I am Michael Da Silva, Sr. My parents immigrated to Canada from Europe with four sons. My twin and I were born in Toronto.
I am thankful for honest, hardworking parents who sent us to church almost every Sunday. I like to look back at my childhood as a time of innocence. However, by the time I was 16 years old I had overdosed on drugs. One night after a rock concert, my friends abandoned me. The police arrested me. They later admitted that they were very close to shooting me because I was extremely violent toward them. They took me to a mental health facility, as they thought I was an escaped patient. I was assessed by the doctor who directed the police to rush me to the nearest hospital for toxic treatment.
After that incident, I stopped using drugs cold turkey for a while. I soon thought that I could control myself by being careful with the doses I took. I married a beautiful girl and within four years, we were both working, had a place of our own and two baby boys. I really thought I had my act together and was in perfect control, but I was certainly wrong about that.
I started to see old friends again and began to dabble in the things that almost destroyed me in the past. One night, I mixed alcohol with drugs. I fell off a second story balcony and broke my right arm. I was working as a tradesman. I had a hefty mortgage, lots of bills to pay and was unable to work. I learned how to make moonshine. I was a drug addict AND a bootlegger; but, I still thought that I had everything under control.
One night, I needed a fix so I used a washroom in a restaurant in downtown Toronto. My key chain just happened to fall on the counter and one of my baby boy’s pictures seemed to stare at me. I thought, “If I keep going this way, what kind of a father will I be, and how long will I be around for my wife and kids”? I looked into the mirror and plainly said: “Oh God, help me!”
During this time my wife had a friend who would constantly invite us to come and hear someone speak at her church. At first I was definitely NOT INTERESTED; but she was so kind to my wife and children that I decided to go and listen to the message.
This is where I’d like to stop talking about myself and tell you what I heard that night. The message was from the Bible. It was the story of God and His love for all mankind.
The speaker was at the door shaking everyone’s hand and thanking them for coming. When it was my turn, I actually tried to avoid him but he shook my hand and asked me if I was saved. I told him that I didn’t understand what he meant. He rephrased the question, “If you should get into a car accident tonight and are ushered into eternity, where will your soul be – in Heaven or in Hell?”
The speaker told me God’s great message is that I could be saved through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ paid the price for sin and willingly died on the cross at Calvary. He was taken from the cross and buried, and on the third day He rose again.
The man further asked me if I believed I was a sinner. I had no problem admitting to that. That night we read a few verses from the Bible together such as: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). And, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). That night I realized two things. I realized that I was a guilty sinner before God and that Jesus Christ died on a cross, was buried and rose again to save my soul from a lost eternity.
There is so much more I could tell you about my testimony, but this story is really not about me, it’s about what God has done for me and what He can do for you. God will never force salvation upon you but He will never reject you if you will come to Him just as you are. The Lord Jesus said: “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). Will you come to Him now?
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