On November 16, COTHA is hosting an amazing opportunity for women to fellowship and talk about their faith. The mornig begins with The Steel Magnolias performing A Garden Gathering Bloom Where You Are! After lunch several of the woman will lead a workshop on writing your faith story.
Here is another great story from COTHA member Nelda de Hoyos:
1. What was your early spiritual background, and how did it affect you as you grew up---your feelings, attitudes, actions, and relationships?
I was raised in a church centered on Biblical truths, and I was taught the importance of being in regular attendance on Sunday AM, PM and Wednesdays. My family’s social life revolved around fun get-togethers with our church family and having personal family gatherings where we would celebrate an occasion, gather around a piano and sing hymns. Faith seemed to be a natural outpouring of everyone around me.
2. What caused you to begin to consider following Christ?
My youth pastor was a passionate believer. His encouragement, his enthusiasm, and the Biblical knowledge that he instilled in me showed me the importance of having Christ in my life. The actions of my family and church family supported the belief that following Christ was a good thing.
3. What realization did you come to that finally motivated you to receive Christ?
After much teaching about Jesus and how that he had died for my sins, I began to realize that I needed him as my Savior. I had a desire to be forgiven, to receive Him and to serve Him.
4. Specifically, how did you receive Christ?
At a church service one night, the minister taught on our acceptance of Jesus, and at the end of the service, he gave an “altar call” for anyone who wanted to receive Christ. I remember being afraid to walk down the aisle in front of so many people, but being determined that my fear would not stop me. That night, at nine years of age, I gave a public confession of faith in Jesus and received Him as the one who redeemed me from my sins. I left the service that night excited about my new life! These passionate desires remained with me through my high school years, and I considered attending a Bible college and becoming a missionary until I won a scholarship and decided to attend a secular university to become a teacher.
5. How did your life begin to change after you trusted Christ?
The Lord began to actively work in my life in ways that I can hardly comprehend. He placed a desire in my heart to adhere to his teachings in scripture, which I tried to do, but in my own strength. After years of wandering according to my own desires, I finally found myself confronted with what so many young people encounter…the cultural teachings of humanism. Intellectually confused and discouraged by what I saw happening in many churches, I finally pushed my faith aside and labeled myself an agnostic. Years went by, and I see in retrospect, that the Lord protected me in many ways. When I finally hit a rough spot in my life, He patiently and lovingly guided me back by placing the right people in my life at the right time. These people were passionate about Jesus, which brought back old memories of my youth. They exuded the peace and love of Christ, and they taught me about the Holy Spirit. This was the puzzle piece that had been missing. I did not need to walk in my own strength, the Holy Spirit would strengthen me to do whatever the Lord purposed for me. He gave me revelation knowledge to know him better and set me back on the path that I had always wanted to follow.
6. What other benefits have you experienced since becoming a Christian?
Since understanding how He guides me in this life when I submit to Him, I have found that I have joy, peace, and strength when life is hard. I have a ready access to comfort, protection, and love. I also have excitement because as I ask him to use me, he responds in awesome ways. He makes life exciting! Life is incomplete without Christ.