Testimony: Justin Dean
Growing up, the church was always part of my life. When I was two years old, my father became a youth pastor and after that my life consisted of being in church three to four times a week. I knew a lot about who God was and what He did, but I never started my own relationship with Him. When I was five, I prayed the prayer everyone tells you to pray, but I did not truly understand what I was doing. I still continued to live the same way and not much changed for me. I did not have a personal relationship with God; I had one through other people.
It was not until I was on a mission trip to Detroit when I was in middle school that I really began to figure out what salvation was supposed to look like. I realized that who I was as a person and what a follower of Jesus looks like were very different people. I began to see that sin, anything that was against God was regular in my life and that I was a slave to it. I realized that sin had broken my relationship with God and that I could not do anything to fix it. I needed a savior, a perfect sacrifice, to take the punishment for my sin. I realized truly that that is who Jesus was. He was God and man who came to die for my sin so that I could be saved. I began to understand that His resurrection meant freedom from sin and death. I recognized that He was Lord and that I was a sinner who needed Him.
I started my own personal relationship with Jesus on that mission trip, and my life was forever changed. I was free from the sins that I had wrestled with for a long time, and I began to cultivate my relationship with God. I started to love to read His Word and began to understand what it truly meant for me and my life. Life with God started then and will last into eternity with Him.