It was four months after reading her letter that I actually spoke to her and
heard her full story. It was end of the summer in 2006 that God refreshed my spirit
with her testimony . After receiving her testimony of salvation—letter in the mail,
I headed back to the office to call the number included. The goal was to assure that
this new believer was going to a bible believing church and growing in the Lord.
Unfortunately , the phone number was disconnected.
However that did not stop me , I prayed personally and also took her name to
my church for corporate prayer.
It was four months later that I was prompted to call again. This time the call
went through and a woman answer the phone. It was Dana, the same lady that had sent
me the letter. After establishing our connection, she asked me if I would like to
hear her story. I replied that I would love to hear it. Reason number one, I was
interested in God’s goodness working in people lives. My reason number two was because
it was what I did as reporter.
Again four months had passed from my initial connection with Dana via her
letter, but she began her story from ten years earlier.
- submitted by Dana -
I was not brought up in church. I knew about Jesus because my Grandmom Jesse
took me and brother to church with her. My parents both thought it was unnecessary
to go to church to 'believe' in God. I met some wonderful Christian people while
outside playing one day. The couple I met was a husband and wife who were The Browns.
Reverend Sylvanius Brown was the Pastor of Second Baptist Church. I grew
very close to them and they always spoke about the Lord to me. When I went home
and talked to my Mom she basically was very busy and did not have much spiritual
knowledge. I attended Sunday School for a while and left after my favorite Sunday
School Teacher relocated. My parents didn't push the issue. I was always a big
girl and was constantly teased by other kids and so I started believing the negativity
about me that the other kids were saying.
When I got into my early teens (13 to be exact) I started to go through puberty. Boys
that teased me years before were now interested. I did not know that this was wrong,
because my parents did not stress that enough in specific terms to me. I turned
from an A and B student to a D and F student very quickly. I started experimenting
with marijuana and drinking. I was hanging around with the wrong crowd. I was also
a latch-key kid, as I had my own keys to get in the house after school. I was home
alone for hours before my parents would come home.
I took advantage of my free time. Cutting classes and not going to school
at all were typical days for me. I became promiscuous at a really young age. I
still had no notice that God loved me and cared for me. All through my teens I was
in total rebellion to God. I started going to church around the age of 21. But
still no confession of sins and acknowledging needing Jesus. I foolishly thought
I could be 'saved' without confessing my sins.
After college I met this man who said he was a Christian and was constantly
praying for our new relationship. We were dating for a while and we got married. All
this time I am thinking I am all right with God. My husband was very abusive and
had started running around with other women. He thought it was a joke. I kept saying
to leave the woman alone but he would not. At this time I was pregnant with our
daughter. He brought the woman he was with to our apartment and told me he didn't
want to be with me anymore.
This made me very ill and I almost lost the baby. Thankfully the Lord blessed
us with a daughter. Even after our daughter was born he still was out there and
chasing women. He hit me and also was inappropriately touching our daughter. I
left the house to cause him to wake up,and get right with his family. He never did. Unfortunately
to this day (the time of this article) he is caught up in some of the same addictions
he was in over 11 years ago.
After I left my husband I filed for divorce and there was a glitch in the papaerwork
so the divorce did not go through. During this time of separation I started dating. I
met a man and started dating him and he was also a believer as he called himself.
After getting to know him as friends we started being more intimate and we
conceived a son. He was unemployed and living with relatives. He very rarely contributed
to the income for the house. After a time I learned he was abusing drugs, drinking
and was a former gang member. He was also incarcerated before for a very serious
crime. For nine years we were together and I was going through domestic violence. I
couldn't answer the door, get the mail, sit near a window or be around other people. He
accused me of cheating all of the time.
Last year 2006, I got tired of living the way I was and wanted to go to God. I
had left my children's Dad. During the nine years I conceived 2 other children. All
this while married to my oldest daughter's father. I left my home in Bridgeton, went
to a hotel and stayed there until my money ran out. I called around to different
domestic violence shelters and they were all full. I didn't want to go to the one
in Vineland because I figured he would find me there. I knew he was going to catch
up to me at the hotel sooner or later. I finally called the one in Vineland as a
The lady on the phone at the shelter said there was space available after
we did an intake interview. My children and I went to the shelter. It was nicer
there than I thought and the people that work there are great. I was there a total
of three months. Right before we were moving to the new home God gave us, I took
my children to a Christian Bookstore. I found the Voice of One Magazine. I took
it back to the shelter and read it from cover to cover. I prayed the prayer of salvation
in the magazine. I asked him to forgive me for living the way I was living. He
I was still in contact with my children's father but had no intentions of
going back to him. I did not know God was doing His work in his heart also. Since
we have separated he has accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour and is
now delivered from cocaine, marijuana, drinking and smoking. He is no longer physically
abusive or controlling. He has been baptized and has been faithfully attending church. He
is now on his way to a retreat in Missouri. He is truly a new creature in Christ! No
more swearing, abuse and living wrong.
I believe and know our lives has been touched by the Master. We are
doing it right this time. We are letting the Lord lead us. My divorce from my oldest
child's father is now in its end stages. Once that is final Todd my fiancee and
I are getting married in Missouri. I have a ministry of singing and an online Christian
Superstore called Pages Of Life. Todd also sings and plays guitar in church and
is now a bold witness for Christ. The Lord has also blessed us financially. God
is so good to us! I give God all the glory and all the Praise for all the changes
He has made in our lives. With God all things are possible! AMEN!