From church visitor to Christian.
I was used to go with my parents to church, but when I was 9 years old something changed.
At school I had a teacher who later would become a missionary to Zaire, and again later returned to the Netherlands and became a pastor.
But when I was 9 he was my teacher, and he had a different way of teaching us about the Bible and the Christian faith.
On a certain day he asked the class: “You think you are Christians, and you think you are saved, but are you really?”
And he made it clear to us
• That being born in a Christian family didn’t help.
• That going to a Christian school, or going to church didn’t help.
• And that even our activities didn’t help.
I may need to explain that; In those days the boys in the class went door to door to collect old newspapers, as they were worth some money, which was used to support mission project.
Well I was born in a Christian family, I went to a Christian school, I went twice to church every Sunday, I did my best to collect as much newspapers as I possibly could, I even arranged that other boys, who didn’t go to my school, were working with me collecting the papers.
But I realized that this all was okay to do, but in the same time meant nothing for my salvation. I needed grace!
That thought stayed with me the whole day, till I at last in the evening, in my bed could pray, and wet my pillow, for the fact I never consciously made the decision to follow my Lord. From that moment, I at last started to live; really live. I turned from a church visitor to a Christian.
No the asthma which I had from my birth, and which caused that I actually had no friends, because I was not able to play with them, was not gone (even today it is one of my problems) but it caused me to stay at home and read a lot. And from this day that reading became reading in the Bible, and Biblical literature. Which ofcourse had its influence.