I was brought up in South Africa as a Methodist and changed to Anglican or Episcopal as it is sometimes called in the USA, because my husband was Anglican.   The church had a “Mission” and on 30 April 1981 I gave my life to Jesus and asked Him into my life.

A few years later my husband and I got divorced. And our daughters lived with me and went to boarding school, which was a lonely time for me.   My daughters finished school and moved to Johannesburg, the big city, to work and I was able then to find work and praised God for supplying it for me.

I had been working as secretary for the Anglican church for 15 years when they asked me to take early retirement.  That was a terrible time for me and was very similar to the experience of my divorce.

Both my daughters married US citizens.   The evening of my last day at work  I left to visit them for 6 months.   My younger daughter and son-in-law Rick and Sue and their family were moving to Arizona and needed help with their daughter while they packed;  and my elder daughter Megan and son-in-law Steve were expecting their 4th child so needed help with the other children while Megan was in hospital.   I could not have been of any help to either of them if I had still been working and God knew this long before I did!

In one of my quiet times I told the Lord:  “I give up!   I am through with fighting everyone and everything” and asked Him to speak to me through His Word (King James Bible) and he sent me to read the book of James.   While I watched and listened to what was happening around me I learnt so much, like what it REALLY means saying “it’s not all about you,” the meaning of “fellowship” and “servant-hood”!   I compared it with my church back home in South Africa that did not have that love.

One day as I prayed I “heard” God say “Join the Fishermen Ministry” and I IMMEDIATELY said “OK”, then He said “What about Lay Ministry” and I said “What about it?”   (I had only done it because He had called me to do it and if He wanted me now to stop – that was OK by me!).   Later He spoke to me again and said “What if Joan (a friend of mine since 1985) rejects you?” and I said “Hey I have been rejected all my life at least YOU won’t reject me and you will still be there!”

After 6 months with my family and surrounded by members of the fellowship I returned home fired up but not knowing what to do or how to go about anything I was home with nobody and my computer did not want to work, I was ALONE!!!   NOW I praise God for that time because it showed me that my comfort and friend really is Jesus!   Each time I started getting depressed I would open my Bible (King James) and read and IMMEDIATELY the depression would disappear and in its place would be peace and joy.

God continues to not reject me even when I make silly mistakes, and to bless me as I continue to learn to obey Him and walk in His ways regardless of what people may say.   I see that Jesus had led me to The Fishermen Ministry which is the only church I have found that speaks the Truth and as I stand on His word and in Him, Jesus stands by me!   He has proved His promises to me, teaching me, forgiving me, not deserting me, supplying my needs (and sometimes even my greeds), healing me, and giving me His grace while I obey His Word.   What a mighty God, Savior and Friend indeed!

I am excited about the unexpected things that He will put in my way as we go together and give Him all the praise.

Joan Clinning