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Sophie C.

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Sophie C.

When I was four, my family and I were riding home from church.  My older sister Elise asked, “Sophie, do you want to know God?” I said, “Yes.” Mom said a prayer with me and I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. When I was ten I wanted to be baptized. I want to be baptized because Jesus was and I want to be like Him.

Jason Martin

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Jason Martin

At the age of 12 I chose to be baptized as I knew Jesus Christ was my Savior. Since then I have not had Jesus in my life where he was my Lord and King. My wife and I heard about Christ Community Church from our stepmom Tracy Powers about 10 years ago, and started attending. Up until this point, neither of us had a personal relationship with Jesus. Soon after attending we found out and accepted that Jesus is not only our Savior but also our lord and King, who desires a loving, meaningful and faithful relationship with us. Since then, I have seen my relationship not only with Jesus grow but also with my wife, children and friends. I enjoy serving in Christ’s name and I am also growing in a community group. As it says in (1 Peter 3:21,22) “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at Gods right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”

Julie Martin

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Julie Martin

I grew up Catholic and always had a love for Christ, but I never knew what it was like to have a personal relationship with him. I had 2 children as a young adult, and I strayed from church, and lost touch with Christ. In 2005, shortly after starting a new life with my second husband, Jason, we decided to go to church. On our first visit to Christ Community Church I immediately felt the love that Christ had for me, however at I thought that Christ would never forgive me because of my past sins.

The more I attended, the more I understood that Christ would never give up on me.  I prayed the prayer of forgiveness with Pastor Jim, asking Christ into my life as my savior. I felt new.

2010-2011 was a very tough year for my family, as our son Joshua was born with Downs Syndrome, and the economy hit us hard financially.  I felt like I was on trial with God.  My life was filled with a constant sense of worry about how we would cope. After reading Matthew 6:34 (which tells you ‘not to worry, tomorrow will worry about it self’) I began to let go, and started focusing more on Christ. The more I put my faith in God’s hands, the better things became.

Since then Christ has made many changes in my life. As I grow closer to God, Jason and I are growing closer together spiritually. I have amazing new friends who are helping me grow in Christ, like Shelley Doyle, who has been by my side holding my hand as we read scripture together and helping with my many questions. Jason and I now belong to the Special Needs Parents Community Group too.  

It feels like Jesus is breathing new life into my heart each day as I grow in my relationship with him. 

A scripture that is special to me is Colossians 2: 6,7
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and over flowing with thankfulness.”

Alyssa S.

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Alyssa S.

Before my life with Christ, I spent all my time isolated from people. I focused my time on petty things including clothes, electronics, and sports.

Then when my family and I began to attend Christ community Church, I noticed a difference in my life. I felt connected and began to learn through the word of the gospel. I truly realized all the wrong in my life that I wanted to fix.  With the encouragement from Bob Timm and Cindy Beier, I confessed my wrong and surrendered to Jesus.

Since then, I can truly say my life has meaning. I have direction in my life. I have put my complete faith in Jesus.  I still continue to participate in community groups and volunteer in the name of the Lord. I am here today to declare my surrender to the Lord. Roman 10:9,10  says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Blackberry Creek

Tony Bova

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Tony Bova

Most of my life I have felt lost, miserable and sometimes angry at myself and everybody else. I grew up Catholic and believed in God but rarely went to church.  


I started attending church with my friends Lisa and Thomas Billings when I moved down to Alabama at age 50. I thought I would only go once or twice but I kept going back week after week. About 6 months later, I made the decision to put my faith and trust in Jesus alone.


After moving back to Illinois two years ago, I started attending Christ Community with Michael and Donna Chartrand and meeting with Pastor Jon. Growing my relationship with Christ and being involved at Blackberry has truly changed who I am and today I am being baptized because it is my choice to follow and obey Jesus.

Ryan Eccleston

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Ryan Eccleston

Before I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I lived my life thinking I was in control.  I believed my life was my own and I could go out and get everything I needed to be happy.  But I felt like my life was being half-lived.  


In 1998, while attending a high school football camp, I was presented with the gospel and instantly it became clear and real like it hadn't before.  My half-lived life was a result of my own brokenness and separation from God.  I needed Jesus and his sacrifice to be forgiven and reconnect with God.  At that moment I was totally broken and asked Jesus to come into my life and save me. In John 10:10, Jesus says “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”


Over the past 17 years, my life has had ups and downs, but God has been blessing me with abundant life.  I have a beautiful wife and children, parents and siblings who have all made decisions to follow Jesus and help hold me accountable and challenge me to continue to draw nearer to Him.  That is why I am being baptized today. I am publicly proclaiming that I am surrendering my life to the God that wants to give me “abundant life” through his Son.

Kevin Hine

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Kevin Hine

Before I turned my heart over to Jesus¸ I often felt that I was walking around without a purpose. I lost my father when I was 10 years old and life had been really difficult for me ever since. I was surrounded by darkness and I had no idea how to escape it. I had this yearning for something more but I had no idea what that something more was.


Fast forward 13 years later and again, I found myself going through a very dark time in my life and having a hard time dealing with certain trials I had been faced with. My friend Jesse Siebold reached out to me and I noticed there was something different about Jesse and the way he carried himself. Jesse later shared his testimony with me and it was then that I realized that it wasn’t Jesse that I was noticing, but it was Christ living and shining his love through Jesse. I was so moved by Jesse and his story that I knew right then and there that this was God reaching out to me and showering me with his love. That same day, October 7th 2014, I gave my heart to Christ and I asked the Lord to take control of my life.


Since God has entered my life, I have completely changed the way I live. That something “more” I had been searching for was a relationship with Jesus Christ. God has filled my heart with so much love and peace that it has allowed me to live in a way that displays his love to others. God’s love has given me the ability to love myself more deeply and he has also given me the ability to love others around me more deeply as well. I no longer have the bitterness or anger in my heart had been there for quite some time.  Instead of blaming God for the bad and never thanking him for the good, I am learning to seek God in every aspect of my life and trust in his plans. God's plans for our lives will always be greater than our own. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.”

Jesse Pena

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Jesse Pena

I was at a point in my life where I didn't live for God, rather I lived for myself. I was more focused on what made me happy by rebelling against him.

I went to a Christian church in August of 2012 where I saw Christ through others. I grew up Catholic and for the first time in my life I felt the love from God. I fell to my knees as the church band sang "How Great is Our God" and from that moment, I knew I had surrendered my life to God.

Since then I have grown a real relationship with Christ and I have never been happier. I serve in Kid's World, Genesis and I'm also in a community group led by Nicki Sweezer that has helped so much in getting me on the right track towards Christ.

I've become a better coach, friend, brother, uncle and son. Deuteronomy 16:17 says "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you." I live my life now to serve others as I serve the Lord. I am forgiven and redeemed.

Michael Romans

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Michael Romans

I have always been a very independent and self-sufficient person, doing all I can to not depend on anyone but myself. I knew of Christ, but was too stubborn to even put my trust in him. For what if even Jesus wasn’t there for me?


Then came that day when loneliness and abandonment described how my life looked. I truly felt like there was no one that I could turn to that would make me feel like I was loved. That night I read a plaque my mother gave me years ago called “Footprints in the Sand”. If there was ever a time that this described my life this was it. Knowing what rock-bottom was, that night I turned to Christ as my Lord and Savior!


From that day forth I can say that I have never felt alone again! I still have difficulties in my life, but I have never walked those paths alone. I can see his answered prayers and blessings in my life every day. And although I still wander from time to time, I know he will never leave me and will keep me in the palm of his hand!

