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I told my friend that a Jew cannot believe in Yeshua – but I was wrong!

I was raised Jewish. My ancestors are Jewish. All of my ancestors. I lived in an area of California with a big mix of Catholics, Christians and Jews. And my childhood friends were a mix of all three. It was not weird at all. Everyone got along and respected each other.

Until one day in school, I found out that people around me hated me just because I was born. I was in the school lunch area, and a mean-looking boy walked up to me and threw a penny at my feet. He said, “Pick it up, you dirty Jew”. I was shocked! I had never heard anyone saying anything like that before. And I don’t know what got into me, but I slapped him in the face. Really hard. He never bothered me again. And my parents reported him to the principal.

Life was generally easy with lots of cousins to play with, and loving Grandparents that were a big part of our lives. And I spent a lot of time with my girlfriends, doing all the normal “girl” stuff. We had sleepovers, birthday parties, and pool days, and whispered about the boys that were cute.

”It was the night God opened my eyes to the Truth. I heard the words that the Jewish Bible was historical, and not just fairy tales. That the God of the Jews was real. And that Jesus was a Jewish Messiah.”

But when I was 13 things changed. My best friend started playing with drugs. Marijuana at first. And was getting into the occult. We played with a Ouija board. I thought it was just silly, but it was definitely evil. And then the unthinkable happened. My mother had a brain aneurysm. She had surgery and after a few weeks, she came home from the hospital. During that time I was shaken. I had taken everything in my life for granted. And realized then how fragile life can be. But I was too immature to know how to handle trauma. So, the drugs became my friend.

I began to hang out with the “bad” kids. The ones with the drugs. And I had a terrifying experience with the power of the devil. I was at my friend’s house in a room at the back of her very large home. It was a small guest room with bookshelves filled with old books and a couch. I was on the couch, and I felt the evil. And then an evil spirit spoke to me, “You can have this power…command that book on the shelf to rise and come to you”. I felt the power so strongly and knew I could actually command that book to come to me. The devil was tempting me to walk on the dark side.

Thank God, I refused and ran out of that room. But I can still remember that feeling and hearing those words. And it has been over 50 years! And that was the first time I knew there was an evil presence in the world.

One year after my mother came home from her brain surgery, she had another aneurysm. It burst in the night and she fell into a deep coma. My dad woke me saying an ambulance was coming. She never came home and was in a coma for 2 years before she died. This rocked my world. It was horrible. I was just 15 years old. Now I had to be the housekeeper, cook, mom to my younger brother, and try to make it through school. And was still doing drugs. They were my escape from so much pain.

BUT GOD.. He had a calling on my life. Right before my mother died a new family moved across the street. They were very strong Christian people. And they wanted to help us. They could see we were struggling. And they had a very cute boy that was my age. They were from Alabama, quite a long distance from California. And they became a sort of “family” for me and my brother. That cute boy was my age. And they had a son the same age as my brother. They also had a much younger daughter who became like a little sister to me.

After a year or so this cute boy and I started driving to school together and he started sharing his faith. I told him that a Jew cannot believe in Yeshua (Jesus). We had huge arguments about this for about a year. By the time I was 17, we had become good friends and yes, I had a huge crush on him. I was still smoking cigarettes and marijuana, so knew he would never love me.

But, one night he “forced” me to go to his church with some school friends. I did not want to go, but I did. And yes, it was the night God opened my eyes to the Truth. I heard the words that the Jewish Bible was historical, and not just fairy tales. That the God of the Jews was real. And that Jesus was a Jewish Messiah. And I saw it. And believed it. And I felt the Spirit of God fall on me and open my eyes and my heart.

It was radical. I was changed overnight. I quit smoking, all drugs, and was filled with life. After school the next day I bought a Bible. And I was so hungry for the Word of God that I read the Old Testament in the morning before school and the New at night before sleep. I was witnessing to my “druggy” friends.

And finally told my Dad. He forbid me from going to church and told me I was a traitor to my Jewish ancestors. But, I had read in the Bible that I was to honor my father. So, I didn’t go to church. But, we have an amazing God. One who provides for our needs.

And that family that was across the street was used by God. The mother’s sister lived in Alabama and went to a strong Bible-teaching church. That church had a “tape” ministry. So all sermons were recorded. The sister in Alabama sent the recordings to California, and they were all given to me.

So, every Sunday, I sat in my bedroom listening to worship music and the preacher’s sermon. I grew in faith and in knowledge. When I turned 18 years old 4 months later, I asked my dad if I could do anything I wanted, since I was now a “legal” adult. He was surprised by this and said, “Well, you have pretty much done everything you wanted since you were 13”. I agreed, but said I have honored you by not going to church. Can I go now?

He was very quiet. And after 3-4 minutes, he said, “Yes, you can go”. And many years later he told me that he had seen such a radical change in me that he could not deny it was a good thing. Then a few years later my brother became a believer. And all of our children were raised in the church knowing their Jewish heritage and honoring the God of all.

So, here I am 52 years later. A Bible scholar and teacher, with my expertise in the Torah, (the first 5 books of the Bible). And I can declare to the world, that He is faithful if we are faithful. And He has worked ALL things for good in my life. Romans 8:28.

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