Blackberry Creek

Bilal Al-Khaneqeeni

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Bilal Al-Khaneqeeni

I grew up in Iraq in the middle of the war and my life was really hard. I faced persecution and hardship living as a SUNY muslim in an area of mostly Sheaa muslims. There was much conflict between my parents and I growing up. As a teenager, I served with the Iraqi and US military. Even in so many difficulties there always seemed to be someone looking out for me—now I can see that it was God.

A Christian organization in Iraq, and another in the US--World Relief, cared for my family and helped us move to the United States in the summer of 2016. When we moved here, I moved next to a pastor who began to teach me about the Bible. I was wanting to know more and continued to spend time with him. I found out that I am in love with Christ. It was like my eyes were opening for the first time and I was overwhelmed with joy. My many troubles were all solved in Jesus. It’s like God said to me, “This is where I want you Bilal, I’m not going to give up on you and neither should you.”

Recently I was confronted by an older muslim man about my new Christian faith. I shared with him that Islam is all about your good deeds and bad deeds—about becoming good enough for God. I told him if he could be sinless he would be proved right, but I could not be. I am saved by believing in Jesus. God opens his arms and I jump into them saying “I am your child!” and he takes care of me and protects me from my own mistakes.

Nathan B

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Nathan B

I assumed that I’d always been a Christian since I can remember to be honest. I grew up with the basic belief of "If you believe in God and Jesus, then you're all good to go to heaven," pretty much until 6th grade. I knew that Jesus had died on the cross...but why? It just didn't make sense to me. I would not read the Bible, or ask questions. But then, my older sister started going to Genesis here at Christ Community Church in 6th grade. I was two years younger. When I became of age to go, I tried to go as much as possible. I learned so much here about Jesus and his story, and why he died on the cross: so our sins could be forgiven, and so we would be with God as sinners. I am still currently going to Genesis (this is my last year), and I've been trying to read the Bible every day, even if it's just one verse to keep me motivated. The Bible Savvy journal really helps, it is a daily part of my life, doing it after homework every day. Compared to my pre-Jesus days, I've been a much happier person, and I try to do what's right in God's eyes compared to my own. When I was little, I used to pray before I went to sleep. Nowadays I still do that, but with more meaning, and I pray more frequently throughout the day; it's just more comfortable for me to do now. And whenever I have doubts in my life, I look towards John 3:16 "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."

Justin K

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Justin K

I have always gone to church and believed in God my whole life, but I was never really interested in any of it. When I was younger, I never wanted to go church because I wasn’t really getting anything out of what they were saying. Even if I did listen to the sermon, other things were usually more important to me such as materialistic items.

I started attending Genesis once I became a middle schooler. The first year I didn’t really pay close attention to the sermons, but for the last 2 years, I’ve listened to the sermon the best I can, and I have really learned from it. I began seeing that I was sinner. I needed to changed. My small group leader Jesse really helped me with that. He has helped me put my faith in God, and keeps my relationship with God strong when I fall off.

I really do think that this has impacted my life. My mom and dad both helped me by encouraging me to go to church, and now I serve at Kids World, and I enjoy learning more about God. Even if my life has its ups and downs, I know God is with me, and has plans for me. 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.”’

Nancy Luna

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Nancy Luna

Before putting my trust in Jesus my life was lifeless, nothing filled the empty void inside my heart.

Several coworkers invited me to Christ Community Church and shared the Good news with me. The moment I walked through the door I felt welcomed. After hearing that Sunday’s sermon I knew the void in my heart could only be filled by the love of Christ Jesus.   I confessed my sins and asked Jesus to forgive me and take control over every area of my life.

Since surrendering my life to Christ Jesus, I can truly say my life has changed: I am serving at church, joined a community group, my son and I pray and read the Bible everyday.  Most importantly, I’ve found my identity in Christ. A new freedom that has allowed me to love without fail, forgive others, understand and be more compassionate to the needs of everyone around me. God has filled me with an overflowing love that sustains—it gives me everything I need, and allows me to walk in faith.  Knowing before I was even formed in my mother’s womb I was called by name and forgiven. This gives me the courage to walk out this life as stated in Colossians 2:6-7; “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Andrew M

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Andrew M

Before I was introduced to Christ I thought the things that I had were more important to me than being with God. I thought that God wasn’t as important as the things I had.

My parents have always helped me with going with God and showing me he’s important. Also my friend Justin Kwon  invited me to Christ Community Church and kept me going. When I got to the church I was shown how Jesus gave his life for my sins and it really made me think about how much Jesus has done for me.

Jesse Pena my group leader at genesis taught me this and has been with me through these years teaching me and helping me understand how great God is. Christ has changed my life so greatly I pray everyday and enjoy having God with me. I joined Genesis youth group which has made my connection with God even stronger. Being with God has helped me with everything. In Philippians 4:13 it says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”> This quote from the Bible has really been proven to me ever since I’ve been with God. I feel amazing and I can do so many things.

Thomas W

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Thomas W

What caused me to see Christ? Well a lot of things really, I have a bad habit of being lazy all the time, being rude to my friends and family, and being a big jerk in general. I disappointed a lot of my friends—and even ended up losing friendships with good people. I also wrestled a lot internally with past mistakes that continued to fill me with guilt. I was a bully, liar, and manipulator, filled with rage and sadness, until I got to know Christ.

I first got to know about the real Jesus last summer. My friend and I were playing in the basement of his house and one day, I met his neighbor, Erik Eclov (Erik #1) who came down to play video games with us. He lived in the same apartment building. We all began hanging out frequently and then one day he invited me to his Church and I agreed. I got to hear about Jesus then and at that time I was still thinking that it was a big old fairy tale, that God was just a myth like the Greek, Egyptian, or Aztec Gods. But after coming to the Church more and more I felt like something or someone was pulling me back into the Church (looking back now, I know it was God). Eventually I did my research and finally began asking deeper questions about God. One day, I found a random video online that talked about how science proves the existence of God. I believe it was perfectly placed by someone (guess who) to answer many of the questions I had. When Half-Nighter came around in November, I was pumped for an excellent night. I wasn’t disappointed—Nerf Wars was the best! However, there was something much bigger that happened that night: that’s when I made my final decision to surrender my life to Jesus Christ. After that, Jesus changed my life a ton. First, I felt free, like a weight was taken off my shoulders. I felt calm. I began to rethink many of the choices in my life and started to become a better person. I began to control my rage, handle conflict better, and many other things like not lying or bullying people anymore. I was able to apologize and find forgiveness for some of the terrible things I was doing to people. Honestly, I’ve got a long way to go, but I am going to live this life following God’s plan for me. I am glad I met Jesus Christ, my lord and savior!

DeKalb

Glenn Bolander

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Glenn Bolander

My story starts with attending a small country church while growing up. I always believed in God, but as I got older and life got busier I felt like church was a check- it-off-the-list item. Being a farmer, electrician and landlord I could fix anything life threw my way. I was a professional. I didn't even use duct tape or bailing wire!

