My name is Charlie Borg, a fifty six year old man, born on the island of Malta but have been in Australia thirty seven years to date. This is my testimony of salvation and a witness as to the unfathomed, never ending love of God who is so Holy .
Going to church was the normal thing to do as a catholic kid living in a total catholic country. More than the normal child actually, since my dad was the church’s organist and tenor. I had hung around dad and since I can remember, always went with him to do the singing and the rest rain or shine, early mass, midnight celebrations at Christmas and Easter seasons etc. I remember from when I was knee high, standing beside him as he played the old Bellows (pump-up) organ and trying to sing. I recall him giving me dirty looks Which I could not understand, as I use to throw him out of key and many a times, he would put his left hand on my mouth saying, “stop singing, PPLLZZ you are putting me off key”.
Well, I used to get offended and start sulking, yet he never stopped me going with him, and I grew up as a church goer and choir boy, altar boy and most of all as I saw it, a servant of God. I behaved normally the moment I got out of church though. Not that I was bad as such, but man was I a live wire? I worked all my days off in the bakery my family owned during all of my teenage years while doing a Marine Radio officer College. at the age of 19 I landed in Australia and started a new life.
Going back to my childish days, I remember at the age of seven My dad came home and told me that the priest wanted me to write a sermon about Christmas and all it meant. Wow, did I panic! He calmed me down and explained that I won’t be doing it without super vision and then he added “If you do it right you have to get on the pulpit at the midnight mass and preach it. GULP!
Guess what, I done right and I was told that I had to preach it at midnight at the Christmas. Well, you can imagine I was a little terrified of getting up on the pulpit facing all those people, having to remember the sermon by heart, OOHHH BBOOYYY!!. Well the time came near midnight I was told to go up on the pulpit and when given the signal I had to start preaching this sermon. IT WASN’T EASY getting up on the pulpit even. I remember trembling with fear of making mistakes, not remembering the words etc, you know PARANOI MAJORA! Almost wetting my nappy.
Well, I was up on the pulpit, and the time came to start and when I started to open my mouth to declare “Gloria in exelsis Deos, et in terra pax dominicus”, this anointing filled me up and I preached that sermon as if it was my day job. Oh, glory to God indeed, I came down like fire off that pulpit, lit up like a flame, the people clapping and glorifying God and so on. Let me assure you, I had no Idea at the time what annointing was, man, I was only seven but, IT FELT SO GREAT, I can remember I felt like my insides had been doused with fuel and lit up.
Well life went on, at 21 I got married to the woman I had known and went out wth backin my lod country, who I kept in contact with via the mail and I was in love with, and so on. A very talented woman, her hands could make what her eyes saw. We moved in to a modified ‘chicken shed’. I spent four months doing it up every day after work, it was quite a comfortable little flat.
A few weeks passed and I arrived from work after a day of runnuing round the countryside fixing Television and all. It was a hot summers day, I MEAN HOT. About two minutes, I saw the landlord coming towards me and as he approached, he started yelling “get up on the roof and nail it down, there is a big storm coming up, there is News Flashes on all the TV stations bla bla bla.. I forgot to tell you about it..bla bla…”
Man, I was annoyed at him because I spent all those evenings there fixing things and HE NEVER MENTIONED ANYTHING ABOUT THE ROOF!! After five minute of winging and wining I climbed up on the roof with a few (3 inch) three-inch galvanized nails and as I got up, I could see this dark cloud, thundering and I could see lightning flashes, a cold wind started to come up etc.
I was only wearing my uniform at that time, which was only a flimsy summer shirt and shorts, I had taken off my shoes and socks and I was up there hammering the roof down. The climate changed, the temperature fell down quick and large drops of cold water started to fall, my hand got cold and next thing I know I hit my thumb with the hammer and boy! I blasphemed. Yeah, I am sorry to say, that was a bad habitual sin I had in those days, blaspheming the name of God. I get embarrassed every time I witness to someone, but to show that great love of God, it overwrites the embarrassment.
Well, I carried on hammering, the rain increased, it got colder, my thumb was all colors and throbbing, and I was freezing cold by now, the raindrops turned into large hail which hurt as it hit me, and guess what? I hit my thumb the second time, and as you can imagine it wasn’t fun. I blasphemed the second time, tears coming out of my eyes with pain, and I had to carry on nailing this roof, because the roof sheeting started to flutter and shake etc..
Well, as I almost got to the finish, with a few nails left, I hit my thumb again for the third time. I looked up to heaven and whole heartedly damned the name of God, while shaking the hammer at the sky in a very angry way. (I am not proud of what I did then, but that is what I did, and that is the truth, much as embarrassing as it may be).
All of a sudden, I felt a HAND TAKING HOLD OF MY HEAD, and while gently lowering my head down to earth a VERY GENLTE voice said, “At least bow your head down when you mention my Name!”
Well what can I say? I was terrified, I jumped off the roof, ran into the house, locked the back door, double secured and ran into the bathroom locked the door and tried to hide myself, crouching into a corner covering my head, waiting for something to happen.
Nothing happened, my wife came up to the bathroom door and queried what was going on, and asked me “whats the matter with you?” and I said “I just heard God speaking to me, while I was swearing at Him!” and she replied ” AH, you must be hearing things or going crazy”, and with a loud chuckle, she went away, while I was still crouched down in the corner of the bathroom.
