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    My name is Wenda Dutczak and I was baptised on the 26th of February 2017. People often say that the Lord works in mysterious ways. I am living proof of that.

    If you had told me a year ago that I would be a joyful, baptised member of the Adventist church, I would have said you were NUTS! I had never been to a church service or read the Bible. I had never even heard of the Sabbath (which – coincidentally – is now my favourite day of the week). But with the encouragement and support of my best friend Krystel, and pastors Andrew Russell and Barend Nieuwstraten, here I am on this path.

    The reason I choose this date is because it was my mum’s birthday. With great sad-ness to my brother, sister, stepfather and myself, we lost her a year ago this day to a very aggressive form of cancer. My mum was a brave woman and the foundation of my family. She was well loved. Before she died, she accepted Jesus Christ as her saviour.

    My family lives in the UK, and due to my un-employment at the time, I couldn’t afford to fly back and attend her funeral. I was broken hearted, as was my family. Why am I telling you all this? Well, to preface my grief and how the severity of it became unbearable. That grief opened the door to overwhelming depression. I had always believed in God – limited as that belief was early on – but I thought he had forsaken me.

    Prior to losing my mum, I lost my father, a holocaust survivor, when I was ten. At the age of 45, he died also of cancer. Years after when I was 20, I came out to my family as a homosexual. My life was was navigating one this after a next and figuring out how to deal with everything happening. To me I dealt with life the best way figured I could.

    I am now 57 years old. The passing years and studying the Bible have given me nuggets of wisdom. I don’t define myself as a daughter of a holocaust survivor. I don’t define myself as a homosexual, nor do I longer allow my pain and grief to define me. These are earthly things. Rather, I consider myself as one of the luckiest people on the earth because I am a child of God. Because I now understand that the Lord is ever-present in my life and has been, despite the rough ride I’ve had thus far and may yet experience in the future.

    After my baptism, I didn’t expect that I would wake like sleeping beauty. While I may not actually have, to me it felt like it.  As a result of engaging with the pastors, and now my church family, my life has dramatically changed for the better. I am building my relationship with the Lord, I have a friend in Jesus Christ, my heart is open to the Holy Spirit and I am truly blessed.

    To all of you reading this article I have Kings 10:9 to say to you: “Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you!” If you’ve lost your way it’s okay. He will welcome you home too.

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