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Colin's Testimony

I want to tell you a story about what God has done for me but so that the story is properly understood, I must get you to appreciate who I was and who I am now (by the grace of God). I will start when I was just sixteen. There I was, expecting another birthday (I was nearly seventeen), when my mother died. At that point, we had plans about building a house, so I was thinking; I will apply for a student loan to help bring these plans into being. When my mother died everything changed. My new thinking was: I might as well use the student loan for its intended purpose, to fund my university training. I got so much money from the student loan, as my first payment was in December whereas the school started in September, that I bought a couple hundred of bank stock, worth a few thousand dollars. I did not know it then, but the Lord blessed me and I was quite successful in my exams and was only hungry when I deliberately ate irregularly. I got such severe gas pains that I never did that again. So now I always eat on time. I graduated, though I did not attend graduation. I suppose, I saw no need to but I was thinking that the university did not care what happened to me. I remember using my last dollar to go on vacation with my sister. It was some time after I graduated that my mother’s will was finally probated and I used the insurance money to pay off the student loan. I got a job as a civil engineer and in one year of working saved enough to go to Canada to do my master’s degree. However, when I thought of being penniless once again, I wrote letters asking businesses if they would pay my way for me. Two companies said yes an oil company and a research company. I chose the research company. Perhaps the fact that it was within walking distance of my home influenced me. I then applied to three universities, university of Toronto, university of Waterloo and university of London. They all approved my application. The research company asked me where I would like to study? So I chose England. When I thought that the research company was slow in providing financial information I told them to hurry up. Eventually, they paid for even my warm clothing allowance. All my bills were paid. I had so much money as a student that I even had a credit card. The program was both difficult and time consuming but again God was with me and I passed my exams. At the end of the year I decided to tour Europe before returning to Trinidad. However, I spent too much money in Europe. So I called the research company and cried “Send money”. I did not specify the amount. They sent me another semester’s worth of funds. I went on a shopping spree; I had to use all this money. I paid two hundred and seventy pounds in overweight luggage on the trip home in 1983. Even today, that is still a lot of money. I bought my first house at the age of twenty three. To raise the down payment, I sold my shares at a substantial profit. I rented a plane to go on vacation and I am a certified scuba diver. Everything was going so well that there was no time for God. The research company required that I work for them for three years; I worked for them for seven years. I was well compensated for my work. Every year I used to go on vacation in the United States, where my sister lived, for at least twenty eight working days. I was self opinionated and had very little time for fools. I remember once I berated a guy for doing something that I did not like and he locked himself in his room for two weeks. I did not know that he had mental problems and I was sorry for causing him such distress. My tongue was not easy and I was quick to use it. All was well financially, I had a car loan but the allowance I got for upkeep of the car was greater than my loan repayment. I left the research company in1989, when they offered me severance pay, started a small construction company and emigrated to Canada in 1990. My financial picture was not as rosy, but I was getting by. My wife and I bought a house in 1992. Back then the hardest question was “What is the meaning of life?” That question always troubled me and I did not know the answer. I started thinking about God after my first car accident in December 1992, in which I fractured my back. I realised that I could have been paralysed or even dead. By February 1994 my wife and I had separated and were on the road to divorce. I had left the family home. For some time I was living in a room in downtown Toronto. I quickly depleted my resources as I was not working. When I had no more money to pay the next week’s rent I went to apply for social assistance. I must have been very convincing as I got a government check before the rent was due. In April, 1994 I was at my mother's-in-law when she asked me (once again) to visit her church. Well, I wasn't particularly busy and I could have afforded to waste that evening, besides, I thought that if I agreed to go this time that she wouldn't ask me again in a long, long time. So I went with her. At that time, I considered myself a good Roman Catholic, it was the only religion I had known since birth and though I wasn't especially religious, I did go to church regularly. Though, I had never read even one book of the bible completely. I certainly was not looking to find God or for any religious experience. I remember arguing with a member of the clergy among my in-laws about the relevance of God in our lives. Naturally, I did not think much about God and saw little relevance for Him in my life. They were studying the last book of the bible, the Revelation of St. John, at the church. What I heard there