And then, cancer. My high school sweetheart and wife, Carol, was diagnosed. Our lives became occupied with medical visits, work, and enjoying life with Justin age 5 and Josh 3. Church became less important over the next 10 years. There were fun times, but dark days as Carol lost her battle. I realized I couldn’t fix everything. I could not fix her pain. Yet, still thinking I was in control of work and the role of being both mom and dad, I'm pretty sure God was chuckling when I broke my leg two weeks later. God's plan was to show me I needed him. Did I ever!

Sometime later I was blessed to meet a wonderful Christian woman named Barb who is now my wife. She went through a similar experience of losing a spouse and understood.  She introduced me to Christ Community and now I know God lives in me! I look forward to attending church, serving others, enjoying the natural beauty God has created, trusting God and knowing he is in control.

RJ C

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RJ C

Before God was in my life I felt broken and I did all I could to be the cool kid.  Some things were not positive. I made fun of others or did not use godly speech. As life went on I felt bad about my negative actions. I felt so guilty I barely had on a smile.

One day I confessed all my sins to God and my mom.  She has been a HUGE factor in all of this. A few weeks later my dad and two sisters went to Silver Birch Ranch so it was just me and my mom.  We had a lot of talks about God. It was probably the best and worst week of my life. I felt guilty and ashamed, but the week changed me drastically in my relationship with God.

Ever since, I’ve been a new person.  I’m still not perfect and I do get tempted and make bad decisions.  It’s still hard to recognize temptation when it’s around, but I know God is with me every step of the way.  This new way of life is just easier without all that weight on your shoulders. This is my story and I hope it inspires you.

Samuel D

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Samuel D

I am 9 years old.  I never remember a time in my life without knowing about God because we started going to Christ Community Church when I was three and a half, although I did not really understand who he was.

As I became older, I began to understand exactly who God is and the good news about his son Jesus Christ.  I learned that if I proclaimed Jesus as my Lord and Savior and asked forgiveness of my sins, I could be saved by the one true God.  I decided to do this when I was 5! I thanked God for giving me all the things he knew I needed and loved like my family, my home, my health, my pets, and most importantly, my redemption and salvation.

As my spiritual journey continues and my faith matures, I will rely on the Holy Spirit, the Bible, my church, and my family to guide me.  For in Matthew 7:14 Jesus says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Being baptized publicly proclaims to the world that I have put my faith and trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior for now and always.  It is my gate of choice. I will do my best to live by his faith, grace, and love.

Colby Dohrman

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Colby Dohrman

Being baptized as an infant and growing up in a traditional church, I am thankful to have been raised in a religious household where I could listen to and learn the word of God in a Christian grade school.

As I went through high school and college, my relationship with God became distant, rarely attending church, praying and reading scripture from time to time. God was not top priority in my life and I didn’t notice. Until about two years ago when my wife and I attended church with friends, I saw what I had been missing. I realized my faults and began to restructure my priorities in life.

Then we graduated college and moved to Northern Illinois where we searched for churches. After about a month my wife told me we should go to Christ Community. We attended that first time and have ever since. We enjoy serving at the church and our relationship is growing stronger because we have God as our focal point and faith in Jesus as our Savior.

Ellie F

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Ellie F

I am 11 years old. When I was four, I was looking at a Bible when I saw a picture of fire coming down on the disciples' heads. I asked my mom what the fire was, and she said it was the Holy Spirit. And right then, I knew that I wanted to give my life to Christ and to follow him.

After that, I have grown up knowing that God is with me especially when we moved to a different house. I didn't make any friends for a couple days. I prayed to God, asking for his help. I made some friends the very next day!

I believe that Jesus is my savior and salvation, so I want to be baptized because it's what Jesus wants us to do.

Hunter H

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Hunter H

Before I trusted in Jesus, other things were more important to me like my phone and possessions.  Now that I am following Jesus’ path, I spend more time with my family, friends or helping others.

I started going to Christ Community Church in 2010.  Every weekend my family and I would attend church. Then in the spring of 2016 we didn’t go as often.  I enjoyed church but felt I wasn’t learning anything. In the fall of 2016 we started going to church every weekend again and it pushed me to learn more about Jesus. I really enjoy going.  Last November, I knew I wanted to make the decision to be baptized just as my parents did for me as a child. I want to live my life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

After this life changing decision of making my relationship with Jesus number one, I have noticed several changes.  I now look forward to spending time with him. I spend quality time with my family, serve others more and find myself praying more for others.  Also, my sisters and I actually spend time together and enjoy each other.

Jenée Jeanblanc

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Jenée Jeanblanc

Both of my parents are strong in their faith and I was raised attending church so I have known about Jesus since I was very young. It wasn’t until I attended a youth revival with a friend at the age of 17 that I heard the gospel explained in a way that resonated with something deep inside and moved me to accept his invitation to have a personal relationship with him.

As thankful as I was that he saved me that day, I have to admit that I spent most of my adult life living as if Jesus was my Savior but not my Lord; I was a Christian but not really a Christ-follower. I repeatedly made choices that sacrificed what I wanted most for what I wanted at the moment. God brought some amazing people into my life who showed me what following Jesus looked like and I knew I wanted it.

Since I started really walking with him, I have been through some deeply painful experiences I wasn’t sure I would make it through but now can look back on every one of them and see how God was with me and how he is turning them into something beautiful. I have seen his faithfulness and it has given me a greater understanding of who he is and who he created me to be.

Jenni Keller

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Jenni Keller

I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and growing up I attended church, AWANA, youth group, Bible studies, and even went to a Christian university.  I tried to seek Biblical knowledge and be a good person. I had accepted Christ's free gift of salvation at a young age, but I didn't understand real dependence on God.

However, when I became a parent I began to understand that I needed to surrender my life to Christ and depend on him daily.  My relationship with God changed from seeking knowledge and good behavior to accepting that God is the one helping me through all situations.

Leaning on his promises to care for me is the only way to get through each day.  Prayers and praise to God have become first responses instead of last resorts. He has faithfully shown he has control over every situation.  He can use anything I face for his glory and to bring me closer to him. With Christ on my side I have no reason to fear and no one can harm me.

Lillian P

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Lillian P

My life before Christ was busy and always on a schedule. With school, dance and sports I felt like I missed out on a lot of family time.  The time I did get with my family was split between my Mom’s house and my Dad’s house.

When I was 5, I went to Christ Community’s Kids World.  This is when I first heard stories from the Bible and I learned about Jesus.  I really liked it so I went to AWANA. That was a lot of fun and I met nice kids. We moved and stopped coming to church for a while.  When the new DeKalb Campus opened, we started coming to church again. I attend EPIC weekly and go to service with both my Mom and my Dad.  This is my weekly family time. I really like EPIC and enjoy reading the bible verses in my EPIC journal every day and learning more about Jesus.  I love singing all the songs during worship too!

“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).  This is one of my favorite quotes I memorized for EPIC. It means if you give your life to God, no matter what, you’ll be safe.  I am excited to give my life to Christ, learn more about him, and live the life he has chosen for me.

