One of the Cultural Values we have at LWF is Celebrating the Gospel. A major way we do this is through testimonies of Salvation. A testimony is simply one person telling another person what God has done for their soul (Psalm 66:16) and in a Christian context, it's a sinner telling others how their soul was saved by Jesus Christ. We rotate these stories from LWF people throughout the year and we pray that each one glorifies God and blesses you.
LEAH BLAKE'S STORY
MY LIFE PRIOR TO SALVATION: I had a glass half empty perspective prior to my salvation. I was always super anxious and wanted to try to control things in life that I couldn't control. I didn't have that joy and happiness that the Lord provides when we worship and trust in Him. THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO MY SALVATION: I went to church growing up with friends and started to figure out who God is. I found out what Jesus did for us. I started to study the Bible on my own. I didn't completely lay my life down for Christ until my freshmen year of college. I knew that I didn't want to live my life this way - only one foot in for Christ. I wanted to live two feet in for Him. I repented and gave my whole life to Him. MY SALVATION EXPERIENCE: Since my freshmen year of college, I started to keep a journal for my notes and prayers when I would sit down and study the Bible. One of my favorite verses is Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I had that verse all over my room and it helped guide me through my college years. It was hard to have friends who also wanted to live like me in my sorority. I had some hard moments where I would pray and pray to have some good friends who kept the Lord at the center of their life. I kept my faith and sure enough God provided. I know that God will provide and He is with me where ever I go. I don't have to worry or be anxious about hard things in my life because I know that He is there to protect and guide me. It wasn't easy at first to be a believer but with faith and perseverance, I can conquer anything that comes my way. I love sitting down and talking to God in the morning. I am currently trying to read the Bible in a year. EVIDENCE OF MY NEW LIFE SINCE MY SALVATION: I am more joy-filled since my salvation. I think on the positive side and I am more patient. I have hope and I love others just like Christ loves us. I pray more and more. I used to not talk to God a lot but after fulling giving my life to Him, I pray about everything. I give it to God and I know that He can help.
DEVUN MILLER'S STORY
MY LIFE PRIOR TO SALVATION: My life prior to my salvation can be summed up as a selfish self-driven life. Everything would always revolve around me and my selfish wants. I would put myself first and follow society’s sinful tendencies. Unaware and afraid of what eternity looked like, I was fearful of death and what would come next. THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO MY SALVATION: My grandparents were my best example and my first memories of what a Godly marriage/believers looked like. I still remember Grandpa always asking if I would go to church with him. Eventually one Sunday, I took him up on that. It turned into a trend for me and him as our bond grew closer through church. They would take me every Sunday from the age of 9 through middle school. Grandpa and I were part of the set-up team, volunteering at numerous church events, as well as being heavily involved in youth group. This is where I would first learn about Jesus, the Bible, and what He sacrificed for my sins. MY SALVATION EXPERIENCE: I was sitting down with the youth pastor at the age of 12 asking about how I get to heaven. We read some scripture and I told him that I wanted to confess my sins, repent, and ask God to be the center of my life. John 14:6 states, "Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me." EVIDENCE OF MY NEW LIFE SINCE MY SALVATION: My spiritual journey has been one big roller coaster. Shortly after being saved, I was on fire and passionate for Jesus. I was going to church constantly, church camps, conferences... you name it, I wanted to be apart of it. I was very active and growing in the Word. I would later hit a speed bump as I hit the end of high school and college. I started to veer off the path of a godly life and fall into sin. I struggled with going to church for a while. God would end up placing my now wife ,Kelsie, in my path, and she would continue to challenge me to get more involved at Living Waters. Now we have started a family, and continue to grow spirituality. I am proud to say in the last few years I have met a lot of brothers in Christ, joined a small group, and a men’s group.
