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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Steph Parent
By sjvance2 @ 9:48 AM :: 5542 Views
 

I was born in a small town in Northern Ontario called Kapuskasing. My loving parents wanted what was best for me and my older brother. My family was nominally religious; we went to church during religious holidays but there was little thought of God in our everyday life. Both my parents had been actively religious when they were younger but were disillusioned with the emptiness of following rules and regulations.

When I was just three years old, my parents separated. Though my parents tried to make it as smooth as possible, it was tough. My brother and I lived with my mother who was further disappointed with life and was looking for life’s meaning.

Around that time, some evangelists came to our town and set up a Gospel Tent. They went around from house to house visiting people, sharing God’s love and inviting them to the Gospel Tent. One of the first people attend the Gospel Tent was my babysitter. During that first year, she believed the Gospel message that you could have your sins forgiven. My mother noticed a change in my babysitter- she was now at peace and had real joy. This was something my mom was missing. The following year, my mother went to the Gospel Tent and was amazed at the Gospel Message- that God loved her and sent His Son to die for her. She trusted Jesus as her Saviour that year.

I was only five at the time but I noticed a change in my mom. We started attending a lot of Bible meetings so that my mom could get teaching from the Bible. During one of these Bible meetings, my brother trusted Christ and became a Christian. I wanted to know what this was all about. I asked one of my young friends what becoming a Christian meant. He simply told me: we are sinners before God because we have done bad things. God will punish sin. But God loves us so He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross in our place. If we accept the death of Jesus on the cross, we can have our sins forgiven and we can be saved and become a Christian. This teaching is from the Bible, the Word of God in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” I thought about this truth.

I came to the point where I believed that I was a sinner – that I, even at six years of age, had done bad things. I believed in God and understood how He must punish sin. I even understood that Jesus was the One “who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). However, I was not saved. It was during a Gospel meeting one night that I came to understand the truth of Galatians 2:20 “the Son of God, who loved ME and gave himself for ME.” I realized that yes, while Jesus died for the whole world, He also died for me! Salvation is a personal thing. It is about a relationship between a person and God. It is a relationship that has been broken because of sin. God loves us and wants this relationship reestablished. He sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us. He is inviting you to come to Him. What will you do?

You may think- this is a big decision for a six year old to make. How can one so young understand such a complex thing? I will confess there is much about God that I did not understand at the time- and there is still much about God that I do not understand. But, the Gospel message is not intended to be complex. Jesus himself said while He was here on earth “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3).

Since that time, I have tried to follow the Lord Jesus and continue growing in my relationship with Him. After high school, I studied Applied Chemistry at the University of Waterloo. For the last ten years, my wife and I have lived in the GTA and God has blessed us with three children. I teach mathematics and do some guidance counseling at a high school in Richmond Hill. This summer we are moving to the Agincourt area to be closer to the the Agincourt Gospel Hall and the Gospel outreach efforts. We feel that spreading the love of God and the teachings in the Bible is important.
 

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