Testimonies – Baptism “December 22”

At a young age I experienced God’s work in my life. When I was 5 or 6 years old every night for years I had the same dream or vision of a person’s hand; it wasn’t someone I was familiar with.

There are nights that I felt I couldn’t move but I was awake. With this experience I hated going to sleep or sleeping by myself because I would fear I might see the same hand. At that time my family started to go to church. I went to Sunday school and sang “Jesus loves me”, but it meant nothing to me besides seeing my cousins there. Not until that night I vividly remember my mom and a Pastor prayed with me asking God to help me and removed any spirits that were present in the room. That night for a very long time I was able to sleep without fear. After that night I was able to slowly fall asleep by myself in my own room. PRAISE THE LORD!

As I got older I knew a fact that God was always here for me whenever I needed him and because of that reason I drifted further away from him. In my university years I continued to attend Sunday service with my parents but again it meant nothing. On Friday and Saturday nights I would do things knowingly God will not approve and crossed some boundaries. I was so focused on the theory that I can control my own destiny so I made bad decisions based on sparks of happiness. During this time, I was in a very unhealthy relationship the more I wanted to control on my own destiny the more hopeless I became. I questioned God many times why He had to put me in such painful relationship. At my lowest point in my early adulthood I asked God to help me to get out of this relationship and He answered my prayer. God knew I didn’t have the power to disconnect with this person so, He physically moved me to another country so I can regain myself. God’s work did not stop there, when I was teaching in Hong Kong, he placed me with a roommate who is a Christian so I am always reminded he is here with me. You would think after seeing God’s work I will surrender to him and follow him but I did not. I took it for granted and put God aside once again.

In January of this year I had Sciatica (a pinched nerve from my lower back down to my leg). Daily tasks became difficult for me like getting out the bed or walking ten steps from the bathroom to bed. One night I prayed to God and asked him to heal me because I felt helpless. In 3 days, I was able to support myself and got out of bed. But my “bad luck” did not end there, throughout the month of January I had multiple accidents. And it was my husband who was an atheist told me maybe I should start going back to church again. I truly believe it was God who told me to go back to him.

God did not promise me I will have smooth sailing after I got back to church in February. God continued to teach me this past summer when I long awaited the arrival of my second dog to join our family, and shortly after God told me I had to give him away. It was the toughest time my husband and I had to go through, but without this event I would not have ever imagined that I can pray at night with my husband and be able to talk so openly about Christ. Now my husband goes to church with me every Sundays and he begin to have wonders about Christ. Not only God is working in my life but also in my husband’s life.

Looking back through my life time of what God has done for me; he planned everything for me. He knew if I did not experience certain things in my early adulthood to this year I would not be as faithful to him as I am now. God’s work was just enough for me to taste and see how much He loves me. Every time I pray for his help, he will answer my prayers in His way that I will never understand. He blessed me in a school where I am able to work with people who believe in him. I am always surrounded by people who reminded me to have faith and trust in Him.

I understand from now and forward there will be times of hardship but I know God has a plan for all of us. Even in the darkest time, trust in God because he will bring you so much more than you could ever imagine. There is a quote of which I always remind myself; it is from Philippians 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

Hello, I am sure you all know who I am, but if you don’t know, my name is Davina lee. I have been coming to this church ever since I was a baby, and have been blessed to grow up in a Christian family, going to church every Sunday and also being privileged enough to attend a Christian private school. God has worked in my life, blessing me with family, and provided for me so that I never had to worry about money, food or the basic necessities. Life has always been good, even before I came to know Christ. But only recently have I truly understood his effects on my life. I accepted Jesus as my saviour when I was in grade 3. Yes, I was only eight years old, but I did understand what I was doing. I did understand that asking Jesus to be my God was a serious thing, and at that moment, I truly felt that I needed Jesus. However, you could say the mind was there but not the heart. One of the main reasons that I accepted Jesus was because I didn’t want to go to hell when I died, or because I was scared of living in eternal suffering. I have come to learn that yes, that is one major factor of accepting jesus, but not the only one. Accepting Jesus as my Lord and Saviour was the start of a new and personal relationship with God.

There were many times my teachers at school would ask us if we wanted Jesus to be in our hearts, and most of them time, i would pray along with my teacher. But after I finished the prayer and made myself think that I accepted Jesus, I realized I didn’t feel any different. I always heard stories of pastors and speakers of how the moment they accepted Jesus, their life change. Their life changed so much that they became a totally different person and everyone around them realized something inside them changed. But then I would always think how come I didn't feel a drastic change? 

