At first, I did not want to get up and go but something in my heart changed this past Christmas Eve service with my Mom, Amy, her boyfriend Lawrence and my brother, Logan.
After that service I realized I needed to make a change in my life and I needed to let Jesus take charge. I feel that it would be even more special to do this with my brother Logan Light and that is why I want to get baptized.
I was born into a family of faith. I was raised Catholic, as both of my parents were born and raised Catholic. This was the denomination that my parents chose to follow when they brought my brothers and I into the world, including sending me to Catholic school.
Our family started attending Christ Community Church over five years ago, and that is when I started seeing my family grow closer to Jesus. Since we started coming to CCC, I have really started engaging my own faith journey and personally growing closer to Jesus. In seventh grade, I joined a Genesis small group at CCC and have been surrounding myself with individuals that love Jesus like I do. I am not saying going to Catholic School my whole life that I haven't been surrounded with people that are Christ followers, but attending CCC and being a part of my small group has allowed me to build meaningful friendships with other Christ followers. I understand and appreciate the importance of reading the Bible now more than ever, praying daily, being at peace with who I am and having my own personal relationship with Jesus.
I surrendered my life to Jesus at SBR in 2019 and everything has changed for me since. When I was a baby, my parents chose to baptize me in the Catholic Church, however, this is now my choice, journey and affirmation of what I believe in. As such, I decided that I wanted to affirm my faith and love for Jesus Christ by being rebaptized here at CCC. I am so excited to declare my love for Jesus!
"Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God," 1 Corinthians 10:31.
I have been raised as a Christ follower by my parents since I was young. I had always kept my relationship with God close until my parents decided it was best they were not together as I was going into middle school. As a young teenager it was difficult to accept the situation. Instead of turning to God for support through these hard times I chose to escape in my friends and in sports.
Through these years, as I continued to escape, I stopped attending church and lost my strong relationship that I once had with God. This continued until the end of last year when my family and I came back to church.
Through the years God has slowly worked to restore my faith in him. I realized in the past couple of months as I’ve been attending church, and putting my faith into God, that life has seemed much less complicated. Praying to God and asking for his guidance has allowed me to see things more clearly and to make the right decisions.
I can now see how important having a strong relationship with God is in my life. I believe the next step in further strengthening my relationship with God is being baptized.
My name is Luca and I put my faith in Jesus when I was three years old. I told my Mom and Dad that I wanted to have God in my heart for the rest of my life.
Since then, God has always been my father. I am encouraged to follow Jesus because my whole family does. Even though they follow Jesus, I knew that I needed to make the decision for myself.
Thanks to KidsWorld, I’ve grown closer to God. Being baptized means that other people will know that I believe in Jesus. I know it will be hard to follow Jesus, but he will always help me.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Thank you Jesus for sacrificing yourself for me and saving me from my sins.
I was originally baptized at around 6 months as a Catholic. I was raised in the Catholic church, attended Sunday School, went through First Communion and Confirmation. Attended a Catholic School until 3rd Grade. I also insisted on being married in a Catholic Church. It was basically the only religion I knew. I wanted to raise my daughter Catholic but for some reason it just didn’t feel right. My husband and I have been married almost 38 years and almost the entire time we have been married we have been searching for a religious home/church.
In the 38 years we have moved a few times and in those times we have tried various churches. When we moved to Illinois, a woman that works with my husband invited us to her church. She and her husband were being baptized. We live in Saint Charles and had driven by Christ Community Church many times, but felt very intimidated by its size, thinking there is no way this church is going to offer us what we have been looking for. We went to this couple's baptism and have been coming to Christ Community Church ever since. It just felt right, and I just think it offered what we were looking for, teaching the Bible, and really understanding who God is. As I started to participate more and more in different things the church offered, a women’s group, serving in a couple of different departments and learning what that department does, it just started to feel right.
I didn’t exactly have an “Aha!” moment, I just know in my heart that I have surrendered my life to Jesus. I know I still have a lot to learn but I also know that God is directing my life now, it is His will not mine. That has brought peace to my life I never imagined I would have.
I was 14 when I was first baptized. My football coach was a church goer and made all of us go to church. I have always thought it was my choice. We were baptized in the Mississippi river, which was something I took great pride in as I was a military brat and had lived all over the world, but I identify as a southerner.
After coming to Christ Community Church two years ago when we had to move here for my job, a coworker Sara invited us for her baptism. We had driven by the huge mall church and I said, “no way will we go to that church,” but we came then and then the week after.
