Missions & Evangelism

 

Pastor Derry & Wendy OSullivan’s

Ministry

Blanchardstown –

Ireland

 

 

 

 

Contact Details :

 

E-mail address:  psalm111v1@gmail.com

 

Church Website Address:  www.bbc.ac

 

Testimony of Derry O’Sullivan

 

I was born and grew up in the town of Charleville, County Cork in Ireland.  The landscape of the town was dominated by the large Catholic Church building as was also was the religious life of the entire community.  I knew nothing but Catholicism when I was growing up.  Indeed as far as I can remember, I did not met anyone of another religion during those early years.  I attended schools run by The Sisters of Mercy and later The Christian Brothers.  Catholic doctrine was taught all the way through school, and I clearly remember the occasional special visits of the priests to the school in order to give instruction.

 

Thus, I was well versed in the teachings of the Catholic church, and I attended mass regularly along with my family.  The family said the rosary together on occasions.  My father knew a great number of people, and as is the custom in rural Ireland, he attended many funerals – of relatives, friends, and acquaintances.  At one such funeral, I can still remember the dark soil of the grave, and the coffin being lowered into it.  I wondered – where has that person gone?  This question frequently bothered me.

 

I left my hometown in 1973 to study Civil Engineering in the city of Cork, forty miles away.  I found student accommodation at St. Bonaventure’s hostel that had been opened by the Capuchin monks in a spare wing of the monastery.  This had been freed up by a drop in vocations.  The location was very convenient for the university, and I had great fun over the years with the fourteen or so other students who resided there.  The location was very convenient for attending mass also, as the monks would open up the connecting door with the rest of the monastery on Sunday morning, and we could just walk through to the chapel if we wished.  During this time I had frequent conversations with the trainee monks, and was surprised to find that they were very hazy about the life to come.  I did not find any answers there for the emptiness within.  Despite good prospects for my life ahead with a consistent exam record, I knew something was missing from my life.

 

Toward the end of my four year course, one of the other residents returned from the Summer vacation with a new found faith.  He persisted to talk about the Bible and the Love of Christ, despite a great deal of ridicule from us all, including myself.  However certain truths kept bothering me as I read both the Christian literature, and the Bible which he had given me.  While I had been to Mass many many times, I had never heard or considered that Jesus loved me in a personal way.  Also, I would not admit that I was a sinner under God’s condemnation.  I felt that I was as good as the next person, perhaps a bit better in fact.  As I read the Bible, one verse pierced my heart like a sword –

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

 

I became painfully aware of my sinful condition before God.  I know that I was not able to enter Heaven in that state.  I also knew that Jesus Christ had died on the cross of Calvary, but until then it had not become personal – that Jesus had died for me, to deal with my sins.  I realised that God was offering me a full pardon based not on my works, but on the perfect, completed work of Christ.  Another verse in the book of Romans spoke particularly to me

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

 

Several weeks of struggle went on within me.  At times, I felt that God would spoil my enjoyment of life if I were to accept Christ the Bible way.  However my life was pretty empty anyway.  Finally I turned to Jesus Christ to save me.  I remember it very clearly – I called out to the Lord to save me the way He described in the Bible.  While there was no flash of lightening, I knew something had changed inside.  Very soon, I sought out the company of others who followed the Bible.