Growing up in the church, I’ve always been compelled to get baptised. It was all just a matter of when? One of the main reasons that stopped me from getting baptised was because I was afraid of standing up in front of people and saying my testimony. I was always worried that people would judge my story, and think that I didn’t go through certain problems, or my testimony just wouldn’t be good enough. But here I am today, overcoming one of my biggest fears. I learned that everyone experiences God in different ways, and for me, He has always just been there. I’ve come to realize that my own journey with God is the most important, and that my own journey is the most important to me. I was sleeping when God called me to get baptised. I had been thinking about baptism for a while. Honestly, I didn’t know if I was ready to take the next step and proclaim my faith. So I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep, when I got his message. In the back of my head, I just heard him telling me to get baptized and urging me on. This was the push that I needed to get out of bed and text Pastor Jonny that I was interested in baptism. After that, I felt a sense of calmness, that this is what God was telling me to do. As a new christian, I felt really comfortable at church, and at fellowship. I was blessed to have such an amazing community here at Logos Baptist Church. My fellow numies, and my wonderful older brothers and sisters in Christ have really helped me grow in my faith.

After I became a christian, i had a more positive outlook on life. I tried to live my best for God, and I wanted people to see me and see God through me. Some days I do struggle. Sometimes, I even wonder if He is really out there, and if He really is watching over me. But in Ephesians 2:8-9, it says “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 

Hello! For those of you who do not know me, I’m Gloria! I was born sixteen years ago into a Christian family and I grew up with parents who made the values of Christianity very apparent from the start. Going to church was just something so normal and something that felt so right because of the
warmth, care and love that I would feel from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. In addition to that, my parents put me in a Christian school for kindergarten, which is where my knowledge of God began. I trusted and accepted Christ as my personal Saviour and recommitted my life to Him multiple times at RHCA, VBSs, and TC as it always felt like it was the right path to follow. I was taught that He was there for me and this was something I truly believed, even though I had no first-hand experience of it. Little did I know, God worked in my younger self through these experiences, planting small seeds in me so that later they would grow. 

I don’t think I would say that I was ever ‘without Christ’ as I was always surrounded by Him; I believed that the Lord did exists, but I never felt like my relationship with him was intimate. As a young child, I was not able to grasp the depth of it all. Any mention of “God” solely reminded me of Friday fellowship, Sunday service, seeing my friends, singing songs, or hearing cool sermons, but never really of my personal relationship with Him. It was hard to comprehend the importance of knowing Him especially when nothing in the world was difficult, and when it felt like my parents could provide me with everything that I needed. It was an on-off relationship: the only time I reached out to God was when I desperately needed a favour, while other times I just kept Him at the back of my head. I made little effort to pursue Him further. In a sense, I was not really sure exactly how to. What was I supposed to do on top of obeying my parents, praying before eating, or going to church?

During this time, I never really had a goal or a purpose, often working solely to satisfy my standards or the standards of others. I was merely guided by my desires and sometimes the desires of close ones around me. I always knew myself pretty well and so I took matters into my own hands, not being able to grasp the true greatness of His power or to understand that He knew me so much more than I knew myself. While holding onto the seemingly positive phrase: “Do your best and God will do the rest,” I believed that I was literally supposed to work or study as hard as I possibly could, that it was only when I could no longer handle or when I was completely falling apart that I was supposed to turn to God.

As well, at times I was somewhat stuck with the world’s perspective that I was not good enough; I focused only on certain aspects where others performed better than me. This came with a lot of self-disappointment and self-doubt, which made me question my place in the world and whether I was capable of pursuing the things I was doing.

But even though I lacked faith and commitment, God did not. I can say that the beginning of grade 9 was probably one of the hardest times of my life. During this period, I was met with so much change, and change was and still is one of my biggest struggles. Grade nine not only marked the beginning of high school but it also marked the year I began competing gymnastics provincially — this is, training sixteen hours a week and up to four and a half hours on some days. The new people that I began to interact with, both at school and in the gym, were intimidating. My school was filled with very unhealthy competition; although the people were genuinely nice, a lot of my classmates seemed so much more intelligent than me and seemed as if they were in it just for themselves. In the gym, I was looked down upon by a lot of my teammates because I became “the new girl”. In general, I was put under so much stress; I was given a lot more work from school and a lot less time to complete it due to the countless hours I spent doing gymnastics. Adding to my burden, was me trying to prove to others and to myself that I was capable, because honestly, I did not feel like I was. All this brought me to the brink of my exhaustion, both physically and emotionally. One night, while I was crying myself to sleep, I felt humbled and I realized that I really I was powerless on my own. I prayed for sleep, for peace, and comfort. And while I prayed, God reminded me of when He calmed the storm. Found in Matthew 8:26 is “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” I was made aware that though I lacked control over everything in my life, He had complete control. It was then that God convicted me of my lack of faith and also when He gave me an overwhelming sense of peace. This was one of my earliest first-hand experience of the Lord.

