He Lives A Collection of Testimonies
Manhattanville Christian Fellowship Volume 1. Issue 1
He Lives A Collection of Testimonies
Dedicated to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ Special thanks to the Manhattanville Community, President Molly Smith, the Office of Student Activities, and the Duchesne Center for their support of the Christian Fellowship club. Also a very special thanks to our wonderful club advisor and true man of God, Uriel Reid.
"I am pleased to write to you about the miraculous signs and amazing things the Most High God did for me." - Daniel 4:2
Table of Contents Introduction................. ....................................................... 4 September 6, 2009, Christina Autiero.............................. 5 Accepted, Corinne L. Garcia............................................... 7 Shoes, Corinne L. Garcia.................................................... 8 Putting a Triangle in a Square, Latalya Morrison.............. 9 My Body, Antoinette Rodriguez ......................... .............. 11 Power of Grace, Geoffrey Rugarabamu.......................... 13 Protected, Edom Tsegaye ................................................ 14 Prayer for Salvation ......................................................... 15 Prayer for Salvation.......................................................... 16 .
Introduction Many people remember Jesus was crucified, but often forget that He also rose from the dead three days later. He conquered the grave and He continues to live today. Jesus longs to live within your heart, and He is constantly working on His childrenâ€™s behalf answering their prayer requests and washing their sins clean with the blood He shed. The stories in this book are true accounts of how Jesus has worked in the lives of the Manhattanville Christian Fellowship club members. We are so grateful to have a Father in Heaven who loves us and who cares about everything that happens in our lives, no matter how big or small the issue may seem to us humans. He is so great that He holds the whole word in the palm of His hand, but He is also so personal that He is able to live inside of each of us and come running each time we call on His name. We pray that God will use this book to share His amazing love with you, and that it may inspire you to one day call out to Him as we have. Our God is so faithful, and we know He will honor your call. Enjoy! -Christina Autiero, Club Vice President
September 6, 2009 “Okay God. If you’re really out there, please reveal yourself to me,” I whispered. I sat in a chapel pew for about ten minutes, staring down at my scuffed boots and waiting for a “sign from God.” I shut my eyes real tight, tried to pray a few of the prayers I remembered from Catholic school, and even tried kneeling down, but I still didn’t feel anything. Maybe I was doing something wrong. Or maybe He just really didn’t exist. But there was something inside of me that was still searching; something that couldn’t find rest, something that knew I needed to meet my Savior. Putting my thoughts aside, I decided to leave the Manhattanville chapel. However, as I opened the doors to leave, I heard faint music coming from down the hall. Confused and intrigued, I followed the noise. To my surprise, the music led me to a small room where a church service was occurring. Once I realized I had walked myself straight into a church, I quickly turned around to make a bolt to my dorm. The last thing I wanted to do was walk into a church service late, my hair all a mess, and wearing sweatpants. I needed to get out of there as quickly as possible. “Hey, come join us!” A man shouted towards me. My mind told me to walk out, but my heart wanted me to stay. So I put on a smile and silently slipped into the room where people were singing “Hosanna.” The people seemed so focused while they were singing, that I was sure they wouldn’t notice me. I did not want to draw any attention to myself. Shortly after I entered, the Pastor asked if all who were attending school could come forward because he wanted to pray for them. “You, go up there!” A lady sitting in the row in front of mine said. “You are a student, go!” Are these people mind readers? I thought to myself. Reluctant and a little frightened, I walked up. “Someone’s life is going to radically change today,” the Pastor said after praying for us. “I just know it.” He isn’t talking about you, I assured myself.
