HDC Victorville | Christmas Baptisms

Wayne Preston

Through my life I have been introduced to Christ many times by many people including my wife, family, and friends. All along I have struggled to 100% accept Christ in my heart, even after I watched my Wife and older daughter get baptized a few years back. I can't say one event really changed my heart, I feel it was a slow change that came in waves until I have reached a point where I feel that I am ready.   Earlier this year I felt that I needed to show that I have fully accepted Christ in my life and wanted to get baptized this year.  I can feel him working in my life and the more I am obedient and read his word the more I become closer and want to learn more.  

Walker Killion

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I understood that Christ needed to take away my sin so I could go to Heaven.

 

I was living life without guidance from Him or God.

 

I learned the ABC’s 5 weeks ago during my lesson in the gym.  It’s important to know about the ABC’s so Christ can accept you and you can go to Heaven.  How you can start becoming a Christian is by reading the bible and praying to Him.

 

My life feels safe and secure now that I know Jesus is always with me

Vickie Gonzales

I was having problems in my marriage for many years. I felt very lonely; I knew it wasn’t right so I sought help at HDC. Unfortunately, that did not work out because my husband was unwilling.
I confided in my friend who is a Christian and she prayed over me; that’s when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and that was 5 years ago. I have been going strong with my faith ever since. Knowing that God loves me amazed me!! Knowing that God loves me, gets me through every day!
Thank you!

Vicki Bonfoey

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The only sins I had, were that I wanted to die so I wouldn’t suffer any longer in this life of mine. I tried to kill myself 2 times.

My life was a living hell I was beaten for 35 years of my life by my husband. I didn’t know how to love or be loved. I didn’t care about anyone, the only ones I cared for was my children even though I was not allowed to correct or punish them. So they ran over me and had no respect for me.  My life was bad and nobody deserves that kind of life I had.

How I became a Christian was because of my cousin Shelley, her husband, Dusty and my grandkids that live with her. They offered to let me live with them after my husband passed away. We started going to church on Sundays, and I started enjoying it. I started looking forward to Sundays. Also Dusty helped me learn about being saved and all the scriptures needed to know. Between church readings, Shelley, Dusty, and the kids I have learned how to be loved and how to love others. Now I live with my grandkids and I have a loving family. I know they love me as I love them. Now I love Jesus and have received him as my Lord and Savior.  After all these years I can now call myself a Christian.

Now that I know Jesus I feel whole and complete. I feel loved, which was hard for me. My childhood was not a good one.  A bad marriage of 35 years, all the while being abused. If I tried to leave he would hold the kids until came back. So I stayed and suffered through. Even though I would love to have been loved. Then my cousin Shelley, her husband and my grandkids saved me and I have been reborn in Jesus Christ.

Vanessa Heredia

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Hello, my name is Vanessa I am 15 years old and I have been a Christ follower growing up, throughout my life my parents got a divorce and it separated me from the lord. My uncle invited me to his church which was HDC Victorville when I was in 4th grade. Ever since I had a connection with the people there at church and the vibes around the campus as well. I have been going ever since, I asked my mom to take me to church when my uncle or grandma couldn't take me. I helped my mother grow closer to Christ, the lord has helped her with everything in the past. Once 2017 hit, I wanted to help out in the church, once I became of age I wanted to become a leader for the elementary children. But, the real reason why I want to get baptized is because ever since the divorce with my parents my father always thought of me differently. He cheated on my mother and left us in the dust, he took everything from us.  I always wanted to see my mother happy. I was scared to own up to him and say how i truly felt, but once I did he didn't take that so well. His words would break my heart, I would self-harm before, even tried to take my own life. He would bring me down with any words he could think of. He made me feel as if I was worthless. I told my uncle that I just do not want to go to church, he didn't know what I was embarrassed of and was scared of which was my scars on my arm. I didn't know how the church would take it. I was in 7th grade at the time when my father would bring me down daily but one day, something clicked and something inside of me told me to go to church. I went with my uncle and the topic was about depression and how God is always there for you. I wanted to follow Christ at that moment and everything in my heart and soul makes me want to follow in the steps of the lord. I didn't get baptized before because I didn't get the concept of what baptism really was, now as a leader of a 2nd grade small group I grew closer to the lord. I went to camp this year also, and that cabin of girls will always have a place in my heart. I learned a lot about myself and about Christ, I learned about baptism and asked my nation leaders about it also. I am truly ready to follow the Lord. 

