I grew up in a family in which there was very little contact with God. My mother had left when I was very young, and it seemed my father believed in God, but didn’t have a relationship with him. Therefore, I grew up not really thinking about God, except to wonder why He would let bad things happen if He really did exist. In Fall of 2001, I started going to church and becoming interested in a relationship with the Lord. I was eventually baptized on 2 Jan 2002. From that point on I was working on my relationship with Jesus but always felt empty. My new wife had a fantastic relationship with Jesus and introduced me to her friends, who also seemed very strong in the Lord. It seemed He was constantly communicating with them. I became mildly jealous and began asking God to make Himself real to me as I wanted to be closer but always seemed distant despite how much I sought Him.
I went to my first RLI conference in March of 2014 and the second in August 2014. During the first night of the first conference, I came face to face with people’s reactions to the presence of the Lord that I couldn’t understand – in fact, it freaked me out. I was very confused and asked the Holy Spirit to help me understand. He did. He sat with me during the rest of the conference and showed me Truth. He showed me how much God, Jesus, and He loved me and how much He wanted a relationship with me. I asked for the in-filling of the Holy Spirit, and He came! I could now feel the presence of God whenever I wanted to. It was amazing! Since that time I’ve felt His presence more than I ever have and it has encouraged me daily. I seek His advice and yearn to help others more than I ever did, as well. I no longer doubt there is a God, nor that He loves me more than anything. I’m excited to learn more about Him. Some of the conference attendees and I meet regularly to renew our focus on the RLI teachings as they continually help us to discern Satan’s schemes, to combat them with the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, and to remain free. To anyone who is feeling burdened or empty, I highly recommend the RLI conferences; they will set you free and give you hope for a better life in Jesus Christ. Tom N.