When I was young, neither of my parents belonged to or visited any church. In the area where I lived there was not much for children to do on the weekends. My neighborhood friends used to go to Catechism on Saturday afternoons, so I decided to join them. I completed the studies necessary for my confession and confirmation. Later, I attended church some, but going to church was more of a routine than anything else.
Growing up in a loving family, I had a very happy childhood. I have many wonderful memories of spending time together with my parents and a younger sister and brother. My memories also included our weekly attendance and active involvement in our church, the United Church of Christ in Berwick, PA. After graduating from high school, I remained faithful in church, but allowed the sinful nature with which we are all born, (Romans 3:10,23) to control my life.
When I was sixteen I was considered a “good girl.” I had attended the Presbyterian Church from the time I could walk; I was baptized as an infant, I was an active church member, I obeyed my parents and did well in school. And, just to make sure—I made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. I viewed it as an insurance policy just in case “being good” wasn’t enough.
A man of years gone by once asked the question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” The world is full of people that try to answer that question in a myriad of ways. Some hold to reincarnation. Others hold to a theory that death ends it all. I was brought up believing that there was a life after death.
Each step of the way of life is a choice we make. Do I go the straight and narrow way that leads to Heaven? Do I choose the other – a different, difficult path? It took me thirty-one, searching years to find the only way to peace and contentment. My name is Sylvia Membrino, and this is my story. Allow me to tell you how I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. Since then, it has been a growing, serving, fulfilling experience.
As I was growing up, I never heard what I’d call the real truth about spiritual matters. We pretty much followed my father’s upbringing and attended services at a Lutheran Church. I knew there was a God – and I thought a lot about Heaven and Hell. As a teenager, I would say my prayers every night before I went to bed. I considered that I was growing up in a “religious” household. But, during my whole life, I had never really heard a credible answer to the question of how to attain a life after death.