I was born in South Africa, raised in the Catholic Church, I did know Jesus well, especially when I was very young. But when I moved to Holland in my 12th year, my faith stagnated and “died”. Years passed and my world continued to shake. My parents fought a lot and although I don’t really know how, I asked if they wanted a divorce. Although I still went to church every Sunday, I lived a hypocritical life … partying, Saturday until late, only to get up early the next morning and pretend I was awake in church. My life was painfully empty, although I had tried to fill it with drinking, attention from boys, sports and other achievements … nothing gave lasting relief or rest.
My older brother left home and moved to Delft. We never really saw him. Until one day he called my mother to tell her he wanted to be baptized, which of course came as a huge shock. But he explained that although he had been baptized as a baby in the past, he now wanted to make his own decision to follow Jesus. So my mother decided it was a valid reason and took my father and sister to the baptism. They were so touched by the service, especially my mother, and they came back with enthusiasm. They told me the atmosphere was electric, there was live music, and that the pastor had prayed for them. So I was jealous and curious. I wanted to feel an electric atmosphere and pray too!
So I decided to go to church, hungry for these new experiences. Although the atmosphere was not electric, the 1st time I went into the church, I could tell that the people in the church had something that I did not. They had a peace and fulfillment that I had tried to find in all my parties. So I cried “Jesus, if it is you who makes these people different, reveal myself too!”
I was baptized about 6 months after my brother with my parents and sisters. Over the next weeks, months and years, He continued to heal my heart, I didn’t know how broken it was until I felt what needed to be resolved and fulfilled. We kept looking for Him and He proved Himself in so many ways. There were many miracles, and crazy prayers answered, I was sure that the God who created the universe was real and alive and living in me. I am still continuing on the wonderful adventure of knowing Him more each day. The love He restored in my heart became an abundant spring and I could not help but overflow and share it as the greatest gift I had ever received.
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