Out of Every Kindred, and Tongue, and People, and Nation: Newfoundland

Show Me the Truth!

September 27, 1982- The calendar stated that it was Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) – a Jewish observance of atonement. Little did I know when that day broke that it would become my day of atonement (salvation).

Although I was born into a normal middle-class home, neither my mother nor father had any religious inclination except for the occasional time of going to “church.” I never heard much about Jesus. One thing that does stand out in my mind was a grandmother who many times would be seen reading her Bible. This, in later years, would cause me to wonder, even if briefly, about matters concerning God.

At the age of 15, while in junior high school, I started to experiment with drugs, “innocently enough,” with what the world calls “soft drugs” such as marijuana and underage drinking. Looking back there would really be no one reason why one would take that path except for curiosity and the need to feel that you are “in” with the crowd! Little did I know that it was my sinful nature that propelled me to make this choice. Romans 5:8 says “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

At the beginning I was having fun being with the crowd and enjoying all that came with this choice. Late nights and heavier drinking, with more dangerous drugs, inevitably led to less interest in school and its activities. This caused my marks to slide downward until eventually I was just scraping through my final school year. By this time my sin-choice led me to drug abuse practically every night and most days as well. At the age of 18, during a particularly heavy time of constant drinking and drug use, I ended up in Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in Toronto for three months due to an overdose.

I can recall swearing on a Bible, before my parents, while at that hospital, that I never would get involved in drugs and drinking again! While there the doctors warned me that if I continued this lifestyle I would end up in a hospital institution for the rest of my life!

After returning home, within 6 months the drugs and drinking consumed me again! I had no control or will to stop! With a vengeance, I consumed more drugs and drink than ever before with no end in sight, and a certain despair crept in with weeks of depression and hopelessness.

At the age of 22 I considered suicide as a means of ending it all, but thankfully those terrible thoughts passed, although the depravity continued on. By the time I was 23 I used to get brief periods of wondering, “Is this all there is to this life?” I remember going to a night club with drinking and drug use and yet, even there, standing among hundreds of people, I felt very alone and just tired of how my life was. Even at nightclubs God can speak to souls! At around the same time as this I decided to buy a Bible! Coming home one night after another party I opened the Bible randomly and my eyes fell upon the parable of “The Sower and the Seed” — spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ, as found in Mark’s Gospel chapter 4. It spoke of the gospel being preached and of some who heard but did not believe and of others who not only heard but believed and brought forth fruit. In my darkness I did not understand but I spoke to God that night for the first time in my life! “If You are God and You are what the Bible says, show me the truth!!”

At around the same time a friend of mine had started her search for the truth as well. At times we would bump into each other and we would talk about God in a general sense. She eventually found salvation in Christ and invited me to see her baptism on September 20, 1982. I accepted! That sunny Sunday afternoon I felt my prayers were heard. What I saw was approximately 100 people witnessing a baptism and everyone looked happy. I thought to myself “I want what they have.” That night I was invited to hear the gospel for the first time in my life at Gander Gospel Hall. It amazes me when we hear of Christians going to evangelize distant lands when here I was at the age of 24 and, until this point, I had never seen a gospel tract or heard about salvation from anyone! At that gospel meeting the preacher faithfully preached the gospel. No one had to convince me that I was a sinner! There I learned that Jesus loved me and died on the cross to pay for my sins. I was convicted! The week that followed was full of questions and wonderings. I knew I wasn’t ready to meet God! The following Sunday I again attended a gospel meeting. The next day, September 27, 1982, was “D-Day” for me!

I had to get this issue of my sins settled! My uncle owned a cabin near a lake so off I went with my $6.00 Bible. In that cabin was a little book titled “My Searching” written by Isobel Kuhn, and in this book were some well known gospel verses such as John 3:16. This, as well as other verses, convicted me and that evening, with no one around for miles, I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.