Justine’s Testimony

Companionship — Key to My Christian Life

My Beginning

Before I was born, the majority of my family members were Catholic. One day, my grandma from my dad’s side was contacted by a couple of brothers from a church in the Philippines. Throughout the years, more and more of my family converted to Christianity. When my dad met my mom, she was not a believer yet. It was through many prayers from my dad and his family that my mom was eventually saved. From there, my mom’s immediate family got saved, too. A short time later, they were married and had two kids, including me.

We immigrated to the United States when I was two years old. We moved to Lincolnwood, Illinois and met with the church in Chicago for only a short time, about a year. We later moved to Wheeling, Illinois and we were told that there was another locality that was closer to us. It was the church in Palatine. We started to meet with the saints in Palatine, and it was the beginning of my Christian life.

I went to children’s meetings every Sunday. That’s where I met many sisters my age and we all became best friends fast. We all grew up together. When I was old enough to go to the Summer School of Truth (SST), a two-week Christian summer camp for young people, I met more church kids.

Salvation and Baptism

My experience of salvation was right before I was baptized. We were meeting with some brothers and sisters at a family’s home and I was getting baptized that evening. I didn’t know that everyone knew I was getting baptized. We had just gone to that year’s SST, but I missed the second week of the SST, which was the most important week because they talk about baptism. because I wasn’t there to hear the speaking on baptism, some of the brothers were worried. They wanted to make sure that I really knew about baptism. So at this home meeting, while the kids went downstairs to watch a movie, brother Jaime pulled me aside and said, “Hey, do you want to read the Bible, read what baptism is?”

Basically what I remember from his sharing was that I was, at that point, standing on two boats, with one foot on each boat. I had one foot in the target boat because I believed in the Lord. But I needed to bring both feet into the same boat. So getting baptized was moving my other foot into that one boat. It was on August 10th, 2008 that I was baptized with my companion Emily.

Surrounded by Care

My favorite thing about the Christian life is being surrounded by the saints. They became my second family. Growing up in the church life, I always had companions like Emily, Michelle, and a bunch of other people. Even older sisters and brothers have become many other sets of parents to me. When I went to college, I didn’t feel that homesick because of the saints. I went to University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) for my first year in college, and then I transferred to Illinois State University (ISU) in Normal, IL for my second year. But at both campuses my experience has been the same – it’s good to meet with the saints. It’s one big family.

When I was at UIC, Michelle was my roommate. She was also my companion growing up in the church life. As her roommate, it was easy to meet other saints through her. I later became close with all the ones serving full-time on campus and the families who lived downtown by going to Bible studies, prayer meetings, dinner time fellowships, and home meetings. The saints cherished and nourished me when I was attending UIC. When I later transferred to ISU, the Lord also took care of me there.

Emily, my childhood companion, attends ISU, so she helped me settle down there and she introduced me to the saints in the Bloomington-Normal area. Although the situation there is much smaller, they took care of me and welcomed me as family. I really like how we are all members of the Body and every member has a different function.

Pray for Us

Please pray for me at ISU. We don’t have a Christians on Campus club yet. There are only two church kids attending school there, and one friend who is super open and willing to help us out. So we are three sisters, and although we don’t have full-time serving ones there, we have saints who are willing to help out. This coming year, we have one more brother coming, which brings the count up to four. Please pray for us and for a club at ISU.
~Justine

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