Having joined a couples Community Group I came to realize that though I thought I had surrendered to Christ by my choice, I now think I did it because I wanted my coach to be proud, and it helped me to find an identity of being from somewhere. I have now come to learn that was not surrendering to Christ. I always found myself saying I will not get re-baptized because my previous Mississippi baptism was something I identified with as a southerner, but it’s not about me. It is about surrendering my life to Christ, the glory and my identity should be directed to him.
Since I’ve committed to following Jesus, I have committed to serving, committed to trusting in his word and I know that there is a plan, which has given me a calmness I’ve not ever felt before.
I have been going to Epic for three and half years and just this past year I made the decision to follow Christ. I said the surrender prayer at Epic and I feel it has made a difference in my life. I know that God is my father, and he is just the father to give a hug when you need one.
God is someone I want to have a relationship with. God is someone who I can trust when I am scared. God is someone I can ask questions to. I feel God has made me a more helpful person. God has blessed me with a healthy body. I am excited to know that I get to have eternal life.
By following Jesus it will lead to a more fruitful life. My mom and dad have raised me to see the importance of a relationship with Jesus. I am blessed to have the family that I have.
Being baptized means telling the public that I am making the decision to follow Christ. When I put my trust in Jesus, I am more hopeful about life. I know that life will not be easier, but with Jesus on my side I can do anything I put my mind to!
Growing up, I always believed in Jesus. I knew who he was and that he had died for my sins. However, I also believed that if I didn’t come to church wearing my Sunday best or I was daydreaming during prayer, God was angrily shaking His head and demanding me to apologize. I fully believed that unless I achieved perfection, I was a sinner condemned.
I spent my life striving for this perfection and believed my worth was in what I accomplished, not in who I was. After becoming a mom, I realized I could not continue my quest for perfection. I was tired of constantly trying to prove that I was worth being loved.
It was not until a conversation with Christ Community Church women’s pastor Lori, that I realized I do not need to strive for perfection with Jesus. I cannot earn my way into eternal life, and it didn’t matter how many good deeds I did, I was still keeping God at an arm's length.
After our conversation, I began to wake up early each morning to learn the truth of who Jesus was. I wanted to know the whole love story that God weaved together. I began to see that I was a part of that love story. I realized that most of my life I had it all wrong. God was not sitting up in heaven, angrily shaking his fist at me. Instead, he was waiting patiently with open arms, urging me to remain with Him.
I surrender to Jesus and can now rest in knowing I am God’s beloved daughter. Even with my imperfections, Jesus gave his life so I could spend eternity with my Father. Jesus has shown me what unconditional love is. This gives me the freedom to fully love those around me in a way I never thought possible.
I have lived for 17 years and every moment in my life was a better one when I included Jesus.
My parents, pastors, and my Bible teacher, Mr. Warner, helped me know who God is. They helped me understand that I am a sinner who needs a savior. I accepted God into my life because I need Him to save me.
I've learned that my life is so much better when it is under God's control. He’s the one I can bring my burdens to, he will always be by my side, and, above all, he loves me in all circumstances. In him, I find hope, satisfaction, kindness, and peace. My load is lighter and my heart is kinder when I pursue God.
Before I put my faith in Jesus, other things like video games were more important to me than Jesus. I’ve been going to Christ Community Church for as long as I can remember, but I never really got into it until fifth grade. That’s kind of when I opened up to think that maybe there is someone out there looking out for me.
During the Christmas service that year, I put my life in Christ. Since then, my life has done a complete 180. I did not find going to church a burden anymore. I’ve found behaving a lot easier. I was getting good grades. Basically life was and still is better. My genesis group leader, Taylor, has helped me grow and stay a Christ follower.
If anyone were to ask me if it is worth it, I would tell them totally! Your life just gets better.
Before I trusted in Christ, I always felt a pull towards something bigger than me. I have always believed in God, but never took the time to read and apply the bible to my daily life. I suffer from anxiety and panic disorder, so I was constantly at war with my own thoughts and worrying about what other people were thinking of me.
On a Saturday evening before my first time going back to church in years, I prayed that God would speak specifically to me and to my heart to show me that He is real, and to speak to me through the sermon the following day.
That Sunday, everything changed for me. The service message was near and dear to my heart that it brought me to tears. Christ Community Church also focused on Genesis at that service which I thought to be another sign, as it is the beginning of the Bible.
