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.
I grew up in a small town, the second child to two typical, middle class parents. My dad was a civil engineer, and my mom volunteered in various capacities along with being a stay-at-home mother. Both of my parents were very religious, and were consistent in taking their children to church and teaching them about God and the Bible. They even sacrificed financially so that all of their children could attend a private, Christian school.
I grew up near Rochester, New York, and considered myself a good kid. Okay, I wasn’t anything special, but I had Christian parents that passed along Godly values. They taught me to be responsible for my actions, to choose good friends, and to put my best effort into every task. I attended church and became comfortable living in a religious environment.
I have gone to church all my life. My parents are saved, and we have attended good, Bible-preaching churches all my life. I also went to Christian school and Christian camps. My parents were good testimonies and examples to me, and they have prayed for my salvation ever since I was born. But all these things did not save me.