Slovakia missionaries Don and LeAnne Waite met Simona when she began attending their church in June 2013. They share her testimony:
I always wanted to know Him
Growing up in a Catholic home and a strongly Catholic country with traditions and roots dating long back in history taught me something about God. It taught me that God was the Creator of the heavens and the earth and that His Son Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. It taught me that if I went to church every Sunday I would get to Heaven. If I didn’t, well …
Despite living in such a culture, I often talked to God and asked Him if He really wanted this—to repeat certain words by heart to Him every day, to have a ceremony with people who call themselves Christians but are far from that? I didn’t know God. I knew some things about Him (not much) but I didn’t know Him personally. And deep inside I had always wanted to. The invitation was there, but I didn’t really believe that Jesus would ever come into my heart. I thought He didn’t work that way. I considered the few followers I encountered to be fanatics. So I was just kind of leaving it open—until my life changed.
Alone except for God
In August of 2012 I went on a student exchange program to the States. I was full of expectation, fear, and happiness. All that changed quickly once I was there. My situation with my host family was very uncomfortable. I felt like I didn’t have anyone, and that I was all alone. Alone—except for God.
I started talking to Him again. I wasn’t angry and I did not ask Him why. Actually, when I had conversation with Him, I felt peace. I told him that I did not understand the circumstances but that if this family and this town were where He wanted me to be this year, for whatever reason, I was not going to protest, but obey. The only thing I asked for was for Him to help me survive each day and not ever leave me.
He turned everything upside down
Then in January 2013, I was taken out of that family and placed with my coordinator’s family. I loved this family from the very first day I spent with them. I had never seen or even heard of such a family. God was the most important thing in their lives. The way they lived, what they talked about, how serious they took family was unbelievable to me. I felt safe. There was no doubt that God had heard my prayers. Through these people I came to know God and His Son Jesus personally: to understand how God works in our lives and how He wants to know us and that He never abandons us. Everything is possible through Him, and you don’t have to be perfect; He loves you no matter what. Well, knowing that completely changed my life and goals. It turned everything upside down.
Jesus has changed my life. Nothing made sense before, now everything does. I was looking for the answers on my own, now I ask God. I have found peace and true love. I am not perfect and have so much to improve, but I have hope now. His love is unconditional and everlasting. I am very grateful for everything He has ever done or will do in my life. And for the rest of my life I want to put God and His plans first.
Editor’s note: Missionaries Don and LeAnne Waite teach English as a Second Language at a school started by Simona’s sister. Through this contact, Simona began attending the Waites’ church in June 2013. Simona has been passionate about her faith and regularly brings friends and family to church. For 10 months, LeAnne and Simona met for discipleship studies. LeAnne has never found anyone so responsive to God’s Word. Simona is now studying business at a Christian college in the US and can’t wait to return to Slovakia to not only be a Christian example but also to serve people as Jesus would, sharing his truth and love.