Even after this experience, it took a while for me to finally conclude that my pastors, my parents, or my counsellors could tell me about God all they wanted but in the end, it was really up to me to pursue a relationship with Him. On the day after Spring Conference 2018, seemingly out of the blue, I decided to make a promise to myself and to God that I would start daily devotions and I began this in the form of journaling. My three very specific prayer requests on that day were to 1) To start daily devos and to do them every day regardless of how busy I was that day. I figured that after all, every second of the day belonged to God and was a gift from Him. 2) To choose to be in an intimate relationship with God. 3) To remain in an intimate relationship with Him. And yes, God did answer my prayers and the daily habit never stopped. This, as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9, was not by my own doing but was indeed the gift of God; I was saved entirely by His grace. Undoubtedly, it was God who kindled my desire for Him.

Despite continuing daily devotions even until now, there were and still are so many days where I do devotions solely for the sake of completing them, perhaps just to keep my Bible streak alive. Some days I was not doing them with my whole heart, was not in the right mind to listen to Him, rather I was simply going through the motions. However, even when I was not really there God was there and His grace was so apparent. He worked around me and through me. As I flipped back through my journals, I noticed that He answered my prayers in unexpected ways–perfect ways– in ways that I would not have imagined. I found so much truth in Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” My prayers ranging from for the healing of my family members, for inner peace, or for opportunities to share my faith, were each answered according to His thorough plan, which was so much better than mine.

God reminded me that I am His child, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and that indeed He cares for me so much. I saw Christ’s love for me in different manners: through kind and caring people like my friends and my family who never left my side, but also through the Scripture. The Bible gave me peace, encouragement, and hope, that I was unable to find elsewhere. A verse that often touched my heart was Philippians 4:6-7 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. Through first-hand experiences, it was evident to me that when I cast all my anxieties on the Lord and when I went to Him when I was burdened and heavy laden that He would give me rest. 

As for baptism, it was something I was thinking about since May 2019. According to my journals, it was something that I was constantly, almost daily, praying for since mid-August. As a person who likes to be thorough with thoughts, I thought and prayed for confirmation in two things 1) Whether baptism was the right thing to do and 2) Whether it was the right time. A month after I started praying, baptism came up in one of my conversations with Michelle and I was asked about my reasons not to get baptized. After thinking really hard on this, I found that I could not answer this question. God’s grace was so overwhelming and abundant, what else should I do but exclaim and share His grace to others?

My life in Christ since developing a closer relationship with Him has been unimaginably different. I’ve felt an inexplicable amount of peace and love from the Lord. So much burden was lifted off my shoulders when I began to understand that nothing that I could achieve or accomplish would earn His grace and that no sin or trespass can separate me from the love of Christ. 

I was asked a couple of times by Veronica and by some of my friends why I seemed so much more at peace. Indeed I was, and this was because I was able to let go of a lot of my desires, such as attempting to prove myself to others and instead I began making more deliberate attempts to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” I accepted that everything was in His hands, that everything would turn out well, “according to the purpose of His will,” and that my identity is solely based on the fact that I am a Child of God. Because of this, I felt so much more reassured, satisfied, and filled with joy. God does not promise that with Him everything becomes easy and that all suffering is eliminated. I still struggle and fall short; I still find it difficult to surrender my plans to Him, to place my identity on God rather than of my achievements. However, I have noticed that with God it is so much easier to find joy and peace even in the midst of tribulation.

With Him, I’ve had more confidence in sharing my faith with others. Even though speaking is not a thing I like to do or something I’m good at, I am reminded not to be anxious about what I should say because, as written in Luke 12:12, the Holy Spirit will teach me what to say. Through a few conversations with friends, I have experienced Him filling me with so much courage and wisdom. I have started conversations with people that I know I wouldn’t have been able to start without Him by my side. After all, I have noticed that it is easier to share God with others when I have experienced Him so deeply firsthand; being filled with so much joy makes it so much easier to fill others with joy.

God has shaped me to be a more self-reflective person, a whole lot more eager to learn and to improve. He has given me a desire to continue to learn how to love Him, to walk with Him, and to become more Christlike. The Lord has convicted me of my faults and has made me more dependent on Him for forgiveness and for wisdom to make better choices in the future. Furthermore, God’s given me an eagerness to pursue His purpose for me and to believe with more certitude that He knows the plans He has for me. Ultimately, I know that “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

The worship song I chose is “Who am I”. I chose this song because part of it says “Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea would call out through the rain and calm the storm in me,” and the image of God calming the storm is exactly what I saw when I called out to Him. As well, I picked this song because it is a reminder that His love is not dependent on what I’ve done but it is all because of Christ