[Editor’s note: Today’s article, by Conejo’s own George de Bruyn, is part of the “Our Story” class series. Thank you, George, for sharing your story with us!]
Although my parents believed in God, we were not a church-going family and worship was limited to the occasional viewing of some Dutch Reformed service on the local TV station. My grandmother (Mother’s side) and my mother would often remind me to trust God, especially as the challenges of being a teen approached. Around 12, I participated in a rendition of the Nativity Story at the local Methodist church, playing the role of one of the wise men. That experience confirmed that a career in show business was not for me. What really began to stick out for me were all the people that claimed to be good and Christian yet from my viewpoint were nothing more than hypocrites. My mind was made up and I would not be a part of that scam.
I became very well entrenched in secular life and thoughts of God and trusting in Him had all but faded. But He was not done with me and one day when I least expected it, Claudia walked into my life. There was something different about her and her family. These believers seemed genuine. I could feel my old lifestyle tugging at me but the Lord changed my heart and I accepted Him as my Savior. Stan baptized me in Claudia’s swimming pool on my birthday making each year a double celebration.
I got it back then – all those hypocrites I had a problem with, well I was part of that club too and realized that only He is perfect and we worship Him and Him alone. But make no mistake it is such a powerful witness when His church shows love through service. As many of you may know both Claudia and I recently experienced serious health issues. Mine was easy as it was hereditary heart disease, but thanks to modern science and some stents, the Lord has given me a new lease on life. Claudia, however, spent months struggling but has finally returned to near perfect health. During this time, I witnessed a tremendous outpouring of selfless love by so many members of our church family. This is the kind of love that Paul writes about in Romans 13 when he describes love for a neighbor. In hindsight, I can clearly see God at work in the details gently guiding and shaping the course of my life. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8).