DeKalb

Norm Adshade

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Norm Adshade

I grew up in a Christian home. I remember my father was a pastor for a short time. You would think this would have been a healthy environment, but it was actually the opposite. I’m not sure what happened in his childhood, but father was a very violent, mentally and physically abusive man. He would hold grudges and instead of attending church as a God-loving family, we were too busy working.

One day, my parents had a huge fight. Dad gave mom an ultimatum, “Her boys or him”. She chose him. From that day forward, we were on our own.

At seventeen, the day after graduation, I came home to find my bags packed. Luckily, I had somewhat prepared myself. I was now on my own.

Throughout the years, I worked hard to be successful. My main focus was building my empire. This was my goal, but it wasn't God’s. I would blame God for problems that would arise when it was really my decisions and choices to blame.

About four years ago, I met a God-loving lady, Jenni Renfer. As our relationship grew, she could see the baggage I carried. She could see the damage that had been done to my heart. She informed me I needed to seek Christ, but I thought that she was wacked out. It wasn't long afterward that the issues within me started to break down our relationship. However, the door to Christ had been opened and was a turning point. I made the choice to enter thru and seek the healing that I desperately needed and turned my life 100% over to God, His will, His way. I recognized that Jesus shed His blood and suffered for my sins.

God has changed my life. I pray every day that the Holy Spirit fill my heart with His love. I belong to a Bible study of fabulous men who have helped me recognize the Lord’s healing power and I attend church regularly.

Thank you, Jenni Renfer, Christy Huggins, Mirna Downing, and everyone else that has helped open my eyes to the power of the Lord. And most of all, thank you, Jesus for your love and salvation. May your will be done......Amen.

 

St. Charles

Zoe A.

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Zoe A.

Before I went to Genesis, I didn’t really understand who Jesus is. I could understand who he is but I guess I couldn’t understand what he was capable of. In KidsWorld, they taught us about Jesus and all the amazing things that he was capable of. I knew him but didn’t really understand how it worked.

One night at Genesis, we were finishing up singing. We sat down and prayed. When I was praying, I began to feel tingly and feel like someone was watching me. It is hard to explain what I was feeling. I told my mom and she said that it was the Holy Spirit. I thought about it for a month or so. Until one night in my room. I felt like someone was watching me, but it was nothing like the time at Genesis. It was a scary, uneasy feeling. I remembered about the story of when Jesus made that demon leave the man’s body. ‘He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” (Mark 5;7-8) Jesus made the impure spirit leave. So I said “Leave me alone! Jesus is with me!” And I felt peace. Instantly, I felt safe. That night showed me that Jesus is always protecting me and that I want to feel that peace and security always. 

Since then I have given my life to Jesus, he has really been protecting me and been there for me. I thank God for my wonderful life. My friends, families and especially for the blessing of moving back to Pingree Grove to go to high school with my best friend Amanda.

God has really been with me this year with my new school, new house and not being around my best friends. Jesus has really guided me through eighth grade. “Praise the Lord; Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 106-1) Today I am getting baptized because I feel that God is calling me. I want to forever feel his protection and love. I remember this year for Easter we watched Passion of the Christ. While watching it this year, during the part where Jesus is being put on the cross, I cried, the Holy Spirit came to me. I could feel it. During that movie I fully understood what it meant when he died for us. Jesus died for us and gave his life so that we could live with him one day. Being baptized is another step closer to God. I want to be baptized so I can continue my journey with Christ.

Jeffrey Aguilan

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Jeffrey Aguilan

Growing up, I always felt that I was a religious person but didn't always involve my religious teachings in my everyday life.  I thought I had the whole religion thing down but didn't have the true understanding of what everything really meant.  I knew the basic story for God and Jesus and I thought that just being a good person is enough.  After attending Christ Community Church, I slowly started to see the true meaning.After getting married to my beautiful wife, Nina, we moved to St. Charles where our new lives began.  She also grew up in a Catholic family but didn't feel complete from a religious standpoint.  We started talking and she had a strong feeling that she wanted to seek God and the true meaning of life.  Me, being a supporting husband, was on board with anything that she wanted to do.  As we searched for a church that we can call our own, our path finally led us to the entrance of Christ Community Church.  As soon as we walked in, we felt welcomed.  

During our time attending Christ Community, not only did my wife's religious journey begin but mine as well after we trusted Jesus with our lives.  Listening to the songs and sermons gave me a new perspective on my beliefs.  We started to learn about Christ and the meaning of surrendering our lives to Jesus.  As we learned more and started implementing the teaching, it has made a big impact in our lives.  

We feel so lucky and thankful for all the blessings and guidance we have received.  We regularly attend church, pray daily and continue to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.  This journey has made such a big impact in our lives. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to show our gratitude and thanks to Christ then by following his command to be baptized and continuing to live for Jesus.

Nina Aguilan

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Nina Aguilan

What caused me to see that I needed Christ in my life was when I faced some challenging situations and I realized I really had no control. Whether they were good circumstances or not, the situation always turned out for the best and this made me realize that I needed Jesus in my life. I continued to learn more about the Word of God to understand my purpose and what He intends for my life to be.

My husband, Jeffrey and I got married four years ago and moved to St. Charles. Knowing that we had plans to start a family, we wanted to ensure that we had a foundational faith for our future kids to grow up in. We started attending Christ Community Church two years ago and from there, I started to really learn about Christ and what it means to surrender my life to Jesus. The services at Christ Community really helped guide me through the Bible and made me realize how much Jesus loves me for he died for my sins.  It was during these services that I surrendered my life to Christ.

Through this, I've continued to be in awe of all the ways Jesus has impacted my life. Jeffrey and I are now expecting a baby girl in August and I feel so blessed and thankful for the life that Jesus has provided and guided us through. We continue to pray daily and live through His Word. Even through challenging times, I manage to always look to Him for strength and patience by remembering Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."

Austin Beasley

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Austin Beasley

I grew up knowing who Christ was. When I was a little kid my parents would always read the Bible to me and I would think, “How amazing is God?” We went to church fairly often and my grandparents on both sides did too. But, in Elementary School, I was bullied a lot and I didn’t have a great relationship with God. I would always feel alone at school and I never really told anyone, including God, until a couple years later.

During this time I knew how powerful and amazing God was, but I never truly accepted a relationship with him until later on. Eventually I started to pray more and more on my own instead of just praying with my parents. I really started to build a relationship with God and applied the things that I’d learned when I was younger to my life in fourth and fifth grade. I thought, “If God can save Daniel from the lions, of course he can save me from just a few bullies.” At the time when I was praying, I thought God wasn’t helping me and I still felt alone. It was then that I prayed with my family and let God have control over my life.

When I got into sixth grade, I had an amazing year with many friends and great teachers. But, I saw all these kids having a not so great year and that’s when it hit me, God had a plan for me all along. He let me go through the tough times in previous years, giving me some help along the way, so that I could learn to treat others around me well, unlike people treated me. I understood that his plan for me was much greater than my plan for myself. Now that my seventh grade year is over, and I’ve really grown into a great relationship with Jesus and have grown more through Christ Community, it was an obvious choice for me to be baptized, and I can’t wait to go through another chapter of life with Jesus.

Eric Bishop

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Eric Bishop

Before I trusted in Jesus, I was raised in a household that was not centered around God, and was always brought up to believe that religion was more a commodity than a necessity.  I was bullied heavily throughout my young life and always felt great insecurity, malice, and judgment in all that I did.

When I set out on my own in the world, became a husband, a young adult, and the curator of my own life, I realized that I felt incomplete and that God was missing from my heart.  My best friend and wonderful wife, Kaylah, had always been there for me and aided me in finding my way. I discovered the unconditional love of the Lord and the peace that I seeking after to live a new life with Jesus inside me.