Since giving my life to Christ, I have felt the anxiety diminish, my thoughts are clearer and I do not feel the need to rely on medication like I used to.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future” Proverbs 21:35
I grew up in a Christian home with lots of Christ followers. I never understood what they were all talking about, so I decided to try to learn a little more. Every summer me and my brother went to Camp Commotion and we had time to talk about God, and they would give us a lesson. I would understand the lesson but never really felt connected to it, until I met Christ.
I was in the gym at camp just thinking and I suddenly felt a tug from Christ to make that decision. I told my leader and I prayed the Surrender Prayer with her. I went home and told my mom. She was so excited. She immediately called my Grandma and they were so happy for me.
A Bible verse that encourages me is Ruth 1:16, “Where you go, I'll go, where you stay, I'll stay.” It encourages me because it means to me that I am a follower and Jesus is my Savior. I will follow Him wherever he goes and he will do the same for me.
I grew up with a mostly Christian family. I've known about God for almost my whole life and loved him ever since.
The decision I made to follow Christ was last year at the Christmas service at Christ Community Church. This means to me that I am a follower of God and that I love him. My mom has helped me learn about God by reading the Bible with me.
My life will be different because I will trust Him to help people who are in need and love everyone throughout the world.
A Bible verse that encourages me is: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) I like this verse because it shows how much he loved us and sent his son Jesus to save us from our sins and whoever believes in him will have eternal life in heaven.
Before I began to follow Christ, I did not understand the true meaning behind the importance of Jesus.
It was not until three years ago when my daughter, who had been coming to Christ Community Church, decided to get baptized. It was during that service that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I finally understood the message that God himself opened my eyes to and I surrendered to Jesus Christ.
Since then, I have joined my daughter for Saturday night services. I have now noticed a huge change in myself as a person and in my faith with Christ.
As stated in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things in him who strengthens me". I will always look to him who gives me strength to battle my weakness.
Before I trusted in Jesus, I was lost without knowing it; at war with myself and trying to make sense of life.
I grew up in a Catholic Church with irregular attendance but never stuck with it. Then, I met my now husband at age 16 who went to a non-denominational church, and decided to attend with him. I learned the truth about Jesus, seeds were planted, and I was led to a relationship with Jesus. This relationship has ebbed and flowed, especially during a painful time in my life, but ultimately I learned to finally give the reigns of life to Jesus and asked him to forgive my sins.
Since then, I have experienced so much peace in my life that I could not possibly experience apart from Jesus. This peace has allowed me to forgive others and to pursue apprentice leadership in my wonderful small group. I have been blessed to see examples of His love through my sister Rebecca Ladendorf, husband Jeremiah, and so many others in my life who are too many to name! I know now that if I place my trust in God and surrender to him fully, no trial is too big (Jeremiah 32:27).
Before turning my life over to Christ, I was lost in a world of busyness that revolved around me. My life was unmanageable. I was constantly looking for things to fill my time. Discontentment was a constant battle. I sought comfort in things not pleasing to God.
I decided to reconnect with a women’s bible study group that was going to do an in depth study of the book of Revelation. Shortly thereafter, I made a commitment to surrender my addiction to alcohol over to God. I enrolled in the Christ Community Church Surrender & Win Care Night program. There, I received support to help me with sobriety. At that time, I also began to regularly attend church service at CCC. Surrounded by other Christians who love God, my love for God also flourished. Immersing myself in the Bible, I found myself happier than I had been in a long time.
Having placed God in the forefront of my life, I have found a contentment that never existed. Reading Scripture daily keeps me seeking God’s purpose for me. The friends I have made through Christ have been positive and encouraging. I feel I am gaining a true understanding that we have a purpose to share God’s love here in this world so that we may live for eternity with our God.
I was raised in a very, very Catholic family – including my Dad attending seminary. I went through all of the Catholic sacraments – all the way through confirmation. I was married in the Catholic church, my wife went to a Catholic school, and our kids also went through the Catholic sacraments.
With all of that “churching”, I knew very well who Jesus was, but never had a relationship with Him. Nobody ever explained to me “why”. You believed, just because. Deep down, that never really worked for me.
Over the years, I drifted further and further from Him into a life that was centered around me and what I did – not at all focused on Him or what He did for me. My way, not God’s way.
It took caregiving for my parents for years, my own health issues, then losing my business and both parents in three years to bring me to my knees.
The key aspects of my faith “rediscovery” were a) My wife’s unfailing support, b) The Case for Christ, c) Faith chats with my Uncle Ken, and d) Jym and Ron in CCC’s Alpha program.
