I Was Searching for Salvation for My Soul
Helen thought she knew God and Jesus, until one day she found the Church Of Christ where she learned who Jesus truly is and His role in her salvation.
Helen Gray: My name is Helen Gray, I’m 52 years old. I was born in Washington D.C. Well, my childhood, I enjoyed my childhood. I was a cheerleader, I was a dancer and I was a model. This kept me busy, kept me out of trouble because we [were] in such an environment, you know, that we needed to stay away from the drug activities where we [were living]. Around that area, it’s like a lot of drinking and stuff. In the neighborhood where we [were] growing up—so my mom tried to keep us away from those things and that’s why we [had] to stay active, stay busy and stay positive in what we [were] doing in that time of growing up.
I also was a female boxer. There was boxing on the streets. So therefore, that was like my [escape] from the drugs and alcohol. See, like once you finish school, what [else is there] to do? After you finish your homework, you want to go out into the streets. So we [were] raised in and around so much was going on so I boxed all my life. Very many knockouts but some—you know, you take some and you get some. But I was just really good with what I used to do.
In my childhood, we went to church on Sundays. Every Sunday, if we didn’t participate in going to church, we couldn’t go outside on Sunday. So I loved the outdoors and I loved the earth. So I had to go attend church. It was fun to live in because this is all [that] we knew.
But it was also dangerous as I had gotten older and I just thank God that we lived through a small storm. One incident, like [we’re] all young and our parents had us out and there was this time that we needed to go to school. So, your mom put you in the house at a certain time, like nine o’clock. All my childhood friends and we just had one that got killed this particular time because he was disobedient to his parents. His momma put him in the house and told him, “Stay in the house because we have to get ready for school.” So he snuck outside and he got hit by a car. When we all grew up, we’re like brothers and sisters in the same neighborhood. So it made me feel like I had lost a brother but it also was a lesson learned experience in how to listen and pay attention and to obey your parents. And your days will be long [in] the land of the living. But had he obeyed and paid attention to what his mom said, he would have been still living today.
That’s one of the stories that I share with the children in the world to be obedient to their parents. To honor your mother and your father. Because as I watch the news I see that, “Oh, that could have been me.” But through the grace of God, He’s seen us through.
“Who Christ Is”
When I was a Baptist, like I said, it’s a learning experience. You still don’t understand who Christ is because when you’re young, you hear things but what we hear, you have to ask ourselves, “Do we fully understand who Jesus is?”
Then you have to find out for yourself. And just, are you comfortable with the minister that is teaching you? I’ve been with the Church Of Christ for two years and about three months now. So, once I do sit down, I listen to the teachings and that they’re reading directly from the Bible. It’s not coming from their personal [or] own understanding. Because everything—like when I was in the Baptist [church] it’s totally different from the Church Of Christ. And one thing I respect about the Church Of Christ, everything is done in order.
“Renewing My Life”
I gave the Church Of Christ a chance because I already knew what was out there in the world. That was the old Helen but now this is the new Helen. That old Helen, was like—I participated in drinking. I used to love to drink but fortunately when I met the Church Of Christ, I had to give that up. And as you’re drinking, your mind is not clear and you’re not sober, I was feisty. So you’re fighting every day and that’s not the way that I really wanted to live because I know that it was something that was altering my mind. But when I came with the Church Of Christ, it’s no more of that.
“Opened My Eyes”
I have a brother (in the faith) named, Brother PB. He was unstoppable. He came by my building at a beautiful time. I love to eat and I love the food. He had invited some of my people inside my building to the Church Of Christ two years ago, matter of fact, to a thanksgiving outing, it was like an outreach [program]. And then once I came inside the Church Of Christ, they had nice grocery bags for us.
Then once I came that one time and I just kept coming, just kept coming, just kept coming to see what it’s really going to be like but it was totally different from the Baptist church that I was in. There’s a lot of love here. I listened to one of their Bible lessons, I said, “Hm, this reminds me [like] I am going back to school.” But this particular time, I’m going back for my soul’s salvation. If I had not found the Church Of Christ, I would have still been out there in the world, doing the worldly things.
But through the grace of God, He’s seen me through so I’m done with that chapter of my life, so I’m moving forward now. And you feel comfortable and you feel good, you get to meet good souls inside of the Church Of Christ.
The first doctrine that really stood out of the Church Of Christ was like, if you think that you’re going to be drugging or alcholing while you’re in the Church Of Christ, what wakes you up is that you’re just wasting your time and as you participate in coming to the [Church Of Christ] every Sunday and Wednesday, God knows all things, and I just didn’t want my time being with the Church Of Christ to be gone in vain or wasted. That was my reality check.
My first impression was like, “Wow, this was something totally different than I have experienced when I was with the church of the Baptist church.” I had liked it and when you sit down and you listen you keep your ears open and you’re listening to it and you’ll feel a lot better and you’ll find your spirit has been fed. And whatever that bothered you at first, it should have been erased.
You gave it to the Father and let Him deal with that. And that made me feel so great once I finished my worship service. And you keep your strength, you stand your ground. You stand firm. That’s what keeps me motivated. And when you’re with the Church Of Christ and what really excites my brain up, when they tell me that I am unstoppable and I’d let nothing hinder my worship services.
“Stand Your Ground”
My faith [is] tested every day. Some of the ones I’ve communicated with them, I told them, “I don’t drink anymore.” But at the end of day you can tell them that but they don’t believe it but you have to believe in yourself, and when the Church Of Christ teaches you to stand your ground and be firm and be diligent. You have to stand and— it teaches me a lot to—how to conquer when my faith has been tested.
“Feel The Love”
Well, what I really know now we have different nationalities and cultures of the Church. Under the majority of a lot of Filipinos. But they don’t discriminate the color of the skin, they’re just interested in feeding you and the spirit of God.
But when you [enter] the Church Of Christ you’ll find and you’ll feel the love and you’ll feel [that] Jesus is walking with you and you feel comfortable and you feel good you get to meet the good souls inside the Church Of Christ. [The Bible] teaches you how to pray and then we have devotional prayers. They pray for your household, you can give them a call, and they’ll have [a] prayer with you and your family.
“What Makes Me Happy”
What makes me happy is when I come inside the house of the Lord and I see my brothers and my sisters and I sit down and I talk to my Father which art in Heaven and one thing—I might come inside of the church with some issues. But once I talk to my Father, after I’ve finished my worship service, I am good to go because I know I gave it to the Father, I approached Him, I talked to Him and I pray that He listens.
That’s what makes me happy. On Saturdays I used to go out on a missionary (share my faith). I have a big building, I go to house to house—I sit down and I talk to them but one thing, they have to want this and I don’t give up on them, I’ll just keep on trying, and they’ll come on into the fold with me.
I bring my visitors when we have Evangelical Missions. And I have already [bore] about two fruits already. So through the grace of God, I’m still working.
I see my future as being more fruitful. I see my future as very successful. I will one day—I will enter the gates of Heaven. With my Father which art in Heaven, I’m just passing through right now. It feels beautiful to know that you’re not alone. It feels good, I have no fear. I walk by faith and not by sight. And I know that He is with me. Always.
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