KATHY PEPIN'S STORY
MY LIFE PRIOR TO SALVATION: I was baptized when I was two weeks old, into the Catholic church. I attended catechism as a child and learned that God would provide for me. As a young child I believed with my whole heart. I saw God working for me. I was taught that God was vengeful, waiting and watching for me to sin. I was taught to pray each night. I had the faith of a child. My teen years were spent going to church only because I lived in my father's house. I had no real connection to my church or God. I got married at 19 and began a very worldly life. Drinking and partying every weekend. I stopped attending church. The 8th year of my marriage is when I stated that I needed to have children or would need to leave the marriage. We started a family within the year. With a child on the way, I went back to church. I was there, but not engaged. Saying the prayers, singing the songs, but living a sin-filled life. With no sign of change. My kids are the gift God gave me to hold me to life. We stopped going to church when the kids were still small. God blessed us with neighbors that are believers, and they tried, over and over, to bring our family to God. I was so stuck in my sin that I couldn't move on the message I heard. I was very low. My marriage ended when my kids were 8 & 6. Our house, our personalities, our world was totally dysfunctional. I lived in fear, paralyzed to make any changes. I knew I was a disappointment to God and my family. It was a long season of guilt and shame. I kept trying to change and grow, but I was not ready to surrender control. THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO MY SALVATION: My kids are grown, my life is still filled with sin. I try little by little to change my sinful ways. Eliminating one thing at a time. I joined a non-denominational church, thinking this would lead to God. It was a large church and easy to hide. I felt no connection. I was a Sunday Christian with little to no understanding of God or the Bible. With every passing year I got more depressed. I knew I could talk to God, but only did it when I was horribly depressed. At my darkest point I was convinced my life was to end. I decided to drive my truck into a semi. I was crying hard and asking God to help me and fix my broken life. I was asking for a sign. Lights went out all around me, I stopped crying, felt at peace and knew I needed to get on my knees and ask God into my heart. I prayed asking God to take over my life and lead my journey. MY SALVATION EXPERIENCE: I was saved! I was still me. I walked with a foot on each side of the line for a long time. Praying to change my life. Making some changes, still hanging on to sinful ways. The difference is I now know that God loves me. God has plans for me and my life. God is not finished with me. God has blessed me with Hank. My son had a hard talk with me, asking me where I stand. It was the first time in my life I was asked to be accountable for my sinful ways. It changed my life. Prayers brought us to Iowa and to Living Waters Fellowship. Prayer led me to be baptized. I have lost my fear. I'm still a sinner, but God is working in my life in many ways. EVIDENCE OF MY NEW LIFE SINCE MY SALVATION: -Growing in my knowledge of who God is, why he loves me, and how my life can serve Him. -Sharing what I'm learning with others. -Opening my heart: show others who I really am. -Cheerful sharing: Everything I have. In the word and praying every day. I'm hopeful again!
DEBBIE MEATH'S STORY
MY LIFE PRIOR TO SALVATION: I was adopted at 5 1/2 years old from Busan, South Korea and was 2 1/2 Ft tall and weighed 29 lbs. I had been in an orphanage but have no recollection of anything prior to coming to america. The first thing I can recall of my life is going into a classroom and not being able to reach the coat hook. Unfortunately, this is still true today ;) I was baptized at First Reformed Church in Pella. I grew up going to church every Sunday, being involved in Calvinettes, Youth Group and small groups. I also went to Church Camp. THE CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING UP TO MY SALVATION: As a teenager, age 14 I was at a Church Camp and one those nights there I prayed the prayer to ask Jesus into my heart. I made Confession of Faith that Winter at First Reformed Church. MY SALVATION EXPERIENCE: After I made Confession of Faith, I continued to go to Church and being involved in all the Church activities. I received a music scholarship to Northwestern College in Orange City, IA. During College, I did a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico working in an orphanage. I also worked as a Camp Couselor/Lifeguard for 2 Summers at Camp Manitoqua in Franfort, IL. Upon graduating College is where I lost sight of God. I thought I was going to marry the guy I met at College. That did not happen. I also thought I was going to be an Elementary Teacher working in a Multi-Cultural Diversity School. That also did not happen. I ended up moving away from Des Moines to Salt Lake City, UT to Oceanside, CA attending different Churches here and there but not consistently. I then came full circle and moved back to Des Moines after my daughter, Ciara was born. However, it still took time for the Holy Spirit to work in me from 2014 - May 2019. In the Fall, 2014 I went back to South Korea for the first time since being Adopted to do a Birth Family Search. I got to see where I was relinquished and the orphanage I had been in. My Birth Family Search was unsuccessful and with speaking with other Korean Adoptees one of the main reasons for doing a Birth Family Search is to establish a sense of Identity. This was also the reason for me. EVIDENCE OF MY NEW LIFE SINCE MY SALVATION: With time and also going to Living Waters Fellowship (since May 2019), I realized my Identity is- that I am a Child of God and just because I prayed the prayer back as a teenager doesn't mean I am guaranteed that I am going to Heaven. I know now that not only do I need and want to go to Church consistently, serve others and be in the Word of God continually but also- I believe in Romans 3:23- That I am sinner and repent I believe in John 3:16- That God sent his Son, Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for our sins and that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. I believe in Revelations 3:20- That Jesus is knocking to invite Him into our lives and fellowship with us, I believe in John 1:12- That I want to trust you as Savior and follow you becoming a Child of God. Thank you to God, my parents and Living Waters Fellowship for bringing me to where I am right now and training myself to be Godly Woman!