fascinated me. After my first time, I did not miss one class and was always early. Not one to be easily deceived, I checked out all that I learnt there at the public library, I verified all the facts and the dates too. It was all true. Considering myself to be an honest man and since I then was in agreement with what the church was saying, I had to join them. Perhaps you know the church; they are the Seventh-day Adventists. It is now my turn to invite you. Please find your local Seventh-day Adventist congregation and listen to their doctrine. The truth of the bible is always true. Come and prove me wrong! Since being baptised, my relationship with God has developed immensely. I am now a leader in the same church in which I was baptized. Now I glorify God’s name and His goodness towards me and to all souls. For the first time since I was born, I can feel God's presence in my life. Now I have read the bible completely several times and I don't claim to understand everything in it. It is the ONLY rule of faith in my life. Adventists serve God, not necessarily the church. If the Lord takes my life, it doesn't matter, but I need to die in the Lord. People, it doesn't matter what you currently believe; if you love the truth you will be bound by it. But first you must put yourself in a position to hear it. My dear friends, if you can truly sing "It is well with my soul", you have everything in the world that matters. If you can't, then nothing else matters. My life before baptism wasn't one of luxury and though I wasn't rich, I certainly could have used some more money. Now I see the evidence where God, in His infinite mercy, always cared for me, even though I was not serving Him. It is now my intention to serve the Lord, in spirit and in truth, for the rest of my life. May God reward your efforts to find Him with success, may He bless and keep you. Amen. Praise ye the Lord. In October 1999 I had my second car accident which left me disabled. My disability makes less of an impression on my consciousness than that the coming of the Lord, which is near. We know that we are not yet ready to meet Him but by His grace we are striving to be ready. Now the words of Philippians 1:6 mean much more to me. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: When we are where we ought to be, we will bear adversity patiently and our example will always be Christ like. By our example, we witness to others about what it is like to be with Christ. Now its 2003. I have grown somewhat since being baptised. Now I know the meaning of life. The answer is found in Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Obedience of man to God’s commands is required, no matter how clever we are at finding reasons not to do them. Those who know me now, know that I am most comfortable when I am talking about God. The apostle Paul said in Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. I understand this as clear counsel that we should avoid making for others including ourselves, rules. I know that the Christian walk is a journey and that we are all at some point on that journey and wherever we are, on that journey, the blood of Christ can save us. Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. At least since being baptised I know that God has been with me. After baptism, I used to share what God had put in my mind with a church elder, in writing. Oftentimes, I was less than qualified to be writing what I was writing. If it was not for the fact that I feel that God is giving me this testimony, I would not be writing it today. Now that you know why I am writing this testimony, it is also important for you to know that constantly I pray that God will give me the words that will accurately express my thoughts. I have no formal training in theology, so I also pray that the errors that I may make will be corrected by the time you read this. I am now convinced that the God whom I serve is the same God that was blessing me in earlier times. As it says in Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. So now that circumstances are more difficult, God is the same and I know how good He has been. I cannot forsake Him now. If I do, then I do not really know the Lord, even though I think I know Him. We are now well into the third year of the twenty first century and I have had two motor vehicle accidents. The first one I have already mentioned fractured my back and aggravated my balance problem but I was independent and living on my own. The second occurred in October 1999, broke my left humerus bone in my upper arm and further worsened the symptoms of my balance problem. I now walk with the aid of a walker and need more assistance than the average person. I certainly cannot live on my own. Even now, there is still a story to tell about the Lord‘s goodness, especially his goodness towards me. In my apartment, I have more things of value that were freely given to me than things which I actually bought. For instance, I have a motorised wheelchair valued at $6,500., a personal computer valued conservatively at $3,000, an automatic door opener valued at $2, 500, a colour television, a microwave oven, a chest of drawers, a home stereo system by Sony, two bookcases, a bed and other things all freely given to me. In contrast, I have bought a computer desk a television stand and books. These things cannot exceed a value of $500. Even my Occupational Therapist, who does the paperwork, remarked “I’ve never met anybody who got everything that they applied for”. Truly, God is great and worthy to be praised.

Some Of My Favorite Web sites

The Official Adventist Web Site
An Adventist Web Site

Email: clewis975@canada.com