I Saw Christians Love Each Other, and I Wanted That: Paul Braun’s Story
Paul Braun grew up under Communist rule. Then he was impacted by the love Christians showed for one another. That love led him to believe in Jesus.
I thrive on stories like this! This post is about my good friend and brother in Christ. His story expresses the beauty of God’s agape shared among believers.
Read it and be moved.
Changed by the Love of Christians: Paul Braun’s Story
The Communists ruled my home country of Czechoslovakia as I grew up (now called Czech Republic). We lived in Prague where believing in God was far from the norm. So were going to church, helping others, and seeking to know what comes after death.
I DID know there was this “thing” called religion, and some people believed in it. I couldn’t see why though. I was always interested in listening to some of the fairytales they told in churches. I liked going to churches. To me, it was like visiting any other building or castle or historically interesting monument. Of course, later on I came to the point of realizing that those “fairytales” were true accounts of actual events in history recorded in the Bible. But I didn’t believe that during this time in my life.
Then I met her. I fell in love with Angie. We married, and I knew she was a Christian. She prayed for me to find God and walk with Him as she did. For many years I couldn’t see the logic behind Christianity, and this was preventing me from believing. I actually did want to believe, but I just couldn’t “feel” it. I didn’t want to believe just because others did.
We moved to Houston, TX, where everything changed. I met a man named Robin Zaruba through his brother, Stephen (one of Angie’s colleagues). Robin had recently moved to Houston to be the worship pastor at Kingwood Bible Church. At the same time we were searching for a church to attend so our boys would grow with Christ. Robin invited our family to Kingwood Bible. There was something different about these people, and we fell in love with them.
This was my first time to be around so many Christians. I started listening to sermons, going to Sunday School, and learning about the Bible and Jesus. I was introduced to prayer. I had never heard of prayer requests, and even our boys were praying every night. While I still couldn’t consider myself a believer, I started feeling a lot of love surrounding me and my family. I started to FEEL the presence of God. It must have been then when I finally opened my heart and started understanding what Jesus had done for me.
Strangely enough Kingwood Bible Church was planning a mission trip to the Czech Republic. Our pastor, Woody, asked if I would be willing to help the mission team go to my country and help organize a Czech Retreat with them. I was happy to help! This is my native language and culture. As I became a part of our team called CzechMates, I began to notice that people who walk with Christ are nice to one another. They are loving and giving. I began to crave that. I wanted to feel what these people felt and love like they did. This love they had for one another brought me to the point of trusting in Jesus as my Savior.
One night before I fell asleep I started praying. I asked Jesus to be my Savior. I finally believed! Then I told Him that I wanted to follow Him. I felt this incredible relief flow through me. I think I fell asleep right after that, because the next thing I remember was waking up next morning with a smile on my face. I KNEW I WAS SAVED!
As I think back on this journey, I see that God was there all along helping me find Him. He gave me Angie who introduced me to Him. He led me to His Church where I met the body of Christ, and He showed me what I was missing all these years. Every day when I thank God for my family, I don’t forget to thank Him for helping me open my heart and showing me the way to find Him.
So what’s next for me? I hope to show the love of Christ to people I meet. I hope to spread the word of God and help others believe in Jesus like I do.
~ Paul Braun
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