I want to start by first and foremost thanking and praising the Lord Jesus Christ for shedding His precious blood and dying on the cross for my sins and the sins of the world; the ultimate gift for us to have true life and eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Lord found me 27 and a half years ago. I was not looking for God, neither did I know that I was lost. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised a Catholic. I remember at about the age of 15 or 16 being in a ferry boat on the Hudson River, just taking in the sights. And then we passed by a cliff that had “Jesus Saves” written on it in big white letters. My first thought was “Saves? Saves from what?” Having been brought up Catholic, I had never heard about salvation, much less that Jesus saved.
My parents were very strict with me, so at the age of 18 I decided that I was old enough to, do what I wanted to do without them telling me what I could or could not do. I left my parents’ house so I could be “free” so I thought. Some months later, I found myself married; a year later I had a child. Just when I thought life was good and thought I was happy, things just went sour; and some years later I was divorced, a single mom. So here I was “free” again and I was going to keep it that way because I didn’t want to lean or depend on anybody. I was of the mind that I could do things better by myself.
I had a good paying job, a nice home and had no lack of anything. I made sure that my child and I had everything we needed and wanted. I just went about my business and lived life as I pleased. Sometime later I found myself in another relationship. A few years later, I found out this man was hooked on heroin and was stealing and lying to get the money that he needed for his drug habit. I hid all my feelings and problems within. To people who knew me, it looked as though I was doing very well and happy. But I was very miserable, unhappy and wanted a change but didn’t know what to do. Things got so bad that I wanted to take my life. I thought about swallowing a bottle of pills and just dying. But I was afraid of what came after death and what was going to happen to my children after I was gone. I sat down and cried and asked God to change my life.
After a time, I thought that maybe all I needed was to change the way I thought, so I started to read different self-help books that were out on the market: “Positive Thinking,” “Dianetics,” “Faith is the Answer,” you name it, I read it. But the more books I read, the more confused I was. When there was no change, I decided that I needed to go back to church. So at lunch time, I would go to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, which was close to my job, and I would go in, light candles and kneel down to pray. But I would come out feeling worse than when I first went in. One day I remember going in to that “church” building, feeling very distraught. As I sat and looked around that humongous building I noticed that at the top of the pillars there were these ugly looking gargoyles, something I remember seeing in the movie “The Omen.” I was totally appalled and thought to myself “what on earth is something so evil doing in a place that is supposed to be holy?” I walked out and crossed the street to get a better look at the outside of the building from a distance and noticed that the same type of ugly creatures were on the corners of the building. Needless to say, I never set foot inside that building or any other Catholic building after that.
Then one Saturday in February of 1985, I went out shopping with my children. This day was unusually warm. It should have been freezing cold, but the temperature was about 75 degrees, and it scared me. I felt like something was terribly wrong and that the world was coming to an end. I didn’t know it then, but I know now that it was the Spirit of the Lord making me know this. I was terrified.
Two weeks later, I was witnessed to by a couple of brothers from the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation, who were at the outpost in Brooklyn seeking lost souls. I was told why Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross; that there was a Heaven and a Hell; and that if I died with sin on my soul I would go to Hell for eternity, and there was no escape. In my pride I totally forgot the fear I had felt just two weeks before. I didn’t think I needed Jesus or God. But I thank God that He didn’t give up on me. A few weeks later I found myself on the phone with someone from the church saying that old fashioned sinner’s prayer of repentance and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart. As soon as I finished saying the prayer, I felt as light as a feather. My sins were washed away in the precious blood of Jesus. I was made whole, I felt brand new. I had a joy that I can’t put into words. I felt really alive for the first time in my life, and I had peace.
I started going to our store front church in Brooklyn. We had services, a meal afterwards, and then we’d have Bible reading groups. I went every night; I wanted to know more about this wonderful new life I had in Christ. The brothers encouraged me to move in to the ministry so I could be around other Christian sisters and families, and grow strong in the Lord. They told me about the beautiful facilities in Arkansas that were family oriented; they talked about the services they had twice a day, the Christian school with a Christian curriculum, the Olympic sized pool and play areas for the children. And that all sounded great, but I did not want to move away from what I was familiar with. I wanted to be able to stay in Brooklyn and just go to church. Well, the Lord had other plans for me. It was going to be His way.
During the Memorial Day weekend that same year, we were in Coney Island distributing Gospel literature and witnessing to souls. I had to look for a restroom and the only one on the boardwalk was on the other side of a Clam Bar. I walked through the Clam Bar to the restroom area and because there was a problem with the restroom, I had to wait in line. While waiting, I looked into the Clam Bar at the people who were drinking, dancing and carrying on, thinking they were having a great time. And all of a sudden, the Lord gave me an open vision; everything turned dark, and there were flames and fire, and the people that had been dancing looked like dark silhouettes just crashing into each other. It was as though I was looking into Hell from the outside, but I could feel the heat from the flames. This lasted just a few moments, but it felt like an eternity. When it was over, no words could express the fear I felt, and the Lord gave me the understanding that I had to move away from there and into the ministry. I couldn’t get out of Brooklyn fast enough. Arrangements were made, and we moved into the ministry a short time after I gave notice to my employer. I have been at the Alamo Christian Ministries ever since.
When I moved into the Alamo Christian Ministries I found out that we have a church in Los Angeles, CA, where the ministry first started and where hundreds of thousands of souls have been won to the Lord. It was also exciting to hear about the churches all over the world that were a result of people who gave their lives to the Lord after having read the messages God has given Pastor Alamo and he has passed on to the world.
This is just the beginning of my story. There is so much that God has done in these 27 and a half years. The best years of my life. I would not exchange them for anything that the world has to offer, because everything the world offers leads to death and Hell, but everything that God offers leads to life, life more abundant, and then an eternity in Heaven. Praise the Lord!!!!