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Merv’s Testimony

Testimony of Merv Graber

            I never know where to start.  When I was a child, we would go to church, Sunnyslope Mennonite, in Phoenix, Arizona.  As a teen, I really had no need for it and by then I was blaming GOD for everything

            I spent many, many years with this belief—couldn’t be convinced otherwise.  But I’d definitely beg and plead with him every time I was sitting in jail.  “Please get me out of this, and I’ll change – even go to church!”  Needless to say, that never happened until age 39.  Before then, was a complete and utter mess of a life filled with every sin written.  Drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, hatred (of God and man), adultery—if it’s written, I had done it.

            In 2009, I had moved to Nebraska to be with my son and my new, beautiful wife, Doreen, hoping my troubles with drugs and alcohol would change.  But I now know without Jesus Christ in my life, there was no chance of that happening.

            At my wife’s work, there is a client with cerebral palsy named George.  He would ask me to go to church with him every time I saw him.  If you want to see true joy in GOD, all you would have to do is look at George.  Well, it finally took jail to get me there.  It was then, with George, I met my pastor and friend, Dale Hedstrom of St. John’s Lutheran Church.  Through prison and after my release, he kept me fed with the Word of God.  He has never given up on me, even when I have thrown in the towel.

            You know, after taking Christ as your Savior he gives you a crystal-clear view of the past, and shows you that His loving hand has always been there.  As with the disciples in Mark, the storm hit in my life, and Satan said death was the only answer.  My attempt at suicide was failed by GOD.  I thought I had done it right.  I was in a coma for four days and awoke to find that GOD had saved me.

            He puts people in your life like Pastor Dale, George, Dale Abel, and of course, Diamond Dave Martelle to guide you to his word and love.  My will has never worked.  Listening for GOD’s will with the help of Pastor Dale, and Dale Abel, who GOD used to guide me to the New Life Program, and Dave Martelle, has been an amazing blessing!  Honest “Jesus Freaks” that have absolute trust in GOD’s word and Jesus’ work on the cross.  Just in the short time I’ve known Jesus on a deeper level, he has blessed me, deleting the obsessions that used to haunt me (drug, alcohol, etc.).  I have been blessed to meet the most loving people and to call them friends.  The Lord has even blessed me with a renewed relationship with dad and sister.  God has given me a desire to know Him more, to love and not hate Him. I praise God every day for His mercy shown, His grace given, and the privilege to serve Him. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Roman 8:1-2)