Just for Catholics - Testimonies

Ye thought evil against me
but God meant it unto good

By Ron Kempen

I was raised in a very Catholic home with an older brother, Robert, whom the Lord used mightily later in my conversion. Robert was crippled all of his life. As a child I loved being an altar boy. I was taught that I had to be a Catholic to get to Heaven. After our mother died in 1960, when I was eight, things started to change as the Lord was working His plan to reach us. Our stepmother taught Robert how to physically take care of himself. Praise God, because this eventually enabled Robert to go to college where he got saved.

I got married in 1972 and raised my 2 children as Catholic, even making them attend stations during Lent. Bound to his wheelchair, my Christian brother would try to witness to me, but I wouldn't listen because “he didn't know the real world.” At that time my life revolved around football, bowling and drinking.

Then a series of events occurred by which the Lord got my attention. In 1989, I received a phone call saying that my brother was seriously ill; he was in intensive care and he may not live through the night. He spent ten months in intensive care. Every weekend I'd make the eighty-mile trip to spend time with Robert. He was so weak at first that he could only communicate by eye blinking. Later on he could use his finger to spell his thoughts. Often he'd request that I get a video for us. Hmmmm, they were always Christian videos. Imagine that! After the ten months, he was released, but he needed constant care because when he would fall asleep, he'd stop breathing. So in many ways I was exposed to “true Christians.”

After drinking I’d come home and watch Jack Van Impe because there was nothing else on TV and they would talk about end time events. Things got tough at work and I had to quit. My new job turned out to be much worse. Thanks to God, later on He provided me with a good job. I was 40 and hard of hearing, yet I was one of eight people chosen out of more than 450 applicants. Of course, my brother would send me tapes from his church including one that drew my attention to James 2:10-11 which exposes the ridiculous notion of the so-called venial sins.

In 1993, after all these seeds were planted, I decided to see what the Scriptures say and when Billy Graham offered a study Bible, I ordered a copy. The time was right to know who's telling the truth. It took two years to get through the New Testament, during which time I also was taking Catholic catechism classes. This finally woke me up to the fact that what I was being told as a Catholic did not match with what God's Word had to say.

In April of '95, I came home from my Catholic catechism class and announced that I was leaving the Catholic Church. My wife responded that if I did, she would divorce me. I couldn't shut up; I had to witness. Unfortunately, I did that with much zeal, but often without knowledge, and people didn't appreciate this.

Around December of '98 my wife of 27 years presented the divorce papers. A month later, while Robert was studying Scriptures, the Lord took him home. My life was really falling apart. But God was still in control! A Christian family rented me a room on their farm. All I owned was my brother’s bed, dresser and computer as my former wife got the house that I had just finished the payments for. I also had two very good Christian friends that kept encouraging me to wait and see the plans that God had for me, telling me that God would not abandon His children.

I can assure you that God does take care of His children! On November 6 of 1999, I met a Christian girl on the internet, and we felt it was a divine appointment for several reasons. In February of 2000, I told my friends on the farm that it was time for me to move back to the city. This girl from Pennsylvania married me in July of 2000 and moved to Wisconsin, just one year after my divorce, despite knowing that I now had Parkinson's disease. We looked for a house, but we did not succeed. We wondered if we would ever own a house. Our pastor read Luke 18:29,30: “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake. Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” This message encouraged us and what follows is almost unbelievable.

Two dear Christian friends had bought an old run down house as an investment. I didn't know what they were doing with their little project, but having no other openings, I finally checked the house they were working on. It was an old house, stripped down to the studs, but it was perfect for what we needed and affordable. This house just happened to be the very same house in which my ex-wife lived when I met her way back in 1971! Coincidence? Not anymore then when I moved off the farm, their daughter moved back home, and we got to use her furniture in our first apartment. Again, God's timing is perfect. How does anyone plan this type of events?

In closing, I'd like to give a praise report. My two children are saved. For the past three years, I need only to look at Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.” The divorce that was meant to harm me because I became a Christian, God used for my good. I learned from experience that He never deserts His children. He provides all my needs and not my greeds. I have a wonderful Christian wife, a house, and a ministry to reach the lost souls of Catholicism. Most of all, I serve the living God.

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