Here Am I

Surrendered

As I quietly listened to Erin’s testimony as she prepared for her water baptism, so many things jumped out to me. Below are the testimonies. I hope you get inspired by it.

Hi! My name is Erin Lessmeister and here is a little bit about how the Lord has worked through my life.

Christianity is more than just going to church every Sunday… I needed to make my faith my own

I grew up in a Christian home which was a huge blessing and I have gone to Ellerslie for pretty much my entire life. Growing up, I would say my faith was very surface level. I went to church just because my family took me, but I didn’t really understand the meaning of Christianity, and that it meant having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When I was in grade four, I went to Lone Prairie Camp for the first time, and the Lord used my experience there to help me begin to understand that Christianity is more than just going to church every Sunday with my family. I began to learn that I needed to make my faith my own. I remember praying that week as a camper that I wanted to start a personal relationship with Christ. Since then, I have had many ups and downs in my relationship with Christ.

{Are you ashamed of being associated with Christ?}

All throughout Junior High and grade 10, I was very focused on myself and my main concern was what other people thought of me. I would mostly try to hide the fact that I was a Christian and that I went to church because I was afraid of judgment and disclusion. I really disliked the fact that as Christians we are meant to set ourselves apart from other people because I desired acceptance from others a lot more than I desired Christ at that point in my life.

I had only been living life for myself, separate from Christ

During the summer after grade 10, the Lord used my second year of Christian leadership training at Lone Prairie Camp and the Mexico missions’ trip through Ellerslie youth, to change my heart and make me realize that I had only been living life for myself, separate from Christ. Through those experiences, the Lord led me to make the decision to change schools after grade 10 to go to the same school as some of my Christian friends and this change helped me to take steps towards living out my faith in my daily life but old habits of wanting to be accepted by others and not wanting to set myself apart still crept in.

Christ is not just meant to be another part of your life but He is meant to be your whole life

This past year, I did a year of Bible school at His Hill in Comfort Texas. The Lord used this year to grow me in my faith immensely. One of the main things that I learned through my time in Texas was that Christ is not just meant to be another part of your life but He is meant to be your whole life. The Lord made me realize the importance of dying to myself and living in complete dependence upon Him. There are still many areas of my life that I have not yet completely surrendered to the Lord and this is something that He is still working in my heart but I am so thankful for the ways that He is continually growing me and helping me give up control and trust Him.

…I have been challenged to trust the Lord and know that His plans for me are much better than the plans I have for myself.

I had to go home 2 months early from Bible school due to the current state our world is in, which was really difficult for me. Through the way my plans got changed, I have been challenged to trust the Lord and know that His plans for me are much better than the plans I have for myself. Since being home, this has only continued. I am so thankful for the ways that the Lord has faithfully worked in my life and for the ways that He has brought me to Himself. One of the verses that I have clung to lately is Philipians 1:6 which says:

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philipians 1:6

I chose to get baptized today as a public declaration of my faith and acknowledgment that I will continue to follow Jesus all the days of my life. I am so excited for where He will lead me and how He will work through me in the years to come.

The Light

Light lightens our path

A group of friends recently met to discuss this topic: The Light. Everyone was contributing to the topic subject as to what the light signifies. Someone said: ‘where there is no light, there is darkness, and we can do whatever creepy or bad things we want to do’. Of course, darkness accommodates all kinds of shady things, but when the light comes in, it reveals every hidden thing. One can imagine a world without light, but there is no doubt that light is not only essential, but it is good.

Light lightens our path; it guides us in the moment of darkness and leads us out of it without hurting ourselves. Seeing well keeps us from stumbling. We cannot afford to stay afar off from the light. No wonder Jesus said,

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

Two thousand years ago, that light of Christ shone brightly in the world of darkness and ignorance. These days that Light shines in the heart of those who are open to God’s way and His words.

 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus our Messiah

2 Corinthians 4:6

TURN THE LIGHT ON

Many times, we wonder why miracles of all kinds are not as prominent as they used to be or are expected to be. While some lights seem to be growing dim, some are gone out already while many people grope in self-made light. Darkness seems to have crept into some places where light is meant to be. We now see men as trees and are complacent in dying light. 

This is the time we review the type of light we carry and the intensity of that light. We get to turn the light on and make it shine brighter.

There are some stains, shortcomings, and situations which have blended so well into our life. These stains push us much closer to darkness than light. It would take a brighter light to reveal and expose the stains before we could ever think of getting rid of them. The light of the words of God refines us, shapes us, and keeps us on the right path. It illuminates our paths and reveals unto us different areas of our life wherein we are falling short or falling apart. But the question is how much light do we carry? In other words, how much of God and His words do we carry? 

How much of GOD fill our activities and our thought per day/week/month/year? 

For this reason, it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Ephesians 5:14

We get to turn the light on once again. We get to rekindle the fire and light that have gone out. We get to examine the intensity of the light we carry. Sometimes, we need a break to re-fire.

