Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bernice Shares Her Story

It's day number SIX out of eleven salvation testimonies to be shared on Selah the days leading up to and just after Easter. I can't think of a better way to celebrate His resurrection than hearing God-stories of souls raised from death to life. So pause. Ponder what He has done. Then praise Him!!!!

My precious sister in Christ, Bernice, shared her story through the posting of some of my questions. I was incredibly moved by her life of courage and faith.

How old were you when someone first told you about Jesus?

To believe in Jesus Christ and to look up to God for help and guidance in your life was learned to me just like learning to read and write.This is a huge blessing and privilege. I got awesome examples by strong, godly women ( My grandmother, her sister and"Nene Dina") and a godly man, my grandfather. I was always prayed for, even when i left my birthcountry all by myself. The BEST advice my grandma gave me was "ALWAYS take your Bible and pray"!

When did you become open to the gospel?

I was always open to the gospel as a child. God was my living reality. I love reading and telling stories, so the stories from the Children's Bible, I could tell out of my head. I remember as a teen i wanted to read "the real Bible" from beginning to end. My grandfather frequently read passages to me and we talked about them.

In my teen time i went to Youth services in other Christian denominations, because i started coming up against the "kind of set liturgic services" and the common songs from the 17th and 18th centuries......

What compelled you to give your life over to Jesus?

It was a vibrant experience of God's Spirit in a youth group in the same denomination i was baptized as a child, but now living in Holland. I left my birthcountry when i was 18yo age. I made my commitment to follow Jesus when i was 21.

What Scriptures were particularly meaningful to you?

My favorite book is Isaiah, which is about HOPE to me.....
Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
I was and am always intriged by the HOPE we can have as Christians for living this life out of restoration, and after this Life with Him and All who died in Him!

When did you finally start living out your faith?

In my married life and this last year I was compelled to hold on to His Promises for His Children more.

What changed inside of you?

I accepted Jesus Christ when I was active in the Youth group because I realized that God's Spirit lives in people. I saw it, I felt it, I accepted the gospel that "He is the only way to God." I realised also around that time that I embraced other thoughts in my teens going to adolescent that were not endorsed by The living God the God of Jesus Christ.

How do you think your life is different since you made Jesus the Lord of it?

When I started living it, it was the moment i stopped ONLY believing in Jesus Christ and began to confess and realize that I need a SAVIOR. I can't live Godly out of my own strength. In that season of my life as a mother ( of toddlers) and married, I felt I came totally short. I found a verse of Apostle Paul and realized then the depth of it....

Romans 7:21-23 (The Message)
"It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge."

Gods spirit urges me to pray without ceasing for myself for my family. I felt totally inadequate, and I was "housebound," only in loose contact with my church family.

But in the midst of this my relationship with the Lord began to grow, and He started to "weed" in our lives and plant new seeds.

I found a book along the way, "The Power of A Praying Wife" from Stormie Omartian....and praying those Scriptural prayers helped me to focus on GOD's PLAN for me, my dh's and my family. I was directed to His WORD, and I can testify that God is faithful. He answered in His time each and every prayer that I sent up to Him......and also the prayers sent up by my "Granny," who followed and blessed me through my whole life.

My marriage is stronger than ever, my husband is drawn to God more than ever, my kids love the Lord and learn about Him-- and I'm challenged now more than ever to become the P31 woman, the best I can be for HIM who restored me and gave me HOPE for now and everyday!

Bernice is 42 and went to live in Holland all by herself when she was just 18-years-old to study becoming a beautician. Her parents had  their own beauty business in her birth country, Surinam ( above Brazil), and she was their only child. After some years, Bernice changed her mind and chose to study for nursing. She works now part-time with the elderly in a home facility in Holland for already 18 years. Along those years she met her dh's, who is a "nail artist" (stylist). Beside working part-time, they opened a "head to toe" beauty business in the "Heart of Amsterdam." They worked together until their second child was born and he had all his beauty diplomas. Presently, Bernice is working with the elderly alone part-time and spends the rest of her time being a mum and housewife. You can find her blog at My Journey.

12 friends shared a comment:

Denise said...

May God continue to sweetly bless you Bernice.

Runner Mom said...

These salvation testimonies are wonderful and powerful! Thanks so much for sharing them with your bloggy friends!

Marsha said...

Wonderful testimony of a legacy handed down and made her own. Thanks for sharing, Bernice.

Joanne Sher said...

What a beautiful testimony, Bernice. God is so powerful. Loving these reads this week!

LauraLee Shaw said...

Bernice, your story has really touched me. one sentence in particular grabbed my heart, and I know I will be repeating it:

"God was my living reality."

I love that.

Yvonne said...

Wow...what a wonderful testimony!

I like the way that your grandparents and parents had a part in bringing you to where you are today.

Thanks for sharing.


Dee Yoder said...

Beautiful and inspiring testimony! It is so nice to read about someone who has known about the Lord her entire life. I'm so glad you shared your testimony!

Lisa said...

Thanks Bernice for your beautiful story. God captured your heart early & has used you for HIs glory as you are touching peoples' lives with your testimony. God bless you.

godsown said...

I say another "THANK YOU" Laura Lee..., that you gave this opurtunity to glorify God with our lifestories...
All this is a God thing!
The enemy is not happy at all!!
He tried and is still trying to over shadow the "Joy of the Lord" in my life but he failed.
After the ordeal of last weekend i'm feeling sick now but i can't stop praising God that I know Him and indeed He is my living reality!!

Blessings for this " Holy Week"

Laurie Ann said...

LauraLee, thank you so much for bringing us these precious stories. I love Bernice's testimony! She is beautiful, inside and out!

Josh said...

Great testimony. Thanks for sharing, Bernice!

Patty Wysong said...

It's so good to hear how God moves and saves people! Beautiful testimony, Bernice!