Since then, Christ has changed my life.  I feel like I am truly alive for the first time, and that I can see the world from a different perspective.  All the weight of the burdens, scorn, and insecurities that plagued my mind and heart, have all but vanished, and I am a free man.  I am able to see the selfishness of my ways, am able to exert more kindness and patience to those around me, and to love my wife and family more than I could have ever imagined.  I can feel God within me, embracing me, and leading me in all that I do in my marriage, my family, my work, and my growth in all endeavors in my journey through life.

Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Karen Bolwin

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Karen Bolwin

I use to be such an angry, sad and depressed person. I thought therapy or medication for depression would help but it didn’t. It didn't solve anything for me. I knew I needed to dig deeper and I knew I needed a different type of healing.

My decision to surrender to Christ is because of my husband Rich Bolwin and our daughter Kylie Bolwin. During a baptism service at the St Charles campus last year, I felt Jesus Christ in my heart telling me it was my faith that would help heal me. I knew then I needed to work on my relationship with Jesus Christ first and then I could work on my relationship with my husband and my daughter. As I saw people on stage being baptized, I prayed to Jesus Christ to forgive me for my sins and to give me the strength I needed to move forward in faith.

I can honestly tell there is a significant change now in my life. After accepting Jesus Christ in my life, I am much happier and no longer sad or depressed. I feel closer to Him and to my husband and daughter. Christ has provided the strength I need. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Richard Bolwin

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Richard Bolwin

What caused me to see that I needed Christ was our five year old child constantly asking about God and making me realize that I didn't have the important answers. From the first moment I entered Christ Community Church, there was this sense of welcoming I hadn't felt anywhere. I had a realization that this relationship with Christ was one I needed to solidify more than any other.

The questions my daughter had were building blocks to deeper questions that I needed answers for but didn't have the voice. I always knew that Jesus died for our sins or so I heard with deaf ears and read thru blind eyes but never really fully accepted as truth. I realized that the more I heard about the gospel, that there were some serious pitfalls that I put myself in and I wasn't alone. It was then that I accepted Christ into my life.

Through coming to church, my relationship with Christ has helped me be a more compassionate person. There's a deeper network of people I'd rather associate with versus those that have such a negative outlook. I want to clarify that I don't ignore the negative, but embrace it, and try to take some of the positive that I've accepted and hope to lighten the dark in others’ lives.

Kristi Bruns

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Kristi Bruns

Before I put all my trust in Jesus, I claimed to be a believer, but my actions did not show this. I went through life making my own decisions and I got angry and confused at God when things didn't go my way. I fell into a pattern of doing good in my career and cared deeply about what others thought of me; based on my job and good deeds.

It wasn't until this past August, I started attending Care Night. While there and hearing Mike Hurn speak, I slowly realized I needed to surrender all of my trust to Jesus and to put my faith in him alone.

Since then, my life has truly changed. I enjoy going to bible study with other young moms, and I feel I have made connections in Care Night with people that will be honest and hold me accountable to becoming a better Christian each day. I know there will be ups and downs, but it is with God's people, this church, and through God's word I will persevere and tackle each day. James 1:12 states, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." I believe God's word now and want to proclaim my faith publicly in him

Scott Bruns

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Scott Bruns

Growing up I was raised in a Christian family with Christian beliefs.  I was baptized as an infant, raised to know right from wrong, and to know God and know his word.  As I grew into adulthood, I blended into the crowd going through the paces of life and making decisions that demonstrated I was the god of my universe and not the Holy Spirit in me.  

My wife found Christ Community Church by chance having made a wrong turn.  At first glance she thought it was a gym however after some quick research she determined it was in fact a church.  We were looking for a church home at the time having settled our family nearby.  We felt welcomed, at home, and thought this was a great place where our Children could grow and find God.  Week after week we found ourselves hungry for more as the Holy Spirit was working in our hearts pulling at different chords of our lives.  After the course of a few weeks, I renewed my desire to have the Holy Spirit come into my life.

I thank my parents for making the decision to baptize me as an infant and promising before the church, family, and God to raise me in the Christian upbringing.  I come today making the declaration of my faith for myself.  The message from Matthew 10:32-33 echoes in my heart daily.  “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”  As I get baptized today, I declare to the world for myself that God is the center of my life.  I promise to study his word, seek his truth, serve his creation, & shine his light to the world so that others may see him through me.

Alfie C.

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Alfie C.

Before, in the United Kingdom, my relationship with Jesus was quite weak, even though I went to a Christian school and attended church, I never felt Jesus with me and didn’t really know who he was.

When I was first told we were moving to America, I was heartbroken to leave my family, friends and home behind. At first, I was angry and sad that this happened to me, but after being invited to Awana, I felt a draw to find a church home, like Jesus was calling me. We were invited back to church as a family by Shelley Doyle for the Christmas Eve service. I felt like I belonged at a church and finally felt that God had moved me to America to bring me closer to Jesus, and people like Courtney Wilson, Pete Sutton and Randy Isola.  During one of pastor Randy's sermons in KidsWorld, I discovered that Jesus loved me so much he gave up his life for me. This is when I asked the Holy Spirit to come live inside me and knew that I wanted to walk with Jesus.

Since attending on Christmas Eve, I know that God has plan for me. I have served in things I never knew I could do and use the bible all the time to help me with difficult situations. I have met new friends and am excited to see what God has in store for me. I am looking forward to serve in KidsWorld and helping children grow in their faith as I have.

Chloe C.

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Chloe C.

I have always believed in God and attended a Christian school, but I never appreciated what Jesus had done for me. I had a basic understanding of who Jesus was, but didn't know that he was our Lord and Savior. 

Then my family and I moved to America and my mum found out about Christ Community Church and invited us all to come to the Christmas Eve service. I didn't want to go as I missed my old church, but went to support my mum and loved it. We attended Christ Community every weekend and this was when I first became familiar with my Savior, when Pastor Jim told us that Jesus was the way to God and he is the Lord over us all. I realized I had been praying to God but had never really accepted Christ into my life, so I did.

After I realized this I started to see all of the amazing things Jesus had done in my life to bring me even closer to God. One way he did this was to bring my dad closer to God. I attended a house group and my faith grew even more. Whenever I am faced with a problem I pray and turn to the Bible, all things that I wouldn't have done before. I am so grateful for Jesus's love for me and I am returning this love to him by surrendering my life and being baptized today

Brad Caldwell

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Brad Caldwell

Growing up, I have always known about and believed in Jesus Christ. I was baptized as an infant in the Methodist Church.  Through the years, my walk drifted away from God.  I was putting myself above everyone and everything in my life, including my relationship with Christ.

It was not until I almost lost everything in my life because of my selfishness that I realized how my priorities were completely skewed.  I had to go through the roughest time of my life to make the most important change of my life. I put my whole trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior and stopped living my life for myself.  If it had not been for my wife, Jill to help me along the way, I don’t know where I would be now.

Since surrendering my life to Jesus, I now have my priorities correct for the first time. I have joined a men’s Community Group through Christ Community Church.  This group has helped draw me closer in my walk with Christ.  I am so grateful for Jesus’s never ending love.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Dave Chadwick

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Dave Chadwick

My family, while holding Christian beliefs, were not active church goers and I grew up without any strong religious beliefs. In October 2010, my job brought our family to Chicago and I put all my energy into building a successful career. While I have enjoyed professional success to some degree, I have felt for a long time that there was something missing in my life. A friend invited my wife to a “Women 2 Women” group at CCC and us attending a Christmas Eve Service in Dec 2013. I remember having a distinct tingling sensation down my back as the candles were lit and we sang the hymn Silent Night. We began attending church every week after that as we enjoyed the “feel” of the St. Charles campus and slowly the weekly messages started to resonate with me – I recognize now that God was calling to me during this time but I was not quite ready to listen.

