Hearts transformed by the power of God's work in our lives.
We hope you are encouraged by the testimonies of our friends here at Adirondack Bible Fellowship.
Born in 1928, Harold “Bunny” Austin remembers going to the Long Lake Methodist Sunday school from 1936 through high school. While he was in the choir and his Aunt Mabel talked to him about Jesus, he never learned the Bible.
In 1948 Bunny married Evelyn and in 1951 enlisted with the United States Marine Corp to go fight in the Korean War. However, God had other plans. With all his years growing up with a rifle in his hands like his father and Uncle, Bunny not only qualified with the rifle, he set a new record! This accomplishment resulted with the USMC keeping him at Parris Island to teach for 2 years. In 1954 the USMC was looking for a few men to become officers. He applied and was accepted to attend Officer School.
Bunny continued his service in the USMC and while stationed in North Carolina Bunny and Evelyn became very involved serving in the Episcopal Church. After his service in the USMC, and returning to Long Lake they could not find an Episcopalian Church. Bunny decided to attend the Wesleyan Church service where that Sunday the Pastor preached a sermon on Salvation. The message hit him “right between the eyes”. The following week he brought his wife and also hoped there was an altar call. There was, and Bunny accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and says he was filled with the Holy Spirit immediately. When Bunny looked behind him from the altar, 15 people were behind him standing in the aisle – all those people had been praying years for him to be saved.
Bunny went on to study the Bible and got called to go into the ministry. After receiving his degree Bunny and Evelyn served at churches in Brant Lake and Germany. Bunny always gave the message of salvation and an altar call at those services. While Bunny says you never retire from serving the Lord, he did retire from the ministry prior to Evelyn passing away in 2011.
Today Bunny continues to serve the Lord and invites people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He knows it was this invitation that has changed his life and his eternity.
My faith journey began as a child in the Greek Orthodox Church. It was a feast for the eyes and senses, with floor to ceiling murals and large stained glass windows. The priests chanted in Greek using incense and performed mysterious (to me!) but beautiful rituals. In spite of the Greek language that I didn’t understand or speak I did feel God’s Holy Spirit.
I remember one day in Sunday school we watched the movie “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, about the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now this I could understand! As I watched my heart was touched and I felt drawn to Jesus. There’s a Bible verse (John 10:27) where Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” This was true for me. I became a sheep and Jesus my Shepherd. Sadly, when I was 14 my mother died at the young age of 51 and soon after my dad remarried. We moved away and stopped going to church because my mom had been the “church-goer”, but those first seeds of faith had been sown.
As a teenager I began to read the Bible to learn more about Jesus and his teachings. I talked to God and asked to be shown the truth. One day alone in my room I prayed, asking Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. This was the best and most important decision I have ever made!
Having a personal relationship with God through Christ, and the comfort, strength and guidance I’ve received throughout my life has been the most amazing blessing. I wish the same for everyone! I’m especially grateful for God’s gift of music in my life, whether it’s the inspiration for songs I’ve written or the joy of leading a congregation in worship.