James' Personal Life Testimony for all to enjoy
Personal Testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness in my life
Introduction In the early morning of March 10, 2013 the Lord instructed me to do my testimony and share it for His glory, to show all how He worked in my life, even though I did not know Him for much of the time, until relatively recently. He worked in my life by only His grace and mercy many times to greatly lessen many of the messes that I got myself into by my own poor choices and actions. I had many, many challenges growing up, some caused at least in part due to the fact that I had Asperger’s syndrome, something I did not know for certain that I had until September 2007,when I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist, even though I had an inkling as early as 1999, when I was chatting with a mother with an autistic son on America Online, my ISP at that time. The Asperger’s syndrome had these challenges/symptoms for me(Asperger’s generally gives different people different things): I had ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), at least traits of OCD- obsessive compulsive disorder, perhaps I could have been even diagnosed with it in fact, but never was, I know now God’s mercy and grace alone protected me there against such a diagnosis. I was and still am to a degree either really passionate about something or the exact opposite, not caring or totally against the idea, not wanting any part of it. I was a “black and white” person- it had to be either polar extreme,absolutely NO middle ground whatsoever!!! I still have some tendencies there; the Lord is working on this too at the moment. I often mad mountains out of molehills that is fussing a lot about very small matters (such as being unhappy when someone beats me to a task I enjoy doing, even if said task is but a few moments. Also I found a lot of interest in studying very picky subjects from time to time. I also was much too hasty with what I said, often never really thinking before blurting something out, which often led to many rebukes but little worse(I still have to watch out against that) I was blessed by being good with numbers. Those are the main symptoms; I may have left a few lesser ones out. I admit another thorn I have in my side is that I tend to be too unassertive, and am not led to say things when people are trampling on me, which has often hurt me in my life. I do not like to create strife but there are times where I needed to be more assertive and such. Most strife I cause is mainly due to the fact that I don’t think before I speak/act; I can be much too spontaneous in those areas. The Lord has helped but I still need maturity in many areas, I admit.
Early childhood years and schooling 1967 to 1986
I was born in 1967 to protective parents, and I lived in a sheltered environment. I know in hindsight that they knew I had issues, but they never would know what I was diagnosed with. My parents never went to church at all that I could remember, and seemed to live quiet secular lives during all the years of my life. I was born in Harrisburg, Pa, moved to Lemoyne shortly after I was born and then at 5 years old I moved to Camp Hill where I would stay past my mother’s death until 2003, a bit over 30 years of my life.
My mother stayed at home all my life, only trying once or twice to work after I was born or do other things. She never volunteered anyway- it seemed to never enter in her mind to do so. Both of my parents were overprotective, which in some ways was a blessing as it helped keep me from falling into the wrong/bad crowds at school. My mother was strong willed and I couldn’t even do some basic care stuff until much later than many people. For example she cut my nails and toes until I was like 14, made my bed until 18, and I never really washed my own clothes until I was in my 30s! My school also was very small, graduating class of like 69, so those two definitely were mercies shown by God. I got to kindergarten where my ADHD came out when I wandered continually around the classroom(28 students), which was extremely disruptive, so I did not attend normal school until fifth grade but went to a special education school, for those challenged. They never did diagnose my real problem as too little was known about Autism/Asperger’s back then. I believe this also was a mercy/blessing of God as it enabled me to be in much smaller classes than regular school would have been. When I was normalized in 5th grade, my school was but two doors away, two minutes walking time- another mercy of God. When I was in high school, even then it was maybe four or five blocks’ walk away, maybe 1/3 of a mile. I was always close to my schools for much of my education. In part because of some of my issues and obsessions, I was picked on and bullied rather severely during the school years, especially severely between about seventh and about tenth grades. A lot of this picking on and verbal bullying can leave severe emotional scars which can be much worse even than being in physical fights, of which I was in very few: another mercy of God there, without any doubt. I never considered myself an overly aggressive type anyway in that regard. God also helped heal the emotional scars from these incidents, as well. I had several other incidents during my school years where God’s mercy and love saved me from far worse consequences for my own poor, fleshly decisions actions which may well have deserved far more severe consequences than what happened, but I did not