During the Wow Weekend with Michael Jr I came to a sudden and clear realization that God had brought my family to the United States, not for my job, but so we could all find Him. I finally saw that work was my god and that I needed to ask the true God to forgive me for my sins and to take charge of my life as I was making poor choices and becoming distant from my family. After the service, I met John Olson in the Welcome Center who prayed for me to receive Christ. I attended the Next Steps class and Pastor Jym Kay provided a wonderful environment to learn about salvation through Jesus, debunk the myths and understand what being a Christ follower entailed.

Since then, my wife and I have joined a couples group run by Devin and Jaime Westhause and this has become one of the highlights of our week. We now enjoy serving God and are growing spiritually together as a family thanks to the community of CCC.

Sara Chadwick

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Sara Chadwick

I had alway seen myself as a Christian, I was baptized as a baby and throughout my life I had attended church and church groups, but nothing was ever permanent.

Despite having a loving husband and two wonderful children, I still felt there was something missing and when my parents divorced around eleven years ago. That was when God came to me and told me that no matter what he loved me, and that he was always with me. While my family and I were still in the UK, I was still a little unsure, but since moving to America and meeting my friend Shelley Doyle, I know this to be true. I met with Shelley's husband Pastor Andy, he told me that God had been "calling me" all this time. It was true, I knew it and I knew that I had to listen to God’s call, so I surrendered my life to Christ.

I started to attend a women’s meeting with Shelley in 2013 and from there my faith has grown. My family and I started to attend church from January 2014 every week, where we enjoyed the weekly messages and found them helpful in providing guidance in our everyday lives.  I now belong to both a Women's and Couples Community Group, our family enjoys serving projects and I also serve in KidsWorld. I now have a church family that has made me feel like I belong.

Josh D.

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Josh D.

In January of this year, my mom and I were talking about New Year’s resolutions.  One of mine was to pray and think about putting my faith in Jesus.  About a month later, I talked to my Awana leader about his faith and he inspired me with his favorite verses, John 17:1-5.  

On February 28th, 2015, I was getting ready for bed when I prayed admitting my sins and asking Jesus for forgiveness.  My mom and my Awana leader, Brad Beaulieu, helped me come to the point of trusting in Jesus. My mom encouraged me to consider baptism and follow Jesus’ example and instructions to be baptized. I believe that getting baptized will help me grow in my faith and become more like Jesus.

Paige Davis

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Paige Davis

I was baptized when I was a baby in an Episcopal church. I went to Sunday school there and I learned about Jesus, but I didn’t really understand how important Jesus was to me. Before I found a personal relationship with Jesus, I didn’t think about the consequences of my actions. I didn’t think of myself as a sinner. I also focused more about what people thought of me than what Jesus thought of me.

I surrendered my life to Christ in elementary school. I decided to surrender to Christ because I wanted to be a better person and a better Christian.  I know that he died on the cross for my sins. There were two times when I wanted to get baptized before (once was when my brother and sister were baptized), but then I didn’t do it because I wasn’t ready.  I decided to get baptized now because I wanted to make the decision for myself and show that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior. Christ has changed my life by making me a better person. I want to be more like Jesus and not focus on things that are not important. I also pray more and am thankful for what I have. I think about the consequences of my decisions more too. Getting baptized will show everyone that Jesus is my savior and that I surrendered my life to him.

Shon Davis

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Shon Davis

I was taken from my birth family when I was five years old. I lived with a lot of different families after being removed from my biological family. Only one of those families went to church, but I didn’t learn who Jesus was until I moved with my current family, who adopted me when I was ten years old.

Before I learned about Jesus, I was a bully and I was mean to people. When I moved with my adoptive family, I started attending KidsWorld and then Genesis and then the main service. That is when I learned about Jesus. I think that Jesus is a wonderful man and I am so grateful that he died on the cross for my sins.  

Now that I know about Jesus, I know he forgives me and I treat people with kindness and respect. I am getting baptized to show that I chose to follow Jesus. I will continue to be more like Jesus by learning more about him and reading the Bible.

Viki Deardorff

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Viki Deardorff

I grew up Lutheran and was baptized as an infant and then confirmed as an eighth grader. I believe both of these significant events were done with total sincerity. And, when both of my sons were born, I insisted that they, too, be baptized as infants.  At the time of their baptisms, I was introduced to the concept of infant dedication and full immersion (submerged under water) baptism as a personal believer in Christ. However, this Scriptural teaching was new to me and wasn’t part of my religious and cultural heritage.  

I didn’t give this much more thought until both of the last two churches I’ve attended required believer’s baptism for church membership.  I was surprised, and frankly a little offended, that my infant baptism and eighth grade confirmation wouldn’t “count” with either of these churches.  So, at the encouragement of a friend, I started to pray for God to show me if He wanted me to experience a full immersion baptism as a believer.  I had been praying about it for several months and didn’t seem to hear anything from God about it.  

At the start of this calendar year, I talked with my older son about setting resolutions.  I told him that one of my resolutions was a recommitment to pray and seek God’s will about being re-baptized.   

About six weeks later, I was at a leader’s meeting at Bible Study Fellowship when a friend retold a conversation she had experienced in her car between herself, her husband, and her son.  They were discussing Numbers 19. In that passage the Lord instructs the Israelites about what cleansing He requires of them if they come in contact with a dead body.  Part of my friend’s story was how her young son saw the correlation between this passage and full immersion baptism.  In Numbers 19:19 it says “The person being cleansed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and that evening he will be clean.”  I really believe that God’s Holy Spirit used this conversation to encourage me to get fully immersed in the waters of baptism.

I came home from Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), and I told my husband and sons about my decision to be re-baptized.  Four days later, through an entirely different set of circumstances - but still inspired by the Holy Spirit, my son decided to put his trust in Jesus!  So, now my son Josh and I are being fully immersed in baptism on the same day. Praise the Lord!

Martin Enem

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Martin Enem

I was raised in a Christian family, but saw Jesus as just an important figure to acknowledge. As I was entering college, my focus was initially on entirely myself, thus I put Jesus on a back seat and decided to live my life on my own terms.

As I began going to church regularly and with more teachings from my mother, I began to realize just how loving Jesus is and the sacrifice he went through to reconcile us with our heavenly father. The more I drew close to him, the more I realized how empty my life was without making Jesus my focus. It was then that I surrendered my life to Christ.

My life has changed greatly for the better. I can put my whole faith in Jesus, knowing that despite the trials and tribulations I face, I am coming out victorious. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that you have someone that truly cares for you, and that makes you just want to give him thanks.

Ursula Enem

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Ursula Enem

My mom always had a strong faith. Even when things didn't work out exactly as planned, she still stood strong to her faith. This inspired me to seek out Christ to experience the confidence she had in him.

My mom was a big influence in my growing of faith. Though there are many things about the bible that I'm still unsure about, I feel a closer connection to God now that I have started to pray more often and have surrendered my life to Christ. I went from believing that, perhaps, there is a greater entity watching over the world to strongly believing in Christ and the ultimate sacrifice he made for us.

I was born into a Christian household so the message of God has always been with me. However, I never really understood the main concept of faith and accepting Christ as a savior. It is through the hard times of life that I realize how much we need him.  It is human nature to think that it is all out of our own doing when everything is going well is our lives. However, it is when situations take a turn for the worse that we truly start seeking God. I have grown and learned to thank God for both the good and bad of life, and commit everything that happens into God’s hands.

