I am applying for a job in Colorado Springs with the C&MA and they require with job applications that you send in a copy of your testimony. As this seems to me to be a good thing to keep a record of and I have never taken the opportunity to write out my testimony before, I thought that I should post a copy of my testimony here so that I can always get it back later, and so that anyone else who cares to read my testimony can read it as well.
For many years I struggled when it came to thinking about my testimony. In today’s Christian society you rarely hear of a testimony that is shared that does not involve some sort of radical conversion or some falling away and returning to Christ, mostly because those are the testimonies that people share in the more public forums. So I have struggled with my testimony because it doesn’t include anything of the sort, I always thought that my testimony was just not strong enough to share. I admit, there are times when I’ve even thought to myself “I should fall away for a while, let the sinful nature take over, so that when I come back to Christ I can have a better testimony.” No doubt this was the devil’s attempt to entice me away from the Lord, in hopes that I would not return later, but my love for the Lord always fought back against that voice. I love the Lord with all my heart, and have no desire whatsoever to fall away from Him.
I was saved when I was 4 years old (in the spring of 1987, though sadly neither I nor my father, who led me to Christ kept track of the exact date) and I can honestly say there has never been a time in my life when I haven’t wanted to serve the Lord. I was baptized in the summer of 1991 at the Calvary Chapel Family Camp in California.
This testimony seems somewhat weak at first glance, as I don’t even remember what my life was like without Christ. But when I really think about it, I can’t imagine life without the love of Jesus Christ my savior, and that is a testimony I am actually very proud of now. Jesus has graciously spared me the turmoil that I have heard in testimonies all my life.
My testimony of service and of what the Lord has done for me in my life is a little more extensive. As early as I was able, I began volunteering at the various churches I’ve attended, starting with joining the setup and teardown crew at the age of 8 at Long Beach Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach, California, for their Saturday Evening services. I continued serving with this ministry until my family moved to Virginia. My family attended a local Baptist Church (Leesburg Baptist Church) for a time before we moved to Cornerstone Chapel (a Calvary Chapel affiliate church in Leesburg, Virginia). At the time we started attending Cornerstone, it met in a local middle school, but eventually it moved to it’s own building, and once there I volunteered to be a part of the overhead ministry, moving the transparencies on the overhead projectors so that the congregation could read them during worship.
Around this time I started attending Leesburg Christian School, and this is where I think God twice allowed seemingly very negative things to happen to me, in order to influence me. First of all I didn’t start going to LCS, I started going to Simpson Middle School, the very same public Middle School that Cornerstone Chapel met in. I did not do well at Simpson, and found myself physically assaulted by other teenagers on a daily basis. Eventually the black eyes added up to the point that I had to be taken out of the school. My mom took a job as a school bus driver for LCS in order to pay my tuition for me to attend school in a Christian environment, and this had a tremendous impact on my life. At LCS God led me to mentors who helped to guide me in my Christian Walk, as well as move me closer towards my eventual goal of working with computers. The school had a small computer lab that I spent a great deal of my spare time in.
Eventually my mom could no longer stay as a bus driver because she needed to take a job that would not allow her to drive a school bus every morning and evening, and I was told that I would have to be returning to public school simply because the family could not afford to pay for my tuition at the school. I had already heard of a magnet high school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and applied to attend there, feeling that it would help me towards my goal of working with Computers and that a school filled with other students that liked Science, Math, and Technology would be less likely to be filled with the bullies that flocked normal Public High Schools. I was really excited and hopeful when it came to applying for that school, and I felt certain that it was what was best for me. God however knew differently. I was not accepted to TJHS, and it devastated me.
LCS’s school administration however felt that I should remain there, despite my family not being able to afford to pay for my tuition, so instead they offered me an opportunity. If I worked after school and during free periods in their school computer lab, and office, and if I attended their summer camps and worked the Computer Lab then too, I could continue to attend Leesburg Christian free of tuition. This turned out to be a tremendous blessing over the next few years, as God instilled in me early a sense of responsibility in earning my way through school, as well as blessing me with the opportunity to surround myself with spiritual mentors who brought me closer to the Lord.
When my family moved to Texas, we started going to Eden Road Community Church in Arlington, TX. ERCC is a C&MA church, and it had been the first time I had ever heard of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, but what I’ve come to know of the Alliance since then has been a tremendous blessing to me. I quickly got involved in the overhead ministry at ERCC just as I had been at Cornerstone Chapel, and I also volunteered to setup and launch the church’s website edenroad.com. Not long afterward I got involved in the Audio/Video ministry at the church and continue running Sound and or Video for the church to this day.
Meanwhile ERCC was my introduction into not only the Christian and Missionary Alliance but more specifically the Southwestern District. I was able to meet with and work with various members of the District over the last few years. I accepted a consulting job managing the Computer Network at the district office and have been maintaining it for the last few years. Also I have gone with the District to the last several Southwestern District Conferences where I have had the opportunity and privilege of getting to know the other Pastors in the Southwestern District, as well as having the joy of meeting such visitors as former Alliance President Dr. Peter Nanfelt and current President Dr. Gary Benedict, and have been blessed to learn from the teachings of them and others during the worship services at those Conferences.
Perhaps the greatest influence of my being involved in the Southwestern District however has been how blessed I have been to get to know Dan and Iris Wetzel the former District Superintendent of the Southwestern District and his wife. During the time I worked with the Southwestern District I have considered myself truly privileged to get to know them and learn from their years of experience and their love and knowledge of the Lord. In fact it was Rev. Wetzel who finally helped me to understand that just because I didn’t have a radical conversion in my past, doesn’t mean I don’t have a testimony of my life with Christ to Share.
The Lord has truly blessed me in my life. While I may not always see it or appreciate it as much as I should, the Lord has guided my steps since before I can even remember, and will continue to guide my steps the rest of my days.