My name is Laura and I come from Italy.
I grew up in a Christian church which is rather traditional and ritualistic. As a teenager, I started questioning the foundations and the depth of my personal faith. I yearned to come closer to God, and yet I didn’t know how. I swung between this desire for God and my own stubbornness and rebelliousness.
Later, I went to live in another city during weekdays to attend university. The university world brought new challenges and changed me. People of different beliefs would ask me questions about my faith, and I could not answer their questions. Eventually I concluded that if my faith was only a matter of tradition with no substance in it, I would rather leave it. I gradually drifted away from my church community. In my early twenties, I decided to give up searching for answers in spiritual matters and to simply “live for the moment”. I plunged into that lifestyle which is so well-known to many university students: a life of night clubs, parties, relationships. I loved fashion and makeup. I started drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. I longed to ‘fit in’. Even the love I had always had for my studies was starting to dim; the more I was trying to grab hold of life, the more life’s meaning seemed to elude me.
After two years of leading this kind of life, I found myself empty, steeped in depression and anxiety, having lost all direction in life. In my desperation, I picked up a Bible and cried to God to reveal Himself to me, if He existed. Through His word, God spoke to me in such a clear way that, there and then, I took refuge in Him and I committed my life to Him unreservedly – a decision I have never regretted. A few months later, I visited Kwasizabantu Mission. The daily devotions helped me understand the way God expects us to live, as it is clearly stated in the Bible. I gradually realised that there were things in my life which God did not like. After a few days I asked to speak with a servant of God, having a burning desire to bring to the light the things that I knew stood between myself and God. What a victory when God Himself started to break down the wall of filth and darkness in my life and new rays of living hope started to shine through!
Through His cleansing work, the Lord has changed my life completely and I yearn for His grace to continue working in my life. The burden and anxiety have been replaced by peace and joy. Each day I live is now full and meaningful. I thank God for Reverend Stegen and the mission’s co-workers who have helped me so much and are still supporting me. I thank God for Kwasizabantu Mission, a place on which I have been living and working now for ten years – a wonderful privilege!
May the light of God’s transforming and liberating Gospel shine forth throughout the world.