My name is Annette Yechout, and this is my story. I was in spiritual darkness for almost all of my life. I not only had on blinders, but I also shut my eyes and plugged my ears to anything which would conflict with my religion. You see, I had been married for 40 plus years and raised eleven children in the catholic religion. We went to church every Sunday, we celebrated the sacraments, and we supported our church and school. I thought there was no religion better than this. Little did I know just how blind I was to God’s truth.
The fall of 1999, I was driving back home after dropping my youngest son off at college. My wife was trying to find something good on the radio to listen to for the ride home. She was changing stations and came to a Christian radio station where a man was preaching about Jesus and the crucifixion. We were pretty bored as it was a dreary Sunday afternoon, so we listened to him as he spoke. As we listened, we begin to hear the gospel preached like we had never heard it before.
My name is Jackie Wolf, and this is my story. I was raised in the Zion Lutheran Church in Sunbury, PA. My dad worked most Sundays, but it was a ritual for my mom and me to attend every week. I wasn’t too excited about church because I had no friends there. There was no fellowshipping, the singing was morbid, we never took our Bibles, and the sermons were just reading and repeating after the pastor from a Lutheran book.
My name is Paula Williams, and this is my story. I grew up in Illinois. Our family attended the Lutheran Church for a few years, then stopped going to church altogether. When I was 12 years old, I was enrolled in LaSalle-Peru Christian School. This is where I heard about salvation. I knew that if I died without being saved, I would go to hell. I was so afraid of going to hell that one day I prayed and asked God to save me from hell.
Growing up in the mid-western state of Iowa, I had all a boy could want – a solid home life with parents who loved me; a 120-acre farm on which to hunt, fish, hike, and ride my motorcycle; a small school where four major sports were offered; multiple job opportunities; wholesome friends; and, eventually, a car I could call my own – a blue Volkswagen Bug.
I lived a life of enslavement to sin which dragged me through the pains of divorce, jail, addiction, and defeat. Many would have looked at my life and thought there was no hope for someone like me, but God lovingly kept getting my attention and finally set me free. My name is Jim Stuber, and this is my story.
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.
I was raised as an only child with my father in the military, so we moved around a lot. I pretty much kept to myself and was quiet growing up. My family did not get out to church very often, so I did not know a whole lot about spiritual things. What little I knew came from my mother, and she basically said I just needed to believe in God.