receive them. I could have been left behind at a band trip, because I got lost and separated from the group, who looked for and found me been far deeper in debt to a record store/my parents after ordering far too many record albums at once(I never worked in school) , even gone to jail or a juvenile institute(for sexual abuse- holding women’s hands in the libraries pretending to see their rings, this in hindsight my mother took part blame for herself though admitting she held my hand too long in my life, but also I know this was my Apserger’s obsessiveness coming out there too, also in the record ordering thing. God in His mercy and grace, even though I did NOT know Him at that time, protected me in a way that kept the adverse consequences to a bare minimum. In my senior year of high school that I was able to attend a band festival, a spring band trip, and even graduate was due to God’s grace as I struggled more with my school work and classes that year. This was due to the harder and more challenging classes that I took that year, some college level, my own attention deficit disorder, and poor study habits. My teachers all during my high school school never knew I had ADHD, they only said that I often failed to work up to my potential, but seeing they did not know I had ADHD, never knew why. Even then somehow I knew it was God protecting me and showing me a lot of mercy and grace that I did not deserve at all, but I never accepted His son until much, much later. I did, by God’s mercy and grace, manage to graduate High school in June of 1986
Adult working and college years to my mother’s death Fall 1986 to May 2001
In the fall I spent about 1 and ½ approximately semesters- August 1986 to March 1987 going away to school and a local state university- Shippensburg Pa. It was due to a number of reasons, my disabilities, my in assertiveness/inability to speak up about more than one thing that was wrong and other factors that this college away was real struggle for me that mercifully it did not last too long. It did have a few blessings, and enjoyable moments, such as being in the bands and participating in their activities. It was God’s mercy in a way that I went back home to be with my parents again. My parents upon my returning home had me examined by a doctor and, fearing mono, I even went part time to a mental hospital in 1987 into maybe 1988. They never did diagnose my Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, or even the obsessive compulsive one, or anything else for that matter, but let me continue to receive some treatment with them. I am not sure, except some social skills what it really helped me. Yet it was a bit of a blessing and all. I would get a job in June 2006 working as a courtesy clerk/parcel pick up at a local supermarket (2 blocks away). Also I would go to Harrisburg(Pa) Area Community College off and on for the 5 years or more from fall 1987 to 1992 then again in1997 and 1998. I would get a general studies degree at the local Community College, again but God’s grace and mercy alone, for I struggled with those classes, too due to ADHD and also a tendency to give up on hard classes and other things too easily. It is really hard to learn in anything, however, when your mind flies from one thought to the next as it did then, and you cannot focus at ALL on what the professor was saying. It is only God’s mercy and grace that I got anything out of any of these classes. Other than school and work I had a fairly quiet and uneventful time (no drugs, alcohol and the like).After working I largely watched TV to relax in my room, and read or listened to music, etcetera .I did not want to be with my parents for they often would have loud disagreements downstairs, that I wanted no part of(this was most of my life, in fact). I would collect various items during that time period: classical records, books, especially science fiction, and magazines, as I looked in vain to possessions like those rather than a relationship with God and His Son to fill the empty void in my life and my heart . It never worked, of course. In retrospect, foolishly, I thought it would fill my life and I spent many thousands of dollars trying to do this over the years. As also I look back now I realize that it really was NOT God’s plan for me to go to these secular schools for a secular degree at all. I was planning to move away from my family in 1999, somewhere in the Carolinas but the decline of my mother’s health back then prevented me from doing that. She would continue to decline in her health, becoming more dependant on others until she died in 2001. Perhaps it was a merciful thing too that it worked out that way as I don’t think I was ready then to move out. Interesting I prayed for mercy for my mother so her suffering on earth would end and I was heard, so she did not suffer at the end too long of a time. She was in intense pain too just before she died. Still another mercy from God, perhaps, as at least it ended her earthly suffering. A last note, at my workplace, a supermarket, there was a highly evangelical Christian female bagger and I actually did pray a prayer of salvation in approximately 1997, but I do not consider it genuine in hindsight as I do not feel I had the right motive at that time to do it (wanting to hold her hands mostly then), neither did my life change at all too much though in the 2000s, until 2007, although I had more people witnessing to me on social media and so forth. God was reaching out to me more and more, though, wanting me to be saved.
