My name is Adam London, and this is my testimony: my story of hope.
I didn’t grow up in a happy home. In fact, I grew up in an abusive home. I grew up with a younger brother and an older sister. My father was verbally and physically abusive towards all three of us. I grew up in a home of fear, anger, and pain. Almost equally destructive was our home of shame.
My father was ashamed of his culture. So much so that he changed his name to a “white” name. That is why my last name is ‘London’. He refused to teach us any of his language or teach us about his upbringing. That shame passed on to us. All of us children were ashamed to tell anyone about our unhappy home. Our secrets were kept in the dark. Yet Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Even in the darkness of my home, God had a plan for me. God had a hope for me.
My father did not allow us to do many things; play with friends, go outside, or to show any emotion at all. Another thing he did not allow us to do was go to church. He would beat us if he found out that we went to church. However, my mother came to know Jesus right before she married my father. She knew that there was a power in going to church. Occasionally we would have the opportunity to sneak out to church.
What I saw in church were people that were unlike my family. These people were happy. They had some kind of joy and hope that I knew I wanted!
One time when we snuck out to church I saw someone taking a bath in church. What was that all about? I was told that it was about a man named Jesus, who came to this world to give us a hope by dying on the cross for our sins. I knew I wanted that hope. The best decision I ever made in my life was to ask Jesus Christ to come into my life and change me forever.
Even though I had been changed; even though I had a hope, life at home didn’t change, it was still difficult. My father was still abusive. By the time I was 13 years old, we had lived in around 10 different homes. I had every worldly reason to feel hopeless. Yet I did not feel hopeless at all! My relationship with Jesus gave me a strong hope! I can never, not even once, remember doubting that Jesus was going to help me get through the hard time.
I can never remember doubting that God was there for me. It was because of this hope that I didn’t turn to alcohol. I never smoked a cigarette or even tried drugs. I never even thought about suicide. Not because I had a “good” life, but because I have a good God! I know He will never stop giving me true hope and true joy.
That being said, even with my relationship to God I needed to be healed. I still had many hurts in my life that needed healing. I had wounds from my father, wounds from my shame that I needed to face before I could become more whole. I have struggled with feeling like I have to be perfect in order to be liked. I have struggled with allowing others to love me. I have struggled with loving others. I have struggled with showing any of my emotions. There have been times where I needed to confess my shortcomings. There have been times where I have had to seek help to heal from my pains. Yet through it all, I know that Jesus has been there for me. I still have some healing to go through, but I do not go through it alone.
Jesus came to take the darkness of my life and give me that light that comes from a relationship with God. My life verse is Matthew 5:16, where Jesus says, “…let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” I have been given a hope. I have been given a light. I have also been given a call to share that light. God called me as a young boy to serve Him in ministry because God wants to share His light with all people. God is also calling you to share that light with others.
It is because of my desire to serve God and share His light that I attended Alaska Christian College, got my Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry, and now I’m studying to be a Pastor in the village. I want to share my hope with others.
Where is your hope?