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Testimony Monday – Brazil (1)

Each Monday, for a number of weeks, someone from around the world will share the story of how they heard the gospel and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. This week’s contributor is a lady from Brazil.

The story of my conversion goes back many years ago, to a Christmas morning when I was born in a small town in the interior of the most southernly state of Brazil. I was the only daughter in a family of five and we were very poor. At that time, we lived in a small rural village and shortly after, we moved out to the country, my parents having bought a small piece of land on the side of a mountain. My father was a subsistence farmer who, with the help of my mother and his young family, eked out a miserable living off this small piece of ground. Every day before sunrise, we were up and away to the mountain to spend many hours weeding and planting. I vividly remember climbing barefoot up over the rocks and scrub to reach our patch of land and waiting until the sun rose to warm our freezing feet before starting to work. My father was an austere man, hard and exacting, and we had a very difficult childhood. 


Testimony Monday – Northern Ireland

Each Monday, for a number of weeks, someone from around the world will share the story of how they heard the gospel and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. This week’s contributor is a wife and mother from Northern Ireland.

I have never been asked to formally tell my testimony before but I’m glad for the opportunity. I hope you can see the simplicity of salvation and that I can encourage those searching for salvation for a while not to give up.

I can never think of a time when I didn’t want to be saved. It hung over me all the time. Many birthdays passed when I would blow out the candles and (unscripturally!) wish to be saved, and many evenings where I would lie in bed and try to fit myself into the testimonies of others. Even when everything else was going well, I felt I was never really happy as the most important thing was missing. I worried about my family too – only my mum was saved. I hated thinking of Dad or my younger siblings being in hell, and spent nights worrying about what would happen when we died or, especially concerning, when the Lord returned. 


Testimony Monday – Ángel Baez, Mexico

Each Monday, for a number of weeks, someone from around the world will share the story of how they heard the gospel and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. This week’s contributor is Ángel Baez, who lives in Veracruz, Mexico with his wife, Monica.

My name Is Ángel Baez, and it is a privilege to share my testimony with you of how God saved my soul. It was 1997, when I was a high school student, that I had heard about the success of others who had left Mexico and gone to work in the United States. In 2001, I was contacted by an uncle in Florida who encouraged me to come to the US. He knew a ‘coyote’ (a human trafficker) who would help me cross into the United States. The coyote contacted me and made arrangements about where I could meet him near the US border. It was well known that many people from Mexico, Central and South America took their route through the Sonora desert into Arizona, US. I made arrangements with the coyote on where in Sonora I should meet up with him to cross. 


Testimony Monday – Catherine Brown, Canada

Each Monday, for a number of weeks, someone from around the world will be sharing the story of how they heard the gospel and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Our first contributor to the series is Catherine Brown from Canada.

Hello friends! Thanks for taking the time to read this blog! When Ruth asked me to contribute, my mind immediately started going down memory’s lane. I was born and brought up in a little town in northeast New Brunswick, Canada. I have many happy memories of childhood days, playing on the beach of the Chaleur Bay with my brother, baking cakes and cookies, growing vegetables in a little plot and continually losing myself in a good book. New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada, and my family always spoke both French and English. The church we attended when I was growing up was French speaking. I later studied in Halifax, Nova Scotia and now live in Northern Ireland with my husband and four boys. Those happy childhood memories are re-lived over and over as I enjoy sharing those hobbies with my boys.


The danger of rose-tinted spectacles

I’d be happy if only 

…I could meet up with my friends for coffee.

…the children were back at school.

…I could hop on a plane and have a sunshine holiday.

…my work was back to normal.

…we didn’t have to worry about masks and social distancing.

Covid-19 really has messed life up, hasn’t it? While some have suffered big, life-changing losses, most of us have simply been worn down by the accumulation of minor disruptions to everyday life. The benefits of living a less-frantic lifestyle, which we clung to in the early days of the pandemic, have become threadbare and worn out. No matter how much we’ve tried to adjust and embrace the changes, there are things we are all longing to return to.


Ten tips to help you read more books this year

In my last post, I shared my five favourite books of 2020 and promised to give you some tips on how to increase the number of books you can read in 2021. Here are ten of them. Also, if you would like to read more of your Bible this year, a number of these tips will help you with this too!


My Five Favourite Books of 2020

It’s become something of a tradition each January for me to share my five favourite books of the previous year. Despite a busy year with a book deadline, I managed to read more books in 2020 than in other years. (Check back in a few weeks’ time for tips on how you can increase the number of books you read.) After much deliberation, here are my top five books.


2020 – A Year for Removing the Dregs

From t-shirts declaring I survived 2020 to sentiments on social media which express, in palpable relief, that the end is in sight, it’s clear that, for most people at least, this hasn’t been a year that we’d like to repeat. Why? Because a new virus appeared out of the blue and disrupted our (mostly) comfortable lives and our great plans. From the major devastating life changes caused by the loss of a loved one, health or employment, to the minor inconveniences of increased hand-sanitising, mask-wearing, and following a one-way system around the supermarket, all of us have been affected to some extent.

When I think of life pre-Covid, I can’t help but recall a certain verse in the prophecy of Jeremiah.


My Five Favourite Books of 2019

Last January, I posted about my five favourite books of 2018. I set myself a higher target of books to read last year, which made choosing only five quite difficult, but after some deliberation, here are my favourites of 2019!


Letting go of lesser things

A toddler has a penny clenched in his chubby little fist. Kneeling down to his level is a well-dressed gentleman, holding a cheque for a million pounds, made out in the child’s name. It’s clear to see the child is not interested, much happier with the small coin, oblivious to the great riches that are being offered to him. He has no intention of letting go of his little treasure for anything.

As adults, our treasures may be more valuable than a penny, but our struggles to let go are no easier. In fact, sometimes it is what we most value that is the very thing God is asking us to let go. Take Abraham, for example. In Genesis 22, God tells him to take his son Isaac, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him for a burnt offering. If you’re at all familiar with the story, you’ll know how precious Isaac was to Abraham. He was a long-awaited son, the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham, the one through whom God would make of Abraham a great nation. For Abraham to offer up his greatest treasure was going to be costly. It was going to hurt, more than we can imagine.