Victor Enem

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Victor Enem

I was raised in a Christian family and I usually went to church every week. This exposed me to the good news of Jesus and made me want to learn more about Him.

I’ve been seeing many miracles happen to my mother over the years, and I wanted to get to know the creator of those miracles. I also heard confessions of people who surrender to Christ and how it changed their life. So, I decided to surrender my life to Christ and I believe that Jesus is my lord and my savior and has forgiven me of my sins.

After I gave my life to Jesus, my life has changed for the better. Over the years, I have started seeing the good works in my life. He has made me more confident and responsible. Hearing His word always lifts me up when I’m down. I am proud of my decision and I am looking forward for what God has planned for me because I know it is going to great.

Caleb G.

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Caleb G.

I felt God kept telling me that it was time to make a decision to follow Him. Then, on a Sunday in May, at church we were in our small groups talking about baptism and when I heard about putting my faith and trust in Jesus I remembered how I had been feeling in the past weeks about God. I felt this was my chance.

I told my leader, Jeremy, that I wanted to trust Jesus, so we read the Good News Book together.  I decided the next step was to be baptized because I want to show what it is to follow Jesus and to be one of His children, and to keep obeying Him for the rest of my life. I know I am a new creation and I will spread the good news of Jesus.

Leah G.

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Leah G.

It felt like huge heavy chains were holding me back from God. I just felt guilty for all the sin I had piled on myself. I wanted to feel free to follow Him and tell others about Him. In April, I gave my life to Christ. I went in my room where it was quiet, I got on my knees and prayed. I confessed my sins, I felt free I asked Him to take my heart and to take away my sins, I told Him I believed that He died to give me eternal life.

My mom and dad helped me learn and start a relationship with God and helped me learn what sin does to your life and how Christ can set you free. Getting baptized to me means becoming a new person and to tell others about Christ. I want to tell people “look what God has done for me and what He can do for you.” I will still have obstacles but it will be easier with God and I have faith I will see Him face to face one day.

Mickey Goetz

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Mickey Goetz

Before I decided to put my full trust in Jesus, I had this constant feeling of uncertainty towards almost everything in my life. It was my freshman year of college that basically forced me to fully surrender to Christ. With overwhelming stresses and trials that I've never had to deal with before, I realized that my surface-level relationship with Christ wouldn't see me through. I decided to let go of trying to succeed alone, trust Christ, and with that decision brought a feeling of contentment that I hadn't experienced before.

Since making this decision, I've discovered true peace. This becomes particularly evident to me during those times at night, where it is just you and your thoughts and worries circling around in your head. Before, with every worry came sadness and fear. Now, with every trial comes trust and peace, because I know that no matter what lies ahead, my Creator is right by my side. Proverbs 3:5-6 states faultlessly, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight".

Linda Goll

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Linda Goll

Before I trusted in Jesus as my Savior, I was overwhelmed by trials in my adult life.  James 1: 2-4 reminds us that under pressure, your faith life is forced into the open and shows its true colors!    I believed in God, was baptized as an infant, attended church, but my spiritual life seemed gray.   The artist in me desired a colorful faith palette, so I became a spiritual explorer.

My aunt Pat's family encouraged  me to explore services at Christ Community Church and the first Sunday I attended, Shedonke Johnson (from Sierra Leone), gave a colorful and inspiring message.  I joined Eric Hanson's amazing Go-Team to Sierra Leone, and witnessed God's miracles through prayer, community, and baptism.   I was continuing my exploration, but my faith life was suddenly colorful and had more direction. I continued worshipping at Christ Community Church, joined a women's community group, led by Mickey Holsteen, which has further guided  me through bible study, prayer, and community fellowship.   Then, Pastor Jim called out to us explorers on Easter 2015, to shed doubts, trust, and surrender to Jesus. I did this and knew the next step was baptism.

Inspired by recent baptisms of Tyler and Candice Haymond, I am ready to make the public pledge of baptism, and share my colorful faith palette to paint a rainbow to God!

Paige H.

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Paige H.

I understood the real meaning of following God and asking for forgiveness at church when I was in third grade. I really put my faith and trust in the Lord at a summer camp in Lake Geneva.  It was there that I said a prayer and asked for God to wash my sins away and to have control over my life.  Some of the people that helped me on the journey were my parents, the church staff, my Awana leaders, and last but not least, the summer camp staff .  Baptism is really important to me because it is showing to the world that I’ve accepted Christ, because he died on the cross for me.  I’m so excited to be baptized!!

Emily Hefta

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Emily Hefta

I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus as my savior years ago, but because of my past abuse and previous relationship this last year I fell away from God and I wasn’t the person I wanted to be.

From all of the things this last year that have happened to me it left me completely broken, and angry with God. I thought He was the one who took away all the good things in my life and was trying to punish me somehow. I realized that He just wanted the best for me, and the way I was living my life wasn’t it. Then along the way I kept feeling like God was saying to me, “This is your wake up call, because I have better things for you, don’t worry.” God opened my eyes to everything that was wrong with my previous relationship and opened my eyes that this was what I prayed for many times; a new start. He opened my eyes that I have flaws I need to change in myself and that I can only be saved through him.

That realization is still fairly recent. God has been showing me who I can become and the type of person I want to be. I have started reading some Christian books and hope to learn more about God and continue to grow closer to him. I also recently joined a 20s Community Group so I don’t have to go through this process alone, and I will have others to encourage me! This summer will be revolutionary for me; I will get closer to God!

Grace K.

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Grace K.

Ever since my dad died, it was hard for me to move on without God working in my life. It was like a puzzle missing a piece.

When I went to church on March 8, 2015, I was in KidsWorld and it was free time so I read my Bible and I could feel God working in me in a very big way. Then when KidsWorld was over, I asked one of my leaders named Courtney how to become saved. She brought me to my small group and my leader Jeremy. He told me how to make the most important step in the world, and then and there I became a child of God and accept Jesus into my life. The people that inspired me to become saved was God of course and my Mom (Karen), my step dad (Todd), and my Auntie Sharon.

Bill Karsten

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Bill Karsten

Before I fully trusted in Jesus, I was too focused on myself and felt that I was the only one in control of my destiny. I was raised in a Christian home and my family attended church together regularly.  Throughout my life my parents and my three brothers have all been very influential and supportive in my journey.  Looking back I can now see the many times God has been there to guide me, though I did not give credit to Him at the time.

Although I believed in God since a young age, I was misguided in thinking that I could save myself through good deeds and living a good life.  In recent years, God's direction in my life has become more apparent as I have begun to accept that He is in control.  I have now come to accept that it is only through faith in Jesus Christ that I am saved.

Looking forward, I welcome the opportunities to serve and to do so with less weight on my shoulders, knowing that I have been saved through my faith and not my deeds!

Ryan Karsten

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Ryan Karsten

Before I followed Christ I was not as helpful to other people as I should have been. After learning about Christ and the many good deeds he performed, I realized I should be doing a lot more to help and serve others. In fourth grade my Cub Scout troop had some things to do for badges and I decided to go to church in order to earn a badge. After two weeks of going to church with my Dad, I decided that I wanted to continue learning more about God. As I have learned more about God, it has helped me to focus more on the needs of others and not just on myself. More importantly, I have decided that I want to follow Jesus always and I want Him to be in control of my life. Two of the reasons that I decided to give my life to Jesus are because he gave his life for me on the cross and he is the son of God. I now work hard on being a nicer person, and trying to cheer up other people who are having a bad day. I serve regularly in younger preschool, and I also occasionally participate in Christ Community’s “Second Saturdays”, helping pack meals for Feed My Starving Children

Tara Karsten

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Tara Karsten

Before I trusted in Jesus, I thought I was in control of and had everything I needed in my life.  My parents divorced when I was young and neither of them went to church or even talked about God with me during my childhood.  Although I went to various churches from time to time with friends and other family members, I never felt a connection to God.  Being in church felt very foreign to me and I didn’t feel like I belonged there. I had a good job, a good husband, good friends, and didn’t feel like anything was missing from my life.

