Once an Atheist
As I was growing up, I didn’t know God, and I didn’t have any desire to seek Him. God was not real to me. Even though I had many Christian friends who asked me to go to church with them, I always politely refused. I really didn’t need God in my life.
Going to a church every Sunday rather than watching a football game did not make any sense to me. People tried to encourage me by telling me that I could make better friends in church. But nothing could cause me to have any interest in God or church.
How God Saved Me
One day, one of my friends invited me to a church revival gathering. At first, I kindly refused just how I always did. But this friend kept asking me to come “just once.” Because I wanted to maintain the friendship and make my friend happy, I finally agreed to attend just once.
When I arrived at this gathering, I could not believe my eyes. People were singing, praying, screaming, and crying. It seemed really crazy to me. I didn’t want to stay, but I had to stay a little longer so that I could let my friend know I was there as I had promised. I wanted to at least wave at my friend so that he would know I was there.
All of a sudden, an older woman was saying that she was demon-possessed. I was laughing inside because I did not believe it. The pastor who was conducting this gathering asked the woman to come to the front and they began to have a conversation. The pastor prayed for a few seconds, then the woman fell to the ground and was unconscious. The pastor was asking her, “Who are you? Reveal yourself.” The woman was answering with her eyes closed, saying, “I am her ancestor,” and the pastor was telling the demon to come out. Then the woman answered saying, “She wants me here,” but the pastor answered saying, “No, she doesn’t want you there, you have to get out!” Then the woman said, “I still don’t want to go out, but even if I do, I can always come back.” Then the pastor and all the people at the gathering started praying together. After a few minutes, the pastor asked her again, “Are you still there?” This time it was very quiet. Then the pastor asked again, “Who are you?” This time I could hear a man’s voice that was very loud. The man’s voice was swearing and screaming at the pastor. I felt chills going down my back. I was so scared.
Until I heard the man’s voice come out of this woman, I thought that the pastor and the people there were making a scene to bring people to believe. But at that moment, I realized that it was not an act. During the time when the pastor was telling the demon to get out and the demon was responding, I knew that there was a realm of spirits. Before this happened, I only believed what I saw. Now I started to have questions concerning God. I started to think that there might actually be a God. Since there were demons, then there might be a God.
God Revealing Himself to Me
A few days later, I came back to that gathering to find out if there really was a God. I was praying that if there was a God, He should reveal Himself personally to me. I wanted Him to become real to me in a personal way. But after I prayed, nothing really happened. So after the meeting, I told my friend that I wouldn’t be coming back to the gathering anymore. I felt that I did my part in coming and nothing happened.
While I was driving home, I was telling this unknown God, “I am through with You because You did not show Yourself to me.” I was so angry. I was saying, “I will never seek You again!” I don’t know why I was so angry, because I didn’t believe in God in the first place. Then something happened while I was driving home on the highway.
“Father God, Thank You”
All of a sudden, I felt pain in the back of my neck and my head felt stuck to the head rest. I was not able to move my head, and I could barely see the road. Then my mouth opened and I started speaking something that I could not understand. From deep inside, I felt a kind of joy I had never before experienced. I was crying, but I was also so joyful, even though I couldn’t understand what I was saying. This joy kept on going for several minutes, and finally when it stopped, the one sentence that I could understand was, “Father God, thank You.” Then I knew that I was saved. Through that experience, God became real to me. Before that time, I didn’t know that Christians called God their Father. But a couple of days later, I found out, and I knew that I was a child of God.