Marlene’s Story

I have often wished I could meet the man who led me to Jesus.  His form, stature and the few but very persuasive words from a sermon he preached are deeply etched in my memory, but not his name. He was a passionate minister who accepted invitations to speak at my local high school.  Kaimosi Girls High School was a boarding school in the rural country of Tiriki, Kenya.  Since we did not have a church onsite, our Christian faculty usually organized to have an itinerant preacher each Sunday to deliver a sermon to the student body.

There was nothing glorified about our preacher-man.  He usually wore the same gray suit every time he came.  Always on foot—only a Bible in hand.  His thick Luhya accent left plenty of room for the girls to make fun of his sermons; sometimes even while he was still preaching.  Oh, but what he did not know is that my tender fifteen-year-old heart was broken, plowed and ready for his gospel.  Torn in hesitation, my palms sweated and my heart pounded.  I did on that particular rainy Sunday morning respond to his compelling altar call.  “Come.”  How my fears troubled my poor soul.  In the whisper of my trembling voice to God, I asked in tears.  “What if I backslide?”  “What if I cannot keep myself pure for you?” “What about my friends, will I lose them all?” The hall we used at the time did not even have windows but my need for a Savior was too strong for me to care.  I had walked from the second row to the foot of the stage where I knelt on the cold concrete floor in reverence to God.  “I will save you and save your household.  I will keep you if you want to be kept.”  Those silent words settled on the leaflets of my heart like the morning dew settles on the leaves of a flourishing tree.  And that was where I received Jesus for the very first time.

If only the laborer was privy to just how far his work for the master would go, this devout preacher would have gone home encouraged that day.  I was now planted in God’s vineyard.  What God would do with such a little life was yet to be seen.

He is the Ancient of Days, the Creator of all things, the Lion of the tribe of Judah—and of whose honor and glory my heart beats and bleeds!