In 2012, my friend Becky Hasselbeck was talking about her faith journey and asked me if I was interested in learning about Jesus. My response to her was something along the lines of “no thanks, I’m good, I don’t need that”.  Around that same time, my friend Liz Chen was consistently asking me to join her for various events at Christ Community Church.  I always politely refused, offering up one excuse after another.   However, after much persistence, Liz finally convinced me to buy tickets and bring my family to the Christmas program at CCC in December 2012.  Attending the Christmas program was a turning point for me. I felt a very real and tangible connection to Jesus Christ for the first time in my life during that event that was so overwhelming it brought me to tears but it also left me wanting more. After the program ended, I went to the Welcome Center and picked up a Next Steps packet. From that point forward, my family and I started regularly attending Sunday morning services at the St. Charles campus. It felt as though Jesus knew what was in my head and in my heart and was talking directly to me through Pastor Jim and the other teaching pastors. In late March 2013, I put my faith in Jesus using the suggested prayer that was included in the Next Steps packet.   

Since then, faith in Jesus has changed my life.  It allowed me realize that I am not in control - God is in control. Faith in God allowed me to let go of the sin, the burdens and the worry that I had been carrying for many years, by acknowledging them asking for forgiveness and releasing them to Him. My marriage is the strongest that it’s ever been now that the foundation of our marriage is based on a joint belief that as stated in Romans 10:9, “…Jesus is Lord”.  I’ve recently joined a community group which is encouraging and supporting further development of my relationship with Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus Christ, I now feel like I belong and that is a blessing.

Jimmy Koonce

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Jimmy Koonce

I grew up in a home that went to church but I didn't have a relationship with Christ. I would go to church on Sundays and that was about it. Other things were more important to me. I was confused and very selfish. I was focused on things I wanted or, I was just focused on me.

One day I realized that I needed God in my life. Doing life on my own wasn’t working. I gave my life to Christ at Genesis this year but never really told anyone. I kinda kept it to myself. I pray daily and I am very happy!!

Since trusting Christ, I have been growing and maturing. I read the Bible daily and continue to have a good relationship with Jesus. I knew it was time to publicly declare my faith in Jesus Christ by being baptized. I'm so happy that I have a relationship with Christ. I want to continue to help others with their relationship to Christ as well.

Jessica Lawton

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Jessica Lawton

Growing up, I had the benefit of being raised by a mother who always told me that there was a God who loved me and that His son was Jesus. So I never had that a massive conversion experience. However in my late teens and early twenties, I drifted from God, always knowing He was there but not acknowledging Him, and seeking His will in my life.

Several years ago I realized how far from God I felt and that this was entirely my doing. So I prayed for God to draw me closer to Him once again, like when I was a child. I started attending church regularly, and I found Christ Community Church about two and a half years ago.  

Since that time I have become involved in Awana as a group leader, and I attend a women's community group. I'm so thankful for all the good God has brought into my life and all the ways He continues to grow me and change me. My baptism has been a long time in coming and I'm so looking forward to publicly proclaiming that Jesus is my Lord!

Angelica Lozano

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Angelica Lozano

I had never given Jesus a chance or trusted him before accepting him as my Lord and Savior. I always put my needs first and allowed my desires to be the most important things in my life.

I will never forget my friend JR bringing me out on a weekend business gathering. That Sunday morning, my life changed forever. I had never truly known or felt the love and forgiveness that God could give me, not just that day but each and every single day after that. I had so much pain, guilt and regret that I held on to up until that point. I could not hold on any longer, so I decided right then and there at that service to make the decision to let go and let God take control over my life.

Since then my life has been filled with so much joy and life. I didn't know then what I know now about the love that is pouring out, not just for me but for everyone else who is accepting Christ.  I have so much hope to give to others who are desperate just like I was. I hope that sharing my story will lead others to Christ and  they will start to see how much their lives will change.

Sarah M.

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Sarah M.

When I was in second grade my mom and sister got baptized, and that is when I started to think, "Who is this Jesus that I come to church every week to learn about?"  I started to love coming to church, I met friends at Christ Community and when I worshipped I felt totally different, in a good way and what I felt was Christ. That is when I decided to get baptized.  My mom was a big part in helping me to decide I wanted to get baptized.  We do the KidsWorld Bible study every night and we talked a lot more about who Jesus really is. I realized that my life is really not my life, it's God's, and I am his servant, and I live for Him.

Ashley O’Farrell

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Ashley O’Farrell

Before following Jesus, at the age of twenty, I found myself struggling to raise my two year old daughter, Sophia, as I battled with with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. Since I had a pattern of making poor choices, I found myself in a life threatening and abusive relationship with my daughter's father that took priority of my focus. I was struggling with an unstable mindset for months, troubles of being constantly locked out, and sleeping in my car with my infant child for days, even weeks


Things took a turn for the worse after a physical altercation took place with a family member in my home. I lost all my family, even losing access to food and necessities. On top of the painful situation in my home,  I was terminated from my job and struggling to meet my daughter's basic needs. I was taken to court for eviction from my home. I was feeling very alone, abandoned, and helpless. Though the struggles still existed, I asked Jesus into my life and confessed my sins, asking for forgiveness from the only one who could give it.


Now at the age of 23, I can honestly say I am a completely different person from who I was. I am witnessing the healing hand of God more each day as he continues restoring relationships with loved ones who has also seen a huge change in my life. My life has no longer consumed by fear because of my trust in Jesus. My panic attacks have become obsolete. Through my relationship with Christ, I have become a better mother, daughter and friend. Learning to break bad habits of unhealthy relationships, gaining self esteem and fully dependant on God. I started attending Care Night at Christ Community Church on Tuesday nights. As I started to read God's word every day, I noticed a more positive perspective on life. I started praying more and thanking God. I started applying God's word into action in my life. I went from jobless to having a very well paying job to support myself and my daughter. After being evicted from my parents home, my dad whom I didn't have a relationship with for many years had taken myself and my daughter into his home and has restored my relationship with him who is also a follower of Christ

Emily Owens

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Emily Owens

I have been battling with many struggles since my teenage years. I committed my life to Christ at Spring Hill camps in 6th grade.  However, after my parent’s divorce, I became very angry with God and pushed Him out of my life. My world quickly began spiraling out of control with unhealthy relationships and coping in ways that were not healthy. I started attending Christ Community Church and joined a women’s small group within the 20s ministry. I felt Jesus calling me to Him but I still could not surrender everything.  Jesus had more of my attention, but I couldn’t shake this feeling I had to be a perfect.  

Jesus really began working in my life at this point. I read 1 Corinthians 7 and realized I was not living the way my Father in heaven wanted me to be living; not to limit me but to protect me. I realized I was in desperate need of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. I ended an unhealthy relationship and began to see a biblical counselor. She directed me down the path of true healing. Jesus used her guidance to open my eyes to trauma and pain in my life from which I had never been able to heal. Through guidance from my counselor and seeking Jesus’ voice, I decided to make a change and trust him fully. God has challenged me and changed me in a way that has made me dependent on his love and grace. I am continuing to recover from many things but I still know that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is holding my hand.

