A former drug addict who recently became a Christian is crediting her church's decision to defy pandemic restrictions for keeping her alive.
Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo, Ontario, incurred thousands of dollars in fines over its decision to hold in-person services in violation of government-mandated restrictions, saying in a blog post last year it wanted to be a "lifeline" to Canadians who were lonely, hurting and suffering in the midst of the pandemic. Its pastor, Jacob Reaume, also has incurred fines.
This week the church posted a video on its social media accounts of a woman, Jennifer Scott, who says she found hope at Trinity Bible Chapel because of its decision to remain open.
Scott, who was addicted to cocaine, recounted her testimony at her baptism. She was "shooting seven grams of cocaine a day," she said.
"My son asked me to come to a prayer meeting at Trinity," she said. "In my small group, I asked for prayer to help me stop. I left a comment on one of Pastor Jacob's sermons on YouTube. Pastor Jacob took the time to find out who I was ... and called me to pray for me and to encourage me to keep coming to church. I did."
"None of these things would have happened if Trinity closed it's doors and was solely online...I'd be dead right now if God had not used this church in my life."— Trinity Bible Chapel (@TBCWR) January 11, 2022
There are people like Jennifer in your community. Refuse to turn them away.#OpenYourChurch pic.twitter.com/OEzFVIW5bM
The church helped her enroll at a sober living house in Cambridge, Ontario.
"I've been clean and sober now for over seven months, moved into my own apartment – and the body of Christ here at Trinity has helped me with furniture and other blessings," she said. "None of these things would have happened if Trinity closed its doors and was solely online. I know for a fact that I'd be dead right now if God had not used this church in my life."
Before becoming a Christian, Scott said, she was an angry person filled with "fear, doubt and self-pity."
"I was constantly seeking avenues of filling the hole in me that only Jesus could fill," she said. "I was very promiscuous, hateful, bitter, controlling and plagued with addictions. … Jesus never stopped His pursuit of me. He literally left the 99 to save the one. He has saved me again and again and again."
Photo courtesy: Nagesh Badu/Unsplash
Video courtesy: ©Trinity Bible Chapel
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.