Last Sunday Sebastian renewed his baptismal vows during our All Saints service. He shared this testimony:
My name is Sebastian Quique, I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, and this is the story of how the Lord saved my life.
Growing up in Colombia was not an easy experience. I grew up in a poor environment surrounded by temptation and earthly desires. When I was just a kid the enemy used my broken heart and my loneliness and he misled me. He made me think that using drugs would make me feel better and happy; that, around these substances, I could find friends, I could find a purpose. What began as a small escape became a prison. Then the Lord gave me the opportunity to go to Australia to learn English and make some money, but my prison followed me there. I wasted all my money on parties and drugs and anything that I thought would give me life. This prison took over my life, and I became obsessed with pursuing riches and wealth, and I found my satisfaction in sexual immorality. I thought that having pleasure all the time would cover feelings like loneliness or make me feel like a man. But instead, it made me hurt women, and my family felt disappointed. I was suffering and in desperate need of a change.
Then this past June, my sister, and brother-in-law invited me to come and visit this beautiful and privileged town for 15 days. The idea of the 15 days was for me to take a fresh breath and rest from the protests and difficulties currently overwhelming my country. The plan was to take a look at my personal life. However, the Lord had a different plan; He provided the opportunity for me to stay until mid-November. This time extension was part of His plan to transform my life; something that I didn’t expect.
I wanted to change the way that I was living, but I did not know how to do it. I needed to learn how to be a new man according to the Bible, but the problem was that I did not know how to start reading the Bible. On a special night that I call “alone with the Bible,” I decided to read Ephesians. I felt that Paul was describing me there. I felt called to put on a new self and be renewed by the power of my Lord Jesus.
Additionally, the Lord gave me the opportunity to know Faith (which is both the grace of trusting him and the name of a Wheaton College student who shared the Gospel with me). Faith showed me hope, goodness, and the power of praying. All of these brought peace and love to my life. Each day, I wanted more of the pure joy that I was experiencing by taking these first steps in my new life. I knew that I needed to know more about the Lord and to be rooted in what Jesus did.
I have been living as a new man for the past few months. It’s been a daily process of learning how to make a transformation in my life. It can be difficult sometimes, but it is possible when I make a daily effort to change my old habits and my lifestyle. Without church and community, it can be complicated. Having the chance to make a confession, go to a men’s retreat, or be part of a connection group has been helping so much. Every single brother or sister that I have met in this church has made me feel welcome through their kindness. I think that Church of the Resurrection is obeying God’s commandments regarding the foreigner. This church has equipped me for the transformation of my life.
The enemy tries to make me think that I haven’t done much and that I’m missing the life that I used to have, that I need darkness to enjoy my life. It’s a constant battle, but the good news is that I now recognize that I have the creator of all, seen and unseen on my side. And if God is for me, who can stand against me?
Join us in praying for Sebastian as he returns to Colombia next week.