By Omer* —
I’m from Turkey and not from a Christian background. From an early age I began to investigate different religions.
I remember when my father took me for a walk. For some reason he took me into a church…I don’t know why. When we entered, I felt like I had entered a different world. I was filled with peace. Looking back, it was the Holy Spirit. I became conflicted, confused, and began to pray, ‘God, guide me to truth.’
It was Christmas Eve. I was 12 years old, and in my search, I was reading a Bible. Suddenly, I felt that Jesus Christ was standing before me. I couldn’t grasp what was happening.
Instantly, I fell to my knees and said, ‘Jesus Christ, I believe you.’
Immediately, I knew I had found truth and purpose for my life. But telling my family would result in severe consequences. It was the most difficult time of my life. I asked God what He wanted me to do, if I should tell my parents.
I prayed, ‘If you want me to tell my parents, they must come to me and ask about Christianity.’ Five minutes later, my mother came into my room and saw a cross hanging around my neck. ‘What is that? Have you become a Christian?!’
I told her I had. She began to cry. It was as though I had committed murder. My parents began to pressure me with beatings and to get me to recant. For two years, they only let me leave the house to go to school, to keep me from going to church. I had brought them shame.
Finally I found the opportunity to leave my house and visit a church. I was so hungry to learn more. A man in the church saw me looking over the bookrack and gave me several books. I took them home and studied in secret, always hiding them from my parents. Eventually, I grew up and left home. My parents are still in denial, but I’ve found the truth.
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