My testimony begins with the obedience of two parents who followed God’s voice. When my parents were first married, they decided they needed to find a good church home, and that they did. Both were raised in pseudo-Christian homes where things looked okay on the outside, but inside there was turmoil and conditional love. They believed it was the right thing for them to find a church for their young family.
When they walked into Wichita Westside Church of the Nazarene one morning in 1961, there was a sense of unconditional love, acceptance, and care. As the pastor and a sweet saint prayed for them that morning, Westside became home, and my family became an integral part of the church. All five of us kids were raised learning about Jesus from our parents, Sunday school teachers, lead pastors, youth ministers, VBS and Caravan workers, missions volunteers, and a host of lay leaders who invested godly time in our lives.
My family is forever grateful. Almost 60 years later, though my mother has passed away, my father is still a faithful layman leading by example. I am blessed.
I accepted Christ in my own life one Sunday during children’s church. My parents were the children’s church directors. On that particular day, they had invited Mr. Edwards, a layman, to come and talk to us about a new and better life. He shared from 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” He told us how we could have a new life in Christ and experience the best life God has planned for us if we would accept Him in our hearts. That day, I gave my heart to Jesus, and it changed my life forever!
Each day since has had moments of continuing to say yes to Christ. These “yeses” have affected every aspect of my life, from who I would date/marry, to what degree I would pursue in college, to going on a mission trip, to what friends I should keep. I started to understand that life is simply a series of repeatedly saying yes to God—doing whatever He asks of me—and that is something I strive to do every day, week, month, and year that I am given.
I praise God for His grace and willingness to love me. I am overwhelmed by God’s great love!
Doug Wyatt is district superintendent of the eastern Kentucky district.