Last Sunday, Pastor Nick baptized Tom Keen. As usual, Tom told the church a little about himself before making this show of faith in Christ, and his testimony is a powerful one.
Tom believed in God for most of his life, but his household was a spiritually confusing place, with his mother hosting both Baptist and Jehovah's Witnesses Bible studies in their home. As a teenager, he turned away from spiritual things, still believing in God, but not seeking His direction for his life.
Through his daughter, Anya, Tom came to be a part of East Hills. He gradually attended more and more regularly, then joined a Life Group. In that setting, he found Romans 10:9, 10: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Tom studied what it means to give your life to the Lord, and about 10 months ago, he accepted Christ.
"I literally felt a load lifted off my shoulders," he said. "If you haven't made that decision, it's the most important thing that can happen in your life. I know that I'm right with God."
Soon after that, Tom encountered severe physical problems. He lost the use of one leg and needed oxygen just to stand up and give his testimony. Instead of turning him away from God once, these trials have shown the value of his faith.
"God is not going to give me anything I can't live with. And if I can't live with it, I'll be with Him."