This is how I met our Lord Jesus Christ. I experienced His mighty presence and His healing in the area of hurts and unforgiveness. I am from a Roman Catholic family, and my dad and mom brought me up in a very nice way. My initial years in school were pretty good. I stood one among the top 5 students. As the days went by, I started putting my interest in all the worldly things. When I was in standard 4, I started to smoke and slowly my interest in studies started to come down. My Dad was a very strict person. He was in the service, army (civil). He was very rude to me; especially, because I was naughty and disobedient. My mom use to support me; so, even she use to get the same treatment that I use to get from dad. My dad use to beat me. At times I have lost conciousness due to this. My mom use to come in between me and dad, and she would get beaten very badly. Many times my dad use to drink and come in the evenings, and some argument would start between him and me. There would be fights and, most of the time, my mom use to get injured badly.
Watching all these things happening in the house from a young age, I started growing in hatred towards my dad in my heart. I wanted to take revenge on him, when I start earning, for what he had done to me and mom. This hatred stayed within me. Once I started going to college for my graduation [and even after finishing my graduation and started to work], many times my dad and I use to have many bitter arguments about my habits and friends or on some small issues. The arguments use to grow big, and it use to disturb the peace in the family.
I use to wait for opportunities to hit my dad, and to take revenge on him. Whatever we spoke, use to hurt individuals in the house. This worsened as time passed. There came a day that my dad and I stopped speaking. And even if we spoke, it was only "yes" and "no", only these two words were involved.
When all these things were happening, I fell in love with my current wife. My family was totally against it. So I started to smoke heavily, and drink at times. I contacted Asthama due to too much of smoking. I lost all interest in life. God was very, very far away from me. I was a Christian in name sake only.
At this time of my life, when I had lost hopes on people and everything that I had, my elder brother once told me [looking at my condition], that there was a three day Retreat program I should attend. It was conducted by one Mr. Fritz Mascarhenas, who was a captain of a Merchant Navy Ship. When God called him, he quit his job and started preaching the Gospel full time.
On the first day of the retreat, he spoke on God's Unconditional Love. it was great ministry to me, that however deep sin one might be in, still God Loves You. That night I prayed for some time and went to bed. The second day he spoke on Sin and Repentence and Forgiveness. When he spoke on sin, I felt that whatever words he used, it was all directed towards me. After the repentence talk, he led us into a time of repentence, and he asked us to repeat some prayers. After the forgiveness talk, the Lord touched my heart, for my heart was a heart of stone. The Lord made my heart a heart of flesh. I started to cry. I went to him, and asked him to pray for me. He told me that if I wanted to come closer to God, I would have to forgive my dad. It was very difficult for me to forgive my dad for the hurts and unforgiveness I had towards him in my heart. But I opened my heart and offered it to Lord Jesus Christ. He healed my heart. By the end of the retreat forgiveness of God came upon me; and I felt as if a big stone, which was there on my shoulder, had been removed.
I will tell you, from that day till today, my dad and I are like friends. The Lord has changed even my dad's heart. He agreed for my wedding; and he was the one who stood in front to conduct the ceremonies for my wedding.
I praise God, for giving me an opportunity to attend this retreat; and to Mr. Fritz Mascarenhas, the man of God, who bought the message of salvation to me.
Clement Francis M Tel : 91-80-2241730 * * Wipro Limited, Global R&D Fax : 91-80-2241769 * * No.30 Mission Road, 1st Cross, S.R. Nagar, Bangalore 560 027.India* * Email : email@example.com*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*
For God So Loved the World that he sent his only Son (Jesus) that who ever believes in him, should not perish but have Eternal Life ( John 3:16 - Holy Bible)*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*
*The opinions expressed in this testimonial are those of the author, who is solely responsible for content.* Editor, THE EDIFIER