I sat back down, and the Pastor shared his testimony of how he came to know Jesus. “I know there is someone sitting here today, who maybe has never invited Jesus into their heart.” The Pastor said. “Someone who wants that love that I am talking about. Do you want to pray with me?” He can’t be talking about me, I assured myself again. “I know there is someone here, someone searching,” he repeated. He just can’t be talking about me, I can’t go up there. “I know your heart may be beating real fast, and you’re thinking ‘I can’t go up there in front of all these people’ but I was there too once, and you can. Come pray with me.” Oh no, he is talking about me. I then made the best decision of my life: I stood up to pray. I found my Father that day, the Father who was there all along though I had spent my whole nineteen years wishing I had one. I met my Best Friend that day, a Best Friend who will never let me down. I received my unmerited love that day, a love that I am so unworthy of, but so grateful to have. I accepted my Savior that day, the One who gave His life for me so that I may have an eternal life with Him. Like many of us, I didn't come to Christ perfect. But the wonderful thing is He doesn't ask you to. God wants you to come as you are, and He'll fix up every part of you that needs to be restored. I can now declare that I’m beautifully and marvelously made, because God has restored all my brokenness that I once believed was unfixable. Through Him all things are possible! My life has been radically changing since that Sunday morning I asked God to reveal Himself to me. I wonder what would happen if you asked God to reveal Himself to you today? I am looking forward to hearing your testimony. :-) “You will seek me and You will find Me when you search for Me with your whole heart” - Jeremiah 29:13 -Christina Autiero
Accepted Before I attended Manhattanville College, I was attending a two-year community college, still undecided about what my next steps would be after graduation. Before praying about what college I should attend, I applied and was accepted to Lehman College in the Bronx. I had already met with an advisor at Lehman to discuss my transfer credits as well as which classes I would register for the upcoming semester. During the summer, after graduating from my community college in May, I began feeling like Lehman was not the college for me. I couldn’t understand why but that’s the way I was feeling. So I began praying about it and asking God what college I should attend, and more importantly, what college He wanted me to attend. I had forgotten that my community college had held a college fair that Manhattanville College had an information booth at. I had asked for more information about Manhattanville that day, and I was surprised when I received a call from Manhattanville College in August, seven months later. I was asked if I was still interested in applying for Manhattanville’s fall semester, which was only one month away. I replied with a confused yes; I didn’t know that Manhattanville College would personally contact me and pursue my application. So I filled out an application and returned it to Manhattanville. Let me just say, waiting for my acceptance to this college took quite a bit of energy. I was praying everyday and thanking God for my acceptance before it happened, which reminds me of the song “Praise Him in Advance” that the Manhattanville Gospel Choir sang at one of their past concerts. I was excited before getting the letter in the mail because, somehow, I knew God was going to take care of everything. He gave me a peace that I had never experienced, that nobody, no human could have given me. Within a week of handing in my application, I was accepted to Mahattanville College! Two weeks after that, I was attending my first class with all you fine people! - Corinne L. Garcia
“In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” - Proverbs 16:9
Shoes When I was a young girl, around 6 years old, I walked up to my father in tears and said, “Papi.” He responded, “Yes sweetie. What’s the matter?” I said, “I don’t have any shoes.” I was the youngest of five siblings in a one bedroom apartment. My father’s job, at the time, was the only means of income. The sneakers I did have were filthy with holes, which I grew out of along with all the rest of my shoes. My father, being a man of God, said to me, “Let’s pray.” I answered, “I don’t know how to,” so he had me repeat after him. I remember praying that we serve a “more than enough” God and that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and will answer. Looking back, I now know that the Bible says Jesus came so that we can have a life of abundance until it’s over flowing, not a “barely getting by” life. Maybe a week went by after my father and I prayed, when someone who knew my parents stopped by our apartment and dropped off a garbage bag filled with things her children grew out of, specifically foot wear. I remember my father being so thankful to God when he showed me what was in the bag. There were twelve pairs of shoes, some new and some slightly used, that were all my size! It felt like a Christmas morning that I could have never imagined. Also in the bag were shoes that I could grow into! My Heavenly Father has taken care of me when my earthly father could not. God has been there for me in the little things, when I was younger, in the big things, now that I’m in college, and I know He will continue to take care of me,because the Bible says He will never leave me or forsake me. - Corinne L. Garcia