 SHARE THE LIGHT

The whole world lies in darkness and is in desperate need of light. Those that have been lightened are supposed to be the light of the world, following the Master’s footsteps. We can be that light that helps others see. We all need one another. Jesus said:

I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

Acts 13:47

LIGHT IN DARKNESS

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a situational darknessThe fact that we are working in the light does not mean we would not encounter darkness occasionally. God is, however, ever available to lighten our paths

For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness.

Psalm 18:28

God can speak light into our darkness and straighten every crookedness. The temptation to grumble may be stronger in such a situation, but we need the grace to trust God and keep holding on to His words. Grumble not in darkness, but rather seek the light of Christ that guides out of darkness into the light of life.

To trust God in the light is nothing but trust him in the dark—that is faith.

Charles Spurgeon

A PROPHECY

The time to shine is now. “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60: 1- 3 (NKJV).

Encounter in the Park

Meet my friend Lois! I believe God has something to pass across to someone through her testimony below.

While visiting the town of Brooks, Alberta, my grandson and I headed for the park in the early morning of the Labour Day holiday.  I was not sure why, but it was a beautiful day and going to the park seemed the right thing to do.  In a new town it’s important to make contacts but I had no idea what awaited us.  Joshua was cozy in the “snuggly” that I was using to carry him.  I wrapped my sweater around his bare legs that were sticking out beneath so they would stay warm.  The little sun cap I put on his head would ward off the chill of the morning. Being with Joshua is always special. 

            Looking over the crest of the hill I saw children playing in the park.  I strolled up and chose a swing which was made by hanging a tire on its side.   Joshua and I lazily drifted back and forth with the rays of the sun falling on us.  Two little girls next to us seemed to enjoy going up and down the slides.  I started a conversation.  “No”, they replied, they didn’t live nearby.   The older one said they were traveling and had spent the night in the car.   She explained that they didn’t usually sleep in the car but their mom didn’t have any money.  This caught my attention. An older brother about ten, approached bringing a large collie on a leash.   His name was David. He came over to see the baby and Joshua gave him a big smile.   I noted that these were healthy, well adjusted children.  Then the mother came over and explained that they were returning to their home in B.C.  Her car was low on gas and she would have to wait another day here.  The banks would open after the holiday then she would be able to get money from her account.  She went on to explain that her bank card had become damaged and she was not able to get any more cash out of the instant teller.   I got up to leave and she walked along with me for a few steps.  Her sweater was light and she mentioned something about the chill of the night.  Their car was parked on a side street.  I wondered how it would be to sleep four in a car and what about the big dog.

            “I hope you have some money for food,” I said as I started to leave. 

            “Oh, we’ll manage”, the mother said. “We have some peanut butter sandwiches”. 

            I walked on, wanting to do something to help but saying nothing.  She called out to me, “Have a good trip back to Edmonton.”  Wishing her well in return seemed empty.  How could I just leave them.  They needed a good meal.  They had already spent most of the previous day waiting around.  But more than a meal, they needed to get home to B.C.  I walked on with Joshua, still deep in thought.  One could sometimes find vagrants in a park, but these were beautiful children and their young mother.  I could not just leave them.  

            I went and found granddad and the two of us walked back to the park.  They were still there, the children, the dog, and the car with the Ontario license plates.  “Here’s money to take you home”, I said handing the mother some bills, and I added,

” God bless you.”   Oh, she replied, “You’re a Christian too”.  Some tears rolled down her cheek and she wiped them away with her hand. 

            Through misty eyes she explained, “I prayed and God gave me assurance he would take care of us”.   Now I had tears.

As we walked away I turned at the brow of the hill and in the distance I saw the figure of the mother and little girl standing together.  She raised her arm and I waved back.

            “So, that is why we went to the park early in the morning.  Yes, you were there, Joshua, and I’m writing this down so I won’t forget to tell you.”   “You, my precious grandson, were just five months old.”  

            Much to our surprise a letter arrived several weeks later thanking us for the help and thanking God for his mercy.  Enclosed with the letter was a money order for the seventy dollars,  money we intended as a gift.

            “And so, my dear Josh, we are reminded once again that our heavenly Father cares very much for us.” I learned much from this experience.   I understood that this young mother was a woman of faith for she had relied on God to care for her need and had not conveyed any apprehension to her children.  More than ever I learned that God can be trusted.  I recall that as I went to bed the night before that memorable happening, I was thinking that I must be up to enjoy the early morning sun.  These thoughts were probably coming to my mind as the mother was praying.  But best of all, through this experience the one concern on my heart was taken care of.  I now knew that God would care for my son and his family who had just moved to this town.  This had been the prayer on my heart as I went to bed that night.  While I reached out to care for another in need, God brought a wonderful assurance to my heart that he would answer my prayer.  Now, five years later I can see how God so wonderfully provided for my son and family.  And I’m thankful that our grandson was a part of this experience.  It is now time for me to share this story with him.

By Lois Hathaway