Since I have surrendered my life to Christ, I feel much more at peace, have more gratitude, and seek opportunities to talk about Him (something I was very opposed to prior). God has and continues to bless me with countless “angels” at just the right time to keep me on His path, not mine.
Thank you, to all of my “angels” – you know who you are.
I grew up with parents who love Jesus and have always oriented me towards him. Because of them, I have always known and accepted at a young age that despite my sin, I am loved by God to the extent that he would sacrifice his Son to die for me. While I do not completely remember the exact circumstances, I know that I made the decision to surrender my life to Jesus as a child, which is a decision I continually commit to as I grow in my understanding in what it means to follow him.
As I walk with Jesus, I see the fruits of the Spirit taking root in my life, the ways in which he is continually transforming my attitudes and actions. Anxiety and tension arising from the unhealthy pursuit of perfection and accomplishment are being replaced by peace. I am grounded and whole, not in what I do, but in what is true about me through Jesus. Cynicism is being replaced with joy, with delight in the unique identities of others and the tasks laid before me. My quickness to become irritable is being replaced by patience and self-control. My inclination to criticize and judge others is being transformed into a spirit of gentleness and love.
To me, the character of God is radical, stunningly beautiful. That he invites me to be in a relationship with him, become like him, and do what he did is astounding. The more I learn what it means to be like Jesus, the more confident I am that doing life the way he did is good for me and good for the world. I find so much hope and joy in God’s love for me and the way he is transforming me day by day.
Kathryn St. Peter
Kathryn St. Peter
I didn’t grow up going to church, so I never understood the need for God in my teen and college years. My self-worth was dependent on my achievements in school and I was always worried about being perfect and what other people thought of me. By the time I graduated college, I felt so drained and empty.
My sister, Sarah, had recently started attending Christ Community Church and I could see how a relationship with Jesus was helping her overcome a difficult period in her life. She invited me to a women’s group and I was amazed how open and positive the group was. It started to give me some hope. I began attending church regularly, joined another community group, and after some time, put my faith in Jesus Christ.
My life has much more purpose now and I am learning to be more loving and generous. I know that the future won’t be easy, but I feel so relieved knowing Jesus will always be with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I do have many days where I still struggle, but just knowing that I have a future and that Jesus will be there through it all has given me so much hope and joy. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 3:12 where Paul writes: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” I love how Christianity is a life-long journey. Every day I can learn something new and grow closer to Christ.
Growing up I’ve learned so much about God from my grandma always telling me stories out of the Bible. Then my dad kept encouraging me to get closer to the Lord.
6 months ago I was having severe pains in my abdomen and always thought that it was nothing and was told that I’d be ok by doctors. I found myself distancing myself from the Lord and contemplated ending my own life to get rid of the never ending pain. Everything around me was falling apart until around November. I hit my knees and prayed and asked God for answers to my problems and pain. That’s when I put God first in my life and started praying again.
When I did, I got the answers I needed. I realized that cancer wasn’t what I wanted, but God gave me a second chance at life. My dad continued to urge me to make sure I made God my top priority - to pray and not give up. Because of what God has done, I’ve gone from at first being diagnosed as stage four cervical cancer, to most of it just disappearing, to being treated now and on my way to beating this sickness. I sat at church and listened to Scott Hamilton and it really connected with me. Now I know that I want to be baptized as a born-again Christian and continue to have a close relationship with God.
I have always known Christ and felt him within me, but throughout the last couple years of going to church and learning more and more about the Lord, I know that I am ready to take the next step to be baptized.
Then after feeling the joy of my brother getting baptized, and realizing what the process of this really is, throughout the time spent at church I thought about all the sin throughout me: selfishness, greed, anger, and lying. While worshiping and enjoying moments of silence at SBR in sixth grade, I took the time to confess to Jesus that I was wrong and for him to forgive my sins and be a part of my life throughout every breath I take.
Knowing and feeling Jesus and the Lord himself within me everyday now I always am praying to him to help me get through the tough times as much as being thankful for what he has blessed me with up to today and whatever the future holds.
I am happy knowing Jesus is a part of my life and about everything he has done for me, and that is why Jesus the Lord is my savior and what I live for.
I was introduced to religion as a child in the Catholic Church. As I progressed through Catholic education I felt a lack of understanding Catholicism, and I found the Bible to be confusing and overwhelming. As I grew into my teenage and young adult years I was not interested in learning about any religion and began seeking ways to fill an emptiness I felt inside.
