On Sabbath, March 30, Jacob Mast was baptized in Jesus and became a member of the Park Rapids Church. Ninety-six people, including members from Park Rapids, Wadena and other friends, were present to witness the event. Jacob’s baptism was the culmination of a search for answers to life’s questions that began in his Amish home. It was also the beginning of a life of sharing with people around him the happiness and peace he has found. Just before his baptism Jacob gave the following testimony:
I want to share a little bit of how I met Jesus and also why I accepted Him into my life. During my teenage years, I had a lot of questions about God and why we did things the way we did in the Amish church. Every time I would ask the elders of the church or my parents, they treated me like I was rebelling against God for asking. So I was confused and often became very angry at God.
And as I got older, I blocked God out of my life because I didn’t want to serve a god that I had to fear or that confused me. So, I left my family and church and looked at what the world had to offer. I started drinking, partying and using tobacco; I even did drugs a few times.
Still, I lacked something and did not find answers. I was unhappy and tried to bury myself with work and being busy. After a few years I felt sick of everything and started getting depressed. I wondered why I was even alive and considered taking my own life.
At this point I ran into some people who had experienced similar situations and could relate well with what I was going through. They strongly encouraged me to try reading the Bible.
When I eventually started studying the Bible, I found out that God is real, and that He is love. I also realized that the Bible is written for us as a guideline of how to live happy lives.
The more I read, the more I felt convicted that what I was doing was wrong. But I felt like I wasn’t good enough for God and could never follow what He wanted me to do. As I studied the Bible more, I realized that salvation is a gift—that Jesus gave His life for everyone, even for me. I learned that sin is death and by choosing to follow and accept Jesus, I would be given everlasting life. All I had to do was reach out and accept it.
Once I made up my mind to accept Christ, everything started turning out better for me. I was able to quit a lot of my bad habits and addictions. And I know I am forgiven according to the Bible.
That’s when I found true happiness and finally found what I was searching for. I feel like I matter to God, and I know He has a plan for me.
Every day I see people around me who are searching for something, just like I was at one time. I pray that God will help me to share with them what He has done in my life that they might find happiness and peace also.
Finally, I ask that all of you would please keep me in your prayers, that I can resist temptations and stay strong in times of trial, and that I may grow stronger in my walk with Jesus.
Author Jacob Mast, raised Amish, is now a member of the Park Rapids Church.