My name is Daphne Richbourg let me tell you my story…
I look at today’s headlines – death and destruction everywhere and the few positive things I hear are not even truth. Yet, but for the grace of God, I too would still be blind, full of darkness and driven by my own evil desires. I have shared personal testimony with individuals. Now I want to post it for whosoever wants or needs to know how amazing is the grace of God; how complete and perfect is the Love of God; and how abundant are the mercies of God!
Because I must start somewhere, I will say that as a child I never doubted that God exists. He placed the knowledge of His existence on my young heart. And, during my first 18 or 19 years, I had a few opportunities to witness that there were things about God that I didn’t understand and didn’t know how to learn. I knew some things about Him but I did not know Him.
Soon after graduation I was fully immersed in the world. I was no different than the examples I had witnessed growing up, examples on TV and at school. I was without vision, without direction and without a personal relationship with Jesus. I broke every commandment. The only ground I refused to give up was: I believed in God (though I didn’t know Him) and I feared Him only in that I never wanted to curse Him and it grieved me to hear His name used in vain. That must have been the tiny flicker of a flame that one day God would fan into a furnace.
I was a liar. To avoid confrontation with overbearing people, I just told them what they wanted to hear. I was a liar and a thief. I lied on my income tax to avoid paying more taxes. I lied to my parents who otherwise, knowing the truth might prevent me from doing what I wanted or going where I wanted. I lied through manipulation to cause a specific outcome that I thought was the best (never inquiring of the Lord). I lied out of fear. There are some really mean people in the world and I wanted to avoid their attention. Whenever I got caught doing something wrong I lied my way out of it.
I was an idol worshiper. I put everything before God. I rarely even thought about God except as someone far away who never thought about me unless I did something wrong. Mostly, I put myself before God; doing as I pleased and not following His ways. To be honest, even though I didn’t know Him, I did know some of His ways. I knew not to lie and I new I was supposed to obey my parents. I was not at all repentant of the times that I chose to not follow the ways of the Lord that I did know.
I did not remember the Sabbath; I didn’t even know what that was. I have used the Lord’s name in vain. I called on His name as if I had any right to even speak to Him. I have dishonored my father and mother. As a young person with no restraint I often thought that my parents just did not understand or were uninformed of many situations. My pride caused me to be disrespectful in my heart and disobedient at times.
As a young adult the people that I ran with were the same as me. For small segments of time, about maybe three or four times from age zero to sixteen, my family went to church together and we went to Sunday school or nursery depending on our ages. I remember once my dad trying to teach my brother, sister and I a Bible story. We were young and easily distracted. He was frustrated. All in all my church attending time with my family prior to sixteen might add up to a year or maybe two; not very much. I knew there was God, but, people who were saying they are Christians (people like me) or the people I knew who went to church didn’t act any different than me. I laughed at in appropriate jokes and I listened to malicious gossip and occasionally was caught up in it myself. I was blind and did not see people the way I do today, through Jesus’ eyes. I was ignorant of the power of the tongue and now I grieve for those I wounded.
I decided I needed to loose a few pounds and asked my doctor for a prescription for diet pills. He gave it to me. I went out with friends for drinks and found out that the diet pills kept me from realizing how much I was drinking. Once I learned this I took the pills and deliberately went drinking with my friends. Then I found out I was pregnant. I was a fornicator. I was not married. I was afraid of what I had done to my baby with pills and alcohol. I went to the doctor and he agreed that an abortion was probably best. It seemed like the right thing to do. So I had an abortion. I did not inquire of the Lord. I was a murderer. I believed at the time I was justified in my actions. But I was wrong. There was no justification for what I did. With God all things are possible and He is and was more than able to see my child born perfectly healthy and whole. I never asked Him. It never occurred to me to turn to the Lord for help.
A few years later I met and married my husband. For 11 ½ years I was very supportive of my husband’s business endeavors. I showed my love by preparing good meals and taking care of our home and child. But, he wouldn’t be satisfied with his life; with his jobs; with anything. He either worked all the time or drank beer all the time. There was no balance. His emotions were up and down. In about the 10th year of our marriage I began to daydream of a better life; a better relationship and so, at least in my heart, I was an adulterer; not only to my husband, but, also to God. I had an unfaithful heart.
