Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Salvation testimony by Merly, from Washington State
When I was yet a young girl, I dreamed of marrying a kind, handsome man, and have a perfect family. On my 18th birthday, God answered my prayer. This tall handsome American soldier gave me two dozen roses right after my eighteenth birthday. We got married in the Philippines after ten months of courtship. I was so happy, because my dream was coming true. I looked forward to having beautiful perfect children. Soon after our wedding, we moved to America.
My first child was a healthy baby girl. After three years, I got pregnant again, and I had a boy. My son, Joseph, was born with his intestine out, because of a hole in his stomach. After two surgeries, he was fine. However, when he turned two, he was diagnosed with autism. My dream of a perfect family was shattered.
I was angry with God, because I saw this as a punishment. I stopped praying and going to church. My marriage suffered, because I got so depressed. On top of this, we moved a lot because my husband working for the United States Air Force. When he was assigned to Korea; I was both sad and happy. Sad, because he was going there without us, and happy, because it meant I can move in with my parents in Washington State.
My depression worsened, because I did not have a support group. I had no idea where and how to find help. My mother was so worried for me, so she encouraged me to join a women’s Bible study group. At first I refused, but she kept praying for and egging me. Finally, I decided to check it out. I met these wonderful women who prayed for everyone’s concern. I found out that one of the ladies has a son with brain injury. We quickly bonded, because we had similar concerns, and also because we came from the same province in the Philippines, and spoke the same dialect.
I started to enjoy the women’s company, and studying the word of God. I soon learned that I really need God in my life. I thought that all God was intent on doing was to punish me. I learned from our Bible studies that He is also a loving and merciful God. I also realized that I am a sinner. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, 24: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” I was finally convinced that I needed a Savior, and that Jesus is the only way to salvation. I invited Jesus in my life, and He forgave my sins and gave me a new life.
My son Joseph is now 26 years old, and still lives with us. Taking care of him is more challenging, because he is a big man (he is 5’10 ft. tall, and 230 lbs). He has a behavioral problem that causes him to sometimes be aggressive. My husband is always repairing holes on the wall, doors, or whatever my son kicks and punches. We also change furniture a lot. Before, I used to get really upset about this, but now I can shrug it off by saying they are only material things and can be replaced.
God has changed my perspective of a perfect home and a perfect family. Instead of focusing on the many problems, I focus on the many blessings God has given me. He gave me a loving and supportive husband, and after 31 years, we are still together. My daughter is healthy, and I have a beautiful granddaughter. Whereas before, I blamed myself for my son’s condition and saw it as a punishment from God, now I know that our “bad” situations can bring glory to God.
When I am having a hard time, I find comfort in Jesus promise in the Book of Matt 11:28, where it says, “"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
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