Ben Vogeney

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Ben Vogeney

I learned who I was supposed to be according to God growing up in a strong Christian home. Leading up to the moment I had accepted Christ into my life, I had chosen to live life the way I wanted to live.

It was the summer when I was fifteen. I was at the church camp I attended consistently throughout my childhood. This summer camp showed me how sinful I had become living in rebellion and pride. With the guidance of my camp counselor and friends I asked forgiveness and for Jesus to be my lord and savior.

Since the day I trusted Christ, I am now striving to live life according to God’s will. I began to take Church and the Bible more seriously, being intentional with my actions in everything I do. I have chosen to surround myself with other Christ followers who will help me further my relationship with Christ. I’m now married and promised to lead my family according to God’s will.

Emily White

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Emily White

My journey with Christ began as a child. My family and I attended church every Sunday and my brothers and I participated in Wednesday night classes.  I was going through the motions of what I believed a Christ follower to be. A retreat my senior year brought me close to Christ. Then the world I knew began crumbling around me resulting in turning my back on Christ.

A few years ago, an acquaintance invited my family to a service at Christ Community. I instantly felt this is where I needed to be! I understood and admitted I needed to give control of my life to Christ and welcome him back into my heart.  I find myself able to trust the path that He has written for me and be patient.

I am excited to publicly declare my relationship with Jesus as my Savior. It’s meaningful I’m taking this next step in faith with my daughter to show both her and my son that if you put your trust in Him, all things are possible.  “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)

St. Charles

Jadon A

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Jadon A

My name is Jadon and I’m 11 years old.  I’ve believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember.  I thought I had to be a perfect person to be baptized. But recently my dad brought me to a baptism class and that really changed everything for me.

I understood that baptism is a symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And it’s a celebration of what Jesus did for me by dying on the cross for my sins.  

I finally realized what it meant to get baptized! After talking with my dad, I made my decision. I was going to get baptized as a public display of my faith and belonging to the family of God.  

Laney A

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Laney A

Before I fully loved Jesus I never really cared about my actions. I would be mean to my brothers, sometimes talk back to my parents and other things.

Then, my grandma got me a journal about following Jesus and I think it opened my eyes. I started to pray every night and went to church groups like Club 56 in Chapel street church.

I now go to Genesis every Wednesday night and I try my best not to be mean to my brothers or talk back to parents.

Maya A

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Maya A

My name is Maya and I am 10 years old. I’ve grown up knowing God all my life. When I was 7 years old I prayed at night and asked Jesus to be my Savior. God means everything to me, he cares about me, he provides for me, and he loves me. I want to be baptized because I am a part of God’s family and want to follow him.

Mia B

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Mia B

When I was younger, I used to have anger and envy towards others and God. I was told by my friends that God was evil, but in the end they were unfaithful friends who lacked love. In the end, they pushed me and God away.

When I was lost in sadness, I met Rachel and Nicole. They showed me that God has love for everyone regardless of their sins or what they look like. Rachel then brought me to house group where I was introduced to a God so loving that I was willing to put down my old, depressing life to take a chance to know Jesus.

I was excited to read the Bible. I started with Matthew and I was enticed right away. I knew I had invested in something that was life changing and saving. Knowing that God is always there has made sharing my strength, hope, and faith with others much easier, and praying has saved me from stress, anxiety, and depression. I still feel the same emotions, but I can tackle them thanks to The Lord’s love, hope, and sacrifice.

Christie Broughton

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Christie Broughton

I was baptized when I was a small child. My Grandma would take me to church with her as far as I can remember. I always believed in God and Jesus. But I did not know them on a personal level. After my Grandma died when I was 16 I didn't got to church as much. As an adult I felt like something was missing.

About three years ago I was going through some personal issues in my life. I felt like God had forgotten about me. I ended up getting a car with Siruis XM about the same time Joel Osteen started a radio channel on Siruis. I started listening to Joel every day. He talked about reading the bible and getting into God's word and to find a bible based church in my area. I had on it "my bucket list" to read the bible for as long as I can remember. I had a bible that was my late uncle Kevin's that my Mom gave me I started reading it. I took time each night to read a couple chapters. I did not understand some of it but kept reading it anyway. I had it in my heart to read it cover to cover.

It has taken me three years but, I finally finished the bible. Reading it completely transformed my thinking and took me on a spiritual journey. At first I saw it as I was just reading a book, the bible is more than a book it contains God's word. Now I am so grateful for everything in my life and I see things different. I try and put others first, I am quick to forgive & repent and to show love to others. I know who I am in Christ and feel so close to Jesus now. Last year my husband and I started going to Christ Community Church. I felt so welcomed and really felt moved by the praise and worship.I have faith in God and know he did not forget about me. I feel the next step for me is to be baptized. I am a follower of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.

Tom Broughton

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Tom Broughton

In the past I was focused on my career and how well I did at work, also it was important to have a high status among my friends.

My friend Charlie from work asked my wife and I to go to Christ Community Church with them. I enjoyed the music and the atmosphere. My wife really like it and asked if we could continue to go.The more I went the more I liked it. I wanted to improve at being a good christian. That's when I found Jesus and liked the new feeling I experienced.

I like knowing that I have Jesus in my corner always backing me up. I worry less about things that happen in life because I know he is there to help me.

I think more about how I can help other people and improve their life. I know there will be hard times in life, but I'm much happier knowing he is there for me.It's much easier to be kind and to think good thoughts.

Cody C

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Cody C

My name is Dakota and I have attended Christ Community Church since before I could talk. I love KidsWorld and am thankful that they and my parents told me about Jesus. I heard all about Jesus in church and EPIC and I trusted in Jesus and his sacrifice he made for me.

Since I decided to follow Jesus I have noticed that when I do something bad I feel guilty about it. My parents remind me that this is the Holy Spirit doing its work in me. I am thankful for Jesus and what He did because His sacrifice frees me and helps me reach my true potential in life.

I want to be baptized because I want to show the world that I love Jesus and want to live with Him forever. I think that this first step of obedience will help me with my new life with him in charge.

Anthony Cvek

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Anthony Cvek

Before surrendering my life to Jesus I was a prisoner to my past. Continually replaying the traumas of a troubled childhood, dwelling on mistakes of adulthood, allowing the opinions of others to determine my happiness, and regularly questioning if I was worthy of being loved.

After a difficult breakup I went to sleep alone, worried about my kids, and thought “You’re a failure!” The sin in my life had left me feeling broken and worthless, and I felt powerless to change it alone. I attended Christ Community Church and cried when Pastor DeHaven proclaimed “Jesus loves you, he REALLY loves YOU!” That day I took a God’s Good News booklet, purchased a bible from ReSource, and prayed a prayer of surrender in the parking lot.