After my mother’s death until my father’s death May 2001 until February 2006
The death of my mother took a very severe toll on my father, and no doubt shortened his life, in my opinion. He was devastated by the loss of his wife and I know he badly missed her. He was never as happy afterward as he was when my mother, his wife, was around. Even though I questioned it at times based on what I saw they were close, and they were married almost 39 years at the time of my mother’s death. For me I just largely worked at the supermarket and just kept quiet and all. I did, however, experiment with being on my own from July 2003 and October 2004, moving from Pennsylvania to Hilton Head, SC for that time period before moving back to live again with my father until he died in 2006. My father was a big help in me sustaining myself with my job and all down there- I was able to transfer my bagging job there-the places in Pa in SC where I worked were then sister supermarkets under a big umbrella company- God’s provision was also shown in my life, through my father because a lot of the times there were not enough hours available to work in a week’s time to earn enough money to sustain oneself (wintertime I could be scheduled as few as one or two days) , except during summer: the store was near many timeshares which it relied on to get a lion’s share of its business. I also tried, and largely failed with internet marketing/MLM, getting very deep into debt, but a timely inheritance helped bail me out of that massive debt, again God’s great provision: the debt(credit card) was like $11,000 or so and the inheritance was for $15k. I say it was a failure thought I did have some success at it; my expenses far exceeded my earnings from my programs. I wasn’t doing this for righteous reasons at all but only for self, wanting to make a living as an internet marketer. When I cam back, at the end of October 2004, I watched my father’s health finally decline especially from about December 2005 on to his death. He had severe skin cancer, then a stroke on January 1, 2006, then it was downhill until he died in February 8, 2006. I am glad I was there in retrospect for that. Likewise I also prayed that the Lord would have mercy on my father as I knew after his strokes that he was not in it, and would be totally and utterly dependent on others for everything, and otherwise suffering, and that my father did not want to be a burden on anyone like that on anyone.
My father’s death until my real salvation February 2006 to October 2007
After my father died I stayed in Pa until late April. I did that to take care of, with my uncle’s help, of all sorts of paperwork and such after my father died, dealing with inheritance and the other matters that often result of someone’s death. I got an inheritance of my Father’s condo, and his car. I would then have my uncle sell off the condo after I moved to SC. I moved from Pennsylvania back to Hilton Head SC(with 70 boxes of magazines at the time of the move ,no less, then I got REALLY obsessive with my collecting of vintage magazines and blew through money from an insurance policy and a lot of my father’s inheritance in a matter maybe six to eight months. I figure between the insurance and inheritance I wasted close to 80 thousand dollars on vintage magazines, by the time I was finished with my purchases, I wound up with close to 180 boxes, many very large and heavy of all different kinds of vintage magazines. I did not have any relationship with the Lord at the time and I feel like this was my way of compensating for my father being dead and no longer being present in my life, and in a way to take my mind off the pain of the loss and my grief (actually for both my parents, for that matter(I was closer to my parents by far than to almost all others).But even all those magazines could not fill the gnawing hole in my heart, no physical item could, but as I would learn later only a relationship with God and His Son. Needless to say, I got into a lot of trouble with my landlord over this very obsessive purchasing, and as a result he required me put all those magazines in a storage unit, because they were a fire hazard and a bug hazard. In retrospect, I consider myself extremely fortunate to be not evicted by him over my obsessive collecting and hoarding of these magazines back then in the summer/fall of 2006-and I believe that also very much was God’s mercy and grace applied to that situation. . I bought almost all these magazines off eBay, by either winning auctions, or even directly from various sellers and there were days I had as many as ten or fifteen boxes outside my apartment, and more than just a few of those days. Eventually one of the store’s assistant managers, William Roberts would help me move from Hilton Head, SC to a farm where her mother lived in late April 2007. The farm was located outside of Kershaw, SC. The rent was less than half of what is was in Hilton Head, SC and in the trailer which I rented (3 bedrooms) there was enough space to house my entire vast collection so I did not have to rent a storage space anywhere. Although the rent was much lower, in retrospect it was very fortunate for me that my uncle did not permit me spend all my inheritance on magazines as I might have done so otherwise without my uncle’s intervention to stop that. I needed this to make ends meet as largely my work schedule - at a much less busy store than on Hilton Head, SC- was limited to one day per week. William was an evangelical Christian, a Baptist, so was his mother so after some moths of patient witnessing they finally got me to go to a local Baptist church in Kershaw. I believe now this was large part of God’s plan for this move was to get me saved, to commit my life fully to the Lord Jesus. This was Sunday October 14, 2007, when I went to the evening service at a church called Open Arms Baptist. I would go to a heaven and hell program on the following Saturday the 20th of October in Hartsville, SC. What persuaded me to finally give my life was a story of a teenage girl who got into a bad relationship online, then was raped and murdered by this guy she met via the internet. She, as she had not accepted Jesus and was past the age of decision, was shown to wake up in hell(as did her murder, who was executed in the play and made no pretense to repent, and in fact he was VERY hard hearted STRONGLY opposing ANY and ALL attempts to evangelize him. I had started to read the bible a little bit before going to church then, and the play dramatization finally persuaded me to accept the Lord that very night. I felt like I myself was destined for hell had I not made the decision that night to accept Christ (recommit?) One of the ministers there at Hartsville prayed with me to do this. I don’t know for certain if this was a new salvation as I think it is, or a recommitment, if the Lord counted my 1997 prayer as genuine. Only He knows the truth!!
