GENESIS AID

Providing care and compassion to those less fortunate in the developing world

CHERYL JENNER'S TESTIMONY

How it happened!

In May, 1978 a wonderful, loving God reached out his hand to a young woman who was so desperately sad that she had gathered enough prescription tablets to kill herself.  He waited until she had showered and dressed in the clothes in which she wanted to be found and even then did not force Himself upon her.  As she raised the tablets to her lips, He called her gently by name and said: "Cheryl, if you just ask, God will come into your life". 

Cheryl was an ordinary person, but she had an extraordinary God who was seeking her at that time.  She didn't think of herself as a bad person, yet the Bible says: "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10)

She didn't see herself as sinful, yet: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)

She had tried to do her best in life, but felt she had a chieved nothing.  As a young wife her marriage had failed and now her second marriage was very difficult.  She had nowhere to turn and had reached the end of herself.  Suicide seemed the only option.

This is the story of my life - a life transformed by the love of Jesus.  A life turned around from just surviving each day to living a victorious life filled with the Blessings of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  This is the same God who loves each member of the human race, knows everyone by name and knows everything there is to know about YOU - "even the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30).

From the beginning

I left school when I was 14 years old and began work in an office and, as I  matured, worked as a secretary, model, television hostess and real estate sales person.  Although these were good jobs, they left me empty inside.  When I drank alcohol, it only helped me forget my problems for a few hours; then they returned.

I was married and had a beautiful son with within a few years this marriage ended in sadness and regrets.  Although I vowed never to marry again, I met a man who seemed to understand and after 2 years we were married.  He already had 4 children and both his family and mine were opposed to our union.  This caused enormous problems within our relationship, leading to the night I decided to end my life.

As the Lord spoke so gently to me, I was confused and found it hard to believe in God.  I didn't think I was good enough to be a Christian.  I certainly could not believe that someone could love me so much that they would die for me, personally.  But that is what Jesus did so long ago - and He know that you would be reading this simple story, as you are right now.

My life as a Christian has not always been easy, in fact in some ways, it has been more difficult than life as a non-Christian.  In 1979, I was told that the baby I was carrying could not survive - but I Prayed earnestly and, despite many months in bed and much pain, my beautiful daughter was born.  By the time she was 2 months old, there were days when I could only move around in a wheelchair due to a crippling spinal condition called Ankylosing Spondilitis.  Nothing the Specialists or Hospitals offered gave any relief from the pain.

My Pastor suggested Prayer and anointing with oil and although I had difficulty believing this concept, I agreed because James 5:14,15 says if you are sick: "call the elders of the Church to Pray over you and anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the Prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well".  In my home that night, with Christian friends gathered together, I was anointed with oil and healed IMMEDIATELY!  Praise the Lord.  I was so happy and willing to go anywhere and tell anyone of the Goodness of God.  The biggest problem was that my husband had still not submitted to the Lord.

We needed another miracle.  Often the ways of God are very different to the ways of the world and as I reflect now, I understand that I had to be bed-ridden again for my husband to accept Jesus.

When my baby girl was 18 months old, I was again desperately ill, in and out of hospital many, many times.  Many doctors suggested that my previous illness had returned, yet when they retested my blood, there was no evidence of the previous illness.  This was something quite different -  a viral infection in the brain which at that time was untreatable.  I was given 2 years to live.  On the same day I received the prognosis for the future, I discharged myself from hospital and lay at home in a darkened room for 3 months until the Lord spoke in the early hours of one morning, demanding obedience.  With a clear set of instructions, I woke my husband and told him how I was to be healed.  Although he was very suspicious, he was also at the end of himself and willing to try anything to see me restored to good health.

We followed the instructions, and true to His Word, the Lord healed me.

I have been very well ever since.  My husband not only became a Christian, but within a few short weeks resigned from his position as the Director of a Government department and together we commenced a Ministry to counsel those who were experiencing problems in life.  Before many months had passed, we were teaching and training those who wanted to help family, neighbours and friends who were in trouble.

My husband became a Pastor and we travelled widely bringing the Good News to the broken hearted and assisting widows and children in Asia and Africa: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27)

Truly, nothing is impossible for God

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."

 (Ephesians 1:18,19a)