As a young child I attended church regularly. I even attended a Christian school. As I was taught through the Bible, I knew the truth about what God had said. Even so, as I grew up I had no true relationship with the Lord. There was no time in my life that I made it personal to me.
I grew up in a Baptist home and attended the same Baptist church from infancy. I was surrounded by God’s blessings, learned all the Bible stories, and acted like a good kid for the most part. Behind the scenes, I was a really good liar, stole small items from the school’s art closet, and was verbally unkind to my siblings. But at church, I put on my good manners, and I thought that nobody could tell that I was a sinner.
As I think back to September 8, 2004, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what happened to me on that day. It was the day that the God of heaven forgave me of my sin, and changed my life. Though some people who knew me may have considered me to be a good person, I knew in my heart that I was a sinner, and an enemy of God.
All my life, I was brought up in church. I heard preaching from God’s Word every Sunday and Wednesday. My parents loved me very much, and faithfully taught me from the Bible. I learned that Salvation means to turn my back on sin and trust completely in Jesus Christ. I learned that Hell would be my eternal destiny if I did not choose to give my life to God. All these things and more were taught to me, and I soaked it all in during my growing-up years.
My name is Saritha Manohar, and this is my story. I was born and raised in a church going family in India and we attended church every week. There I heard interesting Bible stories at Sunday school and VBS. As a teenager I attended different churches and used to participate in youth camps, retreats and VBS. I was taught that, in order to go to Heaven, one must “be saved,” so at the age of 15, I even got baptized to please my parents. But sadly, I did not understand Bible salvation.
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I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. At a young age, I learned all about God and the Bible at home, as well as in Sunday school stories and church messages. By being introduced to this at such a young age, it all seemed second nature to me. I knew what to say and how to say it so I could just blend right in with everyone else around me and keep both my parents and teachers happy. Knowing all of this made me become a rule follower to appease everyone, but I was doing all of this for the wrong reasons.
My name is Alyssa Hall, and this is my story. I was what most would call a “good girl.” I was raised by godly parents who sought ways to teach me about God and what He could do in my life. They made an effort to have me in church every single service and to be involved in activities at church that would put me around other Christian young people.