Since then, I’ve continued attending Christ Community with my children, completed Financial Peace University, started attending CareNight, and participated in Singles 30+ where God introduced me to an AMAZING woman who is now my wife! Having a relationship with Jesus has completely changed my life and reaffirmed the importance of my role as the spiritual leader of my Family. Though there will always be trials in life, I know “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Augustina D

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Augustina D

My name is Augustina Diasio and I am 14 years old.  I trusted Jesus and I knew I needed Jesus and God in my life but I didn’t feel ready to give it all to Him.  I also didn’t really think about giving my life to Jesus, even though I lived in a Christian home and went to a Christian school. I decided to follow Jesus when I went to a summer camp called High Five. One day at camp, we were talking about Jesus saving us and that He died for us and why it was important to get saved.  When we went to our classes to do small group, our leader asked if anyone would want to be saved. I raised my hand and said yes. It was the happiest day in my life. Since I accepted Christ into my life, I read my Bible more and I volunteer more.  I am different because of Christ and my friends see that. I am growing more in Christ every day. As it says in Mark 12:30, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Tabitha D

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Tabitha D

My name is Tabitha I will be 13 in a few days.  I always knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My ma started bringing me to church when I was 2.5 years old.  I also attended a Christian school.

I love the verse John 3:16 because it always reminds me that the Jesus saved us from our sins.  I wanted to be saved from my sins. I knew I didn’t always listen to my family and followed bad influences and cursed a lot.  I gave my life to Christ at Christian camp a long time ago. I went to Epic and now I am going to Genesis Small Group. One day at church, I was praying with Pastor Brit and he gave me a new Bible.  I have been reading it a lot.

Now, I read the Bible more.  I am reading Psalms right now.  I have been preaching the Word to my friends more often.  I pray for people who aren’t saved to be saved by the Holy Spirit.  I moved to different schools and knowing Jesus has made it easier. I don’t know what my future hold but I know God has a special plan for me and everyone.   

Eva DeWitt

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Eva DeWitt

I can't say I ever had a time when I did not know that God was there. I knew He was there I just didn't reach out to him, but He was always there just waiting.

 

When my first daughter was around 4 my mom asked if she could take her to church. It was this simple act of inviting her which led to us going to see her in children's programs, that opened my eyes and my heart. And I started attending church regularly. It was through this daughter that I asked God into my heart and to forgive me of my sins.

 

These past 5 years have been a struggle for me and in turn has brought me closer to God . He has given me strength and hope. Before this time if you would of asked me what my favorite verse was, I would of said Jeremiah 29:11.

Now a verse that comes to me often is Hebrews 6:19...'we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.'

Thank you mom for all those years ago asking to take my daughter to church. I love you mom  and hope that I can be the example to my two daughters that you have been to me. To show them how to love the Lord and walk in his light.

Life is a journey. A road that can be scary and lonely, with many twists and turns. This baptism for me is a way to affirm that I have asked Jesus to take my hand and walk with me on this road.

To be my anchor.

Alexis F

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Alexis F

My name is Alexis and I’m 13 years old. My parents have been bringing me to Christ Community Church for about seven years. I am ready to publicly show I’ve surrendered my life to Jesus. I’m thankful to know that Jesus died on the cross for my sins because he loves me.

Before I gave my trust to Jesus I thought my life was all about me. I always cared what people thought of me but my life is really about my relationship with God and how he helps me and guides me through things. When I found out God sent his son to die for my sins I felt I was chosen. I then asked Jesus to forgive my sins and take control over my life.

My life is different now, knowing that I have God by my side 24/7 to be there when I’m nervous, scared, or even sad. I love going to church, and I love serving in the nursery. It feels great to know I’m touching the hearts of little kids that are on their way to following Christ. So with this I truly believe I’m ready to be baptized.

Zack F

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Zack F

My name is Zack. I am 10 years old. My parents have been taking me to church where I have learned about God. God created me and loves me. He sent his Son to die for my sins.

A few months ago I saw a friend of mine get baptized. I talked to my parents and told them I was ready to be baptized. I trust Jesus and I surrender my life to him. God has given me a happy life full of love. When I’m really sad or scared knowing God is there with me makes me feel better.

Brian Flosi

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Brian Flosi

As a child, I grew up going to church and I've always had a relationship with God but as a child, it wasn’t solely my decision to make. It was more of something that was expected of me from my parents growing up than making the decision on my own. I don¹t believe I was genuinely living for Christ at that time. I was just living for myself and following the direction of my parents.

When I became an adult and got married, my wife and I began attending Christ Community Church. This is where I really learned about God's word and really put my faith in Jesus. My relationship with God has really flourished.

Since surrendering my life to Christ we attend church as a family. I have become more involved with helping others. I sometimes feel things can become overwhelming and stressful, especially with work, but I know I can always turn to Jesus. I get a peaceful feeling knowing that.

Kelly Flosi

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Kelly Flosi

About seven years ago before I gave my life to Jesus I was struggling with some difficult issues and feeling completely defeated in life. I felt so broken and lost, that I truly believe God had to bring me to my knees to get me to turn to him. As I struggled to find my self worth my husband suggested we start raising our kids in the church. I agreed because I thought it was the “right” thing to do.

As I began to hear God’s Good news I started developing a relationship with God. My life began to turn around. I remember during service Pastor Jim said if you’re ready to surrender your life to Jesus you can do that right now. I thought Yes! I want to do that. He asked us to stand showing to ourselves we had made that decision.

Since that day I have put my faith in Jesus. I began serving in the Church. I joined a wonderful women’s community group. I continue to grow in faith by reading God’s word. We now attend church for worship and to hear God’s message together as a family, not just because it’s the “right” thing to do.

Emma G

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Emma G

Before Jesus, things were more important to me like, my friends, tv and electronics.My parents have always taken me to church. I decided I wanted to surrender my life to Christ. This happened over time. I go to church every weekend and I go to Genesis every Wednesday night, and all of my friends went and they encouraged me to go. When I saw my first baptism at Christ Community Church I knew I was ready too. After I gave my life to Christ there have been changes. Changes like the decisions I make, the way my heart thinks , the way I talk to people, praying more often, going to Genesis more, and praying when it is needed and when it isn't.

Lucie G

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Lucie G

My Grandma went to the same church we did and she saw a sign up for vacation bible school. I was in third grade then and I was just going because it sounded like fun. During our small group time, my leader was reading  the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. It really hit me when I heard that after he took his last breath the veil in the temple was torn in two. At that moment I realized how powerful and amazing God is and my leader helped me surrender my life to Jesus. Since then I have built an even stronger and firmer relationship with God. I am always guided by the voice in my head showing me right from wrong. I also know he is there to help me through anything. My favorite verse is, Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Tim Giesen

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Tim Giesen

Before I gave my life to Christ I was lost, but didn't know it. Worldly things like anger, anxiety, work, were my main focus, not God. One day my wife, daughter Lucie, and I were in the kitchen discussing the need to go to Church. I was debating that it was not necessary as long as you believe in God. It came to a point where Lucie looked at me and said "you don't believe in God." I pondered that for a second, and I said “yes I do”. This was the moment that I knew I truly did believe but I was rejecting Him. I surrendered to Jesus as my savior, and my life turned around. I became fully aware that it was a personal relationship with Jesus that I was missing. I am so thankful to Him for what he has given me and my family . He has been changing me since, and I am now ready to be baptized as my next step in obedience to Him. Ephesians 1:18 - “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” This verse was from a sermon a few weeks ago and seemed to tie everything together at the perfect time.