Then one day, by the grace of God, I saw that there was no where else that I desired to go. I could see that to continue down any of the paths that I considered would only ensure that someone would be wounded and there could be no happiness for me if my gain came at the expense of someone else’s well-being. I had come to end of myself. Like Nebuchadnezzar, my mind returned to me and I knew that if it was not too late for me, I must be reconciled to God! I still did not know how or what to do.
I began by praying out loud; crying out to God; asking if it is too late for me; have I gone too far? Is it possible that you could be my God and I could be your daughter? I could hear the reverb of my cries bounce off some unseen, solid structure… heaven’s floor? Was it heaven’s wall or earth’s brass ceiling; or heaven’s door that is closed to me? I’d done all I knew to do. There was nothing else I could say or do. I was all up to God. All I could do is wait and hope that He would reply with an invitation to come.
For several days, I waited to hear from God. While waiting, I watched every prophetic ministry that existed on my local Christian TV station. There weren’t very many prophetic programs at that time. Anyone who broadcast live and had a minister who heard words of knowledge and shared them, I watched their programs. I don’t know how many days past with me watching and saying in my heart, “God, maybe today is the day I will hear from you.” And, “Oh, here is a minister that hears from the Lord, maybe the Lord will speak to me through this TV minister.” And, “God, if you are going to speak to me through one of these TV ministers, please, don’t let me miss it; don’t let me be asleep.”
One day, I was watching a TV minister who hears words of knowledge from God. For all these days all I asked was “God, did you hear my prayer?” It got to the part of the program that I watched every day; the part where the ministry team prayed over the prayer requests and many times received words of knowledge from God. They prayed for several different people and gave a few words of knowledge. Then it happened! One of the ministers said, “There’s a lady out there who is saying – Word of Knowledge, Word of Knowledge, well, you have your word of knowledge!
So, for days and days I cried out to the creator of the universe to say anything to me! God, I just need to know that you have heard my cry. God, I need to know that it’s not too late for me! And if it is too late, please, tell me that too. I need to know. And, He spoke to me through a TV minister! I knew it was for me because I wasn’t asking for healing or for money or for a house; I wanted God to speak and to say what He wanted to say to me.
With those few words, my spirit overflowed with hope and the love of God! I had repented of my wicked ways, humbled myself, and I sought His face and He heard from heaven! Praise the Lord! God’s mercy saved my life; saved my soul!
From that day on, the Lord opened the eyes of my heart more and more and more! God’s amazing love filled my dark heart with light! I began attending church services Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. I drove from Alabama and spent all day Sundays in Pensacola to attend both services. God’s word was so alive and every word I heard built me up. I was like a starving baby bird!
After I accepted Jesus as Lord of my life, I sought a pastor’s counsel and on his advice I took my daughter and left my husband. He had become unstable and dangerous. I left for my sake and the sake of our daughter and ultimately for my husband’s sake too; before something terrible happened. A few weeks later my husband filed for divorce.
One day, in March 1995, I told the pastor that if the doors of this church were open every day of the week, I would be here. Three months later an amazing revival came into our church and guess what; the doors were opened every day!
Three years later I joined Brother Greg’s church services. For the next several years, Father God poured revelation into Brother Greg and Brother Greg poured revelation into us. Now the Lord has given us his pattern for us to follow so that no one is left fatherless in God’s family, but, that all of us will be discipled, and fathered, until we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, growing from little children into men and women of God; and one day each of us will become spiritual parents and produce much lasting fruit for the kingdom of God.
The bible says God is no respecter of persons. I did nothing that caused God to awaken me to my sin. He opened my eyes because He loves me and wanted me to reach out to Him. God’s amazing love strengthened me to overcome my fears and weaknesses. His amazing love makes me want to do more for Him. He loves every person who has ever lived and who ever will live. The question is will we love Him? He has more than done his part of this relationship. Now it is up to me and every other person to make our decision. Who will you serve? This is my testimony of my Father’s love for me. He loved me when I was unlovable.
Today I am in my Father’s harvest field. I tell everyone that I’m not who I was. The kingdom of God has changed me! I want you to know that He forgives the vilest people. I know this as fact because He forgave me. He will do all of this for you too! Before you were ever formed in your mother’s womb He knew you and He loved you even though He knew all that you would ever do. He already knew everything! He loves you so much that He sent His son Jesus to be a perfect sacrifice for you and me to be reconciled to Him. He loves you that much! Ask Jesus to come into your heart right now and experience the Father’s love; experience the portion the He is holding especially for you!