My parents were active in their Catholic group when they were young and still single, but after they got married they remained only nominal and did not attend mass on a regular basis or performed any religious rites on my sister and me, except baptism. We grew up with good moral standards and aloof fear of God.
Then one day we moved to a new house and our neighbours, a lady from Spain with her two children, were Christians. They invited us to church. First my sister and I started to go to Sunday School and to a Bible Children’s club. I heard the lessons, the stories, the message and believed without doubts or confusion on religious differences. I never gave a second thought on Catholic or Evangelical issues. For me, it was simply God.
I remember repeatedly asking Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my heart, thus I can’t tell an exact day; but what I also recall was the beyond reason joy I had. I wanted to tell others and I wanted to sing praises. I loved the singing. However, I was very shy and didn’t openly share what had happened to me.
One day when I was thirteen and in Sunday School, the lesson was about the book of Joshua and had to memorize verse 9 of chapter 1: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Right then and there I knew God was telling me to overcome my fear, my shyness and speak up. At the end of the meeting I went up to talk to the elders and asked them to give me time in the Gospel meeting to share my testimony. I wasn’t eloquent and well-articulated, but it was the beginning.
Four months later I got baptized.