Recently we received a long email all the way from the UK. It was from a man excited to share his testimony with us. He had gone through the online version of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus VideoBook and wanted to share the impact it had on his life and the life of his family. Here is Winston’s story.
Hello. My name is Winston* and I live in the UK. This how Jesus Christ pulled me from a dark hole.
Growing up I was a happy, faith-filled boy who enjoyed attending church and Christian school. As I grew into my twenties, though, that all began to fade. I found myself slipping deeper into a hole of despair and depression—feeling beyond help! As I tried to cope, I studied different religions and philosophies and poured myself into practicing martial arts. But Zen Buddhism left me unable to meditate. Hinduism left me confused and unable to focus. The deep philosophies of man just clouded my mind. Finally I fell to my knees, but I wondered, “Would God listen to me now after all this time?”
By now, I experienced what can only be described as a meltdown. I suffered severe numbness in my face and lips––the affects of stress and depression. I was given medical leave for about four months. The doctor prescribed anti-depressants and I was sent to the hospital for tests, but they found nothing neurologically wrong with me. My depression worsened and my decisions, regrettably, took their toll on my marriage and on our son and daughter.
One day my wife, Eliza,* met a customer named Janine* at the bank where she works. In passing, Janine invited us to visit her church. Eliza had only been to church for weddings, christenings and funerals, so the idea intrigued her and we chatted about it some.
Eventually the topic came up again and, when it did, we sent an email to Janine’s church inquiring about a visit. We chuckled when three replies came back immediately—one from the secretary, one from the associate pastor, and one from Pastor Hernando*—each email a warm invitation. Our first Sunday, however, we realized that we were at the “wrong” place. We had contacted the wrong church—Janine’s was across the street! But, we were so warmly received that we continued to attend. God had a plan to connect us with the right people.
Pastor Hernando invited me to study The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus VideoBook which was hosted on the church website. So I did––all 11 hours––from start to finish. I can honestly say it changed my life! I had never seen or experienced God from that perspective. Despite my upbringing and education in Christian school, the whole meaning and truth had passed me by. I just couldn’t believe that I had spent the last 12 years walking on my own, trying to fill the void in my life. I prayed the prayer of a broken man: “Lord, save me!” It was then that Christ reached down into that hole, picked me up and pulled me out.
After completing The Stranger, the pastor and I continued to meet regularly to learn more from the Bible, first studying through Ephesians and now the life of David.
My health? Well things are much better. I only get a slight numbness now and then after stressful events. In this respect I still have to continually be in prayer for guidance and strength.
Both Eliza and I were baptized together––“dunked” as my daughter calls it. Our son and daughter have been greatly impacted by the love of our church family. They both accepted Christ last year and have expressed interest in being “dunked” sometime soon.
Last year, Eliza and I launched a new course that combines physical instruction in martial arts with an invitation to learn about the Bible’s message. We have website that has a ‘Digital Syllabus’ for members only, so I embedded The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus VideoBook into that section.
It’s awesome to think how this started off a whole new chapter in my life. I’m thankful to God for saving me!
(*Names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)