I was led to Jesus in a fellowship house in Arlington in the summer of '76,
at the age of 15.  It was still the Forever Family then.  I was attracted to
the enthusiastic, outrageous youthful zeal that the brothers and sisters had
for Jesus.  I continued for a short time in Bible studies and learning the 12
salvation verses, but quickly fell away and back into sin in the world.

Nearly two years later, in the spring of '78, I found myself at home one
night weeping in anquish over the hopelessness, the purposelessness of my
life.  There was no explicit circumstance or trauma, I just knew in my heart
that the direction of my life was nowhere, and that my existence was

I hadn't given serious thought to God in a long time, and I don't think I was
actually praying, but I earnestly desired at that moment to know "why am I
here?"  I was sitting on the couch in my living room, gazing out the sliding
glass door into the darkness of night, and noticed a light which I assumed
was a window in the house behind ours.  I studied it intently through
tear-filled eyes, and gradually it came into focus-a bearded man in a white
robe, with a gold breastplate, holding up a lamp.  At the very instant I saw
this image with crystal clarity, it disappeared, and the words of John 8:12
rang out in my heart - "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will
not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

The next day I received a phone call from Lisa Bienvenue, who had found an
old filing box of index cards with the names and numbers of former lambs in
it, buried somewhere at Park street.  I hadn't heard from any FF'ers in
nearly two years-eventually I started going around to the fellowship, in fact
only weeks later a house opened in Virginia at Bren Mar in Alexandria...

Years later, I fully realize that "back in the day" cobu was an abusive
church, if not a cult.  I was always terrified of Stewart at big meetings, or
when he came to Washington for center meetings.  But mostly I was insulated
from his deception and manipulation.  I know that God had a purpose and
reason for me spending my spiritual infancy in cobu, as he did for all of us
who came through that experience with our faith intact.  We know that
deception is one of the most effective tools of the enemy, because when we're
deceived, we don't know it.  I pray that we never forget that lesson, and
that through God's grace we receive courage to stand firm in the truth.
                                    In Christ, Amy