My name is Sarah Debruyne. I live in Oostduinkerke, near De Panne, Belgium, and work as a sales assistant in a retail store. I’ve lived all my life on the North Sea coast and for as long as I can remember I went with my parents to the church in De Panne. I went faithfully to church every Sunday, had Protestant religious instruction at school, and went to children’s clubs, camps, and evenings for teenagers. You could say that on paper I was a Christian and I did believe what the Bible said. Yet I was lukewarm and superficial, and I wasn’t genuinely converted until just after I got married. For a long time, I tried to rebel against God because I felt I didn’t need Him, but the Lord drew me back to Him.
I had lost my way and He brought me safely back home.
I’ve been officially a member of the church in De Panne for 12 years now, I teach in the Sunday School, and I sing in the church’s song group. I follow the Lord because I’m still amazed every day at His love for us, even though we disappoint Him so often.
For me, the wonder of the cross is the most wonderful thing which has ever happened.
I think perhaps the hardest thing in my Christian life is that I can feel too comfortable in my life here on earth, and then there’s a danger of gathering treasures on earth instead of reflecting on our treasures in heaven, which are so much more numerous and also they do not perish. That’s a real challenge in our western consumer society! How often you hear people say: ‘Live and let live?’ And that, too, puts Christians in a difficult position. People see me as an ‘awkward’ Christian, yet I want to speak the harsh truth to my fellow human beings in love.
My favourite Bible text is John 3v16. When I was at school, I remember going to a museum where an old-fashioned printing press was used: We printed John 3v16. As the only Christian in a group of 60 pupils, I felt really proud. The text made a deep impression on me, and that is still the case now. This verse gives the Christian faith in a nutshell: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’