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My Life Story – Kamil Golebiewski (from Poland)

I was brought up in a Roman Catholic family in Poland so I always knew I was a sinner. I didn’t enjoy going to the Mass very much and I found it boring. But I always wondered “How do I know if my Catholic faith is the right one? I’m Catholic because my parents are catholic, but what if they were Muslim or Hindu?” But I never actually asked anyone these questions, they just stayed somewhere in my mind. I remember thinking to myself one day, “Our Pope, John Paul II, is such a Godly man. He’s definitely going to heaven. I wish I was like him.”

I came to the UK when I was 20. At that point I stopped going to church altogether and started a new chapter in my life. I found a job and was busy living for myself. I didn’t worry too much about eternity. I thought to myself, “There will be time to sort these things out.”

After a few years I ended up living with my mum and shortly after she got very focused on religious things. She found a Polish Church in Oxford and we resumed our Catholic “sanctification”.

Meanwhile I met and married my wife and we all ended up going to Oxford every Sunday. After a few years, thanks to my mum’s friend, we realised that many of the Roman Catholic doctrines are unbiblical so we stopped going to the Church. This friend insisted we should keep the Sabbath and other Jewish laws and traditions. So we tried to do that for a year or so, but the way we did it seemed wrong to me. I mean, I couldn’t imagine Jews kneeling down in the middle of the house reading out some Bible verses from some sheets of paper – the same ones every Sunday. I thought to myself, “This can’t be right. How is this silly ritual going to grant me eternal life?” So I went to the Bible for the answers.

I started reading at Romans. I knew this was a letter to an early church and would hopefully contains some pointers. Shortly after I stumbled upon Romans 3:23-24 which says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”. This was a shock to me, I wasn’t sure if my understanding was correct. I thought, “This means I don’t have to do anything to earn salvation because Christ did all the work! I just have to believe it!” So I showed it to my wife Paulina and as it turned out, she got saved straight away after reading it! However that wasn’t the case for me (though I thought I was saved at the time). We started to look for a Bible based church. Soon, we stumbled upon a Pentecostal Church and attended a few services. To be honest I wasn’t a big fan of the “feel good experience” but anyway we asked to be baptised. That was not a problem and everything was arranged to take place in a few months.

Shortly after though we stumbled upon a big tent pitched on a football pitch near our house. It was the summer of 2015. It turned out to be a Christian tent, where the gospel is preached every evening for a few weeks. So we went to most of the meetings and heard the exact same message as in Romans 3. Then we started to come to the Sunday morning meetings and I remember that the first time I saw the “service” I was shocked, but in a good way. Back in the days when I went to the Catholic masses I used to think “why is it done like this, does this structure come from the Bible?” But when I first saw the way the morning meeting was organised I thought “OK, this is different”. I liked the simplicity and the humility of everyone in the church. I liked the fact that anyone could speak, pray and give thanks (apart of me of course!). But I was cautious about everything and tested everything with the Bible as I’d been deceived a few times in the past.

So we kept coming to the meetings. My wife joined the church, but I stayed put! To be honest I didn’t really enjoy the meetings or reading the Bible very much, which did bother me a little bit, especially when I saw the dedication of others. So the time went on and I was still in limbo.

Eventually the summer came and the gospel tent was again put up. My family were on holiday in Poland at the time so I was home alone. One day I heard a knock on my door and there was the evangelist from the Tent coming for a chat. Instantly I knew the purpose of the visit – he wanted to be sure I’m saved, and so did I. We had a chat and it became clear that I wasn’t! In the beginning I wasn’t sure that I was lost – I knew all the verses and the theory behind salvation, but soon I realised that I’m in exactly the same place I’ve always been – lost and hopeless.

I became desperate to have this sorted as soon as I could – preferably while my family was away and the tent services were on. I told myself I will attend every gospel meeting and get saved or die trying! So the days went on and there were fewer meetings left every day. I just didn’t know what I was missing. I was given some leaflets and verses to read, but that didn’t work either. It was Friday, 14th of July 2017, and the last meeting I could attend, as I was going to Poland to join my family. The sermon was on John 3:16 – a verse that I knew very well, but the way the Holy Spirit directed the evangelist to present it was life changing for me. He asked “Who would be willing to sacrifice their beloved son to save someone they loved?” And then “Who would be willing to sacrifice their beloved son for someone who hated them?” This struck me instantly. At this point I realised what I was missing all along. I didn’t appreciate God’s love for me that He manifested in His son, Lord Jesus Christ. At this point everything changed and I could finally say that I love God for He first loved me. From then on I started to enjoy coming to services and reading the Bible.

Shortly after that I was baptised (again!) and began to grow spiritually, leaning more about Christ as my Lord and Saviour. How about you? Has there been a time in your life when you discovered you were lost and trusted in Christ for your salvation from sin and hell? Have you been born again?

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