Led by the Holy Spirit.

My first week saved, and looking foreword to church again. The church which I’d gotten saved in had meetings on thursday evenings. So my friend and his wife picked me up at home to take me to church, his wife was suffering with cancer at that time.

Came into church and the music started, then some guest preacher from America who was married to a beautiful swedish woman started telling us about his ministry. Told us about all the people who were getting saved around the world, from his trips to many european cities. And saying that thousands were getting saved through his ministry. All great there, but I asked myself why that after all the years I’d spent on the streets all around the world that I’d never heard anybody even mention the gospel. Never knew a single person among all the people I’d met in my life, ever mention the name of Jesus except when cussing. What was this guy talking about?

Then they stopped and had a coffee and cake break, I felt led to leave the meeting. Standing outside wondering what was wrong with me, when two ladies came over and tried to encourage me to come in and hold out. Then another lady came to the door and called to the two who were talking with me, telling them to just leave me alone. Later I understood she spoke prophetic. I left and walked home asking God for help and to lead me.

Friday after work, I came home and asked the Lord to lead me where he wanted me to be. So that day after work I got a haircut was led to take out my earring, and got dressed up to meet the Lord. That evening I walked out not knowing where I was going.

The first place I was lead to was a large building which I walked passed daily on my way to and from work. Why here, there was no signs saying it was a church. The sign on the building said International Restoration Revival Missions, that meant nothing to me. Knocked on the two doors front and back, nothing happened.

Walked further on down the street and came to a Free Church (like the lutherans) where the lights were on and cars in the parking lot. Knocked on the door, it was locked and no one heard me knocking. Walked around the building and saw people through the basement windows in a room playing the piano and singing… knocked on the window but still no response.

Was urged to walk on, came into the city and felt led to a place called Open House. Had never heard of it but found myself led and suddenly I was there, knocking on the back door. No body heard so I gave up and lit a smoke, then a guy came out the door and said the meeting was in the other building around the corner. We went there together.

Came in just as the meeting was closing, people were going up front for prayer and it felt good. The preacher who was there was from Colombia and was sent to preach to drug  addicts in Europe.  Felt safe if someone could prey for me in english, so he preyed and it was good. Then another guy came into the meeting (Thor Polsrud), one that I’d heard rumors of. He was at one time one of the worst alcoholics in town with a terrible reputation, before he got saved. He had been in the prayer meeting somewhere else where they had heard I’d gotten saved, and they had just been preying for me. So I joined him that evening at a small gathering in someones house after the meeting was over.

The next day, Saturday.  Thor was going to pick me up and take me to his church. I was very excited, and then the strangest thing happened. The church he belonged to was the first building God had led me to that friday. And that friday while I was knocking on the door, they were in a prayer meeting up on the third floor of that very building.

We went in and hung up our jackets, walked upstairs to where the congregation was waiting. There was such an atmosphere of holiness, hardly a empty chair anywhere. We separated and I sat alone near the middle on the right side. Then the song and music started, felt as though I’d heard it before. There was about thirty people on the platform singing and praising, and they looked so happy, just like angels. Felt as though I’d been there before, it was like coming home. Wow! so strange but so secure.

There were testimonies, and the reading of the word with a lot of good songs. When suddenly an elderly man stood up shouting in a mixture of Chinese or something else. Another translated what he said and the presence of God was so intense. I felt that it was all for me, and I wanted what they had.

Then the preacher came and bassooned out a message, sweating and moving all around so enthusiastic, with his message. Didn’t understand a thing, but knew this was where I belonged. Then after the meeting the Devil came and told me not to believe them, and that I needed to wait with salvation until I was old or back in South Africa. I started to agree with him, went outside and took a smoke.

Another guy came out and spoke with me, so I told him what happened and that this maybe was not for me yet. He encouraged me to go in and take a cup coffee. I did, and sat at a table where I found a place. Everybody seemed so happy and they all seemed to shine. When suddenly the elderly lady sitting next to me put her hand on my arm and they all started preying around our table. So I thought well ok, maybe Ill prey to. Then it was like an explosion within my heart, I felt an icy coldness leaving my body from top to toe. Now I knew one thing for sure, there was no way back.

Just wanted to stay there all the time, I had come home at last. Jesus really loves me. Felt loved for the first time in my life, and also by a crowd of strangers that didn’t even know me.

Svein Åge Mathisen

Svein Åge Mathisen