by Erik Samborski

I grew up in a home that had some semblance of morality. My parents taught me that there was a wrong and there was a right. We even went to church most of the time. Our church-going was distinctly nominal. I do not remember any message on salvation. In fact, I don’t remember any message at all. My father told me that the only reason they went to church, at first, was for my sister and myself.

The Words in Red

My father grew up Roman Catholic and my mother was primarily Baptist. Though they didn’t seem to have much light, and in turn, neither did my sister or I, I remember having definite thoughts of eternity from a young child.

​I was terrified to die and be separated from my body into what I perceived as black nothingness. I had these thoughts from the time I was 6 years old until 12 years of age. I could hardly sleep at night, always waking my parents with my fears. My dad told me that he had no idea what to do for me except tell me to read the Bible. He told me that the words that were in red were the words of Jesus. I decided to read all the red words. While reading the words of Christ I remember sensing his presence in my room and enabling me to sleep.

I was terrified to die. My dad had no idea what to do for me except tell me to read the Bible. I decided to read all the red words.

Around the age of 15, I made a definite decision to leave church. I perceived the people in our church to be hypocrites and decided I could live the same way they did without having to go to church. 

My pursuit was music. My passion was to be a rockstar. I got mixed up in drugs and alcohol and lived to party and play music. Suffice it to say God had different plans for my life. I ended up going to school in Arizona for Recording Engineering, planning to eventually have my own recording studio where I could produce my own music and that of others.

Nowhere Else to Turn

My life went in a rapid downward spiral. I was in a relationship that was supposed to turn into a marriage; when it broke apart, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I started to go back to church and read the Bible. The church I was attending did not seem to be evangelically minded. The only way I could sleep at night, however, was by reading the Bible even though I understood very little of what it said. I understood enough to be convicted about certain areas of my life.

Eventually, I came to see the enormity of my sin and the dread terror of hell before me. But the thing that broke me was the fact that in spite of all of my sin, Jesus love me and died for me. I couldn’t understand why Christ died for me but it drew me to Him.

I was truly saved on the kitchen floor of a couple that attended the Pittsfield Pilgrim Holiness Church in June of 2007. I started attending that church faithfully because of an insatiable hunger for God now in my soul. I also started to realize that there was still a problem within my heart. ​I told my pastor what I was experiencing. He told me that I needed to seek God for Him to sanctify me wholly.

Finding God But Hungering Still

My pastor’s instructions were to ask God if there was anything between my soul and God, obeying Him in whatever He showed me until I was assured that I had given everything over to him and surrendered.

Through this time of searching, one thing God dealt with me about was my music recording. I thought that I would record music now for the glory of God. However, God asked the question whether I would record music or preach. I told him I would preach! I got rid of all my recording equipment and haven’t turned back.

I then read a book by Andrew Murray entitled “Absolute Surrender.”  That phrase unlocked the key for me! I bowed down at my bedside and poured out the innermost contents of my heart with all the ugliness of the confession of carnality within. I finally got to the place where I told God that I had nothing left to give Him and with that the sweet assurance that I had done my part. About 20 minutes later the Lord so filled me with the Holy Ghost that I couldn’t even be on my knees anymore. The love of God that I felt inside of my soul was unlike anything I ever experienced before. I started testifying to my family and some of them were saved and Sanctified wholly.

My Vision for Rome, New York

I am now married to my wife Megan and have five children: Charlotte (age 7), Jude (age 6), Adelaide (age 4), Oliver (age 3), and Gabriel (9 months). I have pastored for nearly three and a half years. I feel very much the same as the Apostle Paul when he said, “woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

The Lord has presently called me to Rome, NY. I want to share with you my vision for this exciting new work. This vision extends beyond my time there and I realize that all of this may not materialize while I’m there; however, this is what I envision for the church and this is my motivation for the work:

I see a warm, inviting atmosphere for hurting souls. I envision a place where God is known and felt among His people and, in turn, known and felt by all those that visit. 

I envision a church whose members love Christ intimately. Christ has become the center of all their affections and all their doings. I see a church in love with their Bible and growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and His Word daily. I see a church where all the members have laid down the claim to their rights to themselves at the feet of Jesus and have made themselves willing servants of His majesty. I see a church filled and expanding in the love of God.

I see the whole church as a ministry team. A church willing to be equipped in the Word of God and obedient to the call of God for their individual lives, families, and collectively as a local church. 

I see a church made up of people filled with the Spirit of God and hungry for more of God. A church of people that doesn’t need to be prodded to do the work of God but are constrained by the love of Christ. 

I see a warm, inviting atmosphere for hurting souls. I envision a place where God is known and felt among His people and, in turn, known and felt by all those that visit. 

I see the families of our church being training grounds for devoted followers of Christ. I see fathers taking their position as head of the household, guiding their families in what is right and being a godly example that cannot be gainsaid. I see wives being helpmeets to their husbands that their husbands may become the leaders of their generation. I see husbands so loving their wives that the picture of Christ and his Church may be realized to onlookers.

I envision this church building to be filled to its capacity. It shall be filled with people from all walks of life, different ethnicities, and different ages.  I see the poor grabbing hold of the great riches of Christ and never letting go. I see the rich counting all their gain in this world as dung that they might win Christ. I see drunkards, drug addicts, those addicted to pornography and sexual immorality, backsliders, and those indifferent, repenting and receiving full salvation. It will be a church filled with members that are sanctified wholly.

I envision a church that has such a real experience with God that they cannot help but seek out the lost and lead them to the same Christ they know and love. I see this church as a breeding ground for workers in the Kingdom. I envision sending out international missionaries as well as home missionaries.

I see a church that is a worthy expression of the name of Christ whose name we bear and proclaim. In a word, I see a biblical church: nothing more and nothing less!

2 thoughts

  1. God bless you and your new endeavor in the Lord. I love to hear about kingdom building. I am excited to hear great things to come as result of your vision for the people in NY.
    Rev. Hery Santiago, Pastor under FEA Ministries, Inc.

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