Along Came Charlie - Salvation Army Canada

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    Along Came Charlie

    The kindness of a friend and his Christian witness changed my life forever. June 7, 2016 by Tamisha Tuzo
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    Feature
    "Are you ready to give your life and problems over to God?” When my friend asked me that question, I was at my wit's end and my life was spinning out of control. I was going through some problems at home and I had just found out I was pregnant.

    I was living with my mother and stepfather, in a bedroom I shared with my three children. I was upset and didn't know what I was going to do. How would my mother and stepfather react when they found out about the baby? I worried that they would put me out to survive the best I could on my own.

    Then along came Charlie Simons.

    An Unexpected Invitation
    Charlie and I worked together, and he was different from other people I knew. He was a church-going person, a Christian who believed in God. He cared about me not just for who I was but for who I could become. Charlie talked to me about church and God, and sometimes got under my skin, but he never gave up. He encouraged me to read the Bible and have daily devotions, and helped me to understand what I had read. Charlie invited me to his church.

    At first I was reluctant, but since I had nothing to lose, I decided to go. Looking back, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made on my own. My children and I went to The Salvation Army West End Community Church in Somerset, Bermuda, and returned again and again. We felt welcomed and loved, and quickly settled in with our new church family and friends.

    One Sunday morning, as my corps officer, Major Curtis Butler, was preaching, I was thinking about the state of my life, and that's when Charlie asked me the question. I wanted to place my life in God's hands but I couldn't bring myself to go to the mercy seat alone. Charlie walked with me and I accepted Christ as my Saviour that morning.

    An Early Arrival
    My life changed for the better and blessings started to come my way, but I still had a major obstacle to overcome. I was now seven months pregnant and had not yet told my mother about the baby. God gave me the strength to tell her the truth, that I was scared and that I needed her by my side. I prayed every day that she would find it in her heart to forgive me. It didn't happen overnight, but God is faithful and he restored my relationship with my mother and stepfather.

    Baby Cayden arrived suddenly and prematurely just two weeks before Christmas. I was afraid and didn't know what to expect. The doctor told me my son would have to stay in the hospital because he was unable to feed as he should. It was so hard to leave him in the care of the doctors and nurses.

    When I arrived for my daily visit a few days later, I was devastated to see that Cayden was dependent on a feeding tube to survive. Further problems suggested he might also have a blood disorder.

    Relying on my newfound faith, I prayed that God would be by Cayden's side and help him to grow stronger. Again, my prayers were answered! After a few days on the feeding tube, Cayden's health improved and it was determined that he did not have a blood disorder. When I arrived at the hospital on Christmas Eve, I received the best news ever. Cayden was coming home.

    Eternally Grateful
    The Lord has blessed me. My mother is so attentive to Cayden, who is now 18 months old, and she often attends church with my children and me. My daughters Chantel, 14, and Ciara, 10, are active in the corps' puppet team ministry, and my son, Cieon, 8, is anxiously waiting until he is old enough to join them. When I see my children excited to be involved at the corps, I feel that I've done something good. And my stepfather is proud of me.

    I'm glad I accepted Charlie's invitation to visit his church. I'm happy he asked me if I was ready to give my life and problems over to God. I will be eternally grateful that I said yes.

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