The Personal Testimony Of Jemima Grace J. Bautista

My name is Jemima Grace J. Bautista. I was born on 14th of March. My parents are Hilario A. Bautista II and Catherine J. Bautista. I am the eldest of five. I was born into a Christian home, and for as long as I can remember my family and I would go to church every Sunday and Wednesday nights.

 Almanza Baptist Church was the church I grew up in. There I went to Sunday school where I learned about Bible stories, and how Jesus was born and died on the cross. And I learned about getting saved through a prayer. As a child they told us that once we said that prayer and got saved we would go to Heaven. I guess I had my first question about salvation when I was maybe 9 years old. I was in school, Almanza Baptist Christian Acedemy, and before class my teacher asked if any of us knew anyone who died and is now in heaven. I raised my hand without hesitation and my teacher asked me who I knew was in heaven. I told her my maternal grandmother. She asked me how I know. I said because she is saved. She asked me how I know she is saved. I said because she prayed that prayer the one you taught us to get saved. Then she asked how I was sure, have I ever been to heaven and saw my grandma there? I was just so confused that I did not say anything. In my mind, my salvation, (in prayer) her salvation, and my grandmother's salvation was the salvation that saved us and will bring us to heaven, how come she did not believe me. How come she had her doubts?

When I was 11 years old my dad was sent out on a mission to Santa Tomas, Batangas. When I was 12, my dad introduced Pastor Claude Mills and Pastor Terry Owen my sisters and I. He was picking us up from a camp that we had spent 3 days in. I did not know then that our lives would forever be entangled with them. They had met a preacher there that my dad knew, and they have invited us to come and listen to their preaching. Because I have been going to church all my life (without understanding) I never really thought it was not any different. The meetings lasted for a week, and it was my 13th birthday that God showed Himself to my dad. I did not really have any interest in anything that was happening. That night when we got home and went to bed, my parents were talking to each other about the events that happened. After a few days my dad resigned from his job at Almanza Baptist Church. And then we started going to church in our living room with Sister Alona and Aedrian. We did that for less than a year. After that we moved to Santa Rosa, Laguna.

Here in Santa Rosa, my dad got saved, but I did not care. My mom got saved, and I did not care either. The Pastors kept coming back and forth to be with us and caring for us and loving us, but I was ungrateful and I did not realize all the sacrifices they made. They gave us a home, and I was ungrateful. I said thank you but it never came from the heart. I never had an interest in any of this. I never tried looking for God, but I sure am glad He came looking for me.

 Nov. 26, Pastor Mike Williams was preaching. And again I was never really "paying" attention. Pastor Mike got to the part where he said we are sinful but if we knelt down and asked for forgiveness He would be merciful. I felt like I needed to kneel down on the altar but I did not. Pastor Mike went on preaching and I missed it. There was this pounding in my chest, a nervous kind of pounding. I was using my iPad at that time, (to take notes) and I thought that I really did not needed it anymore and that I should pay very close attention to what God was saying. I put it behind my back, very similar to what my dad did with his bible when God saved him. I was not trying to imitate what my dad did to get saved; I just needed to get rid of it, and to get it out of the way. (Only now that I realize it was similar to what happened to my dad.) Pastor Mike said we are sinful, unrighteous, full of iniquities, and prideful. I believed that. Pastor Mike told us the story of the publican and the Pharisee. He showed me that I was the Pharisee who was prideful and ungrateful, and I felt that I was entitled to all that was given to us. Pastor Mike said, even though we are all of these sinful things, God is merciful to us. He loved us, set us apart, and we are peculiar to His eyes. We are special; I am special to His eyes. Out of all people, me, He chose me. I was crying and I thanked God. It just came out. I would never shout "thank you" God in church because of the prideful person I am. The reason is because I never really meant it. But I shouted it out again. Pastor Mike was preaching and I was paying very close attention, which I never knew I could ,considering, I was crying. He was preaching and God said, "It is finished." After the service we sang, or rather they sang, "He is Mine." As they were singing it, I fully understood the words. "His heart was broken, mine was mended. He became sin, now I am free. THE CROSS HE CARRIED BORE MY BURDEN. The nails that held him set me free." I was silently thanking Him in my seat. The service ended and my dad thanked God for saving Kuya Willie. He talked to me next and asked me a question. "What happened?" I told him God showed me who I really am, and He was merciful to me and forgave me even though I did not deserve it. He asked if I believe that God did those things for me, I said YES. I did not realize that that is what it is like to get saved. I was sitting in my chair minding my own business when He showed Himself to me. It really is unexpected, and God is in control, you do not have to do anything. He saved me. I am now part of the New Covenant.