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Beniamino Giugno.

I accepted Jesus Christ in my life at the age of 13, in Niscemi (Italy) during a Youth Bible meeting. Even if I’ve always been listening to the sermons and I knew what Jesus had done on the cross, I still didn’t understand what I had to do to be saved. The leader prepared some questionnaires and the first question was: “When did you convert?”; I obviously didn’t answer. The following Saturday he came and talked to me; I don’t remember exactly what he said, but we prayed and I accepted Jesus in my heart as Lord and Savior, and I cried for joy. I felt reborn, a wonderful sensation. But a while later, for some reasons, I went to work in a bar every night. Working every night meant I couldn’t go to the meetings during the week and I was so tired on Sunday morning that I just couldn’t wake up. Consequentially, because of the places I frequented, I began to walk away from God and to get bad habits. As time went bythings got worse; I began to use drugs. Even knowing the fact that I was going the wrong way and that the Lord hated that, I couldn’t change my life and go back to Jesus. I hadbecomeslave to sin by then. I feltdirty and it made me sick. I told myself I was wasting my life doing the things the world does, instead of adoring and thanking the Lord, my Creator, my Savior. I foundmyselfseveraltimesat a juncture. I had to make a choice: it’s either God or the world. I never said I didn’t want to know about God anymore. I knew that one day I’d have made the right choice, but that time hadn’t come yet and I still felt like I couldn’t do it. The few times I prayed, even if I didn’t feel worthy of doing it, I asked God to show me the way to follow Him and to help me, because I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. It was in August 2014 that I decided to go to a biblical camp. I knew, more or less, how they were; I used to go there when I was younger, and it seemed to me like a week spent in heaven. So, during a sermon, the Lord spoke to my heart. The preacher was explaining how difficult it is to give up ourselves to follow Jesus, and he said: “We have to sacrifice ourselves to Jesus Christ, so that we don’t live anymore but He lives in ourselves. Ifwewant to followJesuswehave to give up ourselves, give up ourpride, in order to do His will”. In that specific moment, I felt like he was talking to me, personally. He added: “If we don’t give up ourselves completely, we’ll never have a real, deep relationship with God”. Later he read Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”. After that preaching, I went in my bedroom and I prayed. I confessed all my sins, I asked God to forgive me and I asked Him to give me the strength to give up everything and do His will. From that moment on, beganmy new life. With God’s help, I left everything and He’s blessing me. I understood that if we try to change on our own, with our own strength, we’ll never make it. The only condition is that we ask God for help and if we’ll have faith, He’ll change us. I see a lot of myself in “The prodigal son”. It’s beautiful to notice how the father, looking at his son coming back home, didn’t think about what he had done, but it is written that he (the father) was filled with compassion for him.That’s the same way God acted when I came back to Him. He was filled with compassion for me. He had mercy of me and He forgave all my sins. I hope my little testimony will make you think about it.

 

God bless you.

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