In 2008, while relatively new to the area, I lost my dad to suicide while my husband was serving on a deployment to Afghanistan. In what could have been a horribly lonely time while navigating a very complicated grief, I recognized an overwhelming sense that I was not alone. Something was telling me to lean into that prompting from the Holy Spirit. It was then that I realized it was not religion I needed, it was a relationship with Christ. I began pursuing that connection, and after some time felt ready to look for a church home. After trying out various churches, our family moved to Geneva and through connecting with neighbors, found ourselves trying out Christ Community Church.
Since then, my faith and relationship with Christ have continued to strengthen as I have made the decision to follow Jesus. I have felt a sense of comfort, a source of strength, and a consistent confidant I can turn to with all of life’s ups and downs.
I spent the majority of my adult life pushing God and Jesus away by believing to be atheist. Alcoholism was the vice I used to hide myself from everything.
Through sobriety and Alcoholics Anonymous, I learned to accept a “higher power”, which cracked the door open. My fiance, Mitzie, showed me what love really is and supported me in sobriety and faith. She was inspired when invited to a Saturday service by our friends Amy and Marcus, and afterward she told me that we needed to attend Sunday. A song was played that made me weep, and it was then I realized my “higher power” was not enough. I still had a hole in my life that Christ has filled. At the end of that service, Pastor Jim offered for us to pray the Surrender Prayer, and it was the first time I had prayed that prayer to make Jesus the Lord of my life.
Since accepting Christ, I do not feel ashamed to be more open. I have been able to share my faith with my kids, who delight me with questions and conversation, and continue to pray. I believe my fiancee has always seen me in a way God sees me and I do see that person more and more in the mirror.
I’ve spent most of my Life ignoring Jesus, like most people around me. But a few years ago I began attending military funerals to protect their families from protests. After attending many Veteran and active duty service men and women’s funerals for five years I started to become angry with God. How could anyone let something so horrible happen to these families? I stepped away from all the pain and sadness after a few years, but my anger with God remained. That was until five years ago I was diagnosed with multiple diseases. Shortly after that I went into a coma for 2 or 3 months. I finally woke up in Chicago inside a hospital. Doctors told me I would never walk again, God met me, and I knew he would be with me and help me overcome the many new obstacles I was facing in life.
With the help of some very special doctors, I spent the next couple months re-learning how to speak, and against all odds, began walking again. My dad was there with me the whole time. And so was Jesus, helping me to keep moving forward though everything. Many times I wanted to quit but I heard from God: “Keep moving.” A year ago, October, my dad passed away after his fight with cancer. A week after his funeral, I had heart surgery. But this time I wasn’t scared or even worried, because God was helping me.
I started coming to Christ Community Church a few months ago, and there was a moment one service when I heard a song with the lyrics, “Maybe it’s okay if I’m not okay... because the one who holds the world is holding on to me.” Something clicked, and since then I have come to see that God so loved me that he gave Jesus to live for me, die for me, and give me new life. I have now surrendered to him and want to follow him for the rest of my life.
I was born into a Christian home so I’ve been going to church pretty much my whole life. Before I fully gave my life to Christ, I never really read my Bible, other things were more important to me than actually reading it. Then in 4th grade, there was this moment it hit me: I knew I want to commit my life to Christ. My eyes were open and I realized God really is real and he is good. I confessed that my way won’t take me anywhere, but God’s way will. I asked Jesus for forgiveness and guidance. Since then, my life really has changed. I pray everyday, I read the Word more. I memorize verses. I have learned to handle situations better. I am closer to people, and I know that actions have consequences. One of my favorite Bible verses is, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” I am ready to commit my life to Christ!
I have been attempting to run my life and arrange every possible situation to suit me, as if I had the power to pull that off. I have also been trying to fill a void within myself with alcohol, drugs, money, people, and materialistic things. I wanted to find a sense of ease and comfort, but I lost all hope with low moment in my life. My heart had been full with nothing but pain and regret, and I knew I was out of options. So about ten months ago I fell to my knees and cried out to God to ask for his help. I started my journey with AA to get help by working the twelve steps. It was there I realized Jesus earned salvation for me and I could be forgiven and let go of everything that was holding me down, if I only trusted him. I made that decision to Jesus. From that day forward, I have been on this spiritual journey attempting to get closer to God by seeking him and his will for me. I have realized I feel free and connected only when I am willing to ask for his help and guidance. I have been given another chance to live life. Last Sunday, my friend Sam invited me to Christ Community Church. When I heard there was an opportunity to get baptized, I felt like this was my opportunity to publicly declare my faith in Jesus. And that's why I'm here today.