This past Sunday (September 14, 2014), my fourth daughter, Ana, was baptized as a believer in Jesus Christ at Corona Del Mar beach with 15 or so others from Redemption Hill Church. We have heard from so many about the impact of her public testimony, so I thought that I might share it as an encouragement to you as well. The testimony is hers, written by her and read out before she was baptized.

When I was three years old, my four siblings and I were taken from our parents and put into foster care. For almost five years I lived in a foster home in Compton, California. At the age of seven, I thought my chances of ever belonging to a real family were as small as a mustard seed. But little did I know that God had planted that seed in Ken and Trudi Berding. Almost a year after we met them, my sister Ela and I became official Berdings. Throughout the next couple years my parents taught us about what God did for us and how he wanted me to become God’s adopted child.

My parents aren’t the only ones who helped me through my Christian walk. All my Sunday school teachers and leaders, from Joel Garmin, my 3rd grade teacher, to Bonnie Hebert, my 8th grade Bible study leader, helped me see that God really loved me enough to send his only Son to die in my place.

I learned that I didn’t deserve to go to heaven because of the sins I had committed. But I also learned that since God sent his Son Jesus who died for me to forgive my sins that I had the opportunity to believe in him and receive the free gift of eternal life. So one night after Wednesday night at church I came home and gave my life to Jesus Christ.

God’s unconditional love has shown me what it means to live for him—to live a life that glorifies him and puts him before all things. Not only did God give me a great family to love me and care for me, he saved me from a life of sin and darkness. And I know he loves me "…forever and always, no matter what."