Planting simple churches in every neighborhood, in every nation.

Gretchen's Story


*One of my first memories is lying in bed as a little girl, scared that some bad guy would come and hurt me. I wasn't a Christian but I prayed for my safety and was able to go to sleep. I used to pray, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." That really got me thinking about what a soul is, who the Lord is, and what really does happen after a person dies. The answers came gradually over the next 9 years.

*At 20, in college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO, I was in the dorm lobby listening to my friend play "Bridge over Troubled Waters," when 2 guys walked in and said, "Do you want to talk about Jesus?" We said sure and wound up going to their church for supper to get out of eating dorm food. One of the guys asked me if I believed in Jesus. "Sure," I said. He asked if I believed that Jesus died and rose again. Again I said, "Sure." Then he asked if I wanted to be saved and be baptized. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. He said I was so close but so far away. I avoided him the rest of the week but I was totally miserable.

*I skipped classes and didn't eat much. I just laid around and read the Bible my girlfriend bought me. I was reading in Romans. I finally was so upset that I started yelling questions at God. I woke my roommate up to tell her all the things I felt I had done wrong. That didn't help. I decided I'd better get back to classes. On the way from my 9 o'clock to my 10 o'clock, God met me. Since I thought that I was pretty good on my own, He showed me what my righteousness looked like compared to Him and His righteousness. That was a shock! I was angry and asked Him how I was supposed to get to heaven if I was such a mess. He then showed me that when He died He took all my sin so that I could have all His righteousness. I broke right there on the street and wound up crying through my next class.

*All the weight of my sin that I couldn't get rid of by being baptized, by confessing my sin, by just reading the Bible and praying, was gone! I had a real encounter with the real live Jesus! I didn't really understand what had happened but I felt free and light for the first time in years. As I grew in the Lord and kept reading my Bible, I learned that I had indeed been saved. I wasn't angry anymore.

*The first major difference in my new life was that I quit using bad language and started writing songs for Jesus. Amazing - since I am not a great singer!

*Through the years, I have enjoyed His love as I have grown up in Him. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I rejoice to serve Him now, and I am so excited to spend forever with Him.