My Salvation: Part One
Category : Glenda's Soap Box
Salvation: The First Years
(Note: The following is the multi-part testimony of Thomas Christoe that will be given in multiple blog posts. They are taken from his book entitled, "Witness".)
Romans 2:4 the goodness of God leads you to repentance.
This truly is the capstone of my salvation as I witness about my salvation experience.
I was born just one year and 37 days before the declaration of WW2. December 6th 1941. My parents were already being engaged in preparation for the possibility of War. By the time the war began our family life was fully engaged.
We had moved to 319 34th street Anacortes Washington. My father was running the Dakota Creek shipyard as a civil service job as the government knew that the boats that he built were faster than the government boats.
The atmosphere was one of fear and chaos as the war started and my grandmother and her girlfriend were living with us and working at Ault Field Navy Base in Oak Harbor Washington. My first taste of God’s goodness was that Angels would visit me in my crib and I would find a super natural place of peace and safety. I spent most of the first years there in that place of safety. In 1943 we moved to 1217 12th street because my father wanted to build a boat from the surplus materials from the ship yard and it had a large yard. It was there that the atmosphere became worse as my parents had lots of money and our home was the center of partying as a form of relief from the pressures of a country at war.
In this atmosphere of uncertainty, stress and chaos many dark and malevolent elements were opposing the kind of life that the Lord had planned for me.
My parents were fully engaged in the war effort as the shipyard was manufacturing PT boats and LST’s. My mom was a model for the war effort as well as providing entertainment for the workers at night at the local Elks club, Community Centers and the Odd Fellows. My siblings and I were a part of the regular act. Mom was very talented as a musician, writer, artist and singer.
It was during this time that my life was traumatized by several things. Parents were working long hours and children were left to take care of themselves and a gang of young men regularly terrorized my brother and sister and I. We were all sexually molested several times. My sister had her collar bones broken by a young man standing behind her and pulling back on her shoulders. We were subject to them shooting us any time that they caught us with BB-Guns loaded with finishing nails; they stuck into our flesh and were quite painful. Many times these boys would have a bonfire going at night and if we were not careful they would catch us and scare us with the fire. They would put me on their feet and shoot me across the flames as a kind of torture game. My clothes caught on fire several times. One Christmas they lined up the old Christmas trees in a row and lit them on fire and made us run through them as a gauntlet. I remember my green and black checkered coat that I got for Christmas was ruined and I was punished for it.
As a result we used to walk several miles to the forest to play regularly which is located south of Anacortes around Heart Lake and Mt. Erie. My brother and sister used to use me to catch frogs in the lake as I was very small and they could hold me by my feet. Because of this I was not afraid of the water. One day I went to the Lake alone to play. I walked out on the floating logs as I regularly did when I caught frogs. Well I slipped of the Log and as I was falling into the water I heard the voice of the Lord for the first time “Stand and Wait”. So I stood on the bottom of the Lake looking up through the water with my hands stretched up toward the surface and I waited without fear. Then an Angel came and lifted me back up on the log. I learned to hear the voice of the Lord and I learned to trust God as well as understanding that my Angels were there to help me.
You may ask why our parents didn’t do something about this. The reason was that we were threatened by knife point and told that if we told anyone they would kill us. Considering the other things they were doing to us we didn’t doubt that they would follow through. What the enemy meant for evil the Lord has healed and used for good.
To be continued...