My Testimony

My name is Sheila Etonga and I come from Cameroon, West Central Africa, doing my third year at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), pursuing a Masters of Arts in Christian Education. Before DTS I had lived in America for about 10 years and I came to this country to pursue the American dream. To work hard, get a good education and make lots of money.

Except for the later….I think I did it all.

I graduated with an MBA from Baylor University and I worked as a director at a prominent grocery chain for eight years. I would have considered myself relatively successful.

However life happened. I lost my older sister suddenly, they say she died of food poisoning and not too long after that my fiancé broke up our engagement for reasons I could not understand. My world, came crushing down.

These things turned me to seek God in a very real way. Although I grew up in a culturally Christian home, knowing about God but never knew you could have a personal relationship with him.

One day a stranger invited me to a Bible study where I heard 1 Cor. 13 that talks about “love keeping no record of wrongs”. I was struggling with unforgiveness at the time, so the Lord used this verse to change my life. I became a born again believer there in Waco TX. From that time forward, I started going to church and I was so hungry to know the Lord more intimately and to know how to interpret the bible for myself.

Staying in Houston at the time, I prayed to the Lord to send me someone who would disciple me. A few days later I heard on the radio, that The College of Biblical studies (better known as CBS) was giving a free class in Bible study methods. I knew that was my answer to prayer. For three semesters I took one class at a time-I remember Principles of teaching was one of the courses I took and Old Testament History to satisfy my fascination for Old Testament narrative. All these classes were being taught by DTS grads. These classes discipled me and helped me to serve my Church more effectively.  

However, during my third semester at CBS, the bible college, a good friend just asked me, “Sheila why don’t you go to seminary?”. With a confused look I said to her, “Will they take someone like me in seminary?” You see I knew more about business than about the Bible, I was still very young in my faith. She encouraged me to check it out. So, I logically went right across the street from CBS,  to a seminary called, Dallas Theological Seminary, the Houston extension campus. I applied and got accepted in the fall of 2009 but the Lord closed every door for me to begin seminary until the Fall of 2011, when He made it clear to me that He wanted me in ministry more on a full time basis. So I quit my job, put my house on the market and moved to Dallas to be a full time student.

Although I am a full time student, I work part time with a ministry called ALARM (African Leadershipand Reconciliation Ministry), headed by another DTS grad, Celestin Musekura. ALARM has also further equipped me to understand better how to serve the African people in the area of servant leadership, peace building and reconciliation.

Now in my third year at seminary, I consider my time at seminary as a gift from the Lord. I have been equipped through learning Hermeneutics (the science of Bible Interpretation) and expositional teaching from all 66 books of the Bible. I have learnt the power of community through friendships cultivated at school and in my Church. Most of all I think DTS has made me understand that I am a bigger sinner than I ever thought, thus allowing me to embrace the beauty of grace and the power of the salvation I have received. I think I have a more sober understanding of my soul and the sin tendencies of my wandering heart.  My desire is to always seek a humble and passionate heart for Him.

My Church Watermark Community Church is also a wonderful gift  from the Lord. I have learned the power of discipleship, the gift of walking in close, intentional community with others and I face the constant need to share my faith daily. My Church has showed me to see how God blesses those who focus on His word and who make His name famous on earth. Not with a perfect and all put together life, free of pain and hurt…but rather with a life powered by His grace evidenced by ones ability to increase in love and good deeds (Matt 22:37-40; 1 Thes 2:8).

My Passion is to teach the Bible in a way that comes alive in the hearts and minds of believers and unbelievers a like. The main goal is to build disciples of Christ so that they too can build other disciples (Mat 28:18-20).   

I believe being a Christian is not something you do, it is who you are. Chritianity is not about following rules, it is about having a personally love relationship with God. Your faith informs all your decision making. So as Paul says we are free from the power of sin, but we are slaves to righteousness (Rom 6:18). I believe that the biggest evidence of the strength and power of our faith is not in the ability to do miracles, heal the sick or tell the future but it is in our love. As Jesus said, the world will know you are mine by your love (John 13:34-35).

Thanks for your interest in the Lord and in Comfortnotes. Please pray Col 1:9-12 over me so that I may be faithful, humble and loving to my God and to my fellowman until he calls me home.

For an Audio Testimony, listen to a Radio Program where I shared my testimony and the gospel

1 comment:

  1. "I believe that the biggest evidence of the strength and power of our faith is not in the ability to do miracles, heal the sick or tell the future but it is in our love. As Jesus said, the world will know you are mine by your love (John 13:34-35)." I believe that too! Thank you for blessing us with your powerful testimony.


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My Testimony