Esther Lohrke’s Personal Testimony:
I came in 1985 to my last year of high school. I had a relationship and everything seemed fine – but as time went by he began to abuse me everyday. He would lock me up in a closet all day and return and abuse me again. I remember one day coming home from school and noticed two cars in the driveway. I went to the door to find this man with another woman. I felt like my life was over, I didn’t understand how this could happen to me. They both beat me up and I fell down the flight of stairs. I started walking the streets in Bell Gardens feeling like a failure.
This was not the dreams I had for my life.
In the midst of this terrible life, part of me still felt self-righteous. I was just crying and walking up this bridge on Gage Avenue in Bell, California and thinking – I am just going to throw myself off the bridge and kill myself.
At this time, there was one of my brothers that was saved named Larry Garcia and he was driving up this bridge. He saw me, honked the horn and I got in the car. He drove me to a park and I began to tell him everything. He began to share Jesus with me that He wants to help set me free so I don’t have to live this kind of life. Again, even through all that had happened part of me still felt I could handle it on my own; then I realized I couldn’t. I had never drank or smoked, but I remember that day I accepted Jesus Christ in that parked car and I knew I did not want to turn back. I wanted freedom and salvation.
From that point on I have served God faithfully – yes there have been tough times, but Christ gives me the endurance, peace and anything else I need to serve Him. I loved God with all my heart but there were some things I needed to grow on the inside and outside. The way I would dress was not pleasing to the Lord and there were other things I needed help in. I knew I needed more of God to be closer to Him. I remember groups of women spoke into my life with the Word of God and I ate it up like a baby. I went to Bible Study and it was a big part of my life – that is where I truly got discipleship on what a woman of God is. It was individual time for me to ask questions and to see others live for Jesus.
I thank God for discipleship because it does work.
God is always challenging me and pushing me today, even though it doesn’t feel good, it helps. He has been challenging me to grow, learn more of Who, He is and to become a better wife and mother. My husband and I have been in Kansas going on fifteen years. I thank God for the growth in our church, every woman and every couple in our church. I want to cause them to speak and impart into others just as it was done in my life. I didn’t know that what I had gone through in life would help others make it now.
I thank God for what He is doing in my own life and in others.