San Jose, Costa Rica
One of the highlights for our church is when we have people profess their faith publicly through baptism. As part of their baptism, we ask them to prepare and then share their personal testimony. On 25 July, we baptized four people. All of them shared very powerful testimonies, and it was a very inspiring time for our church. I felt it would be good for the larger IBC family to hear these testimonies to encourage us in our work. Below are the four testimonies of those we recently baptized.
Before I accepted Jesus Chris as my Lord and Savior, I was living a very sinful life. I didn’t care about anything but living the way I wanted. I had everything this world can offer, yet I was not happy; I was lost in darkness.
One time God tried to speak to me through a friend, who came to me and said, “Alex, God is calling you!” I answered: “Tell God to call me later because I don’t have time right now.” Four to six weeks later, all the bad things I was doing got me into trouble, and I almost lost my freedom. I was alone, not even my family could do anything to help, so I called upon His name and His answer was different than mine. He didn’t say, “I don’t have time.” He said to me, “Don’t be afraid because I am with you!”
Jesus showed me His mercy and love. He opened my eyes and ears. He took me out of the darkness and saved me. I believe Jesus is Lord, the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross and paid for all my sins, and I believe He was raised from the dead the third day.
Jesus saved me. I’ve been saved by His love and mercy. And as a step of obedience, today I am getting baptized and I am a new creature in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). I do not want to live any longer as I please, but I do want to live as Jesus commands us to.
My path to Christianity has had ups and downs; I still consider myself a work in progress. Even though I was brought up with great moral values, went to Mass as a kid and tried to do good, I guess I never really found the Lord or had that close relationship with Him. I always wanted to get closer to God and really feel His presence in my life.
It wasn`t until my sister passed away seven years ago in an accident that I had to face two options: either fall into a resentment with God and get myself lost in bad decisions or hold onto Him to find guidance and for His love to fill that void. Losing my sister (or having this separation for now as I have come to understand) was like losing part of myself.
Sometime after she passed, I needed to find more of Jesus in order to deal with the pain; that is how I got to IBC. That situation made me want to be more like Jesus, follow Him, fall in love more with Him every day. By surrendering control of my life to Him, and having Him guide me through life, I have found that I am becoming a better person, better daughter, sister, and friend. My life is better and happier (even with all the pain that life has to offer).
I want to continue growing closer and closer to Jesus and serve Him using the gifts He has so kindly bestowed upon me. He has blessed me so much in so many areas of my life, simply just by surrendering control to Him. I want to continue doing so. Life with Jesus is better, fuller, and I cannot wait to become the person He always planned for me to be.
I was born in a Christian family where my parents always talked and taught me about God since I was little. When I was 11, I started to take God’s Word and Jesus more seriously, and I started to feel more curious about His Word. I remember asking my parents for a Bible and getting really motivated to learn God’s Word.
I remember one night where I was in my room by myself praying, and I asked the Lord to please help me understand the Scripture because I was having trouble actually understanding it. And that was the best day of my life, I felt His presence and I knew He was there!
A few days later I decided to give my life to Jesus. When I prayed, I asked Him to come live in me — that I needed Him. I told Him that I believe what He did on that cross and I accepted Him as my God and Savior. That was the best decision I could’ve ever made!
Raised in a Christian family during my early years, I remember going to church and Vacation Bible School. At about eight years of age, my Mom and Dad’s lives got extremely busy with college attendance and work so our church attendance suffered and then stopped.
My life as a teen and young adult not following the Lord led me down a dark path in which my identity drifted to an ungodly lifestyle filled with loneliness, feeling unloved, and searching for love and acceptance through wrong friendships and self-medication.
Having grown up in the 60s, I was involved in using drugs and alcohol and started seeking alternative paths involving new age-ism and occult practices. These activities led to a whole host of self-destructive behaviors, a spiraling downward in my emotions. I became very depressed in my young adult life and after many years of psychiatrists, psychologists, and group therapy, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder due to a chemical imbalance.
In 1989 I was prescribed an antidepressant that gave me hope from my suicidal thoughts, and I began to experience a positive shift in my mental attitude. My emotional state became more stable, but I still felt empty in my heart and alone in my relationships. It was a continuous struggle to hide my emotional pain, and I still had bouts of depression.
Late in my life, August 2011, having lived in Costa Rica for over nine years, I learned that some friends of mine, Joe and Mayela (members here at IBC) planned to start a small Bible study group in the Grecia area. I was asked to see if I had an interest in attending, and I immediately said yes.
I had no idea that my life would be turned around with a thirst and hunger for God’s Word and His saving grace to change me with the love, joy, and peace I was missing all those years. Ten years of Bible study and fellowship with Christians for the first time in my adult life led me to a spiritual renewal and a life dedicated to following Christ. I have had many blessings and came to realize that God had protected me from my self-destructive behavior and He rescued me and gave new life.
I continue to thirst for God’s Word and to trust and obey Him as He leads and guides me. I know my life has purpose, and I am here Lord to continue my growth through your Word. I feel blessed in so many ways and would like to share one of my favorite verses: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 4:32–5:2).
I am so very thankful for my husband Ingo and how he fully supports and loves me in my Christian faith and walk. May we share together in your love and grace. I am also so very thankful for my parents that provided the Christian foundation I needed.