In the fall of 1998, I became sick. I was carted to doctor after doctor and no one knew what exactly what was wrong with me. Even after all their tests, no one could figure out how to get my rapid heart beat back down where it belonged. Many times throughout this six month health journey I wondered if I was going to die. I didn’t really know what would happen if I did die.
In December of that same year, we visited my aunt and uncle down in North Carolina. While we were there, my mom was given a book called Left Behind. Mom was not big on reading but she read though this book very quickly and then began the second book in the series. She and my stepdad began to compare the events in the book to a Bible they owned and looked at the book of Revelation.
Then, Mom began to search for a church. For Valentine’s Day in 1999, she bought me the first two books in the kids Left Behind series. As I began to read them, I had no idea what all the talk about going to church was or this new word called ”rapture.”
Mom asked my stepdad and me if we would go to church with her. We both said, “No.” After reading more in these books though, and about the numerous times these children in the book had been invited to church and refused, I decided I didn’t want to miss an opportunity.
On February 28, my mom and I walked into a country church for the first time. It was strange to us that the priest didn’t wear a robe. Later, we learned he was called a “pastor.” We also didn’t see Jesus hanging on the cross up front, and there were no pads to kneel on to pray. I think back to how strange we must have looked taking a little kneel before we entered our pew. After the service, we decided we liked it and would try it again the next week.
The next week I heard clearly for the very first time that I was sinner and was going to Hell, no matter how good I had been. I had tried to live a good life: not swearing, not smoking, not drinking, and being kind to all people I met.
That Sunday, March 7, 1999, I accepted Jesus as my Savior, and my life changed forever. But more than that, my eternal life became secure: to live in heaven with Jesus forever. The road has not always been easy, but it has definitely been the best choice I made!
Caleb & Jennifer Palmer, along with their four children, have served with Village Missions since 2015. They minister to Antioch Community Church, near Coldwater, Kansas.