Renewed Hope

I surely can sound the same words of John Newton, “Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!” After 24 years in religion, I gave up hope that there was a God of love Who could understand, sympathize and be personal to me. So I swung to the other side of the pendulum, doing things which were against my upbringing.

Then one day I read a book called Prison to Praise, which gave the testimonies of those people who found Christ to be so real to them. This book caused me to believe, pray and receive the Lord Jesus. From that point in my life I began to read and love the Bible. I also read any spiritual book I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, my reading of spiritual books could not quench my thirst for God, until one day a friend gave me the book, Experience of Life, by Witness Lee. Every night when I came home from work I read a chapter and prayed about all the items in that chapter. This brought me into much enjoyment of the Lord. My love for Him increased so much.

So I asked my friend for more books by this Witness Lee. He began to send me The Life-Study Messages on Genesis. The vision in the Bible began to open for me. So I wrote my friend and said I have to meet with Witness Lee. My experience of Christ opened up beyond what I could ever imagine as I read his ministry. After meeting Witness Lee in 1974 I was quite impressed with what a simple and humble person he was and how approachable he was.

From that time on I began to meet with local churches throughout Northern California. I have visited many local churches throughout the world and have enjoyed Christ with so many brothers and sisters of different languages. My heart is so full of hope and meaning now through the enlightening ministry of Witness Lee. The Bible is no longer a mystery to me but a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105). My destiny is clear and my goal has become the same as the Apostle Paul: “To pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward” (Philippians 3:14).

Witness Lee and Watchman Nee’s ministry has set my feet on solid ground. I once was told by several people that I was helpless and hopeless. This was true. But through the enlightening of the Word of God I am so full of this hope of glory which is Christ in me. This surely is amazing grace.

Rich Petrillu



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