Testimony by Francois Vd Merwe

Introduction

I grew up in a small town called Wierdapark just south of Pretoria, South Africa. I had three brothers and I was the middle child. I grew up religiously and my mom and dad both went to church. It was just our custom on Sunday morning for my dad to come and wake us up, get dressed and go to church. When we arrived at the church, we’ll head off to Sunday school. At the church where we went, Sunday school was where they divided you into age groups and someone would come to teach you the Bible.

I always hanged out with the naughty crowd at school even though I was religious. I did not want to be seen as a religious weirdo.

Life before Christ

The way our preacher taught us to get saved, was that I needed to invite Jesus into my heart and pray for forgiveness of my sin. (The sinners prayer). I did that twice in my life but were still unsure / or felt there was more to Christianity than just that. It seemed too easy with no real commitment. I was religious the Sunday and different on Monday to Saturday. After school,  I went to the army and lived a worldly life for 2 years.

 Then I went off to university / college. One day a crazy guy stood in front of the whole class of 100 and invited us to a Bible discussion that evening. I went to the group and had a great discussion about the Bible (which I had never had before in a group setting). One of the members asked me if I wanted to study the Bible, which I did. There was one study we did called discipleship. After that study, for the first time in my life, I suddenly realized that I was not a Christian, even though I had been raised in a Christian home and had been in church all of my
life. 

The other bible studies we did was about the Bible being the standard of my life and that I will be judged on it; God’s family;  how I went off the rails and how to get back and finally how God saves me. The essence of these studies was this: God created me to have fellowship with him, but I had broken that close relationship with God and chose to go my own way. My fellowship with God was broken, but he continued to love me. God says that “the wages of sin is eternal death” – Romans 6:23, and either I had to die for my sins or someone else had to pay the penalty for me. God sent his son, Jesus, to die [and] pay the penalty of my sin. God had said, “without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness” – Hebrews 9:22. So he loved me and sent his son, Jesus, to die for me. I learned that I had to get baptized for the forgiveness of my sin after I became a disciple and repented of my sin to be saved. Acts 2:38

Life with Christ

Five years later, while still being at university / college, I got baptized having faith in my baptism that I died with Christ and now am living a new life. Yeahhhh!!! Now one of my biggest passions is simply telling people about what Christ did for me and teaching other people to do the same. I am also part of a great spiritual family that support, encourage, and love me. My destiny is heaven and my purpose it to bring glory to God by being obedient to him. Every day, God gives me the power to turn away from my sin. I am by no means perfect but live a devoted life to God.

 I can say I am at peace and my life has meaning loving God and loving people for the past 22 years.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Gal 2:20 NIV

Love in Christ

Francois