Before you read this last testimony, we’d like to thank you for being part of the Echoes International advent calendar 2018, and praying with us for countries around the world. We hope you have been encouraged and inspired by the testimonies of God’s grace to His people. Different countries, different people – but One Lord and Saviour!
As Advent is a time of anticipation, Christmas is a time to celebrate:
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14).
Blessings to you all this Christmas from everyone at Echoes International.
Five years ago, Morgane was an atheist, living in France and had no concept of God. Today she is looking to serve God in Italy. What an amazing God!
My name is Morgane, I am 27, I am a Christian, I am French.
I was brought up in France, a secular country, and in a non-Christian family. I was brought up to believe that there is no God, I never had religious education, never went to church, and didn’t know any Christians.
It was when I was at university that – by God’s Grace – things changed.
I had just met a friend who, one evening, sent me a text when I was on the bus to say she was depressed. I replied offering my help and I was immediately filled with love and joy at the idea that I could help her. My heart was overjoyed but in my head I was rationalising it and thinking ‘I only met this girl last week and I have plans for the weekend, why would I want to sacrifice that for her and why does it bring me so much love and joy?’ As my mind was trying to make sense of it three distinct words came to mind: ‘God is Love’. I was surprised by those words, I didn’t know they were in the Bible and I felt the presence of God – the God I thought didn’t exist! I said a prayer shyly in my head – ‘God, if you exist give me a sign’.
I got off the bus and I didn’t tell anybody about that experience, but I was searching for God and didn’t know where to find Him. I started to see my life differently and was worried that I was living for my own enjoyment and pleasures. I was wondering what this God of love would think of my life.
The next year one of my classes at university was Religions in America. The teacher – an atheist – taught us about evangelical Christians and born-again Christians. I wanted to talk about this to someone, but I didn’t know any Christians.
A few months later I met a man at work who, out of the blue in conversation, said: ‘I’m a Christian’. How grateful I am that he was obedient to the Holy Spirit! I asked him a few questions and he invited me to his evangelical church that same evening. It was the first time I had attended a church service, the people were warm and happy, they were singing songs and then the pastor went to the front to preach.
He probably said many things, but I remember very well that he said there are only two roads we can take, the road that leads to life or the road that leads to destruction (Mt 7:13). He talked about the road that leads to destruction; the road everybody is born into and he talked about sin. It sounded like my life, even more than that, it sounded like my heart. But he said that there was a way to life and that way was Jesus Himself. He talked about Jesus again and again and everybody in the church talked about Jesus.
How grateful I am that he was obedient to the Holy Spirit!
When I went back home, I realised that I had been looking for God and researching about Christianity but I had been missing the point; It was all about Jesus and I didn’t know anything about Jesus! So, I found a Bible online and started reading the Gospel of Matthew that the pastor had preached from. I was reading pure truth. I wanted to follow this man Jesus! I kept going to church and understood that Christianity is not just a philosophy of life but a personal relationship with the living God.
A few weeks later, as I was walking home after a church meeting, I prayed to God: ‘What do you want me to do? Give me a sign’. I stopped and realised that it was the prayer I had prayed more than a year before in that bus and that God had not only given me a sign. No, God had given me everything, he had given me Life through his Son and I just had to receive it. I hurried back home, went to my room and prayed to God and offered my life to Him.
Since then my life has never been the same. God gave me a new heart and my life took a new turn. I broke up with my boyfriend of seven years and my friends would not speak to me anymore. I had to move back in with my parents because I had been living with my friends. I told my parents about my faith and they were worried I had joined a cult. I considered the few weeks of being a Christian; lost my boyfriend, my friends and became a stranger to my family. But I was the happiest I had ever been because for the first time I had God in my life.
Since that day God has given me a passion for evangelism – for telling people about Jesus whom I didn’t hear about until my early twenties – and a passion for the Bible – to know God through His Word and to be made into His likeness.
If I had been told five years ago that I would be training to be a mission worker and that I would be working in Italy to share the good news of Jesus with African refugees I would never have believed it! I am amazed at what the Lord has done in me and through me and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life marvelling at His faithfulness.
- for countries like France, where many people have not heard the gospel and where believers make up a small minority of the population
- for new opportunities to witness to refugees and asylum-seekers, as Europe sees unprecedented levels of migration, due to conflict, persecution and poverty
- for effective evangelism, discipleship and church growth in Europe.