|Camillo DeMarco ~ Mimico, Ontario|
My name is Camillo DiMarco. I was born in Orsogna Italy. Along with many other young Italians, I immigrated to Canada in July 1951 – an ocean voyage to Canada that lasted nine days. The day before my arrival in Halifax, the Italian priest implored us to keep true to our vows, to remain faithful to the Catholic religion, as we were entering a land of many religions.
In Canada, I started a job as a labourer on a farm and when my employer asked me to attend a United Church service I politely declined, remembering the warnings of the priest. Over the next four years I encountered many different religions but remained faithful to Catholicism.
Increasingly lonely, I found a lack of Italian maidens in Canada and began to write to a young women in my hometown. When I proposed to her by letter she agreed, under the condition that I would have to come back to Italy to prepare the nuptials and bring her back to Canada with me.
Upon my return to Italy in 1954, for my impending wedding, I discovered that my mother, three sisters and one brother had converted to the Jehovah’s Witness religion. They were very zealous in attempting to recruit me. It was only later that I found the truth in the Bible, and was therefore able to recognize the shortcomings of the Jehovah’s Witness religion.
At the time, my immediate response to my family was that Catholicism was the only true religion. My brother insisted that the truth was found only in the Jehovah’s Witness religion. And that he now knew the only true God – Jehovah. I challenged him to tell me how he knew this. He indicated to me that the truth could be found in the Bible. Ever skeptical I made no commitment other than to tell him that if the truth were found in the Bible then I would find it myself. I ignored his pleadings but told my brother that if he would give me a Bible I would promise to read it and find out the answer .
From that day on I read the Bible on a daily basis. It took me three and a half years to complete reading it. Never before had the Catholic Church encouraged me to personally read this Holy book. From my readings, I immediately recognized that this book was truly the Word of God. One verse that struck me as being critical is found in Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put there trust in Him.”
Since the Bible is the true Word of God, I figured that there must be one “true” religion that would help me gain entry into heaven. My work as a barber allowed me the opportunity to ask questions of my many customers. Through many discussions I soon discovered that there were many religions with many different interpretations on how an individual can get to heaven.
One day a customer asked me if I knew how many religions existed in the world. He then told me that there were over 1700 different denominations. He then quoted Proverbs 14:12 to me. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end therof are the ways of death”. Then he advised me to receive the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart. Only after having a personal relationship with the Lord would I be able to choose the right place of worship. When I asked him how to ‘receive Jesus’ he quoted John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
After many days of reflecting on these new ideas, a younger brother of mine, who had immigrated to Canada after I did, told me that he had become a born again Christian. He told me that he knew without a doubt that he was going to be in heaven someday. I was confused and I didn’t know what to believe. Some of my family members believed in Catholicism, some had turned to the Jehovah Witnesses religion and now this! My brother then asked me to attend a gospel meeting with him. At this meeting God touched my heart. I realized that the speaker spoke the truth about Jesus and His crucifixion. As I was leaving, I invited the preacher to my home to continue discussing this with me. In my eagerness I had forgotten that it was my firstborn son’s fourth birthday and a party with my relatives had been planned for that night. Ignoring my wife’s pleas to cancel the visit, he joined the festivities. He left early but before he did he asked if he could pray. This was entirely new to me. His prayer was sincere and simple, unlike the prayers I had heard in the Catholic church. His prayer was a heartfelt request to God to bring peace upon our household.
Despite the birthday celebration, a short time later I was feeling unsettled. I went into the bedroom of our small wartime home in order to close out the noise. I knelt down at my bedside crying out to God to please bring that peace to my heart. For the very first time, I recognized that I was a sinner before God. I poured out my sins to God and asked Him to forgive me. Up until that time I never realized that I was personally a sinner in God’s sight. In a split second I knew that God was real and that He forgave me of my sins. There was no more confusion. The Lord Jesus Christ took my sins upon Himself on the cross, and bore them for me, thereby setting me free.
Friend – do you feel emptiness in your life that has not been filled by the world? The word of God instructs us to…
Seek Him –
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. matthew 6:33
Recognize our sins –
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; romans 3:23
Confess our sins –
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. i john 1:9
Rest in His Holy Word –
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: romans 5:1
At the time of this writing I have witnessed the Lord’s blessing on me and my family many times over. Ten months after my salvation, my wife came to profess faith in Jesus Christ. We started to attend a New Testament church regularly. Today all four of my children and their spouses know Christ as their personal Saviour. Of my seven grandchildren – all have professed faith in Jesus Christ. I continue to pray diligently for my extended family that they too might desire a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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