Tracy Travis

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1. What led me to understanding that I need Christ to take away my sins was what I read in the Bible and what I learned going to church and Sunday school. 

 

2. Before giving my life to Jesus.... this is tougher to answer because I was young, so there wasn't much "life" before. However, without Jesus there is no hope. Worldly hope isn't really hope at all, and without Jesus I would be totally lost! 

 

3. I grew up going to church, and in Elementary school went to a church camp. I gave my life to Jesus there because I knew that I needed to not only believe in Jesus but to ask him into my heart, ask him to take away my sins, and truly begin to follow him by my decision. It was at camp that I made those decisions to choose to follow him. 

(Our church at the time did not do water baptisms, only baby dedications and confirmation in middle school) 

 

4. The camp counselors and leaders helped me to understand how to ask Jesus into my heart. 

 

5. Having Jesus in my life gives me peace & hope! 

 

This world is crazy!!! Although I don't understand sometimes the world and things that go on in it, I do understand that as long as I know Jesus everything will be ok! 

 

Tonette Steele

My name is Tonette Steele, and this is my testimony.

I was baptized Catholic at 9 months old as are all babies in our family. All in the first year of life.  Growing up I didn't know if I should consider it religion or tradition because we never went to church. I learned as much about the Catholic religion on my own as I possibly could but never felt it was enough. I saw it more as something you do, and not something you feel. 

I've always had a strong need to know, and a more curious calling to God.  I know I was always able to feel, to hear and to recognize these signs as being from our Heavenly Father. My desire to study his word has always been very intense for me but still I never acted on it for fear I would be made fun of. 

I believe this led me on a life path of drugs, self-destruction, horrible decisions and actions that made me feel hopeless, ashamed and unworthy of the people I love and everything I had in my life. It wasn't until I recognized and accepted the many blessings life has to offer and the biggest and greatest of these blessings we've been given is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Born for us, to die for us, so that we may have new life in him free of sin. 

I was born December 16, 1961 and will turn 56 on the day of my baptism. I have finally chosen to no longer be afraid, embarrassed or intimidated to do what I should have done years ago. I have accepted Jesus as my savior and have finally found the peace and happiness I have longed for my entire life.

On December 16, 2017, I will publicly declare my faith in Jesus by baptism. I want everyone to witness my dedication and the symbolism that it represents which is, my death, burial and resurrection with Christ.

I hope by sharing a small portion of my life's experience and this declaration, I might help somebody struggling. Struggling to find peace and happiness that will last.  It’s easier than you think. PLEASE!! seek him. Let him show you a new and improved way of life. A life with him every step of the way.  A life filled with peace. A life of true love and happiness. Trust in him and see.

 

                      John 14:6

       

                       "Jesus says I AM the WAY, I AM the TRUTH and

                        I AM the LIFE.  No one comes to the father except 

                        through me."

Tausala Tauaese

 I have always known about God since a very young age. I have been going to High Desert Church for about 15 years and it wasn't until I was older that I actually started to really understand the importance of Christ. When I decided that I wanted to let the Lord in my life instead of me trying to control my life and worrying about the little things was when my grandpa passed away of Lung cancer. I knew I had to stay strong for my mom, so I turned to the Lord and asked him to help me and to guide me through it all. I asked him to help me feel more at peace. I started to notice the more that I went to church, the more at peace I was and I noticed myself starting to change little by little. That's when I knew that this is the work of Christ.

Stephanie Ochoa

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Naturally, I am a sinner. I have committed sin all throughout my life from little white lies to jealousy to infidelity and more. Seeing the pain that my poor choices caused to those I loved consumed me with a constant feeling of guilt, forgiveness was not something that felt possible. The constant feeling of disappointment and guilt lead me to feel that I was not living the life God gave me to the fullest, I found myself stuck in a constant state of pessimism and

self-disappointment. I knew in my heart that life is better than what I was making it out to be and that somehow the feelings that I had need to change. I grew up in a Catholic family, I was baptised as an infant and attended catechism and had the majority of my sacraments, but to me church was not the most exciting thing to attend, I would spend most of the time worrying that I was saying the wrong thing or feeling guilty for letting my mind wander during mass. As an adult and parent, I only went to church when my devout Grandmother needed me to take her and I love those memories not because of the mass, but because of the time spent watching my Grandmother with my children during mass and observing and admiring her devotion. When she passed, mass became meaningless to me which I knew was wrong so I just stopped attending.

