I grew up in a Christian family, but my beliefs were solely based on what my parents believed. I viewed religion as a routine. You went to church Sunday, prayed before meals, but I never felt it was my decision.

My parents died from HIV/AIDS late in my teen years, leaving us very little financial support. In addition, I was broken by the infidelity and consequences thereafter that tore us apart. To add to this, I had no hope of going to college without them. So when I lost them, I lost my faith in Christ. I was hurt by the loss and felt the world was being deliberately unfair.

And now, almost 20 year later, I have recovered from the trauma of losing them both so early in my life. Reflecting back, I realized that, despite what happened, God had been with me every single day – walking by my side every step of the way and carrying me when I could not stand. He blessed me in every way possible and has given me more than I or my parents would have dreamed of having. Because of his great love for me, I am proud to acknowledge my love for him.

— Chikoti Wheat, Baptized September 2018
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