Meet Our People
When Nalani, a sister in Chennai, decided to start following Jesus she immediately faced serious persecution from her father. He kicked her out of the house, beat publicly in front of 300 people, handed her to the police, and continued to cause her distress for three years. By God’s grace, she persevered and she shared her story with ICOC HotNews.
This is the first video in a series of miracle stories shown at the 2014 New England Christian Conference, "Everything is Possible." Jim Bombaci of the Greater Hartford Church of Christ describes his powerful, life-long journey from atheist to Christian. Share these moving testimonies with your churches, as well as your friends and family who want to learn more about our fellowship. Stay tuned for more to come!
Editor's note: This is our tenth and final story in a series of testimonials on "I Love My Church." See the full series here >
My church is so special. I’ve have been to many but none come close to the Johannesburg Church of Christ, where I’ve been a member since May 2010. The leaders are like no other – approachable, open, honest and will readily admit to any fault because they are accountable. They lead by example.
I grew up in the Crossroads Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida, but turned myself into God on November 10, 1996 while studying at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC. Anyone who knew me before I became a disciple is indeed glad that I finally surrendered to God. Believe me, that was just the beginning of how God would use my sin to humble my heart. I had a lot of fears and pain. I loved God but had a horrible confidence issue, although I was very prideful, untrusting and secretive.
Who knew that a birthday celebration would ultimately lead to the best gift in the world?
In December 2004 our family was enjoying our summer holiday in Cape Town and decided to celebrate Valerie’s birthday with a lunch on a wine estate. Our children spotted one of their teachers who was on holiday with her father, Jack Ingle. He started a conversation and invited us to visit the Johannesburg Church of Christ on our return home.
Fifteen years ago, on January 25, 1999, I was baptized through the Sacramento Metro Church of Christ’s campus ministry. As a freshman at the University of California, Davis, I was searching for fellowship. A decade earlier, I was severely burned in a fire and I was wondering if God really had a place for me in his church. I was initially invited by a young man on campus a month into my freshman year. I agreed to study the Bible, and was baptized and never looked back. Despite the obstacles, there are three key areas that drew me to the Sacramento Church:
A student from the University of South Florida (Charles Merrick) shared the gospel with me. He asked me to a Soul Talk in Melbourne, Florida and I later commuted to the Orlando church. From there, I moved to be part of the Greater Albuquerque Church of Christ planting in 1990. I moved to Dallas shortly after that and fell in love with the great relationships and friendships. I left the church and went through very difficult marriage trials which ended in a divorce, and I came back to the Dallas church as a single.
In my dear church, in spite of human imperfection, we focus on what we have in common: being children of God through faith in Jesus Christ and having the grace of God the Father. We strive to love one another as the real people we are, not as unrealistically perfect people. I can live out the scripture that Jesus speaks of in the book of Mark: “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” For me, these brother and sister relationships in Christ will continue throughout eternity. Another scripture I love within the International Church of Christ is one that Jesus mentions in John 13:34-35: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I can feel this scripture come to life when fellow believers are by my side amidst hardship. When I feel hard pressed by life’s circumstances and my faith is close to shattering, my friends are there with me. This is how I know Christ’s body is real and tangible, though God may seem so distant.