(SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER) Testimony My name is Rachael Munro and I was born in 1988, the eldest of four children in a loving family. I was brought up with a belief in God. This wasn’t practised in my family and my mother and father thought it was right to let us find our own beliefs. I was taught in a primary school that sang religious songs in morning assembly once a week. That was my only real teachings about Christianity. When I went on to secondary school, things became harder for me. I was bullied; getting called cruel names, was threatened by others and they isolated me, making me feel like I was no longer human. Some of these assaults were physical but most of my pain was emotional. It was either I was separated and ignored by others or I was victimised for not fitting in. In most of my classes there were the group of boys, the group of girls and then my friend and me. Most classes were like this and if the teachers left the room and the class felt bored then I became their source of entertainment. They would humiliate me; taunt me with degrading names, fling items at me and try to damage my personal belongings. They made me feel so low and every long day became unbearable. Even the teachers did nothing when they saw what was happening to me. Sometimes it got so bad I thought, ‘why should I sit here and let people throw things at me?’ and I’d leave the class. Eventually, my friend decided she was better off not attending school most days, it was that bad, and I was alone, taking all the abuse by myself. I was so low in confidence that I couldn’t stand up for myself. I was afraid that if I did I would get beaten up. I talked to my parents about it but they could do nothing and it broke their hearts. They tried to help me but no one would listen. I was so helpless. As the years went on, my thoughts and the emotional pain from bullying became deeper and darker. I found myself in a place where I wondered what people would think if I wasn’t there anymore. The thoughts of ending my life became more and more frequent that I became depressed. The horrible feeling consumed me and seemed to eat away at my heart and it became so painful that I felt numb. I then, with every passing day, contemplated suicide as I cried after school, in secret, too ashamed to talk to anyone about how I felt. I would hurt myself in secret and thought of ways to end the pain, to kill myself, but I couldn’t do it. I blamed God for my suffering. He was the only one there to blame. Once, my sister caught me trying to kill myself and she had to stop me. I was so ashamed but she kept it to herself. What would my parents think of me, their daughter, trying to end my life when they brought me into the world and raised me? I was so depressed that I decided that it was best not to care anymore. I started to argue with people just to provoke a reaction and my friends saw that I was acting so erratically that I was beginning to scare them. For a long time I was so low that I brought everyone down around me until I met a new friend. She was a Pentecostal Christian. We became good friends and one day, religion became our topic of conversation. We argued and then she invited me to her church. It didn’t take me long to accept the invitation and try to find out what this church was all about. I went to the Falkirk United Pentecostal Church. I attended a Sunday Service and found everyone there so welcoming and kind and as I had my first service, I felt a sense of happiness and joy as everyone praised Jesus. It was very different to other churches. I’d grown up with other services that didn’t inspire much, but this church service was vibrant. The worship that was sung to the Lord spoke to my soul and I heard Jesus call to me. I felt like I belonged. I invited my sister to attend the next service, she was eleven and I was sixteen and we went to almost every service after that. God turned my life around. He opened my eyes and let me see what my suffering had been about. The trying time in my life had toughened me up and shaped me into who I am. My previous thoughts on those that had caused me to suffer had changed. I now felt pity for them and prayed for them and their families. I faced each day with a new hope, a new beginning and had a new understanding of life. I grew a thick skin and I started to see that the suffering had made me independent and strong. I started to grow in confidence and in the last years of school I was not bothered by my peers as much; I learned that there was a higher calling for me. I wanted to live for Jesus and do His will. After achieving my HND in Public Art, my parents wanted to leave Falkirk and we had the opportunity to live in Edinburgh. Before my sister and I left for Edinburgh, Jesus told me to be baptised. I told my sister and she decided to be baptised along with me. At one of our last services in Falkirk we were baptised in Jesus’ Name and I felt like it was only the beginning of God’s blessings for me. I missed the Church in Falkirk and my best friend but that was the only thing I missed about Falkirk. This was another new beginning for me. I met my current Pastor, John Beek, and his wife Susan Beek who have looked after me and been there for me ever since I met them. They taught me so much about God and my relationship with Jesus grew stronger. In the year 2009 I attended a Youth Camp weekend in Glasgow and it was there that I received the Holy Ghost. God called to me once more, urging me to take the next step, to delve into a deeper relationship with Him. I stood for a long time at the front of the church, along with my sister. I was praying with raised hands for a long time but I wasn’t in the right mindset yet. Other church members were around us, praying for us and encouraging us to reach out to Jesus. All of a sudden I heard my sister start speaking in tongues and I knew that I had to have God’s Gift too. I continued to praise God and tell him how much I loved Him and then I thought about all the hurt I had gone through. A member of my family had recently died and I thought of everything in those next few moments. God showed me where I had come from; the dark moments and thoughts and how my life had turned around since Jesus had found me. I had to be broken, to push my pride aside and break down the walls I had built for years. I began to get emotional and I humbled myself in front of Jesus for it was pride that was the only thing standing between us. I cried out in that instant and my eyes, although they were closed, saw light. I began speaking in tongues. I started to talk to God in another language that was fast and fluent. My tongue wouldn’t stop; I didn’t want it to stop. I continued to speak in tongues long after it began and I opened my teary eyes. People around me were rejoicing with me and they seemed as excited as I was. I was so overcome with joy that I began dancing and I ran up to my room and phoned my parents. I told them what had happened. It was amazing, I had been baptised with fire by Jesus and it was a night I will never forget because in that instant, I knew the truth. My parents thought my sister and I were drunk but we knew better and nobody could take the truth away from me or try and tell me I imagined it. Only I know what happened to me and it was just as the Bible had said. I spoke in tongues, in a language I didn’t even know, the Language of Heaven. That summer I found a new job and less than a year later, I met someone special. God was blessing me constantly and after another year I was engaged and then married the year after to my wonderful husband. In 2013 I gave birth to my first child and she is so perfect and clever. She and my husband are the best blessings that Jesus has bestowed to me and I only need to look back nine years to see how far I’ve come and how much God has done for me. As I look back at my past, I feel emotional. My eyes even welled-up as I wrote my testimony. When somebody mentions bullying I start to get distressed. I always want to tell people that others may treat you like you’re nothing and that your feelings don’t matter. Jesus loves us all and He cares what happens to you. When others reject you, Jesus is the one that will always accept you into His family. Jesus tells us that we are special to Him and that whatever happens He will always be there for us. Since I found Jesus, my life has been full of blessings and I can’t imagine my life without Him. I would never have believed twelve years ago that now, in 2017, I would be married, have a job, have my own house and have a three and a half year old little girl. I have grown in my relationship with the Lord and He is guiding every step I take. I wanted to give my all to Jesus and now teach Sunday School at the Church of Hope UPCI. It’s amazing that I can teach children about Jesus and give them the opportunity to understand about His Word. This is something that I never had. I thought I was alone in the world but now I know that we’re never alone because God is with us. My daughter will know that Jesus is there for her. She’ll know that she’s never alone whatever happens. I’m so blessed and it’s all because Jesus made it so. Thank You Jesus!