I was raised in a Christian home. Even though I opened to the Lord when I was very young and I believe now that I was saved, my mother always said that you could never know if you were really saved, you just hoped that you were. Therefore I was in much turmoil through my teen years feeling I wasn’t really saved.
Our family was also musical. My brother and sisters and I sang as a trio and played many different instruments as “special music” in all different denominations. Being exposed to so many different denominations caused me to consider very much, even as a young person, why all the Christians were divided and separated, even though they used the same Bible and seemingly believed the same basic truths. It bothered me that different church buses would come from across town and pick up my neighbors even though there was a place we could have all met together right down the street.
I married a Christian man when I was 18; he was 21. We lived way up north in Canada. I had two little boys and then a baby girl, who died when she was six months old. I had one more little boy. When he was two years old, my husband died suddenly of a ruptured appendix. The Lord used all these circumstances to cause me to desperately seek Him. In my desperate need I cried out to Him and I found Him. At last I knew I was saved and that He lived in me. He was so very, very real.
Then my search began. I had such a seeking within to meet and fellowship with other Christians, but where? I tried many places and many meetings. I was very hungry. I just wanted reality! My heart was drawn to the verses about the church being the Body of Christ and becoming His glorious spotless bride (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:27). I went to a meeting one night and the visiting minister shared that what the Lord wanted and needed was for all the Christians in each city to drop every name and anything else that would divide them and just meet together simply as believers and that if they would do this that the Lord would manifest Himself through His corporate Body. I saw the vision. I said, “Lord I see what you want, but how can it ever happen? There must be at least 25 different denominations just in this one little area.” Then I spoke very boldly to the Lord “If you are the Lord, and I know that you are, and if this is what you want (and now I know it is) then you must put me in it!!” A very short time later I was given The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. I saw the reality of the precious blood of Jesus for the first time!
Shortly after, He brought me to the local Church. A dear seeking sister called me and said “Come to Vancouver, I’ve found the church! We packed up everything and went. When I entered this small meeting, the peace I experienced in my being was overwhelming. My whole being said “I’m home!!” My search was ended. That was 28 years ago. The Lord has fully answered my cry for reality. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and reality came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) Reality is the living, loving person of Jesus Christ Himself!! Day by day, year after year, through the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, I have been experiencing with other believers the full reality of that marvelous verse: “Oh the depth of riches and the wisdom and knowledge of God.” (Romans 11:33) Praise His wonderful, uplifted, glorious, ascended name.
Barbara Janet Greenwood