By Don Ross Sr.
My name is Don Ross Sr., and the story I am about to share is true.
I was raised in the Bible Belt, where I attended church and a private school from fifth through 12th grade. I had to learn the Bible at school, but I was never told that in order to be saved and go to heaven when I die, I must be born again (John 3:5-7). I was told to follow the church doctrine and rules and that maybe, if I was good enough, I might go to heaven.
After a little time, I married a girl from my same religion. We had 12 children, I was active in church, and I tried to be that good person and gave the appearance of it. More time went by … I became more focused on myself, neglecting my responsibilities as a husband and father. A wedge grew between my wife and me. I cared for my family and provided for them; I just did not completely give them what they needed. However, I did not want the word “divorce” to be in our vocabulary.
More time escaped … My wife and I were invited to a small gathering where the Word of God was shared, which was powerful. My wife surrendered her life to Jesus Christ, and I could see that it changed her life. Several weeks later, while driving home from work, I started thinking on spiritual things. I began humming a tune I had heard at the gathering with my wife. I began putting words to the tune. Then I asked the Lord to forgive my sins, and I began to cry before I could finish speaking. He not only forgave me, but He also came into the car, sat next to me, and put His arm around me. I felt the warmth of His body, and I knew that I knew He had forgiven me of my sins.
He spoke to me, saying, “Don, I have cast your sins into the sea of forgetfulness. I remember them no more.” I could not stop weeping, and I knew He was alive! By that time, I had pulled the car over. I had to gather myself together. I could not wait to get home and tell my wife.
After being born again, I thirsted for God’s Word (see Matthew 5:6), read it, and meditated on it. I discovered the gift of the Holy Spirit and, by faith, received my prayer language (speaking in tongues). And I understood that He was not only my Savior but also my Healer.
Years earlier, I had developed some physical issues that puzzled the doctors. They thought I had lupus, and I received a medical discharge from the National Guard. Later, at only 28 years old, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. At 38, I was born again. I learned that I was saved and healed by His stripes (1 Peter 2:24). I received my healing but did not see the manifestation for a few months.
I share my testimony so God will get all the glory. It is not my doing; I only believe in His Word. I also desire for all who read this to tell their own story of being born again to whomever the Holy Spirit instructs. Jesus said if He be lifted up, He would draw all men to Him. His Holy Spirit will give you the power to share your story. Also, I encourage you to write down your story.
The testimony that God has given you is a powerful tool to plant and water seeds of faith. More of God’s children doing this will speed Jesus’ return.
Don Ross Sr. has lived in the Crystal Springs area for approximately 25 years. He and his late wife, Judith, have 12 children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Don can be reached at 601-955-7589.