Jim Gongaware

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Jim Gongaware

I was raised Catholic, so in that tradition I was baptized as an infant. I actually don't remember a time in my life when I didn't know about Jesus, but my faith journey has had definite hills and valleys. Throughout my adult life, my family and I attended other churches. But as our faith grew, we began searching for a church that was more rooted in solid biblical teaching.

That's when we found Christ Community Church. We have been attending here for almost three years, and feel that this is our home and where we want to be members. For me, part of becoming a member includes believer baptism. This baptism, as an adult, is my public statement of faith and trust in Jesus Christ.


Jesus Christ is my Savior and the King that I want to serve. I know that Christ Community Church is a place where my faith can continue to grow through bible-centered teaching, serving opportunities and Community Group membership. I promise to support the church with my time, talents and resources.

Nancy Gongaware

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Nancy Gongaware

Before I knew Christ I knew I needed help. As a seeker, I was desperate to find something that would lead me to become a kinder and more compassionate person. My life in Christ is a result of many people listening and trying to lead me to Him. In an eager search to find meaning and purpose to life after 9-11, I dropped into a local
church. They were offering the Alpha Course. I was so happy to hear that there was a place where I could ask all my questions and talk to people who would love me in spite of the mess I was making of my life.

Through the Alpha Course I trusted my life to Jesus. Since that day I have become a new person. I have peace and assurance because of my Savior. He has made me hungry for his word and I seek every day to know him better and to be more like Him. Because of Jesus I am a better wife, mother, gramma and friend. Because of what my relationship with Jesus means to me, I want everyone to know him so I
focus on this verse, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15.

Hallie H

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Hallie H

Before I truly surrendered to Jesus, I was always searching for something more, something meaningful in my life, often trying to fill the essential "void" in my life with materialistic goods.

I was baptized as an infant, not having any memory or consciousness behind doing so. As a child I was raised to be Catholic, however my family eventually stopped attending church for a long period of time. Then one day, it's difficult to describe, but I felt almost like God was calling me back. My Mom and I had known about Christ Community Church for awhile because of how often we drive past the building and had heard from people we know how accepting Christ Community Church is towards newcomers discovering the faith for the first time or for those looking to come back to their faith. Then, my Mom and I made the decision to attend a service at the St.Charles campus. There we were reminded of the wonderful word of our loving, accepting, judge-free, forgiving God and I was so overcome with joy that I felt myself tearing up. After that first time attending service, my Mom and I have been attending ever since and at the Christmas Eve service last year I knew in my heart I was ready to surrender to Christ.

Ever since I have surrendered my life to Christ, I have noticed two significant changes for the better and continue to grow as a person. I have more meaning/fulfillment in my life after recognizing God is the giver of life and happiness, and unlike other false gods, our God will never let me down. Additionally, I have greater capacity for understanding as well as caring for others. In addition to attending service, I pray every night before bed and plan on joining the Club of Christian students at my school to further my faith. As a student and athlete, in order to help inspire me and keep me going when life at times gets the best of me, I often remind myself of the quote in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". I wanted to get baptized this time truly understanding the meaning of it and doing so completely on my own terms.

Sophia K

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Sophia K

My name is Sophia and I am 9 years old. I have grown up in a Christian household so I grew up knowing about Jesus and loving him. When I was 5 years old, I found out I could have a personal relationship with Christ and I put my faith in him. I want to be baptized to take a step in my faith and I look forward to learning more about him every day and putting my trust in him.

Julia K

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Julia K

I grew up in a Christian home with Christian parents. My life was tough in the beginning. In elementary school I had a hard time because I didn't have that many friends. I understood who God was and I knew the Bible and all of the stories but the one thing I just did not understand was why God would choose to let bad things happen to good people. I had to learn to have faith, having faith was very hard to me. So eventually I made some really good Christian friends that did not bring me down but lifted me up. I went to a summer camp that year and explored that God always had a plan for you. During that time they talked about how your sin separates you from God and how Jesus died on the cross for our sins. I had heard this before many times but for the first time it began to mean something. At camp, I gave my life to God. I said the prayer and felt great. After the camp I went into Middle School and continued to make Christian friends and joined a small group at Genesis, where I learned so much. During this time I began to understand that God had a plan for me and that I had to trust him and have faith in it because he showed me that what he's doing is for the best. I decided to get Baptized because I want to let everyone know that I believe and trust in God and I want him to lead my life.

Kassidy K

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Kassidy K

I grew up in a Christian home and have known Jesus for as long as I can remember.

Although I always knew Jesus was there, I never really felt that I needed him until middle school. In middle school I faced many challenges including being kicked out of my friend group and worst of all cyber bullying. I felt alone, friendless and my self-confidence was very low. In the midst of my troubles God became my light and strength to help me through. My Genesis leaders Marcia and Angie were a huge influence in me turning to Jesus. In addition, my good friends Tessa and Sarah helped me through a tough time and together we grew closer to God.

Since I have grown my faith, I pray to God on a daily basis and meet with small groups of friends to discuss God’s word. I served on a mission to City on a Hill in Milwaukee last summer and in a few weeks I will be going on a global outreach mission trip to Haiti. I have learned that although I may go through hard times, Psalm 27:1 says it is always important to remember that, “The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”

Luke K

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Luke K

My name is Luke and I am 9 years old. I grew up going to Christ Community Church and hearing about God’s Big Story. I was not being the best person and getting in trouble. One day I felt really sad about it. I knew it was not right. I knew that Jesus doesn’t want that from me. So I wanted to put my faith and trust in Jesus. I wanted to be like him because he is so good and great.

I want to be baptized because when I saw the baptisms I knew I had to do that. I want others to feel that way and to show my faith to others.

Patrick Keenehan

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Patrick Keenehan

Before Christ I was raised in an alcoholic environment, a lot of chaos, violence and disorder. In addition I lost my father to a kidney infection at the age of 8. I knew something was missing in my life at an early age.

I was saved when friends invited me and my brother to an elementary school church camp (4th grade). Thereafter, I attended church regularly and participated in church events. I followed a Godly path until I was about 14.

I lost my favorite bother (my mentor) in the Vietnam War and at the same time began to lose my faith and started to hang with the wrong crowd. I drifted away from the church. However, I always prayed and felt God's presence. I came back to my senses after I was married and started to have children. My faith was back but we attended a church in California and often felt I was not having the personal relationship I wanted to have with God. Church traditions confused me. We were transferred to the Chicago area for a great job opportunity. We first attended a local church. Our kids met friends and assimilated quickly. They started to go to Christ Community Church (CCC) with friends and talked my wife Susan and I into attending. We took the challenge and really liked it. Soon after we decided to make CCC our family church.

