LAWRENCE TSIMESE'S TESTIMONY
‘For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations’.
So saith the psalmist (Ps 100:5). Indeed because of His mercies we are not consumed. I was not consumed in the days of my ignorance but He had mercy and drew me to Himself. This is a rather short testimony of how the Lord found me. Read on…
My late parents were Roman Catholics so from childhood I was brought up as a catholic. I had a strong desire to know more of my religion so I took all my catechism classes very seriously at both levels of first communion and confirmation sacraments. Nevertheless there was a vacuum in me that wasn’t filled and made me feel very empty. I thought the answer was to become much more deeply involved in the doctrines and teachings of the church in order to gain more understanding in spirituality. That didn’t work as I felt emptier.
I began to question my Catholic faith when during my third year in secondary school my mother became ill and died. The nature of her sickness defied all known medical treatments. We knew there was something spiritual about it because someone had cast a spell of sickness on her and had even openly boasted about it. If only I knew what I know today it would have been a different story. All that the catholic Reverend father could do for her was to give her holy water to sprinkle in her bedroom and prescribe some recitation rituals of the rosary. My mother followed his instructions faithfully because she wanted to recover from the ailment so she could be there for her young children but that was never to be as she passed on unto eternity.
I am the eldest of her 5 children (my father had other five children) and was only 15 years old when she died. Four years after the death of my mum, I suffered yet another tragedy in my life. During my second year in agricultural college my father joined his ancestors. He was diagnosed with esophagus cancer (the cancerous growth was deep down his throat) and there was little the doctors could do for him. I was now an orphan.
My paternal family was not sympathetic towards my siblings and me. They were much more interested in his property than in our wellbeing. Something had to happen otherwise I was going to lose faith in God. I felt disappointed in life.
One Sunday morning, whilst still in college, I prayed to God in my own words and asked him to be my helper and guide for the future. I had no one to look up to whilst my brothers and sisters were looking up to me.
There was a group on campus known as the Scripture Union. They met every Sunday evening at the college’s cafeteria for fellowship meetings. Until that faithful Sunday evening I had refused all invitations to attend their meetings because to me they were anti-catholic and therefore I did not want to have anything to do with them. But behold the appointed day for the Lord had come and that Sunday evening I found myself at the meeting. What a powerful experience that was.
For the first time in my life I felt the convicting power of the Word of God preached. It was like a hammer that knocked out all the religious pride in me and I yielded my life to Jesus Christ. It was a beautiful experience that I had never had before. My old self gave way to a new man in Christ.
I had a sudden strong desire to read the word of God and to pray and praise God. That emptiness I used to feel no longer existed. I had become a new creation and began to have new friends of the same calling. Other friends shunned my company because I had become part of the scripture union group. I didn’t care, because I did not want to give up my new found freedom. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36).
After college, I went home and continued attending church at the local Catholic Church where my father had been a member. It was always a dry experience whenever I went to church. It was therefore a relief when I learnt that a very small unpopular group called the charismatic renewal met in the chaplet every Wednesday evening for bible study and prayer. I joined them at once.
There I started growing spiritually. They took me through the Life and Growth in the Spirit Seminars and put me in a leadership position. Then the group experienced a spiritual growth explosion as well as a phenomenal numerical increase from only 7 members when I joined to well over one hundred within nine months. The church authorities were alarmed and came up with all kinds of measures and standards to gain doctrinal control and stifle the Spirit. It was not possible. Who can control the Holy Spirit when He is working in the lives of men to bring them to the saving knowledge of God? They were mistaken. God was at work liberating His people.
They had no option but to throw us out, saying that we were anti-catholic in our way of doing things. We were not bothered; we even rejoiced that on account of His name we were thrown out. More than 90 percent of us found bible believing churches and joined and are still serving in the vineyard of the Lord today.
The Lord had not finished with me yet He opened the door for me to come to the US for an educational program in June 2002. Then in 2003 I came into contact with Steve Atherton of The Fishermen Ministry. During the period of acquaintance we saw how the Lord had orchestrated our coming together. Steve had prayed for God to send someone to the institute where I had studied to preach the word and crush the principalities that controlled it. Without knowing what I was into, every action, thought and word of prayer on the premises of that Institute indeed crushed the Institute’s controlling forces and today it is no more.
I enrolled to go through discipleship under The Fishermen Ministry and ever since then the Lord has been dealing with me in a different dimension. Before my return to Ghana, I visited with Richard D. Eutsler, Sr. at Grace Ranch. The experience was fascinating.
I have since returned to Ghana and been working with quite a number of local ministers. I have also traveled to Kenya on a missionary journey. God’s plan for my life is an ongoing revelation. The nations are before me to go in His power to minister His word to all whom He will bring my way.
Blessed be God forever.