“But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” - Philippians 4:19
Putting a Triangle in a Square
In my teenage years I made myself believe I was empty. I had my great times with family and friends but there was something that I was lacking. So I filled that space with unhealthy friendships and relationships. As people used and abused me, it did not matter because I wanted people to want me whether they wanted me for good or bad. I never wanted to be alone. So I jumped from relationship to relationship while people tore me apart because I didn’t care about myself. I ignored the feelings of being hurt, the feelings that told me something was not right. I covered up my pain with lies after lies, thinking that people could satisfy me while I pushed away all the love I knew God had to offer me. I knew God’s Word, I knew Jesus died for me, I loved God and I wanted to worship and praise Him, but I couldn’t feel Him. I couldn’t hear Him. I couldn’t see Him, and when I was alone, I could not find Him. So I searched for the things I could see, hear and feel. Then there came a point in my life when I felt I was surrounded by darkness, like I was in a pit that I could not get out of, as if I was being weighed down. But I am so grateful that my God is always faithful even when I am unfaithful to Him. I started to try and get back into His Word; I wanted our relationship to grow again. He was always calling me back to Him, but I had blocked Him out. Finally, after feeling worthless, weak and tired, I ran back to Him and His Word reminded me that He is my strength, He is my portion and that He loves me. He loves me so much that He created me in His image. He loves me so much that when I was close to Him, He was watching over me and when I went far from Him, He still watched over me. As I got back into God’s Word and our relationship started to grow, I was reminded that ONLY Jesus Christ can satisfy. His Word says that His grace is sufficient & that His power is made perfect in weakness. So anytime I was or am feeling weak He has promised to make me strong. As I studied more and more of His Word and as I gave my lifeover to Him, He filled my void. He emptied out all the lies that were in my head about me not being worth anything and me not being good enough. He took all of that away and cleaned me up. He took me out of the pit I was in, and He carefully bandaged up my heart and made it whole. Then He filled me with His love and filled me with the
Truth which says that I am the apple of God’s eye and the Truth that says that He is concerned about me. The Truth that says that He will NEVER leave me or forsake me and though I turn my back on Him, He will NEVER turn His back on me. Though I am unfaithful, He will NEVER fail at being faithful. Now I have peace and joy that I know only God could have given me. I can p ro ud l y w al k a nd s a y I a m a C h il d o f G o d ; I a m a d is ci pl e o f Jesus because if it had not been for the Lord, where would I be? As humans we want things and people that we can feel, see and touch. But when you have an encounter with God you can feel Him in you, you can see Him around you, you can hear Him when you listen, and you can reach out and touch Him whenever you need to. If you’ve never known God, or if you’ve forgotten about God and if you feel that you can’t run back to Him, He is waiting. His heart feels the pain you’re going through, He knows each tear that falls from your eyes. The nights that I cried myself to sleep, He felt my pain and was calling me because He just wanted to hold me and comfort me, but I pushed Him away. I ignored Him. But what a great feeling when God wraps you in His arms and showers you with His love. So if you don’t know Him, get to know Him, trust Him with all your heart and obey Him and He will provide. He will satisfy. God will fill you with love you never knew existed and that is all you will ever need. -Latalya Morrison
“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ our Lord” Romans 8:39
My Body Outside, I felt a little bit happier, a little bit nicer I could smile and be amused But that feeling didn’t last Feeling was temporary Inside, greyness fell on me like a veil on a bride coupled with loneliness Inside, thoughts ran wild body sat paralyzed Inside, I slid along white walls like a woman in an asylum dying for my mom to notice dying for my sister to care Intangible pain consumed me I couldn’t see Or explain it Contemplated cutting to get control touch and treat something you could see Misunderstood and completely alone I turned to no one I dwelled and I dwelled hid tears of pain with a smile hid tears of emptiness with a laugh I don’t remember the day I confessed Jesus as my Savior but I remember a moment when I decided to kill myself I saw a knife in my hand Its your life, end the pain pressing against my stomach You’re not worth anything