Life in Kershaw,SC from October 2007 until move to North Carolina Fall 2009.
From around September 2007 into 2009 people did in fact arrange to get me help in various ways for my condition, and it was around October when I finally got my diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. This opened the way for me to apply for disability income via Social Security, which I got after a year’s time and two tries. Also, in a show of God’s blessing I got almost a year of back pay of this Social Security, thousands of dollars. That is a show of God’s mercy and goodness for there are many who have to go through much tougher times to get this disability income. They are so paranoid of scammers and fakes that many people who need it are rejected and have to get a lawyer and take them to court. I wanted also to get a designated payee; because I did not myself with this money especially after all the money I had wasted buying magazines! William was my first designated payee (Harrietta Turner and Teresa Wiggins were the others). Also, earlier in the year, in spite of the help of my inheritance I was able to get on EBT/food stamps. These stopped once I was approved for the disability income. All this was due to the persistence of William’s mother, Bobbie Taylor, who really cared for me. God moved her to pity my condition. I would never have done all this on my own, nor could I have(and God knew that). William also used me to help him in some things, too, such as help him move to Columbia. His one twin daughter moved to be with her grandmother, too, in February 2008, and I also helped her move too. She had been visiting from time to time beforehand but then she stayed there about 13 ½ months total. God used her to finally break my reclusive habits, staying to myself most of the time and get out and socialize with other human beings. Also the counseling and therapy at Camden’s(SC) mental health department helped achieve that end, as well. Meanwhile, I was going to church very regularly, reading the bible and praying every day, too, so I started to have a closer relationship with God at that time. I would go to three different churches at the same time in 2008 the main Baptist one (Open Arms), to where I was initially invited by my friends then. In about March, I would find out about a full Gospel church, called The Cross and the Sword, and also a month or less later a Holiness church, Gum Springs Holiness. As the Gospel church had a Tuesday night service and the holiness church had a Sunday afternoon service I was able to go to all three of them. Plus even bible studies that Cross and Sword had in people’s homes. God wanted to give me a large dose of preaching and teaching at that time for I was indeed a newbie Christian and it did help. He also wanted to show me differing church beliefs, too, and they were different from one another. All three churches were very small, rarely having more than 20 at any service, except for special occasions, like a singing. At that time I also heard about Andrew Womack ministries in Colorado, with his anointed teaching though it was never in God’s plan for me to go to school there as I had though: He would have different plans for me going to school. In 2009, in fact I did go to school for a comparative religion class in the spring and a bible school class in the summer, both of which were at a Midlands Technical School in Columbia SC(at different campuses, though). I also went on a number of spiritual retreats at varying places, mostly in North Carolina. I sold most of my magazines to help pay for these retreats, but still kept some of them. These retreats were in the Spring to the early fall(April to September of 2009). During the one at a Buddhist biased place(Southern Dharma) I actually had Jesus appear to me at night in a vision. I enjoyed the one called quiet place too, it was not far as it turns out from where I moved to actually. These helped me grow in spirit. I also enjoyed Mepkin Abbey in SC. I enjoyed the Quiet Place in Bakersville, NC the most. I was doing an activity with them at a church in Spruce Pine when I found an ad for Harrietta’s Stonehaven in the local paper. This was God’s way of telling me time to move to NC. By the middle of October of 2009, the move was complete. Another blessing of 2009 was going to a church in Fort Mill, SC, at first on Friday nights with another pastor then several times on Sunday to see the morning services. What a spirit filled church that place was! You could definitely feel the strength of the Holy Spirit there, without any doubt. It was over an hour from where I lived at that time but I felt it was well worth the drive to attend those services.