Christ Community Church changed our lives in such positive ways. Since attending CCC I feel so much closer to Jesus. It's unbelievable. It also helped strengthen our marriage and we all grew much closer as a family. We all attend church regularly, read our bibles, participate in 2nd Saturdays and have joined some awesome community groups.

Susan Keenehan

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Susan Keenehan

I cannot remember a time when I did not believe in Jesus. I was raised in a Catholic/Christian home and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior as a fact that I never questioned.

Although I have never lacked a relationship with Jesus, my daily personal walk with Him has become much stronger over the last few years.

When we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Geneva a few years ago our children’s friends introduced them to Genesis and our girls urged my husband and I to check out Christ Community Church (CCC). The fact that our daughters wanted to go to church and youth groups encouraged us to attend.

We joined CCC and quickly got involved in community groups, volunteering as a family on Second Saturdays, working in Kidsworld, listening to Christian radio and daily Bible Savvy reading.

In my daily conversations with Jesus I have learned to “Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5, which has helped me give worries about work and raising teenagers to the Lord. My relationship with Jesus continues to evolve and grow. I seek to understand his purpose for me and live by his example. When I fall short, I know his grace is there to save me and get me back on track.

Jim Kelderhouse

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Jim Kelderhouse

I was raised in a Christian home, and I am thankful for the faithful witness of my older sister, Judy, who led me to Christ. One evening she walked me through Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, and other verses telling of our sinful condition, Jesus' payment for sin on the cross, and the new, eternal life promised to those who believe he rose again and confess Him as their savior. I knew I wanted that assurance, and that very night I asked Jesus into my heart.

As a teen, however, I asked a lot of tough questions and grew cynical and rebellious when I felt the church didn't have the answers. I knew in my heart that Jesus was the only way to true life and peace, but instead I embarked on a campaign of self-perfection.

As you may have guessed, I spent years stumbling over my own pride and poor decisions. God was patient with me, and family, friends, and the church prayed for me many years until God sent a minister named Derek into my life. Derek and other believers led me to the answers I'd been seeking in the Bible, reproved me lovingly, and inspired me with their genuine love, simple faith, and knowledge of God's truth. I repented of my sin and rebellion, asked forgiveness for my sin, and began to serve, to grow in knowledge, and to enjoy a new walk with Jesus.

I have also been inspired by my own daughter, Sophia, who is also being baptized today. Her childlike faith, heartfelt compassion for others, and tender prayers remind me daily how great our God is. I want to be baptized today to profess my new life in Jesus Christ and to state publicly that it's no longer "My will be done" but "Thy will be done."

Louis L

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Louis L

I first started off going to Kidsworld and started to develop a really strong relationship with Jesus. Over the years were as normal as can be until 5th grade. One day, a mysterious illness suddenly plagued my life with a lot of destruction. Over the years, we sought for an answer or some type of epidemic. I started losing hope for an answer and I was missing something in my life. I started going to church even more knowing I was missing Jesus. Through my whole illness, Jesus kept me going and he has allowed me to regain hope. I started studying God’s words and realized Jesus loves me and he died on the cross to repay for my sins.

Every day I asked and prayed for a cure and Jesus has been there with me through good and rough times when I put my Faith in him. Now, having a relationship with Jesus I have no more missing “hole”in my life and I can pray to Jesus when I need hope and guidance through the rough times.

Claire Lawley

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Claire Lawley

I was raised as a Catholic. However, my mother passed away when I was 6. I immediately began to doubt my faith. I never took it seriously, not even on Christmas or Easter. I began to develop severe depression, two forms of anxiety disorders, ADHD, and PMDD. I was bullied often in school, self-injured often, had severe suicidal ideation. After January 2017, I began to have some serious health issues. I was giving up hope on faith, and in myself.

However, my thoughts changed when I had an interesting talk with God for a few weeks. In our little chat, he told me it was time for me to come home, to go back to church. In that moment I knew I needed to surrender my life to Christ. I knew I needed to be baptized, to devote myself to my faith. I prayed to Jesus about it to confirm my decision. Then I saw a video online about being baptized and shortly after I made my decision. I knew that Jesus was leading me down the right path.

He guided me to Christ Community Church, and back to my faith. He encouraged me to start being involved in my faith as much as I possibly can.

Since I started my journey, I can truly say my life has changed for the better. I am happier, no longer as anxious or depressed as I used to be, and I feel more at peace. I have joined Alpha and am continuing to look for more serving opportunities. I have a safe space in the church, and I’m so thankful I do. I am forever thankful for God and the blessings he has given me, and I’m very excited to meet each and every person who God has yet to bring into my life.

Leslie Leon

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Leslie Leon

As a child, I grew up in the Christian faith. As I became a teenager, I grew apart from God and many other things were more important in my life such as doing my own thing. However, the need to be closer to God was always strong.

As I became older and had kids, I knew that I wanted them to have God in their lives. I always pondered the question on how I was going to do that when I was so distant myself. I prayed and prayed and that’s when God brought me and my family to Christ Community Church.

I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ after listening to pastor Nicodem talk about several passages, I felt as though Jesus was speaking to me directly and it moved me to begin to accept God as my savior and I needed to surrender my life to Jesus.

Having a relationship with God and attending on a regular basis allows me to have a meaningful relationship with God. I have invited my friends to attend church and spoken to them about my faith with God. I have attended church numerous times along with invited friends to help spread the word of God.

Louis Leon, III

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Louis Leon, III

I grew up in the Catholic Church and have attended Catholic education throughout my life. As I grew out of my teenage years, I slowly began to move away from attending church as I questioned my faith and had many unanswered questions about religion.

My wife and I came to Christ Community Church with our children after moving to St. Charles and it just clicked. Hearing about Jesus and what he did for me really opened my eyes as a person that wanted to learn more. My faith and eagerness to learn more began to grow more and more and I believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Since this, I have filled a void in my life and feel exponential purpose. My family and I pray together and we are closer. I have joined a Men’s Community Group and have met several wonderful Christ Followers. We meet weekly to discuss the word of God. As in Joshua 1:9....Have I not Commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Eileen Lubrano

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Eileen Lubrano

I was raised in a Catholic home, went to church every Sunday, and made my communion and confirmation--not because I loved Jesus, but more out of fear that if I didn’t do all of these things, I might not end up in Heaven.

In high school I met my future husband and started attending church with him. There I heard the verse, John 5:24: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” One Saturday I went to hear Don Kessinger of the Cubs talk about being saved and I gave my life to Jesus. Knowing that Jesus died for my sins gives me peace in my life.

That was many years ago. We got married, had three wonderful sons, and started attending Christ Community Church. We have served in many capacities, I joined a women’s Bible study group, and I have ushered for many years, but I never got baptized. Every time it came up, I wanted to but always had some excuse. Recently I heard the pastors say it was a sign of obedience to God. I am so glad that I am taking this step to show everyone that Jesus is the center of my life.

Makayla M

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Makayla M

July 23, 2017, that was the day I made a commitment to Jesus Christ as my one and only savior and to follow in his words and paths. He will guide me through life, help me when I need him, and will use his word to spread through others. This is the day I was washed of my sins.

