By his spirit and grace, I surrendered my life to Christ three years ago. Before I knew Christ, I was believing the lie that I was saved because when I was young I said a prayer and believed in God. I grew up in a Non-Christian household and throughout most of my life I didn’t attend church. God’s grace was absent and I didn’t care about sin at all. Growing up was pretty traumatic as I struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and my parents fought almost every day. I didn’t feel loved or cared for when I was young because of many things that happened and were said to me throughout that time.
At the age of 12, I watched pornography for the first time and that became something I would run to often. When I was feeling sad, alone, unloved or bored; I would run to lust for enjoyment, satisfaction, and comfort. Fruit of the spirit was not apparent in me at all. I was quick to anger, not joyful, and wasn’t kind-hearted. I swore like crazy, and inappropriate talk was often coming out of my mouth. When I was 13, I met a girl and she was my girlfriend for the next 5 years. I had premarital sex and eventually moved in with her after I graduated high school.
I then attended Millersville as a freshman and during my time there I met a friend. One day we talked about God. After several spiritual talks throughout the week. I came to realize I wasn’t a Christian. I realized my heart and life was far from God; that I deserved the wrath of God because I was living a life apart from him. I came home one night and had a deep sense of sorrow and conviction for living the life I was living. Knowing I was dead in my sins and that my sins ultimately killed Christ, I cried out to God, repeatedly telling him that I was sorry and asked for forgiveness. I prayed to him to be the Lord of my life. After that time of repentance I felt something I never felt before. I felt free, loved, and cared for. I eventually broke up with my girlfriend, moved out, and began a life pursuing God.
There is so much more God has done but I’m thankful that whatever life I was living in the past I have lost it for his sake. Although I still struggle with sin, God has made known to me that his love is better than anything and treasuring him is more. Now, God has blessed me with a caring family who encourages me in my walk with Christ, a job, and so much more. Recently God has healed me from trauma and showed me that my true identity is found only in him. He also continues to reveal to me that I need to be dependent on him and a true Christian life isn’t just about obeying his commands and not sinning; but also having intimacy with him and enjoying the grace he has freely given me.
My name is Kyra Trout. I started learning about God and Jesus when I was 4 years old, because I was raised in a Christian family. I started going to church when I was 6, and I went to Leola Baptist Church. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was 7 years old. I started to engage and want to learn more about Him when I felt like I wasn’t serving my purpose. Since then, I have continued to learn about Jesus from my parents, church, and TNT. I am getting baptized today because Jesus has helped me find my purpose and I want to show others that I have a relationship with Him.
My name is Abby Trimble. I attend Lititz Elementary School. I accepted Jesus when I was twelve. I started learning about Jesus at my old church with a lady named Wendy. She taught me about the love of Jesus and the fruits of the spirit. I continued learning about Jesus at TNT on Monday nights. I’m excited to get baptized because I want to tell my family and friends about my friendship with Jesus.
My name is Aniyah Rivera-Lozano. I have had a very hard situation with my dad being in the hospital. Before my dad was in the hospital, I was not into going to church. After he got sick, my Grandma and I started going to church more regularly. I really enjoy going to church because I like singing about Jesus and spreading the good news. I want to get baptized because I want to tell more people about my friendship with Christ and to get more people to come to church.
When I was young, I learned about God in a Bible class, but it didn’t really sink in. As I got older, I went to Christian camps and learned about God more and wanted to see what it was all about. I thought I wanted to follow Jesus, so I did, but little did I know… I thought I did, but I didn’t because I did the same old stuff I did before I went to camp.
In middle school, I tried TNT (Teens Need Truth) and I liked it and learned about God. I wanted to learn more about him so I kept going and learning. So this year I went on a retreat with TNT. That Saturday night at the retreat is when it all happened. We all said a prayer and accepted Jesus. My heart has felt fuller since then. I also have more confidence and kindness. I’m glad I went to the retreat because if I didn’t then I never would have given my heart to Jesus.
I grew up not understanding anything about God. I went to church every so often and in some ways even blamed Him for not having my real father around. I would hear stories about Him and would just think of it as some story that the teachers in Sunday School would read to you.
As I grew older at the age of 13, I grew to be depressed, had very bad anxiety, and would just question everything so much more. This grew for a while to the point where it lead to self-harm as well as shutting myself away from my friends and family. I was admitted to a mental hospital and spent a whole week there. That was one of the lowest moments of my life. Even after returning home, I still continued to be depressed and later on still continued to self-harm.
I was introduced to TNT while still in Middle School. I never saw it as a place to worship and learn about the Lord, but more as a place to hang out with all of my friends. A year went by and I was still going. This was also the time when I would meet someone who little did I know would change my life for the better. That person is Nikell. I spent about a year with her and she really opened my eyes to the wonders of God. She answered the questions that stayed consistent in my mind. I was on the best path and I could see my life turn for the better, at least until I met someone who would make me make a 180 complete turn. She was who I thought was “cool.” I went to parties with her, we smoked weed together, and even got into illegal things. It wasn’t until I was caught for all of it that I had realized I had become. I had become the person I had least expected. I changed my whole life because I wanted to seem cool. The day I was caught was the day I also looked up to God and said “thank you” not only for getting me out of that situation, but also for protecting me. I realized that it could have had a much worse outcome. A week passed by and I promised that I would never do anything like that again. I was finally doing well again and I heard about the retreat TNT would be hosting. I of course was going to be going and I wanted to go into it completely ready to worship God again, so that’s what I did.
