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Melanie DeMatteo

I Met Jesus

I was always longing for the approval of others and the love of my father. My parents divorced when I was very young and my dad was very uninvolved in my life. My family was and is still caught in a strong cycle of sin. Acting as the protective ‘mother’ of my younger siblings is where I had peace.

I had always known that there was a God, but never really knew that He loved me and had a plan for me. When my dad ended up in jail I was so angry, because I saw him now abandoning my younger siblings just as he had abandoned me. I wanted so badly to save them from this pain. I knew my younger siblings would be attending The Salvation Army’s Camp Sebago for the summer, so I decided to apply there as a sort of ‘good role model’ to show them they don’t have to be like the rest of our family. But God had other plans, wanting so badly to save them, He saved me. I met Jesus that summer, 2009.

My life changed drastically, from then on all I wanted to do was serve Jesus, and WOW, has He had me on a journey since. I am now redeemed by the love of my heavenly father and I find my affirmation in Him. God has called me to be the change in my family. A verse that has always spoken to me is, John 15:5, which says, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” I know a part from Him I can do nothing—I found my life in Christ.