On Sept. 10, 2022, Pastor Mike Temple baptized Linda Edwards in the Grand Forks Seventh-day Adventist Church. Just prior to her immersion, Linda read her story from the baptismal tank. Below is her testimony.

Testimonial: a statement recommending a person or thing. And yes, I recommend Jesus.

You know, as a kid I’d been to a few religion classes, so I knew a little about God and Jesus. One evening at home the house was filled with an argument, and so I went outside. I dug a cavern into a snow pile and lay there. It was peaceful, and I thought about God. But it was probably the other way around—I thought about God and became peaceful.

Things didn’t get easy though. Separation, relocation. Honor thy father and thy mother? No.

I was angry and rebellious, and then I was assaulted. Just like an elephant that is poached and has its face cut off, I had no identity. I wasn’t dead, but I was. I was lost, hurt, grieved, confused, and alone without a face.

Then I saw a preacher on television. He preached about Jesus, and I thought I’d give it a try. So I chose a day, like I had to wait, and I said my prayer. Immediately the weight of despair lifted. But now what?

I had a Bible, and I learned of truths, but for some reason, I couldn’t quite believe, and so time moved on. I thought I was good, but I still grieved, faceless, and then it became legal for me to drink, and wow! I felt happy again.

It wasn’t long before alcohol turned into drugs, which turned into bad decisions, and then no decisions. More grief, more sorrow. More drinks, more drugs.

Years went by. More drinks, more drugs, much sorrow. I was pretty much drinking every day. I could have easily thrown up even before I went out for the evening, that’s how sick of it I was. But still, I’d go out and drink some more. I now realize I was a slave to sin.

I spent 20 years of sinking, wallowing in muck and mire. But God is true, hallelujah! Looking back, I now recognize some of the promptings of the Holy Spirit that led me to stop smoking, stop drinking, stop drugs, and start caring.

I started to see myself again, and then I remembered God. I wanted to get to know Him. I began going to church. First one, then another. It was good. It felt like I was where I needed to be. Parts of the service made me uncomfortable, and there was a lot I didn’t understand, but I felt good. And then I relocated. The pastor recommended a church to attend, but after the move, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to stay in that denomination.

One day I was driving home listening to the radio, and the songs were all about Jesus. I understood God, but I didn’t understand Jesus, so I said a prayer, and wow! God is true. Hallelujah! I happened upon 3ABN and the Adventist church, and then Leanne handed me a book, The Desire of Ages. I got to know Jesus, which sealed the deal for me, and now I’m home.