While preparing for this past week’s sermon, Pastor Mark posted on the City, asking for stories from people who’d either been saved in the past year or been used of God to help someone else get saved in the past year. Dozens of you responded, and we’re posting those stories here. Last week, we heard from a man who led his sister to Christ in a Ruby Tuesday restaurant and a former Mormon who beat alcoholism, among others. Today, we hear how God used a gunshot wound, parents’ deathbeds, and a guy with a Bible in a Starbucks to bring people to redemption through his Son.
On January 2, I was shot in the head while driving on my way home from working out at the gym. Through the grace of God I did not die and was given a second chance at life. When I woke up at Harborview [Medical Center] and realized I was still alive, I awoke with an amazing sense of purpose and clarity. I knew without a doubt I had been given a great opportunity by God.
There was a instantaneous transformation that occured in me that day. I underwent a massive reprioritization of my purposes in life. My faith became unwavering that day. I received Christ into my life and nothing anyone can say could change what I believe. My relationship and love with Christ, family and friends became paramount in my life.
God saved my life twice, once by allowing me a second chance at life, twice by allowing me to be born again as a believer. I have given my life to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
After 30 years of praying for my Jewish parents, I had the amazing gift of leading both of them to Christ before they died. My father’s conversion was profound. I led him to his Messiah in the hospital two weeks before he died. As we sang “Amazing Grace” together, my dad was filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus met him in very personal ways during his last two weeks of life. My mom also accepted Christ earlier that same year and on her death bed we prayed and she called on the name of Yeshua!
God is so faithful. Don’t ever give up praying. There are more amazing details of God’s grace. Blessings to you.
My spiritual journey started in the summer of 2009. I am ethnically Turkish with a Muslim family background. I had been without a job for over six months and my marital relationship was on the rocks, and I ultimately went through a divorce a few months later. As I felt an emptiness in my life, my thirst for spirituality grew. I realized that I really did not have a relationship with God. I began praying intently, asking God how I could have a relationship with him and to show me the way.
It was soon afterwards, in July 2010, that I met Donald at Starbucks. He had a Bible with him, and he said he worked for Mars Hill Church. I asked him about Mars Hill and from there we had a two-hour discussion about his church and the Christian faith. He asked to meet again and so my journey learning about the gospel and understanding Jesus began. Donald invested a lot of time and effort to guide me in my journey of spiritual discovery. We became friends and I felt I could trust him.
Donald usually had his Bible with him and he regularly read to me from the Word. I was somewhat of a skeptic and seemed to always find something to doubt or challenge. But then I began to realize that my skepticism was actually interfering with my spiritual growth rather than enhancing it. I needed to understand the real message. It was time to find the truth and connect with the story in the Word of God and the good news.
By August, I felt strongly drawn to Jesus. I felt his love and the need to repent. Praise the Lord that he worked in my life to bring me to finally accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior on August 29, 2010. I felt a spiritual transformation and fulfillment. The emptiness was gone replaced with joy. God’s amazing grace and love filled my heart. I found Jesus and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit realizing I was saved!
I have been blessed with wonderful fellowship and have expanded my knowledge of God through his Word. Donald and I now meet every Saturday to study the Bible. I go to a group meeting weekly and have attended church on a regular basis. Having been a believer now for just a few months, I find that my walk with the Lord is exciting, yet challenging at times. But I take comfort that I will not be forsaken and that Jesus will always be in my heart, and the Holy Spirit, who indwells me, will gift me with wisdom, and discernment, and prepare me for eternal fellowship with God. God works in amazing ways, and I am so blessed that he has been so patient with me and brought me into his kingdom.