Friday, December 30, 2005

gotta love Japan


Johnnie Roll said...

Hello John;
Was taking a stroll through the blogs and ran across yours, I also am a follower of the Lord God Almighty Jesus Christ, the one and only true God...I have a question, how were you saved? It is nice to know that other people praise Jesus Christ.....

J.R. Freiberg said...


thanks for your interest. I'm out of the country so I don't really have time to write a more personal response to your question, so my apologies, but below I've copied and pasted a copy of my testimony that I wrote a few years ago. It might be a little more information than you wanted, again my apologizes.

Being born into a Christian home, I was exposed to the truth of the Gospel at a young age. Though I never doubted the existence of God, I never truly understood or acknowledged His sovereignty in my life or even His presence. From my perception, the Bible held some interesting stories and fascinating trivia. I did not however, consider God’s Word as having any relevancy to my life other than providing my parents with authority to punish me and make me feel guilty about having fun. Thus in order to avoid such punishments, I began to live two lives. One at home and church, and another anywhere else. When away from my parents, I would do whatever I could to have fun and be the center of attention. As I was enrolled in a Christian school, my methods of having fun were not too extreme, at least in the eyes of the world. So even though my parents got the occasional complaint from teacher, my selfish pleasure seeking went unchecked.
When I was about twelve years old, my dad entered into full time service with the United States Navy. This brought our family to many different destinations over the next few years. While stationed on a remote island in Italy, I attended a boarding school in Rome at age fifteen. It was here, finally away from the restrictions of my parents, that I was able to fully pursue whatever pleasure the world had to offer me. I quickly indulged in drugs, alcohol, sex, and gangs. Yet even in this time of open rebellion, the Lord was graciously and sovereignly guiding my life. Approximately two months into my ninth grade year as my life was rapidly spinning out of control, I was hit by a car while attempting to run across a busy street. Not being able to walk without much effort for several weeks, I had ample time to evaluate the course my life was taking. Yet even at this sober moment I was unwilling to submit my life to a God who in my mind seemed powerless and irrelevant. Instead I took inspiration in my dream to become a professional basketball player. Realizing that the life of excess I was quickly beginning to live wasn’t conducive to accomplishing my dream, I determined myself to shape up. God used this selfish motive to save me from destroying myself, at least physically. My tenth grade year my family moved to San Diego. Here I was enrolled in a private Christian high school. This transition was very hard because I suddenly had all my freedoms taken away and was surrounded by kids who were living double lives just as I had before I went to boarding school. As for myself, I was through with trying to convince people I was someone else. I made little effort to persuade my parents that I was following God. Yet my lack of apparent fruit went mostly unnoticed due to my mother being diagnosed with breast cancer. She was not given much time to live. Not knowing how to handle this crisis, both my father and I began to become more and more introverted, leaving my mother to fend mostly for herself. Growing up, my mother and I were very close due to my father being gone often. Selfishly, in order to lessen the pain if she passed, I began to distance myself from her. To fill that hole, I got a girlfriend. Having entered a relationship for all the wrong reasons, we quickly fell into gross sin. Over the next few years of high school my mother slowly got better, yet our family kept becoming more distant. My parents began to have trouble with their relationship, and I willingly felt as if I was no longer part of the family. I continued in my sinful way of living until finally I could not stand it anymore. My relationship with my girlfriend had turned violent, my family seemed to be falling apart, and I found no happiness in anything. It was then at a high school retreat at the beginning of my senior year, that I sought out the only person who I saw anything different in. God used this fellow student to lead me to Him. That cold night in the forest I acknowledged Jesus Christ as my sovereign Lord and Savior. Through God’s grace and His word, I saw myself for the wretched sinner that I am and saw Christ as the glorious loving, powerful, and gracious Savior that He is. Since that night, the adventure God has graciously taken me on has been one of innumerable blessing and sweetness. I have been awakened to the power and truth of His word and have been honored with the privilege of serving Him in many places around the world for His glory.

KosherChristian said...

Do you still have that dog? What was his name - Jake? I can't tell you how excieted I am to find your blog and to see that you're in ministry. My name is Mat Teves. You were friends with my brothers, Dave and Tim, out on GI in New York. I'm at THE Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. My wife and I were down in New Orleans and were driven north by Katrina. My mom got an itch to find your mom and dad today. She contracted me "to make the internet work" as she has difficulties. I found your folks out in Japan. I got a kick out of the adverts you put up. I lived out there for 3 years and we used to take pictures of these silly things too. Dude, shoot me a note and let us know how your doing. I'd love to hear more about the ministry you're working in.
Peace out - john,
Matthew J. Teves