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Bryan Bender

Personal Testimony

I was born into The Salvation Army. With my parents being officers I have always known about God, but I didn’t fully understand when I was younger. My life was pretty good growing up. I have two older brothers, Matthew and David, and two younger sisters, Kristen and Kathryn. I don’t know how my parents handled us all, but they did, and I think they did a darn good job, showing what unconditional love is all about.

When I was about 11 or 12 years old I truly accepted Jesus into my heart. It happened at a family camp or some other Salvation Army event. It was the last meeting of the day and they were doing the altar call, so my dad asked me and my brother to come up to the altar and pray with him. It was then that I really realized that Jesus is my savior from sin and in that moment a sense of peace and calm filled me and I knew that I was saved.

The next several years I continued with my life, I was a Corps Cadet, participated some in church when my parents asked me, and stood kettles for my dad when he needed me too. When I was seventeen, going into my senior year of high school, I started thinking about what I wanted to do after high school. There was always a thought in the back of my mind that maybe I could be an officer but I never really thought too much into it. That summer I worked at Camp NEOSA, mostly just to get some money and that’s about it. But God had other plans. That year I met my future wife Brittany, fell in love, and grew greatly as a man of God. God's plan started to become a little bit clearer to me, and as Brittany and I grew closer we realized his calling for each of us. I thank God for giving me a loving family and changing my life for his will.