William Austen's testimony "Now, I Am A Son" on 6/18/2014, 1:18am...
Who am I? (My Testimony)
“Who am I, Lord, that You love me, and have given Yourself for me?”
My name is William Austen, and I have been so very deep in the world. All my life I had mingled with this world which lies in wickedness. And I was certainly condemned with it.
Following is a shortened version of my life. Of who and what I was before I met JESUS, and of how good GOD has been to me, and am sure, is, and will be to whosoever calls upon HIS NAME.
My childhood was plagued with many problems. My biological father was a violent man. An alcoholic, a wife beater, and a drug addict. Fearing for her life, and that of her children, my mother decided to run from him. As soon as he knew our whereabouts, we would pack up and move. We were always on the run. My life as a child was filled with fear and insecurity.
By the time I attended high school, I was pshycologically and emotionally damaged. I couldn’t make friends. My grades were very low. I was always in trouble because of fighting and stealing. Most of my standard eight year I was absent from school, hanging out with all the wrong kind of people. “With criminals.”
In 1987 I was called up for two year military service in the old South African defence force. I was sixteen at the time. It was a nightmare. It done me no good.
In 1997 I was sentenced for seven years inprisonment for fraud and theft. Life in jail was like being in hell. No freedom. No rights. Mental oppression. Gang wars. Murders. Rape. Corrupt Prison officials. Loneliness. Fear. Lice. Dirty food. Diseases. Suicides. And, my wife who I was married to at that time divorced me, and married my brother.
After spending four years in jail, I was released in May 2001. I had so many dreams. Dreams of bonding with my son. Dreams of having a normal career. A normal life. But quickly I realized none of them were coming true. The baggage I was carrying from the past years made it all impossible. I was still the same man. I was still friends with the greatest of sinners. I was still partaking in the worst of habits and life styles. I was still involved with drug dealers and gangsters.
As the years rushed by, I had become the most unstable person I have ever known: “Madness, shame, hurt, anxiety, addiction, alcoholism, pornography, crime, depression, hatred, anger, revenge, broken heartedness, miserable, sadness, loneliness, violence, sickness, wickedness, godlessness, theft, paranoia, cruelty, betrayal, drug dealing, fighting, racism, imprisonment, gangsterism, suicide.” The fruits of been separated from God!
I did not know, or rather I did not understand that the devil and his agents were warring against me. I did not know that their objective was to kill me and throw me into eternal misery! They very much succeeded. Six years had passed since I was released from prison. Suddenly I found myself in “a thousand pieces.” I was a broken man. I was tired of crime. Tired of hurting people. Tired of life!
I had now come to the end of myself. There was just nothing left in me. Nothing! Finally I had a revolver stuck in my mouth. I know it sounds very weak of me, but what am I without The Lord as my strength? How terrible to be caught up in wickedness!
I didn’t want to live anymore, but I was too afraid of dying. I was so scared of pulling the trigger. In my hour of need, as I sat all alone in my empty room, my life flashing before me, I cried out in despiration to Jesus to help me.
By the Mercy of our KING, the Power of our Risen Saviour, the Goodness of our Creator and by His Infinite Love and Compassion, after calling upon The Name above every other Name, The Name of JESUS CHRIST, God made me put that gun away, and led me to a preacher who introduced me to Jesus Christ, The Messiah from Nazareth.
And then, Mercy rewrote my life. God allowed me to repent before Him of all my filthy sins, and declared with my mouth, Jesus my Creator, King and God. The Lord God Almighty touched me right there and then, and I was set free from the powers of darkness, and every other thing that kept me in bondage. My chains were gone. Weeks later I was baptised. And I have never been the same since that moment in time.
For the next two years, I was literally shouting from the roof tops what Jesus had done for me.
The desire in me was to give every drug addict, every drug dealer, every gangster, every other broken person the same divine opportunity as I had received, to meet Jesus, and to experience His healing power and life changing mercies.
After two years of travelling the N1 highway, ministring in different towns, on the streets, in gang yards, in schools, and at jails, God led me to Mossel Bay. There I met Christa, who I am now married to. My lonely days had suddenly come to an end, and my broken heart was finally mended. We have a son named Samuel. He was born on the 1st of April 2013. Both Christa and Samuel are a gift from God to me, and to this ministry.
I focus on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.