Pastor Henry Giesbrecht
open Bible Baptist Church
Growing up, my parents didn't go to church. They had good reasons. My dad had been kicked out of church for having a pick-up truck, and I guess there were other things. But we just didn't go to church.
When I was twelve years old my parents went back to Canada from Mexico. That's where I learned English. Then five years later, they moved back to Mexico in 1987 I think it was; but I stayed in Canada. I thought I was grown up enough not to go back. I had a good job in Canada. At that time, I never went to church or anything. The normal was just going out with buddies, going drinking, going to bars and different things.
In 1991 my brother called me from Mexico and asked if I could come and help him in the field. I did and that's where I met my wife. My wife is Spanish and was Roman Catholic. And you know, it didn't matter to me because I didn't go to church anywhere. So we got married in 1993 in the Roman Catholic Church, and I had to get baptized there and learn some scripture. But then, I still didn't learn anything about salvation.
We were in good financial shape for quite a few years, but then a drought started. We started to have to go to the bank and get loans. It just got worse and I started drinking again. Instead of looking to God, I started drinking all the time; and my wife was getting worried because she didn't know life like that.
And then my brother Jake got saved and he started to talk to me about Jesus. He would pray for me and always talk to me about Jesus. One day I told him, “You know something, if you really want me to go to church, I'll go, but then stop talking to me about God and about Jesus.” He said, “If you’ll go to church and you can come and look me straight in the eye and say that God did not speak to you at all, I will stop talking to you. But if you can't do that, then I'll still keep telling you that Jesus wants you in heaven; Jesus wants to save you; he died for your sins; he paid for them.”
So we went to church. My wife was all happy even though it wasn't a Catholic Church. She was all happy that I was willing to try to change. And so we went and the pastor talked about sin. He talked about heaven. He talked about hell. He talked about every sin I had committed: the problems of how people turn to drugs and alcohol. These were problems I had when I walked out of that church. I thought my brother had called the pastor and told him I had told him I would be there; and the pastor had prepared a message only for me. But my brother didn't. God did. And something happened that Sunday. Somehow the alcohol didn't taste good anymore from that Sunday on. No more drugs, I just didn't like it anymore. Although, when I walked out, I told my wife, “I'm never going back there.” But the seed had been planted.
Then two Sundays after, I was back in church again. And again the message was just for me. At the invitation I wanted to go, and there was a voice that told me I should go and accept Christ. But yet there was another voice that said, “What would your friends say? They will make fun of you.” So I didn't. But that week I just didn't have peace. The next Sunday we were back in church, and before the invitation was even finished I was up there and the tears were running down my face. I told Jesus, “I know I don't deserve anything but hell. But I believe that you died for my sins as well. The way the pastor explains it, I believe you died for my sin. You've paid for them, and I believe God the Father was satisfied. I accept you as the only one that can save me from hell and the power that the sin has on me. I repent of my sins and accept you as my Lord and Saviour.”
Jesus didn't only save my soul that day. He changed my life. He changed my way of thinking. He took away all of my bad habits: I stopped drinking, I stopped smoking, and I stopped drugs. I turned to Jesus, and I started studying the Word. I started serving him. And now my wife was saying I wanted you to change but not this much. And so I started praying for her, and she was saved about a year and 4 months after I was. God has been good to us. For many years we served as missionaries in Mexico. Now I serve the Lord as the pastor of Open Bible Baptist Church.
Thank you for reading my salvation testimony. Please tell your friends (and your enemies) that God wants to save their souls as well. Thank you and God bless.