Last holiday season, my oldest daughter begged to go to church for a Christmas Eve service. I agreed and had planned on attending the service at St. Joan of Arc just like we used to, when she asked if we could do something different. So we did and found ourselves at HDC Victorville for the Christmas Eve service. We became stuck. We have been at church every weekend since. For the first month or so, I would find myself so moved by the holy spirit that I constantly found myself crying either during worship or the lesson. The more I went, the more I learned about Jesus and how through him salvation can be found. I loved how HDC was focused on pushing and encouraging each individual to get out there and make a change in their immediate environment in order to cause a ripple effect to expand outward. All I have ever wanted in life is to be part of something positive in this world and seeing all that HDC did for the community encouraged me and included me. Eventually, at one of the services rather than just hearing about ABC, I decided to actually pray to God admitting that I am a sinner and that I believe that the only way to true forgiveness of my sins is through Jesus and that from there on out I am going to chose to put my faith in Jesus in all aspects of my life. In the 9 months or so since I have prayed and lived by ABC, I can honestly say that I can feel a positive change in my life. Everything is not negative anymore and true I do still feel guilt for my previous actions,but now that guilt is not something that consumes me, it is something that reminds me to strive harder to be the mother and wife that God intended me to be with the help and guidance of Jesus.

I can honestly say that seeing my children attending church, choosing to serve, and wanting to be baptized so that they can show the world that they choose to follow Jesus has made me the proudest I have ever been as their mother. I honestly believe that I will never be perfect and salvation is not something that I deserve, but thanks to God’s forgiving heart and his ultimate sacrifice of his son for me I will be forgiven and I am so thankful for that. I want the world to know that I choose to follow Jesus and that I am going to continue to strive daily to become the person that God truly intended me to be. This is my testimony of salvation.

Stephanie Gilbert

I have always gone to Catholic church from a young age and was baptized as a baby. When I had my own children, Catholic church wasn't for them we visited different places and found a home in HDC 5 years ago. Here at HDC I realized more of the reason why you put your faith in God ... More about how to become a better me, walking more with faith in God.  Seeing the effects on me and even the changes in my children.  Each pastor here at HDC has touch my life and without even knowing has made me a better person.  I want to become more involved with HDC and be baptized here were I learned to put my faith in God. I remember my first time here at HDC 5 years and hearing Pastor Tom explain the ABC's and I remember crying ... After service that night I picked up my kids from children's service and they were so happy and loved the church, I knew we had found a church home. I had never thought to be re-baptized as I was baptized as a baby however know that I know what it really means to be baptized I can't wait to show my oikos that I have chosen to walk with God as an adult with knowledge in what water baptism really means.

Silas Sheffield

1. My mom and dad

2. I love Jesus because He first loved me. I see my family is different because we follow Jesus. I know Jesus can help me and be my friend. 

3. I was five. 

4. I was at my kitchen table

5. I choose Jesus because I have read the bible and my mom and dad and my beach house teachers have all told me how much Jesus loves me and what He did for me. 

Sebastian Sheffield

 1. My mom and dad introduced me to Christ.

 2. My mom and dad, being brought up in church, and reading the Bible prompted me to make a decision to follow Jesus. 

3. This happened when I was five. 

4. I was in my room in my house with my mom. 5. I want to follow Jesus because I know He is better than the world is.

Sean Tilton

Sean said Jesus came into his life unexpectedly & that he (Sean) fell into His arm & he has found a friendship with Him. I asked how so? His reply, “I like that book you read about the armor of God.” The book is the is The Battle is the Lords by Tony Evans. So, I asked how does that all tie in to getting baptized? His reply, “God made all of this dad, and we are his kids. He made Jesus and then killed him for us.” So, I asked why did Jesus die for us? His reply, “for our sins.” I asked if there was anything else? His reply, “god protects us and shows us the right path. We are god’s soldiers dad.  I believe he will protect us from evil. 

 

Saige Sheffield

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1. My mom and dad. 

