Searching for the Truth

 

I was born into a lower middle class family in September of 1952 in the little army town of Temple, Texas. My parents were the first persons in each of their families to attend college. The mood in America during that time for African-Americans was quite tense, but my parents were focused on the raising of their children and instilling high values within us. From my earliest recollections my parents emphasized the need to get a good education and our need to love the Lord and His Word.

 

In my earliest years I was aware of my parents trying to finish their education, our constant involvement with church, and the social unrest in America. During the sixties we were all influenced by a number of things but with many a young person there was a sincere searching for the truth. During the 60’s, my friends and I decided, like so many others, to form a singing group and become rich and famous. The pursuit of that lifestyle led me into a worldly and sinful lifestyle and left me very dry and empty within. After a big failure in my music career, I decided to spend some time in the military. My parents were very worried that I would never finish my college training. They both knew that a college degree was very important and would open a number of doors for me. But because we were poor, I did not have the money to put myself through school. So, in 1971 I joined the army to earn the G.I. bill to pay for my college.

 

During 1971, the U. S. was still involved in the Vietnam War, and I had orders to go to the front lines as a ground infantry soldier. My fear of death and my contact with so many people who were troubled by the war caused me to begin to pray, seek the Lord, and seek the truth. A number of the young African-American men who were in the military with me were choosing the Nation of Islam to fill the void in their lives for God. On May 15, 1972 I chose Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and asked Him to save me from my sinful life and emptiness. The Lord granted me a dynamic salvation, and all who were around me saw the Lord’s work in my life and the change in my living and sensed a new direction. After my tour in the military I went back to my hometown of Houston, Texas and the church where I was raised. I was very hungry for the Lord and the truth in His Word, but I couldn’t find much where I had been raised. There were so many things I was unsure of, and I couldn’t get much help from those around me. I prayed intensely for the Lord to bless me with the truth. Within a short period of time, I came in contact with the local church and the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. The richness of that ministry and the depth of that ministry have filled me since 1975. I still cherish each time I read their ministry books and I cherish very much the churches raised up by their ministry. Now the Lord has granted me the light regarding (1) the strife among the races and the way to be peaceful in Christ, (2) the truth regarding the world, the flesh and keeping ourselves pure for the Lord, (3) the secret of having a happy family life in Christ and (4) our attitude regarding the world and material riches. I have truly been blessed with the truth in His Word.

 

My emptiness and uncertainty about so many aspects of human life are no longer there. I have been blessed beyond my expectation. I have a wonderful life with my wife and two children, and we are seeking the Lord daily in His Word. Much of the success I now enjoy in the business world and in my community is related to the truth opened to me in God’s Word by brothers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.

 

 J.E. Baines 

 

 

 

 

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