Jesus came through me on July 19th, 2017. There was a worship night in the chapel at SBR summer camp. It was not a regular worship night, it was the night Pastor Pete talked about giving your life to Christ to follow him. That worship night, we spent over an hour longer just praising his name and his glory. Singing are hearts out in his name. That day, I had an emotional feeling in me. I knew that feeling was Jesus working in me. Telling me i'm here for you. That night I talked to my cabin leader Debbie after listening through all the songs praised in the Lord’s name. We had a conversation about giving my life to him. I felt that feeling, that feeling that I was ready to follow in his name. I wanted to wait though until I got back with my family because not only am I excited to share about his name, but I also felt the need to share that special moment of giving my life to Christ with them.

My family has lead me through all the hard times in my life. They taught the Lord’s words to me. They helped me learn more about him. My leaders, Debbie my SBR camp leader and Emma by 2017 small group leader both helped me become closer to Jesus by praying with me about the hard times, family, friends, etc. My Pastors, they have helped me by teaching the Lord's name through the Bible and others.

After giving my life to Jesus Christ, there has been amazing things God has worked through me.

After giving my life I have felt forgiven of my sins. I have been blessed by a talent God has worked through me. This talent is music. I have been blessed to be able to perform in places I have never thought I would be able to go.

God is using me through life as apart of the Genesis worship team. It is a blessing to be given the chance to be apart of the worship team and share the glory of God. I am the drummer of the band! God is using me to worship in his name by playing out sharing his glory through the band. I have been able to help my friends out in hard times and bring them back up. I have been able to identify life situations where God is showing up in my life.

My life has changed since that day and today I would like to make this public by being Baptised on March 11, 2018. God has worked through me in so many ways and blessed me in ways that are unspeakable.

Jennifer Mercier

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Jennifer Mercier

Before accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior I lived life the way I thought was best.

I decided to give my life to Christ based on needing guidance after observing a series of difficult situations. My life during college was the toughest as I'd endured some very serious issues with my immediate family. I'd always look outside myself for support and never felt much hope in navigating those tough waters alone. Along my journey I met some wonderful families who loved the Lord and would talk to me about the bible and coming to church. I agreed and much to my surprise it just felt right. That was 17 years ago.

Having a personal relationship with God now has taught me to look at many of life's messiest situations as opportunities in which to learn. He is always there when I need Him. In fact in sharing the good news I have started a lovely ladies fellowship where we all gather for a few hours once a month and pray for one another, lift each other up, laugh and share a meal. This feeds my soul and I now have the ability to recognize that every situation, every person and everything in life happens for a specific purpose which brings us closer to Him. I will always serve Him and pray that he uses me to serve Him more and more.

Brad Morris

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Brad Morris

Before I knew Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, I was lost. Without direction, a sense of purpose, and proper guidance, I was wayward and lived for worldly things. I worked 7 days a week to support a materialistic lifestyle and going out often. I made time for friends, but made little time for my family and had no true knowledge of God. One day the Scianna family invited me to church, tired and reluctant to attend, I went anyway. There I witnessed the power of God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit at work in others’ lives, and I was introduced to Scripture.

When I lived out of state, the Scianna family ensured I received the Word by giving books, and referring me to the YouVersion bible app. Engaging in God’s Word often, gives me hope and strength to get through hardships and courage to tell others about Jesus, despite my circumstances. Surrendering to Jesus filled me with His unconditional love, and the desire to share it.

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”. Mark 16:15

Riley N

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Riley N

My name is Riley and I'm 10 years old. I have always believed in God I just hadn't put my trust in Jesus until last year.  Last year I was at Kids World and Courtney was talking to us about putting our trust in Jesus so I thought about it and that is when I decided I should put my faith in Jesus who died for my sins.  I am excited to get baptized because it allows me to show the decision I made to follow Jesus.

Emerson R

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Emerson R

My name is Emerson and I am 9 Years old. I was three when I put my faith and trust in God. God helps me through hard times. Recently, I have felt too proud of myself. I needed God to help me. Then God came and helped me out of it. Jesus is my Savior and King. He died for me and he seems like an awesome God, so I thought that the least I could do is follow him. My mom and dad have known Jesus for a long time and have helped me along the path of knowing him. I am getting baptized because it’s the next step to following Jesus and I want to follow him the rest of my life.

Alex Reamer

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Alex Reamer

Before I gave my life to Christ, I was stuck in a cycle of addiction and incarceration, distancing myself from not only loved ones but from God. While in jail, God put it in my heart to pick up a Bible and I happened to turn to the Sermon on the Mount. I was reluctant to come to Christ, but His Word touched my heart so greatly that I couldn't refuse Him. I saw that He truly is my Savior and I begged him to come into my heart and into my life and save me from my sins. Today He is restoring the relationships that I thought were permanently broken. I am free of heroin, the drug that brought me to my knees and helped me see that only God could pick me back up. I am currently residing in a Bible based residential program and every day God is teaching and refining me through His Word and through my experiences.

Beth Reed

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Beth Reed

God recognized that my soul was broken, but I did not. I was going through life focused on trying to be a good person and doing what I thought was the right way to live my life. Actually, I was unhappy, full of worry and fear, and desperately trying to have control in my life.

My faith story really begins with my daughter, Ali, who attends and serves at Christ Community Church (CCC). I saw the positive changes that Ali was making in her life, witnessed the joy and comfort she had in her belief in Christ and listened while she told me the good news about Jesus. She patiently invited my family every week to go to church with her and my husband and mother-in-law eventually did. I began to see their transformations, and they began spreading the good news. They all got baptized (I videotaped them!) and awkwardly thanked Ali when I saw my name on her prayer wall! Yet, I was reluctant to make changes in my life. I thought I had everything under control.

Thanks to Ali and my husband, Art for not giving up on me. They kept inviting me and I finally agreed to attend church in January 2017 (but I made it clear that I was going only for them.) When I heard Pastor Clayton say in such a sincere passionate way, that God loves me , I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Ali told me that Alpha was my next step. And that is where I met an amazing group of women. We continued exploring our faith - doing a Soul Keeping bible study and Alpha 2 where Delores (our faithful spiritual leader), Bobbi, Carolyn and Kendall continued to encourage and inspire me. I love my Soul Sisters!

I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point, I stopped going to church for my family and started going for me. My family and friends began mentioning that I seemed different (in a good way) and I could feel it too.

I surrendered my life to Jesus during the 2017 Christmas Eve service at CCC! I really thought Pastor Jim was talking to me during that sermon! It was like a bright arrow was above my head pointing at me and God was telling Pastor Jim that the message was for me. I was very emotional as I let go of my doubt and my worry. I asked God to forgive me and asked him to lead me. I felt relieved and an amazing calmness settle over me for a brief second. Then, I couldn’t wait to tell my family and Delores!

I am doing Bible Savvy and growing in obedience to God every day! I love going to CCC every week and I absolutely know God loves me!

