by Aleyamma Jacob
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My mother is a Christian. From my childhood onwards, she used to tell me about Christ. Whenever she got time, she used to tell me about her experiences with God, and how God saved her life from a terrible motor accident. I loved hearing stories but I didn't like the Bible. I thought it was just an ordinary book, with all sorts of funny tales. I was very popular in my school. I am a very good athlete. I liked music and dancing. I used to dance with my friends for hours. Since I am handsome, the girls liked to dance with me.
Academically, I am very brilliant. My ambition is to become a pilot. My mother's friend's son is my best friend in my class. He is a Christian. He invited me several times to attend a weekend sky retreat. I bluntly refused. One day he told me that he will buy me a toy aeroplane if I would go with him for the weekend sky retreat. Since my hobby is collecting aeroplanes, I was fascinated by this offer, and I agreed to go with him. During the retreat, the speakers spoke about the love of Christ which touched my heart, and I became a follower of Christ.
After the retreat, I came back to my school as a changed person. My reading habits changed and I was anxious to read about Christ and his Words. I always had a small Bible with me. I told my friends about the love of Jesus and they all made fun of me. They couldn't understand the changes that took place in my life. I loved the company of Christian friends. I told my friends about the love of Christ, but they did not pay any attention to me. I was forelorn and sad. Every day I went home with a heavy heart.
My mother was very happy about the changes that took place in my life. I shared my burden about my classmates with my mother. She told me to pray fervently for my classmates, claiming God's promises in faith. One day when I went to school, I saw a senior, named Tom bullying a junior. I immediately intervened, and I told Tom to stop it. Tom was dumbfounded. He asked me why I interfered, and I told him that it is my duty to do so because Christ has taught me to love everybody. Then Tom asked me about Christ. He told me that he is from a broken home and he never heard about Christ. I told him that Jesus came to restore peace in broken homes and to love the unloved.
The next day, Tom met me during lunch break and asked me to tell him more about Christ. Then I told him how my friend helped me to know about Christ. We talked about Christ for a long time. Tom told me about his life story which was very pathetic and heart-breaking. He said that his mother was an illegitimate child. She never got the chance to study in a high school. She started to work at a very early age. When she was seventeen, she became friendly with a man who was already married with two children. Tom was born as a result of this unholy alliance. Tom's mother hated Tom because he was unwanted. When I heard Tom's story, I felt very sad, and I thought about all the blessings I have in my house. I thanked God for my praying mother. She was always with Christ. Day in and day out, she was either praying or singing. She enjoyed her Bible reading. She had a Bible study group in my house. My mother and her friends used to meet on every Saturday. They sang beautiful songs and I used to listen from my room.
I told Tom that God wants him and he should become a follower of Christ. Tom listened attentively and opened up his heart to Christ. We both sat together and prayed. After prayer, Tom asked me many questions about the Bible and Jesus. I told him all I knew. Then for a moment I felt very sad about the time I lost. So much time I spent in reading unchristian novels and magazines. I spent hours and hours in the tennis court playing tennis, and in the swimming pool. All these things are necessary in life, but I made a mistake in spending so much time for my extra-curricular activities. If I had spent more time with my Bible, I could have helped Tom a lot. But at that moment, God gave me peace telling me that there is plenty of time ahead.
Friends saw a drastic change in Tom's life. He used to go to the school library and he spent hours in reading Christin books. His friends started to make fun of him but he never retaliated. His friends were amazed at the changes in his daily life. I was watching all these things and I spent most of my spare time with Tom. One day, Tom came to me and told me that he has decided to follow Christ. I was overjoyed. At last, God gave me grace to bring one person to Christ. That was the greatest day of my life. Still I was not satisfied. I wanted to bring more and more teenagers to Christ. God loves teenagers. I began to pray earnestly about this . God impressed it upon my heart that prayer is an unceasing process. So I continued my prayer all the time, while driving, while walking and while playing. I praised my Saviour for that inner thirst for the teenagers who never knew about Christ and his love.
I have two sisters named Tessie and Jessie. They are identical twins who always dressed alike. I like them very much. I have a brother called Timmy. We all love each other. My father is an aeronautical engineer. He is very fond of the twins.
Their favourite hobby is collecting dolls from all over the world. Whenever my father travels, he brings them identical dolls. Timmy's hobby is collecting cars. He has a big collection of all models of cars. All his pocket money is spent for buying toy cars. My brother and sisters never knew Christ. They always go to church but they never opened their hearts to Christ. I have a great burden about them and I always pray for them. One day Jesus will open their hearts. That is God's promise.
Uptil now, I was able to bring only one person to Christ. That always reminded me about the urgency of prayer for lost souls. So every day I used to spend hours in prayer for the teenagers. One day while I was in school, I got a phone call from my mother that my sisters met with an accident and they were in hospital. The sudden thought that came to my mind was that this was for bringing them to Christ. I rushed to the hospital. When I reached their room, both of them were lying in terrible pain. I knelt before their bedside and prayed. After prayer, I reminded them about the pain Jesus had endured for them. They listened carefully and they asked me to tell them more about the love of Jesus. I told them about the story of Lazarus and other stories in the Bible where Jesus healed the sick and the needy.