But something was stopping me You’re alone, no one cares Someone was keeping me Your body is a temple You are not alone I have plans for you This was God muting the devil’s lies amplifying the Truth This is God Despite, all occurring evils my God was concerned about me omnipotent & omnipresent came to be with me but how could a God like that want someone like me? like a Creator loves his Creation I am your workmanship your eyes saw my unformed body you have searched me and you know me I am yours I have a choice to rejoice I choose to rejoice In bed, I cry I cry with joy In sleep, I laugh I laugh with fullness My God saved me from myself then My God continues to save me from myself now “The Lord is close to the broHe did it for me kenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” -Psalms 34:18-19 12
Power of Grace Amongst the many things that God has worked on to change in my life since I accepted Him as Lord and Savior of my life, pornography held one of the strongest holds over my life. It is astonishing how something can be introduced into your life, and since it is not being dealt with, keeps expanding day to day and spreading into your soul until it becomes a place where you run to for comfort. The Word of God clearly speaks against pornography in Proverbs chapter seven, where Solomon warns his son from the seductress women. Jesus also clearly speaks on the fact that simply looking lustfully at a woman is adulterous, and in First Corinthians chapter six verse nine it clearly states that adulteresses will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I say all this to show that there was no justification for my actions. This was not something I could just let into my life. So as I kept seeking God through His grace and empowerment of His spirit I came to know that I was not destined to be in this bondage, and that it is not because of what I have done, but because of what Christ did on the cross that I was able to be freed from it. Through His bruises we were made whole from our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5). In the book of James chapter four verses seven and eight it instructs us to submit to God and resist the devil and it also tells us when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. My breakthrough occurred a few weeks ago. God has now filled that empty part of my which, in desperation, was turning to pornography for temporary satisfaction. We are tempted by our evil desires (James 1:13) and the moment we leave a door open we can be sure that evil will get in because it comes to kill, steal and destroy the gift of life from God (John 10:10). I can now confidently proclaim that I am an Ex-Porn Addict and itâ€™s not from what I did but through what He did. -Geoffrey Rugarabamu â€˜The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. I came that they may have life and have
Protected After delighting in the opportunity to study in America that God has blessed me with, I was able to visit my family in Ethiopia after ten months had passed. During my visit, I spent the majority of my time at my grandmother’s house during the day. One particular day, while my family and I were on our way home from my grandmother’s house, I started hearing a voice in the back of my head addressing me to caution my dad about the speed he was driving. In a developing country like Ethiopia, the availability of electricity throughout the entire city is not always assured. And, unfortunately, that day was one of the “dark” days in our neighborhood. Believing the voice in my head to be a warning from the Almighty, I had to be obedient and convey His message. After I told my dad what God wanted him to know, my dad drove from an area with no light to the contrary. It was also heavily raining that day, and therefore it was difficult for my dad, as well as others, to drive. As we approached our home, my dad unknowingly stopped his car from crashing with a malfunctioning car. No one in that car could have predicted the trauma planned by the enemy that day, except for our protector and guider-- God. I give all my thanks to Christ Jesus for using me to save the lives of my family and I that day. -Edom Tsegaye “Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” -Psalms 91 3:6
Manhattanville Christian Fellowship The purpose of the Manhattanville Christian Fellowship club is to bring the love of Jesus Christ to our campus community. The club holds prayer meetings every Sunday at 10 PM in the Student Center Music Room. The club also holds many Bible studies and Beginner Bible classes throughout the semester. You can also tune into our radio show Under the Influence Wednesday nights at 9:00 PM, on WMVL (wmvlradio.com). If you are in need of a Bible, a church home, or any spiritual guidance the Christian Fellowship club would love to help you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for any information you may need. You can also visit our blog at: http://2cor71.blogspot.com We look forward to hearing from you! In Christ, Corinne L. Garcia, Club President
Prayer for Salvation Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and confess you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and for giving me eternal life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and take control over the throne of my life. I thank You for loving me so much. In Jesusâ€™ name I pray, Amen.