Another testimony from a friend.
Today is January 15, 2023. On January 15, 2000 at approximately 2pm I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and was Born Again.
At that time I had been unemployed for just over a year. I had exhausted all savings and retirement accounts trying to maintain a life style. I was full of rage and was contemplating the murder of someone who I felt had disrespected me.
That afternoon Psalms 116:3-4 came into my life. I was totally overwhelmed and so afraid I was going to die right there and then. Out of nowhere words spoken to me in 1981 by a friend came to mind. So I knelt in the middle of my living room and CRIED OUT to God. That cry was followed by when seemed like an hour of tears. Tears held in since high school. I didn’t notice that I was no longer afraid but thought that I had waited too long and God was not listening to me any longer. It would take about a week before I realized that the Peace of God had set in and a burning desire to know Jesus had come to life. Joseph would eventually Baptize me in Shaver Lake wearing street clothes and my best shoes.
That fire would lead me, and my wife, to return to church. Church was not the same and so we began searching for a church where we could actually feel God’s presence. But we didn’t know that, we just knew the churches we visited were not for us. We would eventually find a church where we stayed 10 years. Former school mates were members and were very helpful in my studies of Scripture.
In 2003 I was elected Evangelism Ministry chairman and that is when God really stated to move in my life. From the beginning I felt God leading me to participate in local festivals by handing out Free Lemonade. Our first Lemonade Stand was at the Kingsburg Car Show and God was very Faithful to show up and hook me on this type of Ministry Out Reach. I would try to engage other church members in outreach events but the response was flat. I tried and tried and tried. All the time God knew what He had in mind.
In May of 2005 God granted me peace in deciding to make the Free Lemonade Stand a stand along ministry. I called a few friends that I met doing Lemonade Stand outreaches on my own during 2004. They led me to the Fresno Southwest Police precinct and the Caption there. And the ministry of Jacob’s Well was born and was off and running.
From June to December of 2005, partnering with the Caption and Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back To Life, Jacob’s Well participated in more events than in 2003 & 2004 combined.
Jacob’s Well ministered to people from all walks of life over the next twelve years. In high crime high violence neighborhoods, Kingsburg parks & streets, next to Morro Rock, school campuses and countless church parking lots. The Good News of Jesus Christ was shared in personal conversations one on one and at many other venues. Some years we were out over twenty times. And the enemy was always there, BUT so was God. There were a number of Christian Brothers and Sisters who came along side to help. Collectively we have estimated somewhere around 20,000 conversations were had.
God has been so gracious and I will always be ready to share His Good News and Worship Him only. This while He continues to forgive me and fix my many faults. The toughest part of this journey has been the relationships with those who knew me before January 2000. Some still see me as that guy. And I guess from time to time I reinforce their beliefs. But God is not through with me.
If you don’t know Him, He knows you and wants to Bless you with His Blessings and not necessarily those you think you need or want. Seek Him while He can still be found.
…Oh! And that young man I wanted to murder ….He is a good Friend now. Praise God!!