2. My decision was prompted because my mom and dad love Jesus and taught me Jesus loves me. 

3. When I was three.

4. I was at my old house, in my living room, on the couch. 

5. I choose Jesus because my mom and dad read me the Bible everyday and I knew Jesus died for my sins. 

 

Ryleigh Tilton

Ryleigh said so she can follow God’s path & not follow the Devil, God is going to save us from the devil. So, I asked her is that it? Her reply, “He can save us from our sins by forgiving us.” I asked her why he can do that? Her reply, “because he died on the cross for us Dad.” I asked her how god has shown her he is in her life? Her reply, “god is like a big warm blanket, like when you take it out of the dryer. When I’m sad I can talk to him. Like when you and Mom moved away from each other.” Not going to lie, that moment hit me pretty hard.  So, I asked if she is still is sad about us splitting up? Her reply, “no, not anymore, god has a plan for us.” So, I asked, what do you think that plan is? Her reply, “I didn’t know, maybe a bigger family. A new sister, that would be cool, because I’m the only girl. But he has a plan for you too dad, so keep your head up.” Will do sweetheart. 

 

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In a few sentences, write what led you to understand that you need Christ to take away sin:

Because, sin is bad and being baptised is to show other that you follow christ and turn from sin..

 

 

Describe what your life was like before you gave your life to Jesus Christ:

My life wasn’t perfect or anything I felt myself getting lost and going in the wrong direction once I started going to church I felt as if my life is going back on track I just needed that service to show me what I need in my life.

 

Tell us how and when and why you received Christ as your lord and Savior. Explain it in such a way a non-Christian would understand how to become Christian.

I was actually sitting in church listening to a message and I started understanding how important it is to have Christ in my life, this was a few months ago.

 

 

Who helped you understand what to do?

I was watching others get baptised on easter and that recent baptism that we had one service and I wanted to do what they were doing I want to show my faith in Jesus to the people of my oikos.

 

 

In a few sentences, explain how your life is different now that Jesus is in it.

I have been better now than I was months ago but when I have bad days I just pray they get better and they do. Whenever something bad happens I pray, because I know I can talk to god and he’ll help me feel like everything is gonna be alright and it will.

Noah Pallares

When I first heard about Jesus was from my mom. She talked about him to me and told me how much he loves me. I wanted to be baptized because I wanted to have a stronger relationship with Jesus. When I was seven years old is when I wanted to know Jesus more. Hearing about Jesus at church and from my mom and everything he did for us and died for us makes me feel special. When I decided was one night I was in my room and I read the bible and read the story of Noah's Ark. Jesus is the boss of my life because he loves me and no matter what I do wrong he forgives me and loves me all of the time. 

 

Noah Almquist

My name is Noah Almquist and I want to get baptized and serve the lord. My family owns Forever Wild and I have had a lot of fun growing up with animals. My parents have been saving animals for over 22 years. They didn’t start Forever Wild because they wanted to they started it because God told them to. They are the ones who inspired me to get closer to God. So, now I would like to show everyone in church and my family that I want to serve God and put my faith in him.

Mirrissa Lizardi

I was never really raised with religion or going to church every Sunday.  When I was about 6 months old, my grandparents who were traditional Roman Catholics convinced my parents to have me baptized as a Catholic. My parents divorced when I was very young, and throughout my childhood I lived with both my parents at different times in my life. My mother was never very religious in her life, so I was never exposed to religion in that household. My father on the other hand struggled with his faith off and on with his life and my childhood. My father went through periods of time where we went to many different churches practicing many different religions and time where he was against religion. I was exposed to everything from Catholicism, Mormonism, Christianity and even Judaism before the age of 18. I never really understood any religion as a child. I always questioned the Bible and all religions and faiths, maybe because my father did too, who knows....    

 

In my early adulthood, I faced many challenges and ups and downs learning how to become an adult, but never truly having Jesus in my life. When, I was 27 my life changed, I became pregnant for the first time. I was not married and my boyfriend did not want me to have my son and begged me to abort my pregnancy. Knowing in my heart, that I could never do that to my unborn son, I decided to keep my pregnancy and raise my son all by myself. I raised my son by myself, as a single mom for 9 years.

 

I tried many times to go back to church to try and raise my son right with Christ. I did the Traditional Catholic Baptism for him because that's all I knew, but still my heart wasn't fully with Christ. My best friend and her family would invite me to HDC all the time, and finally one day I decided to go. Since then, my son and I would go off and on for several years to HDC. I still never fully gave myself to Christ because I still had doubts in my mind about religion but I enjoyed coming to services.

