Sometimes when we tell people we are Christians, they roll over the floor laughing. ‘You - you go to church?!’ I can imagine why they respond like that. I used to respond like that myself. I thought the whole Christian faith was ridiculous. But since I met Jesus, I know differently. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
These are the words of Melcha (38). Together with her husband Peter (40) she tells the story about the last twenty years of their lives. “We got to know each other when I was 17”, Melcha tells. “I was living on my own, but I didn’t like it. One evening Peter invited me to stay at his place and I never left…” During the years that followed they got two children, a son and a daughter. Both pregnancies were difficult. “When I was pregnant of our second child I suffered from all the complications you could possibly think of. After an early and difficult delivery the child had to be reanimated immediately. The child has several mild handicaps because of that.” The young family was not spared from further problems. Melcha: “My father passed away, Peter”s parents passed away, we had financial difficulties and I even got an early stage of cervix cancer… all at the same time.”
During that time Peter started to develop an interest for the Christian faith. “On Sunday mornings, when I got out of bed around twelve o’clock, I sometimes watched a programme of a American minister, Schuller”, he said. “I sort of liked it. After a while I really started to like it and I really sat down to watch it.” Melcha: “That made me furious! I was standing in the room with the remote control, trying to turn off the television.” But Peter’s interest stayed. He spoke about the Christian faith with a couple who were their friends, and they gave him some small books about the Bible. “Which I very angrily put away somewhere”, adds Melcha. “I didn’t understand what he was doing.”
It bothered Melcha that these things made her so angry. “I was so angry I couldn’t say the words “God” and “Jesus”. On top of that I was always suffering from great fears. I didn’t dare to be home alone at night because I was afraid that I would hurt myself. Peter didn’t understand that at all. But I suspected that that had something to do with the things I had done in the past. Using Ouija boards, calling on spirits. And I began to think: maybe I should turn to the Christian faith to get rid of that fear.” Peter and Melcha decided to ask their friends who were believers for advise. They came that same evening. “I started to tell my story and our friends spoke told us Jesus and the Christian faith. But every time I tried to say the name “Jesus” I had the feeling somebody was choking me. Literally. When I had that feeling my voice became very deep. That was very frightening.”
“We talked all night. Eventually they asked me whether I wanted to get down on my knees to ask Jesus to come into my life. I really wanted that, but I just physically couldn’t. A few hours later, it was in the middle of the night by then, they asked again, and then I could do it. I can’t describe what I felt then, I felt set free! Everything disappeared. The fears, the strange voice. They say sometimes: to be born again, and it’s true! I cried for more than an hour, my emotions were set free. But at the same time I was so happy! I could tell the world that Jesus really existed!”
For Peter it all happened more gradually, but he also surrendered his life to God in the weeks to come. “It changes your life completely”, he told. “I saw how it had transformed Melcha, she was a completely different person. I noticed change in myself, I sooner accepted things from others, for example. I even apologised sometimes - something I never would”ve done before!
Family and friend often laugh about the “conversion” of Peter and Melcha. But they are very happy with it themselves. Melcha: “Sometimes I say: I love my husband and my children, but that Jesus has come into my life is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me. Nothing can beat that!”
My life before
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