Silvana Brown, The Stone County Campus
Silvana Brown, The Stone County Campus

Silvana Brown, The Stone County Campus

May 4, 2024

I was born and raised in a non-Christian family. My community was mostly Catholic, so my family called themselves Catholic, but we barely went to church, prayed, or followed any religious customs. My mother was the first to encounter Christianity because my younger sister had cancer and was looking for help to cope with the enormous pain that the situation brought us. I had the opportunity to go to Christian churches and even meetings in Christian homes with her. I was in college, and I was so busy that I only did it to share time with my mom, because at the time I was living with my dad after their separation.  

Christians for me were a peculiar people. They were kind and joyful, no matter what they were going through. But I felt the pressure of being one of them, and I didn't like that. My sister became a Christ-follower, recovered shortly before her cancer came back, and she passed away. She lived happily for a few years despite how hard life was dealing with cancer. She was a beautiful person in every sense of the word. She was very kind, respectful, loving, strong, intelligent, and she had a good sense of humor. I laughed a lot with her. 

Years passed, and I was living alone concentrating on my work, but I felt lonely and wanted a family. I remember hearing that there was a God who loved me and wanted what was best for me. And while I didn’t truly have a relationship with him, I started to pray. After a year of praying, I met my husband, and we got married shortly after. I was 37 years old when we got married, and we quickly had a daughter and a son. As my children grew up, I began to feel the need to talk to them about God, but I didn't know how. I was so ignorant about that. I took them to a few churches, but the truth was that I just couldn’t connect in any of them. I eventually stopped looking and decided to focus on caring for them, loving them, and raising them the best I could. 

In 2021, Hurricane Ida relocated us from Louisiana to Mississippi, and I had recently suffered a car accident that caused me chronic neck and back pain. So much change and pain left me feeling hopeless and without answers. In the midst of all of it, I once again felt the need for my children to learn about God. It’s like something hit me, and I thought “I can't allow my children to have a life without knowing God.” Something was missing, and I knew it. 

Again, I started looking for a church, and we ended up at Venture Church. For the first time, I felt truly welcomed and loved. I was happy that finally my children were going to learn from God. However, I had also decided that this was all for them and that I was still a rebel - that there was no way I would ever grow in my faith or be baptized. It was simply all for my kids.  

My husband has been a Christian his entire life, but he had always respected my beliefs. Many times, he shared with me what the Bible says, but I didn't really pay much attention to it. I saw the Bible as just another book on his nightstand for many years, until I began to get more connected in church and listen to teachings on God’s Word. As time passed, my heart softened and I began to grow in the love of God and Jesus, until I eventually made a decision to follow Him and go public with my faith through baptism. 

Now I know with certainty that there is a God of love with a perfect plan for each of us. Of course, life still has difficult situations, and I have great days and bad days. The difference is that no matter the circumstances, I have a Heavenly Father I can trust in. 

God used motherhood and my love for my children to lead me back to Him. At first, I was seeking Him so that my children could know Him, but I ended up working on my own salvation and relationship with Him. I know there are many mothers praying for the salvation of their children, and I can understand the anguish about when their children will finally open their hearts to Jesus. But I want to encourage those mothers to continue praying, trusting His word, and seeking Him, because His plans are so good!

-Silvana, The Stone County Campus