 

In 2015, God sent me the love of my life Robyn and we became engaged in January of 2017. He is truly a blessing to me and my son. Life started to come together the way I always hoped for. Unfortunately, my fiancé never was exposed to religion or Jesus Christ in his life. He has a lot of questions as I still did, so I stopped coming to HDC. I wanted to go but I never made it a priority. So I became lost again, even though I finally had everything I have ever wanted in my personal life (a house, love, etc.) I was still missing something.

 

On August 6, 2017, my world came crashing in like a ton of bricks. At 5:30 p.m. on August 6, 2017 I received a phone call from my Step-Father that forever changed my life. My Beloved Mother (my best friend), I suffered a major aneurism in the middle of her brain while out visiting some relatives in Idaho. My mother had to be airlifted to the University of Salt Lake Medical Center for emergency surgery.  Knowing that it was a 50/50 chance my mom would survive my step-father and I drive all night to Salt Lake City to be with my mom. I remember driving on the long road in the middle of the night with my step-dad, crying and thinking how I couldn't get there fast enough. The car ride was very long and silent, my dad and I maybe spoke three words the entire time and we never slept.  The whole time in I was thinking about my mother and what she was going through, and how could this happen. I remember like it was yesterday, me praying with all my heart and soul to Jesus to please save my mom. I had never cried and prayed so hard in my life.  It was at this time I gave myself to Jesus and admit I was a sinner and I believed in Jesus Christ as my Savior.

 

The Lord saved my mom’s life that night. She had many challenges and still has many challenges to fully recover, but I am so blessed the Jesus heard my prayers. Why I was out in Utah, my best friend and her family prayed for me and my mother every day and even had their small groups praying for us. I had such amazing support from people I didn't even know from HDC praying for my family. My family and I were truly blessed with all the love and support that HDC brought to our family. While I was out there, watching over my mother I had this pain in my heart that I had never felt before. Even though my mother was recovering and I had a large support system, sometimes was missing. I could not get over this strange feeling I was having, causing me to cry and pray every day. It wasn't an actual feeling like pain but a feeling that I had something missing in my life. I knew that it was the Holy Spirit telling me I needing to come to Jesus, and go back to church and get involved and give back to others. It finally became clear to me! I knew Jesus was real; he heard my prayers and the prayers of others; he showed me what he can do if you just believe and have faith in him.... From that day on, I haven't questioned religion, God, Jesus or the path of following him again. I know he spoke to me that day and I will never doubt him again. 

 

I returned back to Victorville after spending 2 months in Salt Lake City, at the end of September 2017. Since I have been home I gone to Sunday Service every weekend. I have taken a tour of the church for the first time, I have taken the membership class, and now the Baptism class. I am fully dedicated now to Jesus Christ and I am wanting to give back to my community and HDC my church. My fiancé still is struggling with accepting Jesus but is fully supportive of my wanted to serve the Lord. I am hoping that with my help and showing him the teachings of the Lord and my public display of accepting Christ in my life, that he will one day become a believer.

 

Miriam Enriquez

I grew up in Peru in a catholic family. We later emigrated to Mexico, where I grew up. I continued to attend mass regularly with family and friends.

I came to America in 2001. I admit I strayed from my faith. After years of "walking through the desert" and a failed marriage later, I fell into depression, I started to lose hope.

The good Lord found me. It all started about 4 years ago, two very important things happened: I had to change jobs and someone invited me to HDC.

My new boss held Bible study once a week. I had never attended any Christian meetings nor services of any kind. I grew up surrounded by a faith that frowns upon any other "religion".

However, I was broken and lost and little by little, through bible study and the HDC services, I started to feel better, but most importantly for me. I started to understand that Jesus was not only for me to pray to, but that I could actually KNOW Him, have a relationship with Him. Think of Him and ask for His advice and help every day I did life.

It was amazing.... I have "always" believed, but I just didn't know how GOOD the "good news" really were... I never understood this "Christian" concept of being born again... I understand now, I have felt it. I cried and gave my heart to Christ again at a service while pastor Tom Mercer prayed for me.

I am hopeful and I want to learn and grow more. I know that I am not worthy, and on this thinking, I kept putting off getting baptized. But that's just it! The more I have learned the more I understand that if I wait until I feel worthy, I will never do it... but furthermore. even though I will never BE worthy, it's OK, Jesus loves me. He wants to help me and be in my life forever.

Thank you HDC for leading me back to Him.