My stay in North Carolina 2009 through 2010
The main purpose of going to Stonehaven was to help Harrietta do things around the place, outdoors, indoors, and whatever else was needed. I was there, after all, in answer to an ad looking for volunteers and wanted to hold true. Harrietta was a blessed woman very mature in the faith where I had my own issues and immaturities. Still, things worked okay due to God’s grace and mercy. The winter of 2009-2010 was a challenge too with much snow and ice, doing a lot of tree damage(especially with a Christmas Day 2009 Ice storm), but thanks to help from a neighbor, I got through. This is still another example of God’s mercy, goodness and provision. Come spring there was help to clean up the place from a local church which I went to at that time. This was something called Operation Inasmuch, based on the Matthew 25:40 bible verse. Another incident worthy of note was that I found a card in Harrietta’s car that I do not believe was there by accident. God intended that for me. It was a card for New Life Bible School led by Norville Hayes in Cleveland Tennessee. New Life had a summer program of 4 weeks which I signed up for which was a real blessing to attend. There were classes by various teachers in the morning then a bit of study in the afternoon, I also served at the soup kitchen nearby most days. The church services and all were pretty good, too. Also God delivered me from having to take Strattera, a prescription ADHD medicine, that I had been taking for about 18 months, and used supplements instead for the purpose of mitigating my ADHD symtoms. Further in the spring God also started to witness and tell me about the pretrib rapture more so than beforehand. He led me to Tim La Hays prophecy study bible, and also brought Robert Bennet, someone who is strongly pretrib to the retreat. Even before back from the school in Tennessee,I wanted more and more for a much longer and more intense school to learn more about God, His word and ways, and to serve, and after a while of searching different schools and internship opportunities, I found someone from one of the internships who referred me to Youth with A mission, as they had good experience with them. When I looked up Youth with A mission online I found that they had a discipleship training school was exactly what I wanted to achieve the goals I had in mind. It meant that I would have to move away from Harrietta’s Stonehaven, and I never been back since to that retreat where I lived for almost 15 months. I miss Stonehaven, too, as it is beautiful. God really blessed Harrietta with a wonderful location, big main house, wonderful views, and beautiful land. God also provided for my needs too as I had unexpected car repairs(transmission, leaky seal late in December of 2010, perhaps as a failed bid of Satan to stop me from going to the DTS school? Thankfully I was able to sell off almost all of the remaining magazines from my collection to help pay for my trip there and help pay expenses too. Another blessing of provision was a $200 donation from a church member to help with expenses, too. The time at the retreat was a blessed time of service and growth in Christ, ending January 4, 2011 when I left for Colorado.
Youth with a Mission Discipleship training school lecture and outreach
This started in January 2011 and I am thankful God gave me the strength to drive nearly 1700 miles to western Colorado from western North Carolina, over four days, though the fourth was only a few hours of driving. Once I got there I found things to be different in that this is the first time outside of perhaps summer 2010, where I lived in true community. We lived, studied, and did work duties, and basically everything important together. People also did not know each other, either at the start of the class. I am thankful for God’s grace and kindness there for I was rather MUCH older than the other students: I was 43 and the other students were all between 18 and 21. It was a very small class, only five other students. The weekdays were highly structured and intense with classes during the morning, each week had a different teacher and that teacher taught their own separate topic(one of the teachers came as far away as Austrailia!), and the classes/lectures themselves were often preceded by worship or intercession. After lunch there was approximately a two hour period of work duties, things that needed to be done maintain the base, such as cleaning or splitting firewood. There was physical training(exercise) in the afternoons twice a week, then prayer about the outreach destination as the Holy Spirit led. There was some homework and projects too, like book reports, but still there was ample time for the students to fellowship with each other. The makeup and structure of this is able to provide opportunity for a VERY rapid growing and maturing in one’s relationship with God over the space of five or so months. God closed the door for the entire group to go to Pakistan for the summer outreach- their visa applications were all rejected, and He opened the door to go to Nepal for the rest of the group. However, God said an unmistakable manner that I was NOT to go with the rest of the group. Instead, He had me go to a ministry that helps people in the bondage of drugs and/or alcohol. In March the school had a teacher issue where one teacher could not get her card in time to the US, and it worked out with another’s health issue and all that we had to go to Texas for five days, for a week of lectures. When it was announced God said He wanted me to go do the School of the Bible there in the fall!! He may have even set up all these circumstances in my life to that end. Isn’t it awesome how He sets up things so that His will is done in our lives?
