Submitted 2019 by Renee Funderburg
I guess you can say my story is kinda unique. Growing up I mainly was a Baptist, but in my late teens and early 20’s I started to try different churches (Baptist, Pentecostal, and Methodist). I think I tried just about every church except for a few because I became very upset feeling like I didn’t belong.
I became very discouraged because I was going through a lot in my life at this time. Needless to say, I was out of church for over 20 years but I still had my faith in God for the simple fact that God saved my life several times when I prayed to him. About 4 years ago I went through another very bad hardship so I called out to God again. I knew at this time God was calling me to get closer to Him and to get into a church. One day I was flipping through the TV channels and came across Amazing Facts. I watched Doug Batchelor and was amazed at what he was teaching because I never heard the things he was saying and it was very interesting. At the end of his show he offered the Amazing Facts Study Guides so I subscribed to them and did all 27 study guides. I was really amazed how much truth I learned about the Bible compared to what I was taught over my earlier years of going to the different churches. I had this indescribable peace and knew God was calling me to find a church. I seen where Doug Batchelor was a Seventh-day Adventist and I wanted to learn more about this type of church. So I started reading things online, some good some bad, but I knew you couldn’t believe everything you read online; you have to see in person for yourself.
To Church in a Taxi
At the time I didn’t have a running vehicle and I knew Easter was coming up that weekend so I got on the phone and started calling so many churches to see if someone would pick me up for their services, I even talked to the Pastors of some of the churches (not a Seventh-day Adventist Church) and all of them told me they didn’t have any pick up service to offer. I felt so discouraged because it seemed that none of them was concerned about my soul for Jesus Christ. I did try calling a Seventh-day Adventist church but couldn’t get an answer but I knew in my heart that God was telling me to go to this church. I prayed and told God that I only had $13 to my name and I would go to the Shreveport First Seventh-day Adventist church but I was having faith in HIM to get me there and back home. After I prayed I looked up online when the services started. Saturday (Sabbath) came and I got up early because I was having to call a taxi cab to take me to the church. It was kinda funny because when I arrived at the church I could see people looking at the cab wondering what was going on. I got the taxi cab driver paid and it costed me exactly $13 so I was now at the Lord’s mercy to get back home. All I knew was that I kept my promise to God about being in a church for the Easter Weekend and now I had to totally rely on God to get me back home after the service.
so Much Love
I have to admit I was very nervous because I hadn’t been in a church for over 20 years, but when I walked through the doors of the Shreveport First Seventh-day Adventist church I knew that is where God wanted me. I have never felt the peace I was feeling at that moment. I got there early enough to go to Sabbath School class and was immediately welcomed into their class (I am still today in this class. From the first day, I was adopted by everyone in the class). To feel so much love was amazing and my learning process of the truth began.
A Way Home
I am truly, to this day, amazed how much I have missed out on the true words of The Holy Bible. God has opened my eyes in so many ways. After Sabbath School I was shown where the Sanctuary was and stayed for the service. After the service I was invited to stay for potluck, but I told the people who asked me to stay that I had a long walk home since I didn’t have a vehicle and I was told if I would stay and eat I would have a way home afterwards. It was amazing because I had three different people to tell me they would take me home. One gentleman offered to come and pick me up the next Sabbath and take me back home so this is how I became a Seventh-day Adventist.
Thank you, Jesus
I must also add that until you truly repent and give your whole self to God and depend on God and not man you will never feel the peace, love, and forgiveness in this unsettled life. To this day I know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died for me and that I am still a work in progress but my life has moved forward and not backwards anymore. So I encourage anyone who doesn’t know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to please repent and give your life to Him because there is no other peace or love that will get you through this life on earth. When I see someone giving their life over to Jesus and getting baptized, I can’t help but let tears of joy flow because I have experienced this love. To end my story I give all the praise and glory to Jesus Christ for never ever giving up on me but instead drawing me closer to HIM. Yes I still have trials and tribulations but that is okay because I know deep down I will make it through it with Jesus at my side. Thank you Jesus, I wait patiently for your arrival to take me home to be with you forever and ever.