Testimony of Ken R.
When my parents divorced upon my dad’s return from Europe at the end of WWII, my mother had moved from California to Denver, CO. Since she was a working mother and did not have the desire to raise a child at the same time, at the age of four I was placed in a foster home with a lot of other foster children. The foster parents, Lester and Aileen Wiles, were very strong Christians and we were always at church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, and any other time anything was going on. I will always be thankful for the strong work ethic, Christian upbringing, and support they instilled in me.
Our church, Beth Eden Baptist Church in north Denver, was only two blocks from home so we always walked to and from church even in bad weather. All of us foster children were actively involved in church activities as well as an after school Bible-based program called Joy Club at a church members home. So I had a strong church relationship from as far back as I can remember. I knew all about God and Jesus and all the teachings from the Bible. Even though I led a “Christian” lifestyle and knew that God existed, I did not know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
But that all changed in 1952 when, at the age of 11 on a Friday evening during a revival sermon, the Holy Spirit grabbed my heart and instilled in me that even though I was religious, I was a sinner that needed to repent and accept Jesus Christ into my heart. That was it! I made a public profession of faith and was baptized the following Sunday morning by our pastor, Dr Sam Bradford, for whom I will always be grateful. I was ecstatic and felt my whole life change.
I was on cloud nine and for many years after that I stayed close to God. But after joining the military I seemed to drift away from following what I knew I should. I drifted in and out of going to church but I still knew that I had received salvation and eternal life. In the 1970’s, I finally realized that as a Christian I needed to be more actively involved in furthering God’s Kingdom. I discovered through personal and church Bible study what spiritual gifts God has given me and began to put those gifts to work.
As I now enter the twilight years of my life, I can look back and see so many times where God’s hand has guided my life in the direction He had planned for me. This included things like seeing the most beautiful girl in the choir at a church revival in 1958 who has blessed me with 55 years of being my loving wife, where I was stationed during my military career, what church we attended, and even whether to buy a home, rent one or build one. Sometimes we don’t know until years later when we look back at something in our life, we can realize that God knew what was best. As long as I kept Him first in my life He looked after me and carried me through. And when the end of my life comes, I have the confidence that I will finish the race with the assurance of eternal life and the joy of fellowship with Jesus Christ. And that confidence and assurance is there for anyone who opens their heart to the Holy Spirit and receives Christ as their Lord and Savior.