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Our Faith

Jeremy’s Testimony

My name is Jeremy Vuolo and I am a Christian. My prayer is that this testimony of how the Lord saved me will demonstrate just how great the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ really is. The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I tell my testimony, I want to first share the Apostle Paul’s words from Romans 6:21-23:

21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That is my story. I look back upon my life, before Christ with great shame, knowing things the end of the things of that life is death! But Praise be to God, Jesus Christ has set me free from sin and has made me a servant of the Lord.

I was raised in a Christian home by faithful parents who loved the Lord and raised me and my two older siblings in the fear and instruction of the Lord. As I think back on my life, I remember vividly several “crisis moments” where I realized in a greater way than ever before the sin that was in my heart. One of these came when I was 5 and another came when I was 16 and another when I was mid-way through college. In these times I was struck with a profound realization of just how wicked my sin was and just how holy and righteous and majestic God is.

Being raised by such godly parents actually made it difficult for me to know if I truly loved God for myself during my childhood years or if I was simply being an obedient son!

The test of my own faith came during the last year of high school. I had been homeschooled most of my life but began attending public school in my junior and senior year and it was during my senior year that a lot of sin in my heart began to be exposed.

I began getting involved in the weekend party scene.. This continued into college and my sin just continued to spiral my life downward. Although I am very grateful for how much the Lord’s mercy spared me from during that time, I was part of the college party scene and was not living wisely. I began sliding down the slippery, destructive slopes of lust, selfishness, and pride.

During this time, I was also training to become a professional soccer player, a goal I had had since I was very young. I was attending a small college in New York and playing for their soccer team.
But as my life in the party-scene continued to decline, my performance on the field, as well as the relationships with those around me, also declined. It did not take very long for me to realize that my sin was catching up with me quickly. There was one moment I still remember vividly where I sat with my head in my hands and cried out to the Lord, “God—I cannot live like this anymore!”

I was fed up with my sin and I wanted freedom from it. It was then that I cried out to God and repented of the many ways that I had sinned against Him. Looking to Jesus with faith in what He had done for me on the cross, I turned away from my sin and ran to the Jesus desperately pleading for forgiveness.

Soon after, I sought out accountability from the Christians I knew around me. Though Christ had forgiven me and had made me a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17), there were still many trials and temptations I had yet to face. Over the next several years, I continued to battle against the desires of my flesh, except now there was a change: I began to see great victory in my life over those sins that had formerly enslaved me! Just as Charles Wesley wrote in his famous hymn And Can It Be, “My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.”

I was not perfect—and please understand: Christianity does not mean you become a perfect person! It means that the chains of sin that enslaved you are broken and, though you may stumble and wrestle against sin, there is glorious victory!

One of my favorite verses in all of Scripture is 2 Corinthians 3:18:

18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

When the Lord saved me I saw Jesus Christ as I had not seen Him before in all of His beauty and glory! As I beheld Jesus through His Word, the Bible, I began to see a transformation take place in my life. The sins I once loved and lived to do, I know longer loved and was no longer compelled to act upon!

Over the next several years, I continued to battle against sin and still do to this day! But I have hope in this life: not in myself and my own performance and perfection, but in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His death in my place. And I know that He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion in the final day when He returns again (Philippians 1:6).

Several years later I fulfilled my dream of becoming a professional soccer player: I went to Finland in 2011 after college and then on to New York City for a year and then down to San Antonio for two years. However, it was not long after I signed my first contract that I began to feel the call to ministry.

My lifelong passion of playing soccer for a living began to dwindle as a burning desire to serve God as a preacher and a pastor was growing.

In 2013, I had the incredible privilege of moving in with a great pastor and his family.  It was during that time that God greatly molded and shaped me in ways He never had before and much of the sin from my past that still sought to cling to me He began to show me in greater and greater light. That time in the their house was, for me, the time of my greatest spiritual growth and maturity in the Word.

After stepping away from the game of soccer in November 2014, I was asked if I would be able to go down to Laredo to oversee a small church there. I have now been in Laredo, Texas for almost a year-and-a-half and am now serving as an ordained pastor in Grace Community Church of Laredo.

God has been kind to me. I have sinned greatly against my Lord but He was patient and kind—He was slow to anger and merciful. As Romans 2:4 says,

…do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Though I presumed for many years on His kindness’, God led me to repentance. I will close where I began:

Romans 6:21-23:

21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

Jinger’s Testimony

My name is Jinger Vuolo and I’d like to share a bit of my personal story and why Jesus Christ is everything to me. I was raised in a Christian home and would have been considered a “good kid”—fairly obedient to my parents, kind to my siblings, didn’t steal the cookie from the cookie jar—you know, ‘that’ kid.

But there was a time—in my early teenage years—when I realized that, even though I appeared “good”, I was personally guilty before a holy God because, in my heart, I was in rebellion against Him. Here I was, created to enjoy a relationship with my Creator and through that enjoyment proclaim His glory and beauty in all I do! But I, just as the Bible testifies in Romans 3:10-12, had turned aside to my own way and was seeking and pursuing my own glory.

Romans 3:10-12

None is righteous, no, not one;

no one understands;

no one seeks for God.

All have turned aside;

together they have become worthless;

no one does good,

not even one.

 

It was then, upon realizing this for the first time, that God opened my eyes to see the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. For the first time I saw Jesus as truly beautiful—no longer was my belief in Jesus an intellectual ascent or a cultural expectation.

Though I had turned away from God like the rest of humanity, God the Father looked with compassion upon me and made a way for me to be saved from my sin of rebellious idolatry. In sending Jesus Christ to earth, God demonstrated the greatest act of love toward me…toward us all. In fact, God’s love is the deepest definition of love! The Apostle John put it this way: 

1 John 4:10

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

What my eyes were opened to see was that Jesus had lived the perfect life of obedience to God that I failed to live and He had taken the punishment for sin that I had earned and deserved.

What an incredible message to hear for me, a young girl crushed under the guilt of my sin:

       2 Corinthians 5:21

     For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no     sin, so that in Him we might become them                            righteousness of God.” 

Remarkable. Jesus really died so that I could live; Jesus actually stood in my place before the righteous judgment of the Holy God and took every ounce of punishment I deserved! Why? Because He loved me.

He loved me!!! And He loved me with an irresistible love that drew me into His arms. I cried out to God to forgive me for my rebellious heart—wanting to live for myself and my own vain glory instead of His; and I put my trust in Jesus alone to save me, believing that He had actually died to give me eternal life freed from the chains of sin.

Since that time I have enjoyed sweet fellowship with my God and Savior and would not trade my salvation for anything this world could offer. My heart echoes the prayer of the Psalmist:

Psalm 73:25-26

Whom have I in heaven but You?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my

heart and my portion forever.

My prayer is that you, too, would come to know and love Jesus Christ in this way. We are all searching for love, joy, and peace, aren’t we? That is what Jesus Christ promises to those who will let go of their sin and entrust their lives to Him. 

Mark 1:15

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.