October 12, 2002.
4pm, returned from school with my sister. Mum wouldn’t be back from work until 6pm. Our neighbour who was a pastor, as was her husband, told us to stay with her till our mother got back.
We watched TV for a few minutes, and then she called us to herself.
“Are you born again?”
We didn’t understand her question. We’d been born in a Christian home. More importantly, we thought, our father was a pastor. Of course we were born again. So when she asked one more time, we answered boldly, almost with a tinge of pride, “Yes, we’re born again.”
“How do you know?” She persisted.
We gave her all the reasons I already gave above. The sermon then began.
“You’re not saved because you were born into a Christian home. Neither does the fact that your father is a pastor make you born again. We were all born in sin. We are all sinners until we give our lives to Christ.”
I was 10. I tried to make sense of what she was saying to me and my sister, two years younger. I couldn’t believe it. All those years of going to church and singing in the children choir and cramming memory verses and winning bible quiz competitions were gone, like wisps of smoke.
I didn’t understand how I could be a sinner. Nor my little 8 year old sister. “So I will not go to heaven if I don’t give my life to Christ? But I have always been a Christian. I was born into a Christian ho…”
She interrupted my confused protest by showing us the part of scripture that said, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…”
That must have silenced us, and maybe because she was an adult. She didn’t seem willing to let us go without saving our confused, little souls from damnation.
“Say after me, Lord Jesus… I know I am a sinner…” You know the rest.
And so on the 12th of October, 2002, I gave my life to Christ, along with my sister. We wrote the date on the back cover of our bibles, as we were instructed.
In 2014, I took back what was mine.