I came back from the hospital thinking about my sisters. In the night when I prayed, I told God to heal them miraculously. I entrusted them into the healing hands of God and I slept peacefully. The next day, when I phoned the hospital, I was told that they were much better and I praised God for answering my prayer. As it was a weekend, I decided to go to the hospital and spend time with my sisters. They were very pleased to see me early morning. We all sat together and prayed and I told them many stories from the Bible. All this time, they kept quiet and after a while, they said that they would like to follow Christ. Then I was so happy and I told them that we all will work for Christ. I told them that there is a great urgency for workers among the teenagers.
Soon my sisters left the hospital. When they went back to their schools, they also felt the need to tell their classmates about Jesus. They told them how I brought them to Christ and how it changed their lives. Their friends were surprised to see them talking like this, because they had never heard the twins talking about Jesus before. I was also very happy when I saw the changes in their lives. They loved the company of Christian teenagers and attended all the teenage retreats. During one of the retreats, they met two Christian boys whom they liked very much. They had many things in common with them and they became real friends. This was also a great consolation for me because I was concerned about their friends. They brought these boys home and my parents were happy to meet them.
Now my brother was the only one left in my family to follow Christ. He wanted to become a mechanical engineer. All his free time he spent on repairing old cars. He had a girl friend called Sophie. She was interested in Christian activities. She used to invite him for retreats but he was not interested. One day a former movie star who became a Christian came to their town to inaugurate a retreat. Sophie pleaded with him to go with her to the retreat. God worked in his heart and he agreed to go with her. The retreat was a great success and my brother Timmy was taken up with it. From then on, he regularly attended the weekend retreats and during one retreat, he decided to follow Christ. That was a great turning point in his life. Sophie also was very happy and both of them decided to work among the teenagers. During their free time, they loved the company of teenagers, and whenever they got a chance, they told them about Jesus. I was very happy because now my whole family followed Jesus. The bond of love that knit us together as a family is truly wonderful.
Marissa was a motherless child. She was my classmate and I always liked her. The only thing that worried me was that she was always sad. The only topic she loved to talk was about her mother, who died when Marissa was ten years old. As she was the youngest in the family, her mother loved her very much. Marissa loved dolls and her mother used to buy all types of dolls for her. For her tenth birthday, her mother bought a very beautiful doll for her. Immediately after this, the doctors discovered that Marissa's mother had cancer. It shook the whole family especially Marissa. As Marissa was only ten, she could not understand the serious nature of this illness. As her mother's illness became worse, the whole family became upset. The doctors gave them no hope. Soon after, Marissa's mother died. This was a great shock for Marissa. Years passed by and Marissa's father remarried. Her step-mother's name was Susan. She was not at all sympathetic towards Marissa. This affected her early teenage years.
I comforted Marissa whenever she talked about her mother and I advised her to love Susan. She found it very difficult to accept this. Susan always cooked her favourite food, which Marissa did not enjoy. They had very different tastes altogether. Marissa had a brother called Sean. He was not bothered about all these things. He had his own friends and activities. He was not at all fussy about the food he ate. He never missed his mother very much. Susan was a teacher and a strict disciplinarian. She kept the house clean and spotless. She hated Marissa's lack of neatness and general sense of untidiness. Marissa told all her problems to me and I told her that she will find happiness only in Christ's love. I told her that God gave her a second mother and she should learn to love her. Slowly Marissa changed her attitude towards Susan. Little by little, both of them started to love each other. This was a great comfort for Sean. There was always peace in the house and it helped them in their character formation.
Marissa became a close and intimate friend of mine. She wanted to become a nurse. Her mother's death impressed it upon her mind to help the sick and the poor. Time passed by. Marissa joined a nursing college. She found it very difficult to adjust to the atmosphere in the nursing college. As the college was very near to Aaron's house, he was of great help to her. He always comforted her by telling her that she will soon adjust to the atmosphere in the college. Whenever Marissa saw cancer patients, sad thoughts about her mother flooded her mind. She could not control her thoughts and she would weep for hours. The patients used to ask her why she was crying. Then she would tell them about her pathetic story. Soon she started to love her profession and her college. She was a very brilliant student and she got high grades in all her subjects. I used to tell her that this is all God's gifts and I always reminded her that God never makes a mistake. She used to ask me why God took away her mother. I told her that only God knows the reason.
I wanted to become a pilot but since I followed Jesus, I changed my plan and I decided to join a Bible college. M brother and sisters were very happy when I told them about my plan. From the very beginning, my mother wanted me to join a Bible college, but at that time I had no intention to do so. So my mother was also very happy when I broke the news to her. They all congratulated me for the decision I took. I told my friend Tom also about my plan. He was also very happy. Tom had already joined the army. There he was telling his friends about the love of Jesus. I was very happy when I heard that as I was the one who told him to follow Christ. For my fifteenth birthday, my mother gave me a beautiful Bible which I treasured a lot. I took it everywhere I went. I spent hours reading it. I told Marissa also about my plan. At first she was not very happy. She thought that I would become a pilot. But later on, when I explained my heart's desire to her, she also agreed.
I told Marissa that when she and I finished our education, it would be wonderful to journey through life together, serving the Lord especially among the teenagers. She happily agreed and we both worked hard at our studies. I told my parents our plan and they also gave us their approval and blessing. Now I look forward to a bright and happy future, working in the Lord's vineyard and bringing many teenagers to Christ.
(C) ALEYAMMA JACOB
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