What has the Lord done in your life? We love to hear testimonies from ordinary Kiwi Baptists, and want to hear your story.
Colin Syme, in his 80s, is a member of Tauranga Baptist Church. He gives his testimony (abbreviated, here) to people to read when the Spirit moves him.
I grew up on a farm at Darfield, Canterbury, where my father had a small sheep and mixed cropping property. I worked for my Dad for a number of years and, for a short time, managed a sheep and cattle property at Scargill before purchasing my own property in Methven in 1958.
While there I met Esme. We both taught Sunday School at St Johns Presbyterian Church and I was ordained as an elder there. Esme and I were married in 1960 and we had four children.
Our youngest, Andrew, became seriously ill as a baby with a suspected blockage on his brain. We committed him to our heavenly Father to take him or give him back to us. At the same time, our minister’s young son developed a brain tumour and was sent home from Dunedin Hospital as too far gone to operate on.
The church families took them both to the Lord in earnest prayer and both boys were miraculously healed. Our heavenly Father honoured our prayers by keeping our son to be ordained as a pastor (currently at Lower Hutt Baptist).
The lure of the hills and a sheep and cattle property led to us to Sherenden in Hawkes Bay in 1970.
Two years later my best friend Gordon, a local farmer, was smitten with a brain tumour and given three weeks to live. We gathered 22 Christians for prayer; we had believed God was the healer, but now we wondered if he really existed. How could the God of love allow such a thing to happen?
Our prayer that night was that if God was real, he must prove himself to us or else we were finished with church. However, we also prayed that if God should prove himself to us, we would endeavour to put him first in our lives from then on.
That weekend God, by his Spirit, enveloped us in a most wonderful way. Every few minutes throughout the day a wave of love, peace and joy enveloped me. It was like diving through a wave on the sea shore and being pummeled.
Now I knew that God was my heavenly Father, showering me with his love and care.
My life was totally changed. For six weeks we never opened a paper or watched television. As there was a drought on at that time I would be out at daybreak to check all the stock. By 8am I would be at home reading the Living Bible for the rest of the day.
The stories came alive, and my prayer life was one of adoration and praise. Esme and I experienced a love for each other that was out of this world. Our heavenly Father showed me by his Spirit that up to this time he had not been my true God. I had two gods – the god of making money and the god of being a success. These were foremost in my mind as a farmer.
Eight months later my friend Gordon died without experiencing another headache after our prayer meeting. It was through his illness that we had the wonderful experience of being part of a spiritual revival in our district.
We began to see miracles that medical or veterinary science could not explain. When the first outbreak of facial eczema in our district occurred we prayed, “Lord, we haven’t time to bury the dead sheep. Please kill off every eczema spore on the farm.”
About 900 sheep died of the disease over seven neighbouring properties that year, but we did not have a single case. We had that farm for 19 years and although there were many outbreaks of facial eczema around the district, we never found so much as a single clinical case in our 5500 sheep and cattle.
We saw many healings. A friend, Colin, was due for surgery for fusion of the vertebrae. We prayed, and the surgeon could not find any pain. The X-rays showed Colin was healed.
A woman working for us was due to go into hospital for traction, and would need surgery if it did not work.
On being prayed for in the name of Jesus, she was asked to bend down and touch her toes, which resulted in some cracking noises in her back. When asked if she could touch her toes before she said, “Never!”
One day while we were harvesting I noticed a neighbour going down with the vet to a back paddock with a very sick horse. I prayed for the horse in Jesus’ name.
When the vet came again in the evening the horse was running around. About a month later the vet visited me and told me if ever there was a miracle, it was that horse.
Our heavenly Father has blessed us greatly. All our children are happily married to Christians and our 10 grandchildren all love the Lord.
It is my prayer that you will know the reality of God’s love, peace and joy and that you will meet the risen Jesus Saviour.