That was the first time I ever heard the voice of the Lord God, and never ever blasphemed again, not in the last thirty-six years. The thing I could not comprehend was, how lovely and merciful this God was, because if it was me and someone offended me, I would have flicked him off the roof. Wouldn’t you? But this was God, MY GOD! Man, I never could figure out this love of his, and how gently he touched me and spoke to me while lowering my head.
Wow, I still cannot remember a time when I moved so fast in my life. Until this time I was still not born again though, and life went on, bought and sold our first house then bought eleven acres of land, to owner-build our second house, while at the same time still working on the road, and living in a 10 x 20 foot shed, sleeping in a caravan sitting on our 11 acres. What a beautiful place that was, on top of a ridge in Kurrajong NSW in good old OZ. This land down under, one of the most beautiful countries on earth, Praise God.
Time went by, my workload got heavy, my wife got nasty, always talking of her back home, and I could never make this woman happy, no matter how hard I worked and how many things I did for her and all that goes on in a marriage on its way down.
But the Lord had been watching, keeping His eye on me, I had never lost faith in Him no matter what! I prayed and prayed as the arguments got bigger in our household. By now we had had a son, which she never wanted in the first place, because he (the babt I had made) ruined her carrier and crushed her dreams, which she really, never even discussed with me. Depression set in me and my joyous and free life started to become a ‘barless jail’, misery sat in me I started to get weak and everything else started to look much bigger and heavier than what it really was.
One day, while I was on my own, during a weekday I had taken a day off work, while I was sorting out bricks and preparing them for the brick layers, I noticed a man walking down the road. This was not normal because this was country, far from everything and you didn’t see people walking very often. It looked odd, but I put my head down and carried on shifting bricks.
All of a sudden, I heard a voice and I turned round and saw this same man that was walking down the road. I stopped working, said hello and all that goes with it, then he asked me if I needed a hand.
Well, I didn’t trust strangers in those days, and I answered him with a no, I said because I could handle it all by myself. Well, the fact of the matter was that I really needed a hand because the chores were really hard, heavy and very laborious, to say the least. He asked me again and on the third time I said “ok”.
While working together we started chatting about all sort of things and religion came up, and he assumed I was a catholic and started telling me thing, from the bible which did not coincide with what I was taught when I was young.
He asked me if I read the bible and I told him that I had STOLEN a bible from a motel once, tried reading it, but since it was written in the old English language, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, meaning I could not really understand what I was reading.
Then he offered to give the GOOD NEWS BIBLE if I wished, which was written in a much simpler English, which he assured me, was very easy to read. Well, I accepted and for the first time in my life I started to read the BIBLE and enjoying it, while finding out some truths which my catechists I learned from during my childhood, did not quite tell me truths and real stories. Boy, I got stuck into scripture so bad my missus thought I was losing it.
After a few weeks someone from my wife’s work invited us to a morning Christian meeting. I was sceptic about all this, I had been getting this feeling that I was getting close to God as I read the scriptures. I eventually said “Ok, we will go, but this and that.”
On the day, a Sunday, we were on our way to this place, someone’s house, that’s all I knew. On the way there I was praying fervently to God. I prayed and stated to the God, that I would rather have a car accident and die, me and my family, IF this meeting was going to turn me away from HIM.
We didn’t die or even had an accident, we walked into this house was greeted and welcomed by the man of the house, while he apologized that his wife wasn’t there because she had to go to their church as she was the pianist of their congregation and so forth.
The man explained he was going to read some scripture and later we would be discussing what the scripture really meant. It was all about the Material World! Then we were asked to think of something that we really wished to have, like a commodity or a luxury. everyone answered with in materialistic object, like a car or bigger house etc. Then he looked at me and asked me what I wished for. I boldly answered,
“I just want a relationship with God!”
“Fine” he said, and the next wish came along suggesting things regarding work and what could be better or what would improve their living standards. Everyone went for the promotion thing and what they could be etc. He looked at me again and before he could say anything, I said
“I just want a relationship with God, full stop!”
“OK,” he said “just one more question, what would be the ultimate thing you would want to happen in your life, that would make you happy for the rest of it? and all the people answered with some materialistic thing, objects etc.
And he looked at me for the third time. I was getting a bit annoyed with this man, it was getting a bit monotonous for me, I am the type to get on and get going. So, I looked at him, almost in anger and BOLDLY said
“LOOK, ALL I WANT, IS, A CLOSER, RELATIONSHIP, WITH GOD!”
As my mouth ended pronouncing the letter ‘D’ for Godddd
My spirit was split in two, a vision of a large sword slicing me from top to bottom, is what I saw. My inside aflame, just like I had felt when I preached at the age of seven, and I saw after that sight of something that was white at the left side and black on the right side. I burst into tears, I realised that I had been born again. YEEHAA PRAISE GOD and a big Hallelujah!
That is how I was born again folks, since I have grown and still growing in the Lord, my attitude towards life has changed, I love and enjoy whatever I do especially ministering to others and helping people in need. I learned to love and not to hate, keep peace and not war forgive and not revenge. That is now the change in me, after twenty-six years at the university of the HOLY GHOST. I love God and the best part of it is that HE LOVED ME FIRST, even as I was still a sinner. AMEN.