In April, I went from Colorado to western Washington, to Vancouver, a city of 200,000 just north of Portland, across the river there. It was another 1100 mile journey but this time over only two days. God gave me the strength to drive there in that little space of time, and get there safely. The is a highly structured and high accountability program where the students study God’s word the bible, do chores, pray, and do afternoon work duties, even having evening classes and activities. There is very little free time apart perhaps from weekends and even there they want everyone together, for accountability purposes. It is a good idea considering their backgrounds. The place is aptly named Freedom House, for God has used them to set free many men from the bonds of alcohol and drugs, often fully restoring and healing broken families and relationships, too in the process. The place is an amazing display of God’s power, love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness in these men, who also go out and help the local community with things, both in Vancouver and Portland (they are pretty much one and the same, only separated by the river. It was such an awesome and very eye opening experience seeing God do His work to and through these men. As with the DTS lecture, this is an opportunity for men to grow very rapidly through him through the students’ year long program (I was there 8 weeks). A few even go on to a second year, too, as like an intern where they then can go on and be a mentor to the first year students there. As one might expect, one has to be broken, family falling apart or even threatened with or even going to jail at the time of entering the program. Indeed the program has saved many men from having to serve a jail sentence and or losing their family. As stated the program is all about God’s mercy, grace, love, and all poured out on those broken men in bondage to drugs/alcohol. He then gave me the strength to drive all the way back safely to western Colorado which is where I started my summer.
The last couple of weeks I basically stayed and helped with outdoor tasks at the Cimarron, Colorado YWAM base, removing pebbles from the ground, weeds and other similar outdoor chores. All the snow was gone from the ground by the time I got back, for a change, even though I was told it snowed several times there during May, which is not the usual thing but maybe once or twice, but not several times. The base in Colorado has an elevation of 8,600 feet above sea level so it can snow almost at anytime of the year there(very rare,however, in the summer months but I did see flurries there, and a small accumulation at higher elevations while I was there in late June)! While there during those weeks God showed me His plans for me that summer- six weeks of mission building YWAM Chico California, formerly the Richardson Springs hotel, which is where I went immediately after graduating the DTS on the 24th of June. I left for California on the 25th of June. I thank God for strengthening me and keeping myself and my car safe during the 1000 mile drive to California during that time period. I miss the base in Cimarron, Colorado as it was the prettiest place I ever stayed in my life, God really made that area so beautiful, yet, as with Harrietta’s place He has not led me to go back there, either, as of yet.
The mission building is this: one works during the day about nine to five approximately, with a half hour of devotional/study time beforehand too. I was working in the housekeeping department with a very friendly woman named Felicia. The base, in a canyon in Chico, California was beautiful but rather rugged and all, and hilly. Evenings and weekends are free time for mission builders to relax or do whatever that needs to be done. During this time period, a busy one, I was able to find out that I was indeed accepted to the School of the bible. A real blessing on July 17th 2011 was being taken to Redding, Ca to go to Bethel church, which is a very spirit filled church. I went to both morning and evening services that day. Also, I went on a mission/service trip for 13 days in August to an orphanage in Baja California. Such trips by the base are normally one week about, but by God’s grace I was able to extend the trip by another full week, and the following Saturday I returned to the US, spending the weekend in San Diego and set off for Tyler, Texas from San Diego, California. God through His provision provided all costs of travelling for all of my adventures in 2011. He also kept me safe doing all the driving that was involved in all this travelling throughout the country. He put hedges of protection around me for all of these various travels.