Megan Scianna

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Megan Scianna

Before I came to Jesus, I questioned my faith a lot and never trusted in God. I cared too much about materialistic things and about how I was viewed by other people. I never took the time to care about my soul and what my inside needed.

I was invited to church by my husband’s family while we were dating, and it was there that I started to get the answers to my questions. I heard about and saw the power of Jesus, and it really took a hold of me. It wasn’t until after we found out that my daughter was going to be born with a heart defect, that I really started to turn to Jesus regularly. I turned to him for guidance and strength on how to get through the surgeries that she would need as a baby. It was then that I put more effort into my relationship with Jesus, and less effort into obtaining possessions.

Since giving my life to Jesus, I have been reading more of his word and continually seeking him out. I talk to co-workers about the Bible and we pray together. My children are growing up in the church and starting their own relationship with Jesus. To see them grow in their faith is a wonderful thing. When I am lost, and confused I know now that I can always turn to Jesus for guidance and reassurance. Proverbs 3:5,6 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”.

William Turner

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William Turner

I noticed one day I was dying slowly the way I was living, one day at a time. So I started running, started trying to find a place to run and I got into drugs, which did nothing but make things worse. I worked to buy more and when I ran out I felt like dying. I pretty much did. I caught a ride to Illinois with some hood rats and started doing a new drug and almost died again. I finally didn’t know where or what I was doing anymore and God put his hands around me and I ended up at Wayside Cross Ministries. For the first time in years, I’m clean and have been for two months out of the last ten years. I hope to stay clean for the rest of my life and one day if it be God’s will, after my baptism and many more wonderful graceful years from God, I hope to have a good job, a good woman and some beautiful kids to watch grow as I work to nourish the family I’ve always wanted and have never had.

Jared W

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Jared W

When I was 4 years old my parents enrolled me in a christian preschool, it was there that I first learned about Jesus and the bible, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I really developed a true relationship with Christ. In years past, I wasn’t able to deal with my problems like I am able to do now. I would be sad or stressed having no idea what to do or where to turn. I was having issues with a relationship I was in and one day I didn't know if I could handle it anymore so I prayed to God to give me a sign on what decision I should make. I couldn't believe it but in that moment things were made very clear to me. All of a sudden a feeling came over me telling me what to do, and from that day forward whenever I struggle I turn to the Lord knowing that I am put on the path that he has made for me. Now I pray and talk to God everyday, I'm a much happier person and my life feels more fulfilled with God in it.

Grace Westerhoff

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Grace Westerhoff

I’ve grown up going to Christ Community Church and gave my life to Jesus when I was 7. While I knew who Jesus was and what he did for me, I never understood how central he was to my life. I was pouring myself into academies and athletic achievements, while driving myself to exhaustion in the process. I lost sight of my faith and church became something I checked off my to-do list.

I remember Pastor Jim speaking one Sunday about how when everything we rest our pride in crumbles from relationships to grades to sports, Jesus is the only one left standing. I gained perspective from that message and learned that worshipping other gods was only hurting the relationship I had with Jesus. I was able to grow my faith through a Christian group at my school and my bible study. They helped me to see that God will never care how many trophies are on my wall or the dollars in my bank account, but about how I treat others, spread his word and live out his plan.

I’m excited to continue to grow my relationship with Jesus as well as introduce others to his good works. I’m ready to take on the world knowing Jesus is by my side giving me strength and guiding me.

Streamwood-Bartlett

Myrtle Borst

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Myrtle Borst

I have always known about Jesus Christ. I had realized that through much heartache in my life that I needed a closer relationship with God. 

Over the years I became very angry, sad and disappointed. I was always searching for an answer.

I had come to Streamwood to help my son recover from a terrible accident that had happened in June. While I was helping him my neighbor and friend invited me to go to church with her. And since then I have been attending regularly at Christ Community Church, I have become closer and closer to Jesus Christ.  I have learned to look to Christ for my comfort, peace, joy and understanding and knowing he is the one and only source I can turn to.

I always return to John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish.”

Jacob Clemente

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Jacob Clemente

I have always gone to church. I have really great parents that have raised me to follow Jesus. I have tried to be a good christian, but have always fallen short. I struggled with making the right choices and started lying to my parents. My life seemed out of control. That is when I knew I needed Jesus to help me get control of my life.

Soon after, I was at a Sunday service and I felt like God was saying, “Look inside your heart, what do you see?” I did and I saw lies and sins. I got down on my knees right then and prayed with my mom asking Jesus to come into my heart so that I could live a God-following life.

Since that day I can say that my life has slowly gotten better. I am working on not telling lies with the help of Jesus. I know that I am not perfect and I have a lot of work still to do. There will be struggles to come. But I know God will always be there to help me through them.

Sherita Lopez

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Sherita Lopez

Before I came to Christ I had a great deal of pain and misunderstood feelings in my life. I lived for what made my flesh feel good, instead of my spirit.

When I became pregnant I knew my life had to change. I wanted a better life for my son. I knew that many things would be out of my control, and I would have to trust the Lord. So that is when I started to attend church and gave my life to Christ.

Now that I have a relationship with Christ, my hard times are not as hard. I pray to God daily. I talk to him every chance I get. My relationship with Jesus has made me a better mother, wife, daughter, and best friend. I am truly grateful for my relationship with the Lord. I would not have made it this far without him.

Tom Murphy

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Tom Murphy

Last year my lifelong battles with chemical dependency had led me to a string of periods of unemployment and I was growing more and more distant from my family, choosing instead to stay alone in a room with my depression.

After a life-altering decision to change my ways, I was walking to my car coming out of a meeting late last year and I noticed the sign for Christ Community Church across the street. I had just that previous night read about opening your mind to the possibility of God and in that 24 hour period things all clicked together for me. I decided that I would begin to learn about Christ.

Luke 11:9-10 tells us "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Since I surrendered my trust into Jesus I have found a level of happiness and peace in my life I never thought possible. Where I used to suffer from panic attacks 4-5 nights a month, I now pray to God each night thanking him for the blessings and strength he gives to me and I've never had a problem again. I am truly grateful for the trials I went through that led me to the path I'm on today. Clean, healthy, employed, and at peace, all thanks to that night I saw a sign across the street and a chapter in a book.

John Rossi

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John Rossi

I realized I needed Jesus in my life 7 years ago, when I was diagnosed with MS and developed several physical problems. At first I wanted him to help me physically, but through the care and help of my friend Wanda Slupik, I realized I needed his help spiritually as well.

I gave my life to Christ in a prayer by myself soon after reaching out to Him for physical help. Due to my limited mobility, attending church on a weekly basis has proved difficult for me. Wanda was a great encouragement in helping me grow in my faith, as she taught me to be thankful for the blessings I already had in my life, rather than missing the things that I no longer had, such as my full health.

I am getting baptized today as I want to show people that I am very serious about my faith, and walking more and more closely with Jesus. Psalm 23 means a lot to me, especially the opening verse "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." It reminds me that God has given me all the most important things in this life, such as forgiveness of my sins, and a relationship with Him.