Friday, May 30, 2014

God Saved Our Marriage

Here is the testimony of one of the first couples we ministered to in Gloversville, New York, as told to me by Betty Bartlett.

"I had been married 10 years and didn't see how I could stand another day married to Dave. His constant criticism of me had destroyed my self-confidence, and I was so hurt I dreaded being around him.

"During the summer of 1977, my brother Jay, who had been born again and Spirit-filled through TV ministry, led me to the Lord in his home, and I spoke in tongues. There was no church in the area, however, where I could go for teaching about the Holy Spirit. When I told Dave I had spoken in tongues, he was displeased and ordered me to stay away from my brother.

"Late that summer, Jay invited me to go with him to a new Assemblies of God church that had just opened up in Gloversville. But I was afraid to mention it to Dave, so I never did go to church.

"Because I had no teaching, I began to feel that the only way I could serve the Lord was to leave my husband. That fall, I decided to take our daughter, Cheryl, leave Dave, and go to Florida to make a new home for myself. I made plans with the utmost secrecy and left one morning after Dave went to work.

"In New Smyrna Beach, Florida, I lived with my parents and got a job. I began attending the Assemblies of God church there. I had my sister give Dave a general delivery address, and he wrote to me every day.

"Gradually, his letters changed. He told me he had bought a Bible and had been reading it, even though he couldn't understand it. Then he told how he had committed his life to the Lord while reading a Christian book.

"He wrote, 'A quote from Luke 10:27, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart..., seemed to jump out at me as I read the introduction to the book. But I couldn't understand all the thous and thys. As I read it over and over, I began to want the Lord in my life very badly. Finally, in desperation, I leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes, and said, I will love the Lord my God with all my heart. Suddenly, it clicked. A beautiful feeling of joy flowed over me.'

"Subsequent letters told me he had begun attending the new Glove Cities Assemby of God church in Gloversville. He said they were praying we'd get back together.

"My brother wrote me encouraging reconciliation. That shook me up. Until then, I had thought I was doing God's will by leaving Dave."

What did Betty decide to do? To be continued.

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