The School of the bible YWAM Tyler Daysprings
Towards the end of August, the school of the bible started up. I was involved in it from approximately August 24, 2011, when I arrived in Tyler to June 23, 2012, when I flew to Florida. This is a very intensive school, which studied the bible in a very thoroughly, as well as other related topics, such as sin and salvation. They even covered topics like government and economics from a biblical standpoint. The school has three outreaches, one fall, one spring, and one in the summer. The first of the outreaches is a pastoral shadowing, church tour session; the second was a teaching one where students got the chance to teach the word themselves, the third was both teaching/ ministry one, and slated to be much longer than the other two. The school is very intense, again with classes in the morning, work duties/chores after lunch, but more homework this time. In the morning, before classes there was prayer, worship or a Greek class. Aside from homework, weekends/evenings are free, but the homework can be a lot, some projects taking hours to do. This is especially so of the final New Testament epistle project the student presenting a full epistle with a long written report AND a 30-60 minute oral presentation in front of the class. Other major projects that were in the school included a prophet’s project and a study on the book of Proverbs.
When it came time to pray about the options to go to the first outreach trip, which was basically to go somewhere and learn about the functioning of a church and especially its leadership, Florida, as well as Ohio, and personal churches were options available for that outreach. I was led to go to Florida, then little dreaming what would happen after the school(at the time I went to Florida in November 2011, I thought I would be going to Africa in 2012, specifically to Zambia). Where I went on the outreach is maybe 80 or so miles away from where I am now to the north, but a long ways from Texas- about a twenty hour drive. Due to God’s grace and mercy we made it(same applied March 2011 with the trip from Colorado to Texas, about the same time on the road). In Florida we shadowed the pastors who helped us learn much about what they do, about what goes on at the church and other things. We had interviews with most all of the leadership of the church, Coastal Life. I stayed in a fellow student’s condo myself with him and his family. We stayed there through the Thanksgiving break as well, finally returning to Texas the weekend afterwards. This school, as well as the DTS in the spring had one on ones where a student was paired with a staff member for meetings from time to time. In the DTS it was weekly though this one was less, as it was a much longer school though it was often as needed. Furthering into 2012, God started to give signs that I in fact was to NOT go to Zambia in the summer, even though I was able to sell my car, which paid off the remaining tuition from the school, which was nearly $6000(as the school is long, it is cheap for a near one year school and included not only tuition but room and board as well, at many colleges, 6000 dollars wouldn’t come close to paying a years tuition fees, at some you’d be lucky to get 12 credit hours, so I am so thankful for finding such education at a bargain rate. In December/early January we were asked to pray to see where we were led to go on my spring outreach, this time the Lord led me to go on the Mexico team. This trip was in early March. I went with a larger group like 8 other students or so(the class had like 21 students more or less, much bigger than the DTS) . I was able to teach at a church service in Monterrey, Mexico on the first Sunday night, as well as give a testimony of what happened to me when in school of 8th graders in El Coyote- a tiny village several hours south of Monterrey. One of the students, from Columbia served as a translator for all the others. The trip was a blessing too though it involved a lot of driving, and waiting at the border as well. Back from that God closed the door to the idea of going to Zambia, then He showed me this crusade thing on facebook, which very much interested me. I then in late March early April got in contact with Teresa Wiggins, the president of WAAOM, We all are one ministry. I thought for a time I would go to New England with the team but He closed that door, as well, and also other doors, like mission building, as well as further schools. He wanted me to go to Florida immediately after the end of the school in late June. He opened that door too, for her husband Kevin is not at all one just to let just anyone in their home, in this case a condo. He is very loving, but also protective of her, and won’t let any harm come to her. God therefore also had to intervene and move on him to let me come, and that is exactly what God did. So I finished up the school and prepared to go there. There also were other blessings well worth mentioning: on six Friday nights scattered during the school I went with other students to a night of worship in Dallas at Christ for the Nations, also went witnessing in Dallas in December 2011, and to the Esther call in April 2012. The school of the bible was a blessing.
