Watch: John Ariwi’s testimony
John Ariwi had been a Christian for nearly 50 years, but it wasn’t until he made time to be still before God during a time of fasting and self-reflection that he began to hear much more clearly from the Holy Spirit. God lovingly led him on a journey of renewal as he repented for his sins and reconciled broken relationships with his siblings. John then experienced God’s very real presence for the first time in his life. Praise God! Watch his testimony below.
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Also, see 4 ways we unknowingly idolise our parents.
My whole life was transformed. As I walked out of the prayer ministry room, I felt lighter, the whole world seems so much brighter.
I could hardly wait for my next quiet time to sit with my Heavenly Father.
My name is John Ariwi. I’m 61 years old. I’m from Kenya in East Africa. I’ve lived in Asia for more than 32 years. My wife’s name is Beatrice and we’ve been married for 32 years. We have three wonderful children.
I was very close to my mother. I loved her a lot and I used to cry whenever she left my presence. She taught us a lot about the right way of living and it’s only when we grew up that we realised that most of her teachings were from the Bible. She went to be with the Lord at an early age because of a cancer that was detected too late.
I was very close to my father as well.
I considered him to be my friend. He was a very funny man and always used to make jokes where he made fun of himself. So, he was always a joy to be around. He went to be the Lord in the year 2000 and we miss him a lot.
I became a Christian at age 13. I went to a Christian boarding school. For the first time, I was away from my parents and I felt really alone. I attended a Christian Union meeting two weeks after joining the school, and I learned that if I was to pass away, I would be sent to hell if I didn’t accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. So, during that meeting, I did accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
Since moving to Asia, I’ve had an opportunity for spiritual growth.
In the last 25 years, I’ve had the opportunity to serve in my church in different capacities; more recently as a deacon in the church.
However, in the last few years, I felt like I’d hit a ceiling. I felt like my relationship with God was not growing. I reached out to God and I prayed, “God, I want to know You. I want to know You more.” And in His faithfulness, God sent people in my life who led me in the right direction, towards a deeper knowledge of our Heavenly Father.
One of my friends suggested that I do a fast to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, so I followed through and did a 48 hour fast. It was a first time I’d done something like this and it was a wonderful, wonderful experience.
There were so many benefits to the fast.
One of them is that it gave me a very clear mind. And with a clear mind, I remembered many, many things, things from the past, some that I had even forgotten that I once knew. I also realized that I did not need as much food as I was used to, but the most important benefit of the fast was I could hear the Holy Spirit more and more clearly. I was very grateful for that experience. And I’ve done more fasting since then.
And as I heard the Holy Spirit clearly and I reflected on my life, I realised that I was a much bigger sinner than I had previously acknowledged.
I had led a sinful life. And the first reaction was to be discouraged. But as I read God’s Word, I was encouraged in reading Psalm 32, which spoke about what a celebration it is when we confess and repent because our God is a forgiving God. I was encouraged as well by Isaiah 43:25, which says that when we confess our sins, God forgives our sins and remembers them no more.
I’m very grateful to my wife and my sister who walked with me along this journey, and as I committed to follow through with a prayer ministry, they encouraged me and walked alongside me.
As I was preparing for the prayer ministry, I was convicted of the need of reconciling with two of my siblings.
And I thank God for encouraging me and leading me through the reconciliation. As I was discussing with my sister about our family situation, I felt a very strong pull in how much we missed our parents.
Our parents, in their wisdom, always knew how to deal with different family issues, but since they were gone, we had difficulty in dealing with some family issues.
And it was at that point, as I missed my parents, that I realised that I had actually been idolising my parents.
I had lifted my parents to a point of being worshipped rather than worshipping God. And that was something that I knew I had to confess and repent of.
During the prayer ministry, it came very clear that God wanted me to be His son. And I did confess of my idol worshipping of my parents, was grateful for my parents what they’d done. But now it was time for me to reconcile with God, not only as my God, but as my Heavenly Father. And when I made that confession and repentance of all the idol-worshipping of my parents, and connected with God as my Heavenly Father, I wept like I’d not wept in a long, long, long time.
There was this huge burden that was lifted off my shoulders, off my chest, off my heart, and I felt one with God.
I was in the presence of God, it was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful time for me. It was such a special time, almost like a second salvation, and I was very grateful to be in His presence.
Since then, my relationship with my wife, my children and others around me has been completely transformed. The knowledge that God is my Heavenly Father, the knowledge that I’m His son who He accepts unconditionally, has made me much more confident in loving others without fear, in asking for forgiveness when I wrong others, and in going back to God for confession and repentance, whenever I need to. Standing from this place, knowing that I’m loved by God, has put me in a position where I’m able to speak the truth in love, where I do not force things, but let the Holy Spirit lead me in my interaction with others.
So, my walk with God, my communication with the Holy Spirit is something that is much more intentional now than it was in the past.
Looking back now, I see that the journey was difficult, but it was all worth it. I continued to grow in His likeness and I continue to reflect on my life and give up on things that may be standing between me and God. And I’m so grateful for the journey because when I look back and I see that it was all worth it, and when I look back and I see the freedom I now have in Him, I’m grateful that I followed through and did not give up when I was discouraged, did not give up when I had doubts about where all this was leading.
My encouragement to you is, seek His leading and despite the ups and downs that you will go through.
Do not give up because there’s nothing as precious as having freedom in God and knowing that you are His much-loved child. Thank you.
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