Carolina Patrick

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Carolina Patrick

I come from a Catholic background. As an infant, I was baptized and then later had my first communion and then my confirmation. I attended a Catholic school where I learned about God, about his son Jesus Christ, and how he gave up his life to save mine. Although I attended Catholic school and went to church once a week, I was never able to relate to the sermon or apply it to my everyday life. As a result, I never established a personal relationship with God. Eventually I stopped attending church and I would only attend the Easter services. I lived a selfish lifestyle, only thinking about myself and what I needed and wanted.

During my senior year in high school, I started a relationship that got serious and a few years later we moved in together. We lived life as a married couple although we never made the actual commitment of getting married. Over time, that relationship became stale and unhealthy as a result, we both were unfaithful. Once the truth came out about our mutual unfaithfulness, that eight year relationship ended. I became very depressed and found myself very alone, it was then that I started to seek God and truly asked him to forgive my sin and lead my life.

For the first time in my life, I welcomed the work of God’s Holy Spirit to speak life and truth to me. From that moment on, I started to attend the Catholic Church again but I felt like it was not the right fit for me. I attended a number of other churches but still didn’t find a church home. After years of looking for a church home, my friend introduced me to Christ Community Church. I finally found what would become my church home. It was here at Christ Community that I was able to connect and relate to the messages and God’s Word in a way that I could really understand.

Since turning to Christ and attending Christ Community for the past 4 years, my life has changed dramatically. I met my soul mate three years later and we’ve now been married over a year and have a precious baby girl on the way. We both attend church regularly and pray together which has built a strong bond between us. I couldn’t be happier than I am today. I know life is not always going to be easy, but I know that Jesus will be with us in the trials and tribulations. James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Binna Porter

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Binna Porter

My life was full anxiety, sexual and mental abuse growing up. I moved to the USA in my early twenties from Iceland and married my husband. Even though I was happy with him and he was a great spouse, I had so much damage from my earlier years. My husband taught me about his Catholic faith and we went to church. I also had my friend Yolanda who always talked to me about God and Jesus.

I believed and and wanted God in my life. Finally in December 1999, I trusted Jesus with my life and asked him to forgive my sins.

After becoming a follower of Christ, I wanted to find a Bible church so I could grow and learn. We started going to Wheaton Bible and I completed a Bible study with them. Some of my old behaviors I changed right away, but others are still a struggle. I know Christ knows me and my struggles and he loves me and is helping me to change (Phil 4:13). After we moved to St. Charles last year, we have been coming to Christ Community Church and we love it . I am finally going to do what Jesus has been wanting me to do and get baptized. I am so excited to finally do that. I am so thankful to my Lord and Savior for my salvation!

Isabella Porter

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Isabella Porter

Before I trusted Jesus, I felt anxious and alone over things that were completely out of my control. I questioned everything that happened, when God had a plan for me all along. Through my loneliness and struggles, I was continually searching for a leader. Being a selfless person, I have always tried to put the burden of fixing broken people on my shoulders. I would do everything I could and showed unconditional love for those who were hurting, but no one did that for me. I felt like I gave and gave until I had nothing left to give. My family and friends were there for me, but there was still a empty feeling in my life.

Throughout my heartbreak, mistrust and anxiety, God was guiding me to rely on him. He was showing me that through my roller coaster of emotions, I didn't have to feel the burden on my shoulders. In a moment, he was there for me to lift me up and fix what no one else could, and thats when I knew I could trust him with my life.

Now through prayer, devotion, and loving support from positive people around me, I am able to be a positive example in my high school. I try to radiate his love and live by 1 Corinthians 11:13-14 which states “Stand firm in your faith. Let everything that you do be done with love.” I have had many people ask me about God and I have been able to use the Holy Spirit through me to help others find Christ. I am just beginning my journey and path that Jesus has set for me as I begin college next year, and I will walk with him and use his light to show others his everlasting love. I know that through Jesus Christ,I am truly saved.  

Daniel Rediger

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Daniel Rediger

Prior to my relationship with Jesus, I was a selfish and self-seeking individual. “Me” was a central theme throughout my life. I would constantly put my own concerns and interests before those around me.

However, that all began to change when a college buddy of mine introduced me to his bible study. I was skeptical at first, but through the word of Jesus Christ and the support of the other members of the bible study, I began to see the error of my ways. I was reminded of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for me, a sinner. I confessed my sins, let go and asked God to take the reins on my life.   

Since that time, I have learned how to honor him in everything that I do and how to live a life that was pleasing to him. I no longer lived solely for me and my own desires.  My relationships have flourished in a way that I never thought possible. As Romans 8:5 states, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desire”

Arden S.

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Arden S.

At an early age, with the encouragement of my family, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and asked him to have control over my life. But, even as a third grader I had many questions about who God was and what He was planning to do in my life. Some of those questions were answered by Hot U leaders, Awana leaders (“Grandma Mimi”), and Genesis leaders (“Nettie” and Nina). Now, I attend House Groups and continually bring my curiosity to my leaders Taylor and Alex, and the rest of my loyal small group. Surrounding myself with people who love me and whose joyful spirits, and love of God is contagious, enables me to be open about my faith. I still struggle with curiosity, but in times of doubt I know to look towards God and trust in Him and His plans for my life.

Psalm 3:4-5 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord With all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Thinking of these verses reminds me to believe in God and who he is. Without Him I would be incapable of a meaningful life. I know that along the way there will be trials and tribulations, but I will be constantly be praying for God’s support and I am faithful that he will remain encouraging me.  Even though sometimes I don’t understand his plan for me, after having trusted him with my life, I know that I can be confident in my future

Cole S.

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Cole S.

I first heard about Jesus when I was in the second grade at Awana on a Wednesday night at church.  Pastor Randy Isola talked about how to have a relationship with Jesus.  Though I had always believed in the existence of God, this was the first time I remember hearing about a relationship with God through trusting Christ. From that night to my 6th grade year, I tried to follow God’s instructions in the Bible. However the relationship part of talking to God and hearing his voice was still missing.

During the 6th grade, my Genesis teachers really helped me understand how to live like God wants me to live.  I learned to recognize God’s voice and recognize what his plans are for me.  I also learned how to talk about Jesus with others and answer some of my friends important questions that have them stuck.

One Wednesday night at Genesis (the middle school ministry here at Christ Community Church) I experienced the good work of God’s Holy Spirit. And, it was that night that I knew it was the time to be baptized at Christ Community Church and that is why I am here today.  I am thankful for having been refreshed with a total new mindset about life and what it is to live for Jesus.

Tara S.

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Tara S.

I decided to get baptized because Jesus told us to after we accepted him as Lord.  I want to walk with Jesus because I know His way is the best way. Me and my dad started coming to Christ Community Church about a year ago and I decided I wanted to be closer to God. To be baptized for me means to show the world that I am cleansed of all my sins and am starting fresh with God because of what he has done on the cross for me.  I’ve decided to trust in the Holy Spirit to resist sin, treat others as I want to be treated, to respect my parents as I know this is the way God wants me to live. I want to live my life closer to God and behave like Jesus wants me to. I have put my trust in God.

Sierra Shaffer

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Sierra Shaffer

I was born and raised Catholic and never felt a connection with Christ. I put myself, sports and possessions first, but never felt whole.

A couple years ago, two very important people in my life introduced me to Christ Community Church: Adam Rojas and Nina Siems. Christ Community really opened my eyes to how effective having a relationship with Christ is. After going on fall retreat with some of my friends and really seeing and feeling the love of Christ impacting not only me but everyone around me, I just knew that surrendering my life to Jesus was something that I really wanted and needed in my life.

Since then, my relationships with others have improved tremendously because God is the center of those relationships. Serving others is so rewarding because the love of Christ is being shown. Through life there will be ups and downs, but like Proverbs 4:23 says "Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." As long as you stay true to yourself and your beliefs and don't let people bring you down, amazing things will flow from your heart.

Laurie Simpson

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Laurie Simpson

My journey with Christ started long before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I attended a non denominational church growing up and was involved in Awana. I went on a regular basis but did not hear much about baptism. It was a typical childhood within a church. It was filled with memorizing bible verses, choir, and Christmas programs with many caring people.

I made the decision to trust and follow Jesus while attending camp at Phantom Ranch in Wisconsin. I can remember clearly being in our cabin with my camp counselors and making that commitment at the age of twelve. What an impact camp and the counselors had on my life in just a short amount of time.

I grew into my teenage years and experienced life outside of family and church.  Suddenly belonging to a specific social group and wearing the right clothes were extremely important to me. This lasted throughout my high school experience. I was not who God wanted me to be. Through that season of my life, I found myself in situations that I really should not have to be in. I can remember God tugging at my heart and trying to steer me away from some hurtful situations. I am so thankful for God’s guidance during that time, even when I didn’t realize it.

Today is a new part of my journey that has been a long time coming. I have been encouraged to be baptized for many years. I knew being baptized as a follower of Jesus should happen, but with every opportunity came a scheduling conflict.

My friend Bev Kennedy invited me to Christ Community Church and I felt comfortable here right from the start. The sermons touched on things that I needed to hear and soon my husband started to come with me. Since then, we have been coming together and not missing a single service! What a big change for us, putting God first instead of keeping him in the backdrop of our life.

God has really been saying to me “What are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized …” (Acts 22:16). It feels great to finally be listening to God again and moving my relationship with him to my first priority!

Mick Slipetz

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Mick Slipetz

I used to think that I did not need any help living my life.  I thought I could handle any problems or challenges that might confront me.  Then, when both my wife and I lost our jobs at the same time a few years ago, I was pretty scared.  I had been out of work before, but never at the same time as my wife.  I was afraid we were not going to find new employment very easily.  Who knew how long we would be out of work?  

I was feeling pretty helpless and thought we could lose everything.  Those feelings of helplessness and fear are what brought us to Christ Community Church. We attended our first service at Christ Community Church and I asked one of the elders to pray for us to find new employment. It was a Saturday night service when I finally gave my life to Christ. I felt as though he was calling me to let go over the things that I could not control and to trust him. I acknowledged my sin and gave control over my future to God. It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.  

We participated in a job workshop that the church was just starting at that time.  It took some time, but we both found new jobs.  We have been attending church regularly since then and are enjoying it very much.  I feel very much at ease every time I attend service.  I am sure there will be many challenges ahead in my life; however, I will face them with less fear because Isaiah 58:11 says, ‘The Lord will guide you always’.

Addie Steltenpohl

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Addie Steltenpohl

Before I trusted in Jesus, I was selfish and made foolish decisions with no second thought or lingering guilt. My friend and her sister gave me a bible for my birthday and then continued to help me learn the love God has for us, so much that he gave his only son. They helped me understand that the false idols I held on to were nothing compared to Him. I became curious, then humbled, then comforted by the words I read in my bible. I prayed through Philippians 3:7-11 asking God to let me share in his sufferings, laying my sins to rest and becoming new.

Since then, I have faith that each moment in our lives is a piece of God's story and not my own. I am continually humbled and reminded of the blessings he has poured over me. God has surrounded me with fellow Christians and a church that supports and encourages my faith.  I see God challenging me to grow spiritually and I am so thankful for his transcendent love.

 

Camden T.

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Camden T.

My parents brought me to church since I was a baby. I learned about how God sent his son to die for all of our sins and that we had a choice to accept Him or not.  

One night when I was four years old and my Mom was putting me to bed, I talked to her about me wanting to ask Jesus to forgive my sins and I wanted to follow Him and be with Him in Heaven. I didn’t realize this would be the most important prayer in my life.  Then my Mom and I prayed together asking Jesus to be my Savior and that I want to follow Him and spend time with Him.  

Since then I continue to go to KidsWorld, Awana and Camp Commotion to learn more about Him and how I should live following Him. I love God and I hope I can tell many other people about Him dying on the cross for them.

Sam T.

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Sam T.

Thankfully there was not a time in my life when I did not know about Christ.  I was raised in a Christian home and have been taught biblical morals by my parents since birth.

I accepted Christ at a young age with the help of my mom and dad. Since then I have been trying to grow in my relationship with Jesus by attending church regularly, reading the Bible, and praying to Him. I also attended a Christian school where the teachers set a good example and taught God’s Word to me.

I have decided to get baptized now because I feel it is the next step to grow my relationship with Him and to show others that I’m a follower of Christ.

Alexandra Tarr

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Alexandra Tarr

When I was in high school, I struggled with debilitating anxiety and depression; I had a very negative view of myself and didn't feel like I really knew my place in the world. I lived in an abusive home with two alcoholic parents. The unpredictable violence and hurtful words led me to feel like my life was completely out of my control. I tried to take back that control in a variety of ways and I came to view my self worth as dependent on my grades, my performance in sports, and the opinion of other people. During this time, I developed an eating disorder that threatened my life.

When I was sixteen, my sister invited me to Christ Community Church. It was during one of the darkest times I can remember, and I can see now that going to church that day was God's perfect timing. I had no hope in life, I was very sick, and I really just wanted the pain to cease. At the service that day, I heard for the first time that God loves me, has a plan for my life, and wants a relationship with me. The sermon was about the parable of the sower where Jesus says that even though there are horrible, difficult and painful situations in this life -- things like broken homes, anorexia, and alcoholism -- God uses all things for good, will never give us more than we can handle, and is completely in control. In the end, Jesus will come again, fix everything that is broken in this world, and everything will be healed. We have reason to hope! I committed my life to the Lord that day, asked him to forgive me for my sins, to pick up the pieces and put me back together again (Jeremiah 2:17).

Today I'm completely changed from the scared, ashamed and worn teenager I once was. I've come to rely on and obey God in everything: trusting him with my finances, my future, forgiveness of people who have hurt me deeply, and in fighting against the temptation to revert to my old habits. I am nowhere near perfect but God is strong in my weakness. God has provided for my life in ways that I could have never imagined, and I have no reason to not trust him with every single step that I take

Isabella Tassara

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Isabella Tassara

Before I trusted in Jesus, I thought other things were important to me like popularity and how I looked. Then I decided one day to really pay attention in church.  I learned a bunch of things, like Jesus died for me and Jesus helped many lives.  I knew I was doing something wrong because I was selfish, angry, and greedy.  That night I prayed and confessed my sins and let God forgive me. Since then I have changed,  I pray before I go to bed each night and read at least one verse per day.  Like it says in Romans 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord you will be saved.”

Sean W.

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Sean W.

I grew up in a Christian home and had the privilege of knowing about Jesus since birth.

During one of the weekend services, Pastor Jim encouraged me to surrender to Christ. I decided to give my life to Christ because by trusting him I am forgiven of sin and given eternal life.

During that specific service when I surrendered my life to Christ, it felt more special than any other service because I knew that right then and there, I was saved and that when I die I would be allowed into heaven to live with Jesus.

God has been blessing my life by guiding me on the right path, helping me make the right decisions in the hardest times, and blessing me with good grades. I know that he has protected me when I have been confronted with some difficult situations. One time when my friends wanted me to do something that I knew was wrong, God protected me by helping me say, “no” to that temptation.