Teresa Ann Wiggins
In late June I flew from Texas to Florida(I had to, as I had sold my car long before), to live with Teresa and Kevin, to help the former prepare for the then coming crusade to reach out to people in the eastern part of the US. Teresa is a very, very mature Christian woman with many, many spiritual sons who are pastors, evangelists and other leaders throughout the United States and many other areas of the world. The Lord also had another treat for me then- in July I was able to go to Haiti for 3 and ½ weeks to visit some of her spiritual sons there. Just before going the Lord opened up a bigger three bedroom condo in the next building and while I was in Haiti the move took place. Through various ways God provided the high cost of the move, over six thousand dollars all told, mainly in rent- the new place requiring first, last and security(as well as paying the old places rent), plus there were other fees such as cleaning. Through His mercy and grace all was provided for. He is good like that always. He also provided all of the monies needed for the people to apply for visas, and send all the documents to them, all of this was expensive, running many thousands of dollars, but God provided for that. Sadly after all of the trouble ONLY ONE was accepted, Andrew from Kenya, out of over 40 who applied!! All of the others were rejected for one or another reason, mainly for not having been to the US before as Andrew of Kenya, had and had returned. A big reason for all the rejections is that many foreigners when they get to the US don’t ever come back, and stay here illegally. Of course then since they cannot trust them to come here and not go back to their host nation they won’t accept them. All this made Teresa so depressed that she wanted to cancel the crusade unless the Lord would let at least one to come through. I will add that the people here in this country had other things to do and weren’t able to help with the crusade either. So, when Andrew came off we went on the crusade. It wasn’t what we though it would be for He had his own agenda and would later admit in repentance that He had gotten ahead of the Lord and done his own will by going to conferences and such. The time was NOT blessed for him, and I put it here in my testimony as a warning to all to NOT get ahead of the Lord’s timing or will.
One more thing that I want to add, I thought at the time of the end of the school of the bible, I thought I’d be with Teresa until just after the crusade and then move onbut I was wrong , for I am here as of March 2013,more than five months after the end of the crusade. I always seek God on all things but now I strongly believe this is a permanent move to a permanent home, up until the rapture happens, which I believe is imminent and could be anytime, any day. I am expecting the rapture with great anticipation this year, 2013. God is using Teresa and the situation I am in to mature and grow me in Christ, that the work is not finished, and I know that He will finish this work before He comes back to rapture His bride. I pray earnestly every day that by His mercy and grace I am counted worthy to go on the rapture, for the rapture is something I absolutely DO NOT want to miss. I need His mercy and grace every day, as do all of us. He has given me two Facebook like pages: FISH Faith in Serving Him, and The Rapture is Imminent, Are You ready?(please see links at bottom) He gave my facebook accounts to post scripture, share video and photos well as answer messages. I also am an admin at Ken Rich’s site Indiegospel.org. Another good thing is that the move has grafted me into a nice size family seeing is that Teresa has 4 living daughters and six (soon seven) grandchildren, a mother who is still alive, sisters and such. They are mostly in Plant City, near Tampa, about 3 ½ to four hours from here, in Pompano Beach, Florida. I was there, in Plant City, for 3 of the holidays in 2012.My heart is always to do His will, no matter what that might mean in my life. If He gave me the strength to do so, I’d likely lay my life down for Him, if need be- after all He laid His life for me. For most, however that is NOT required, for some it can be. . I pray too that the rapture be soon, as strongly believe in a pre-trib rapture, and that His bride would wake up in time to make it. I pray all you who read this are rapture ready, praying to the Holy Spirit to show them any areas that are deficient and help them make amends so they are rapture ready and ready to go in the rapture Please read this on the rapture a page that I wrote with the help of the Holy Spirit
Doing the will of God is by far the most important thing by far in my life. There is absolutely nothing better than a strong healthy relationship with the Lord Jesus. Absolutely nothing can fill the hole in our spirit like He can, not people, animals nor all the things in the world, as I had erroneously thought for so many years. He has been extremely merciful to me over all the years of my life, too, protecting me and shielding me from the consequences of poor choices to a large extent of many poor decisions of mine in my life. I think He was doing that largely just to call out to me. I say this in hindsight, for I was NOT seeking Him for much of the time. I must admit often I do not understand what God is up to in my life, though I just trust Him for I know it says that in His word that as much as the heavens are higher than the earth His ways and thoughts are higher than mine, so there are times that all I can do is trust. I know He has shut many a door in my life but when I look back at my life I know now that it was ALWAYS the best tfor me to not go there, do that, and so on.
If after reading this you want to invite Jesus in your heart for a personal relationship with Him, believe me absolutely NOTHING this world has to offer can come remotely close to that, I invite you to pray this following prayer with me
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness. I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin. You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess Jesus as our Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we will be saved. Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved. Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
God bless you and all yours. Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it.
Jay Dougherty email@example.com
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