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Now I’m Found

A Passion for Lost Souls

By Jay Silvia on June 7th, 2018

   
     Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” Jay Silvia, a member of Living Hope Church, once was a lost sheep who wandered about in life until the Good Shepherd found him and brought him home. Share in his testimony below and hear the heart of our loving Savior towards you.
 
 

Hi. My name is Jay. When they asked me to do a blog, I replied, “What is that?” It probably gives my age away a little, but you know. Years ago I was in the Navy and just to show you God’s humor, my friend and I refused to attend another Navy school after we had finished our first one. So guess what? Our commander stationed us in Olathe, Kansas; two Navy guys stuck in the middle of the country with no water in sight!! It was a year and a half of torture (ha, ha). But that is where I met my wife 58 years ago.

That began a long history in my life. We were involved in the occult, and I was actually training to be a medium. Thank God, He had other plans for my life! I have to admit, it was a different kind of experience to know the spiritual world and all its possibilities; both good and bad. During my time between the service, marriage, and raising five children, I worked for a major airline. Drinking became a problem because of the accessibility. I was very self-centered to say the least. My wife was alone at night in a wooded area with our children while I was out drinking, sometimes all night. And that’s just the condensed version of how lost I was and how empty my life had become. This must seem pretty familiar to a lot of you, so now I can tell you some of my experiences and why I am writing this blog.

In January 1976, I met my Savior for the first time during a trip to California. I bring up God’s sense of humor again because He chose my brother-in-law to lead me in what we call the “sinner’s prayer”. Why this is special is because he and I never could get along. I didn’t realize until much later that God’s hand was in how we even got out to California. My wife Pat had been saved some six months before me. She wanted me to know the same incredible love that she had found, so almost every week she would lead me in the sinner’s prayer. I said that prayer maybe 5 or 6 times, but I didn’t mean any of it, and Pat knew it, so she began to fast for my salvation. She asked the Lord to confirm to her by having me ask her if she wanted to go visit her family in California for her sister’s birthday. I knew she hadn’t seen her sister in awhile and so I asked and we decided to go.

The trip out there was such a hassle, I regretted it right away. Working for the airlines means that you can catch a flight almost anywhere, but because of your voucher you can get bumped off at any time. I was so afraid the whole trip that we would get bumped off, and we almost did. During our layover the plane was overbooked, and the flight crew began looking for people to move around. So here Pat and I sit, two vouchers in the first class, obvious targets, and I’m getting real nervous, but when I look over at Pat she’s as calm as can be reading her book. I begin to yell at her, cursing even, telling her to get her stuff together cause we are going to get bumped off, but she just sits there so calm, without any fear. Then the attendants searching the plane just walk right by us, and about five minutes later I hear the air plane door close. How crazy is that?

So we make it out to California and are staying at Pat’s sisters house. One night at dinner my brother-in-law says that he usually reads a bible verse after the meal and asks me if it was okay. Pat had been doing this at our house for a couple of months, so I was used to it by now. I told him yeah it was okay. At the time, I had a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, this being my usual routine after meals. He begins to read the bible verse, and though I’d heard the bible read several times before, this time it was different. As I sat listening to him read, I felt something come over me and I began to cry. Right there in their home the Holy Spirit hit me with such a move of God, that I cried like a baby (yeah, a navy guy like me, crying like a baby!). When my brother-in-law saw that God was working on me, he asked if he could pray for me. I put down my cigarette and the beer I was holding and walked with him over to this picture he had on the wall. It was a picture of Jesus with His hands stretched out to me. Looking at that picture, I cried even harder, holding on to my brother-in-law as he hugged me. When I prayed that time, I knew I was saved.

After we got back home it took a few months before I had a radical change in my life. It was like God opened His arms to me and turned my whole life around. Funny thing is, He gave me a love I never understood. He took away all my desires and gave me new ones. It was all so subtle. I never really realized how much I had changed, or how much He had really made me new until it was done- WOW! For months I could not say the name “Jesus” without crying. It was like a deep cleansing of my soul. Remember, I didn’t try for any of this. It was totally God’s love for me.

Through all these years, God has given me such a burden for souls, because I see and know what God can do in a person’s life. They say I have a burden for the lost and I believe it is true. I thank God that I can be used through this gift. Just sharing His love and what it can do for a life is really refreshing beyond understanding.

God bless,

Jay


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