God Had Saved Her Life, but She Still Had a Mission

patti_streibPatti Streib recently shared a powerful testimony of God’s love, as He used a classmate of hers to reach her at a dark and pivotal time in her life.  She had devised a plan to end her own life, but that very day God intersected and used another teenage girl to lead Patti to Youth Ranch, where she heard the gospel message and received Christ as her savior.

Patti’s story could have ended there, but God wasn’t finished with her. While she had the assurance of God’s love, and the confidence in her own eternity, she grew up in a violent home with parents who were alcoholics.  There were harsh realities she would still face.

How did your decision to follow Christ affect your home life (or did it affect it)?

My friends became Christian friends, and I discovered that not every home was like my home. I started questioning God, asking Him, “Why did you let me be born in this family, where there’s such violence, such hatred here?”

Right away, I went back home, and I sat down with my two younger sisters, and I shared the Gospel with them. It was crystal clear in my mind, and I shared it with them…and they started going to Youth Ranch.

My older sister was already out of the house.  I met with her for coffee, and I presented the gospel.  She said, “Oh, I already know that!”  And I said, “Well, why didn’t you tell me!”

My brother was in Vietnam, and I wrote him right away. He did three tours of duty, and when he came home, I witnessed to him right then.  He began to visit Bible college, and ended up taking classes there after he had trusted Christ as his savior.  When he went back into the Army after his leave, he started a Bible study! From what little he gained, they were learning the Bible together.

So, at this point, I had witnessed to my two younger sisters, my older sister, and my older brother.

Then, I witnessed to my dad.  And, my dad put me down right away. He said, “Don’t talk to me about such things.  I won a Bible for attendance when I was a child, and I don’t need you to tell me anything.”

My mom, I would ask her to come chaperon our Bible studies at Youth Ranch.  We didn’t need chaperons, but I used it as an excuse to get her to come and hear the gospel.  Every Tuesday night at Youth Ranch they presented the gospel – it was so you could bring your friends, and you’d know they would hear about Jesus.  So, I asked my mom, and she came.  She sat in the back and listened. And, I would talk to her afterwards, and she would say to me, “I’ve done too much. God can’t save me.” And, as much as I tried to convince her that God forgives all sin when you trust Him, she wasn’t convinced.

So, in 2003, when I was 50 years old, I began to think about why God had put me in that family. My mom was dying of cancer.  At that time, the church where I attended was going through “The Purpose-Driven Life,” and I went to visit my mom and took the book with me. I went out to Colorado, and I asked God for the courage to speak to her.  And, I began discussing the book with her, and I asked her about trusting Christ…and she did! She came to know the Lord at that time, and I think it’s because she knew that she didn’t have much time.

So, then, there’s my dad.  And, he was still alive. I really wanted to ascertain his salvation, and since he had ‘shut me up’ more than once, I really was nervous about it.  But, he began to tell me about a Presbyterian Church he was attending, and he showed me his Bible, and he said he knew he was going to heaven.  I didn’t press him, but I just wanted confirmation. Well, when he passed away in 2006, he asked that his ashes be spread at sea. And, when we were on the boat, the Captain asked if anyone wanted to speak.  So, the pastor of my dad’s church spoke up and said, “I know where Al is right now. He is in heaven.”  He said that my dad had testified to him over and over that he had trusted Christ as his savior.

So, that is what became of my family.  I know that God placed me there to be a witness. I wanted to be in a Christian home like many of my friends, but that isn’t what God had for me.

The focus of more than one of my women’s groups – and even in church – has been, “You have a story.” And, my feeling is that God gave me this story so that I could reach others.