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March 2016


More Than Money


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Soraya's Story

The following testimony was originally shared at a North American Missions picnic at Bay City Free Will Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama, on September 1, 2014. I am happy to report that Soraya is still faithful to church and a blessing to others. She now helps others find Christ and regularly encourages those who are saved.

I am also thrilled to report that on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, around the altar at our church, her son prayed and accepted Jesus as Savior. Stories like this, lives changed and souls saved, make all the challenges of church planting well worth it.

—Tim Riggs, church planter, Mobile, Alabama


I was raised in a Roman Catholic family. We were financially well off, so whatever I wanted, I got. While growing up, I never read or saw a Bible in my home. By the time I was 18, I was a full-blown alcoholic and already had three DWI’s. My dad wrote a check for all of them, and I got into no trouble with the legal system. 

I went on to college at a small school in Georgia. Cocaine became my best friend. My parents came to visit me and saw that I weighed 90 pounds and was seriously addicted to cocaine. They took me home. I fooled my parents and began to smoke crack. I remember that, one night, I smoked so much, I saw an angel flying around me. That was the same night my dad busted into the crack house with a .357 magnum, put me over his shoulder, and dared anyone to move, or he would shoot. 

My parents nursed me back to health using the alcohol detox method. I moved to Birmingham, Alabama, for a fresh start. I met a man named Mark. He was a good man. He lived a fun lifestyle like I did. We got married and had two kids. I quit drinking. Mark and I were married for six years before he passed away. I was left with four-year-old and two-year-old children. Prince Charming came along and told me everything I wanted to hear. We had an awful marriage and fought daily. 

One day, a little red truck came up the driveway. A redheaded man got out of the truck and introduced himself as Pastor Tim Riggs. He told us about Jesus and invited us to church. We went to church but not regularly.

Pastor Riggs wouldn’t stop visiting and sharing Jesus with us. On Labor Day 2009, my husband left me. My world stopped. I remember lying on the kitchen floor and screaming for this man named Jesus to help me. Nothing magically happened, but I promise you I felt a warm feeling all over, as if Jesus had picked me up and held me. I called my pastor and his wife and they showed me biblically what to do next. My life was turned upside down, but now I had hope. I prayed for reconciliation in my marriage for three years until God finally released me with the knowledge that he had committed adultery.  My pastor and his wife counseled me and gave me no leeway for missing church. Needless to say, they have earned the title of being my spiritual mom and dad. 

My life has drastically changed in five years. God has taken a lot from me that I was holding onto tightly, including my children. My children are my heart. 

Dillon is 16 and is an amazing son. Satan attacks and attacks him, but I pray for his salvation. My daughter Elizabeth is 14, and she is a beautiful child! She gets knocked down, grabs Jesus’ hand, and gets back up. My kids and I are truly loved by this church. My life isn’t easy and I stumble financially, but I have the best husband and daddy for my kids and that is Jesus.



©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists