Charles* is a SOON reader from Mizoram State, India. He tells us how someone helped him when he felt empty and needed to find freedom and peace in his life.
One evening my friend and I travelled on a motorbike to a nearby village. We drank strong drink, then we rode around the village on the motorbike all evening and into the night. Think of the noise we made and the trouble we brought to that quiet place! At about 1:00am we began the journey home, arriving at 5:00am. When we got there we found that my family had waited up all night because they were so worried about us. They thought that maybe some harm had come to us. So that night I brought trouble to my family too.
In the days after this, I tried to find peace and happiness by taking drugs and having more strong drink, but all I felt was an emptiness inside. Then one day, I went to visit another friend, a girl called Zora. She told me about a camp that was coming to a nearby town in a few days, for people who wanted to hear about Jesus Christ. She said, "If you go, I will go with you."
I was confused. I didn't know whether to say 'Yes' or 'No'. But I did not want to offend Zora, so at last I said, "Yes."
The next evening, she came to my house and got everything ready for me – my bedding, my clothes, all that I needed for the camp. She even carried my bags for me. This showed me how much she wanted me to go to the camp.
When we arrived, I heard for the very first time about the love of God. The teachers at the camp told us how God sent Jesus Christ, his son, into the world. They explained to us that Jesus was killed as a criminal, even though he never did anything wrong. By doing this, he took the punishment (death) for all our wrong doing. I also learned that God will forgive anyone who tells him they are truly sorry for all their wrong doing, because Jesus has already taken the punishment. All that I heard made me think deeply about my life.
I was ashamed of the way I was living, trying to fill my emptiness with wrong things like strong drink and drugs. These only brought trouble to me and those around me. So that day at the camp I asked God to forgive me and give me a new start. My life was changed around. The emptiness in me was filled with God's love. Now I am living a new life. I am no longer ashamed, thanks to my friend Zora telling me about Jesus Christ.
To think about
Zora wanted Charles to go to the camp so much that she carried his bags for him. God wants us to be his friends so much that he sent his son to die for us. He knew what would happen to Jesus, but he let him die to take the punishment for our wrong doings. It was just as though he carried all those wrong doings for us, just like Zora carriedthe bags. Now we can be free from the guilt and shame that they bring to us. Charles found a new life. Would you like God to give you a new life, to fill your emptiness and take away the shame and fear that make us feel so bad? God wants us to speak to him and ask him to do this.