It was a time I will never forget. I had the best time and when the last day approached a YWAM leader was telling us her testimony. I listened to every single word and it was just so powerful. I have never related so much to someone before. When she told us to yell out for forgiveness I sure did. I was crying, but they weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of joy. When I raised my hand I could feel this breath of fresh air and I could feel this happiness that I have never experienced in my life. When the YWAM leader invited us to come up and accept Jesus into your heart I did just that.
April 24 is the day that I accepted Jesus into my life. I no longer struggle with depressing thoughts , I no longer blame myself for my real dad not being there, and I no longer doubt what God has done within my life. I cannot thank my family, TNT, Nikell, and Lauren enough for loving, encouraging, and teaching me through all of those happy and rough times. Last but not least I can’t thank God enough. He is the one who brought all of these amazing people into my life and I can’t wait to share more for His glory.
My journey to this day has been a long one, full of twists and turns, roadblocks, detours, and some very rough roads. Just like driving through Lititz. While I believed in God, I did not know God. At the age of 41, I had a heart attack. I thought I had the flu and was ready to drive home. When I was taken to the hospital, the doctor told me I would have died on the way home. I thank The Lord for his mercy and patience and that He did not take me on that day.
It was several years later when God got my attention. At a particularly bad time in my life, I reconnected with a girl I dated back in high school. We talked on the computer at first, went out as friends a few times then eventually started dating. Through our dating, a divide was that she had accepted Christ a couple years before that and I was not there yet. We broke up after a year and a half. While apart, I felt the Lord tugging at my heart. Pam and I met for breakfast 2 months later and it was then that I found out she and a friend of mine were praying for me to come to the Lord. On January 6 down by the Susquehanna River, I asked Jesus for forgiveness and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. Pam and I were engaged a week later and married 6 weeks after that day. I'm so thankful and my life has never been the same.
Recently we moved back to our hometown of Lititz after living in North Carolina for 2 years and we started attending LEFC. I feel we have finally found our home church and I'm thankful for our friends that invited us here.
My journey with Christ started with church camps that were held over the summer. I believed what I was being taught but I didn't really seek Jesus outside of camps. It stayed like this until my sophomore year of college. During my sophomore year, my oldest brother died from his deep struggle with alcoholism. When this happened, I threw Jesus and my religion away. I was SO angry with God.
Growing up, my older siblings were raised by my parents that struggled with alcohol and drug addictions. They saw things and experienced things that a child should never have to experience. Thankfully by the time I was born, my grandparents were retired and were able to raise me and shelter me from most of the trauma of my parents. While I still witnessed more than any child should, I was sheltered from much more than my older siblings were.
When my brother passed away, my thoughts were "why would God take someone innocent? Why wouldn't he take my mom? The same mom that was at my brother's death bed, drunk. The main reason he drank was to deal with the trauma he went through thanks to our parents. It should have been her."
I knew I shouldn't feel this way, but I was angry.
Years before, I had gotten Jeremiah 29:11 tattooed on me—"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.'" I remember thinking, "What kind of plan is this? No 'good' God would do this to someone.”
When all of this was going on, I was in a relationship with my now husband who is a believer, but I had zero interest in God. My now sister-in-law saw this struggle and invited us to go to LEFC. I didn't want to go but eventually we decided to try it. The first song that the worship team sang was "So Will I" by Hillsong Worship. In the background of the lyrics, was an astrological projection. My older brother loved outer space, and to me, this was a sign.
As a music teacher, music speaks to me. I felt that God was speaking to me through the music and got my attention through that song. The song "So Will I" shows how God is glorified through creation and we were made to do the same.
God spoke to my heart and that's when I decided to follow Jesus.
I’m Joel, and I’m 8 years old. I just finished second grade. I asked Jesus into my heart on May 13, 2021. I had been hearing about Jesus in Sunday School and from my mom and dad. At bedtime, Mommy mentioned that some day when I was ready, I could come to Mommy and Daddy and ask Jesus into my heart. I said, “How about right now!” So, Mommy and Daddy prayed with me and I accepted Jesus. Having Jesus in my heart means I will go to heaven someday and that He will forgive my sins. I chose to get baptized on June 6, 2021, at Church in the Parking Lot to show that Jesus is in my heart.
Hi, my name is Tucker Heller, I am 12 years old. I am very thankful that I grew up in a Christian home, and got to learn about Jesus from a young age. My parents and grandparents have been a big influence to me and I can be sure they’ll always be there to cheer me on. I asked Jesus into my heart on February 18, 2014 when I was five years old. I asked Jesus into my heart because I wanted to have a relationship with him, and I recognized that without him my sins couldn’t be forgiven. He has given me strength, courage, and hope for eternal life.
Today I want to get baptized to show others my decision to follow Jesus Christ and live my life for him.
One thing that has been difficult for me is relying on my own ways instead of God’s ways. Sometimes I rely on my human nature instead of relying on God. I am thankful that God gives his instructions on how to live in the Bible. I’ve seen God working through my life by healing my major belly pains during and after Lyme disease. I have learned that God is all powerful and helps me through difficult situations.
My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13, which says “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” I love how this verse shows that no matter what struggles I have in life I can overcome them because God gives me the strength.
God is continuing to build my faith in him. I am very thankful for all that Jesus has done for me and continue to watch him work in my life.