I arrived in Germany as a young soldier and proceeded to live my life in my own way. I was not a mean person nor was I very wicked. I just lived for myself. I never was much into beer and heavy partying; however I liked to drink hard liquor. I was especially fond of Whiskey and soda or Kahlua with milk, but if something else was available, then I drunk that too, most of the time I drunk in moderation, but there were days when I got totally wasted (Drunk). I liked to visit the bars and talk to the ladies in there, I did not mind buying them a drink, I know I was being suckered but I did not mind their company.
I liked the playboy centerfolds and had my walls plastered with them. I did not like the raunchy stuff; I felt that magazines like Hustler had no class. When I was younger I liked to listen to Disco music (Donna Summer, Abba, the Bee Gees, Commodores), but after I joined the Army I moved on to classic soft rock (The Beatles, Elton John, Nail Diamond, Cat Stevens); the hard rock stuff did not attract me. Shooting pool and bowling were my favorite pastimes, although once in a while I played cards, Uno and board games. I was never very good at playing board games, but I found them entertaining.
I was never religious, I hardly knew much about religion; except for a summer catholic class I went to when I was a young boy, and what I overheard other people speak. I knew about God and believed he existed, but God did not play a big part in my life. The way I thought about it, I didn’t bother God and I expect him not to bother me. I was in my corner doing my thing and God was in his corner doing his thing, and our worlds were never meant to meet, also I had no intention of changing it.
Then after about three months of being in Germany, I happen to meet Mitchell, this was a young black soldier who spoke to me about God and the Bible. I listened to him just to be polite and humored him, hoping he would just go away. I just could not see myself carrying a Bible; this was the furthest image I had of myself. So I told Mitchell that religion was not really for me, I just was not into that. Me becoming a Christian; it was just weird even thinking about it, certainly not my cup of tea.
However Mitchell was not discouraged and whenever I encountered him, he kept on telling me about God and invited me to go to his church. I accepted his invitations, but every time he came I always came up with an excuse not to go to church. I was hoping he would get discourage and go bug someone else but this guy was persistent. Couldn’t he take a hint that I was not interested in becoming a Christian?
One day he gave me a bible; that was my first Bible; I never had one before and did not know what to do with it or where to begin reading it. So that week, I decide to go and visit the church that he indicated. I came after the service had begun and saw a whole bunch of people making noise and singing loud, and the whole thing seemed like madness to me. Boy did I got angry, I immediately thought, “This people are totally disrespectful to God”. I felt offended by this people, so I left angry that they showed no dignity in the House of God. Imagine that, me getting angry because I thought some people were disrespecting God.
However Mitchell insisted that I go with him, I was not too enthusiastic about returning to that church, so I was happy when we went to a different church, and when I got there the service was less loud and more orderly. I thought, “Man, I must have gone to the wrong church the other day”. After the service the preacher asked who wanted to accept Jesus in their life. I was hesitant, so the preacher came and I asked him, “Sir, are you not going to deceive me”, silly question to ask, but my fear was that since I knew nothing about God, I could easily be deceived into a false religion. I just did not want to go into a false religion, if I was to become a Christian; I wanted to be in the real thing.
I went to the front and prayed and the spirit of God fell upon me, I started speaking using strange words, I did not know what was happening, and was going to stop, but they told me to continue praying. I had a vague recollection of someone mentioning speaking in tongues, but I never thought it would happen to me, to me it seemed weird and totally strange to be praying in tongues, it was just a new thing to me.
I left the church service feeling totally different; I knew that I had changed somehow. I went to my room and immediately emptied all my liquor bottles down the drain, I then looked at my walls and took down all the playboy centerfolds. Boy had I changed! That same night, I went to another soldier that I had a quarrel with and told him that I was a Christian now, and would like to become his friend. He was totally surprised; he probably was expecting me to start a fight with him, not me extending my hand in friendship. He shook my hand; I think it was more out of shock than actually believing my story.
Then the next day I heard the voice of God in my heart telling me that I was called into the ministry. Boy was I surprised, I told God, man you got the wrong guy Lord, I know nothing about the Bible, my new bible was hardly touched. I had no idea of how to even read it, but the Lord was insisting, he told me clearly in my spirit that I was to be a minister of the Gospel. Oh boy, talk about starting at level zero.
I hesitantly open the Bible and during those days I begun fumbling my way through it, man, it seemed like reading it was an impossible task. I liked to read, but this was a totally different thing. Just opening and browsing through it, it seemed like I would never understand any of it.
A few days later Mitchell took me to church, and much to my surprise, I found out that it was the same church, where I thought the people were disrespecting God. This congregation had two different buildings, a couple of blocks separated, where they had services. In one they held regular services and in the other they had Bible studies. I then learned that they were Pentecostals and they begun to explain the Christian life to me.
A few weeks later, while still in a very ignorant stage, I went to the Bible study, I was a little late, so I was outside the building in a sideway, when I heard the preacher begun to read Isaiah 12. I stopped and heard the whole reading, when the preacher finished, I received a great revelation, I right there and then I clearly understood that God was one and that Jesus was that God. After that day I could never believe in the trinity. Yes later on I studied more about the oneness of God, but the initial revelation came from God himself, no man taught me that God is one and Jesus is that God, I received if from the preacher reading Isaiah 12.
Later on I was baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of my sins, and continued reading and understanding the Bible, little by little my eyes were opened and I begun to understand the word of God. I read the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation many times. Later on I began to read other Christian books. From the beginning I witnessed about Jesus but many years passed before I begun to preach and teach the gospel.