Saved from Depression and Loneliness

Stefanie - Brisbane, Australia


Photo of Stefanie

Hi everybody,

Greetings from sunny Brisbane in Australia! I would like to share with you how I was saved from depression and loneliness.

After finishing high school in Germany, I started studying in another town called Landau. It wasn't too far away from home, nevertheless I was pretty much on my own there. I got to know another girl, Antje, who was the same age (20), and really enjoyed spending time with her. As time went on I found out that she was a committed Christian. She talked openly and boldly about the Bible being the Truth, and I knew she was not lying. At that time I was asking myself about the purpose of life. I felt empty - a few years previously I had even thought about committing suicide.

Over time we built up a friendship and I was often invited over to her place. For several months she was quite persistent in inviting me to her home town of Braunschweig, which was about 5 hours away by car. Finally, during our summer holidays in 1986, I went to meet her family and friends for a few days. What stood out for me most was her and her friends' caring ways; they showed me around the city and looked after me very well. They definitely had something special that I did not have, and demonstrated the Bible to me in a practical way. On Sunday I joined them for a meeting in the afternoon. There they spoke about the importance of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The following Tuesday I was meant to leave for three weeks to go camping in Bavaria. But what I had heard and seen from those Christians had captured me. I knew they had something which I wanted to have too, and I decided to get baptised. I did not want to leave before receiving from God the same thing as these people had. After my baptism in a nearby lake, we went to Antje's parents place to pray for the receiving of the Holy Spirit. After some time I realized that I could speak fluently in an unknown language! This was the ‘speaking in tongues' that the Bible talks about.

After some time I realized that I could speak fluently in an unknown language!

This marked the step into a new life for me. I kept closely in touch with my new friends although I was away in Bavaria. The first book I read was “The Cross and the Switchblade” by David Wilkerson, which tells the stunning story about the conversion of drug addicts in New York. I devoured the Psalms from the Old Testament because I often felt the same as King David, who wrote most of them.

My favourite scripture was in 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

I was glad to forget about the past and to look forward to something new. This scripture in mind, my relationship to my family improved greatly as if walls were breaking down step by step. In the past I did not talk too much with my dad at all, but when I met him again at home I hugged him. It just takes the first step! After my conversion, with the help of my friends, I learnt - and am still learning - to communicate with others, something I had never really learnt before.

As time went on I realized by reading the Bible and feeding on the positive Word of God I was changed bit by bit, day by day. It takes a decision. By talking positively and opening up to close friends about problems I gained much help.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:17-18 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

The Bible is unique. There is no other book like it. If we start putting it into practice true fulfilment comes automatically. With God's blessing things fall into place.

Joy deep inside of me was growing...

MATTHEW 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you."

Joy deep inside of me was growing knowing also that my soul will be safe for eternity. I knew that after life on this planet there must be something else. There must be a righteous judgement and I wanted to be on the 'right side'.

2 TIMOTHY 3:15 "...the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." There is no other way to salvation - only Jesus Christ - the Word of God. He gives me strength, peace and wisdom. In my own strength I had failed beforehand.

Some time after my baptism, about 80 people from the church flew over to Australia for a visit. I tried to get holidays for that time and everything worked out for me to join them to go to the other side of the world! Quite amazing! It was great to be part of this group of people with different backgrounds from different countries and I learnt more about the life and history of the Assembly. During those 4 weeks I met lots of different people and visited cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide! The beaches were great and I remember quite vividly that the big waves fascinated me. I thought if the Lord created all this so beautifully, how powerful in fact He must be.

He knows every single thought and deals with everyone in a special way, as everyone is special! ‘God has a thousand ways' as the song says.

Today, I live in Australia having come here as a missionary some years ago. I would never have imagined I would end up living permanently in this beautiful country! In the meantime I am happily married with three children, and am very thankful for being in this great family of Christ!

In closing I'd like to recommend the following books which were eye openers for me:

  • 'There is a Miracle in Your Mouth' (John Osteen)
  • 'What's on your mind?' (Merlin Carothers)
  • Prison to Praise' (Merlin Carothers)

Hope this helps someone out there! Take care,

Stefanie

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