Elder Timothy Lee Hirou – Call to Preach

An Account of My Call to Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ

I assume in this discourse that you have read my discourse on the events leading to and my experience of salvation. If not, please read that discourse before proceeding with this one.

After being saved when I was 15 on New Year’s day, I said within myself that I would try with all of my strength, not to engage in the former sins I had been into. God had given me a desire to live my life in a way that would bring happiness to my Saviour Jesus Christ. I realize now that it is by His grace that not only are we saved, but also by which we are able keep His commandments. When we do not keep His commandments it is wholly our fault. I realize that I am a saved sinner. I am thankful to God, however, I am not in scandalous sin for this would bring reproach upon Him and His churches. These realities were not known to me when I was just saved, however. Never the less, it was a beautiful time in my life. The Lord Jesus Christ had taken the worst time of my life and made it the best. He gave me a peace that passeth all understanding. I long to feel this as much as possible now that He has shown me how wonderful He is and what a personal relationship with Him is. I went out and visited different so called Christian churches and I did not get a good feeling at all. Looking back, being taught more fully by God though His servants Ken, Linda, and the Hackett family, I realize now that these congregations of people were various types on Protestant denominations and the final one was a charismatic congregation which numbered over several hundred. I have also learned that out here, most people do not even look into the doctrine being taught. Most primarily assume that whoever names the name Jesus Christ is a Christian Church. The charismatic movement is very popular out here. In fact most to charismatic televangilists got their start just a few miles down the road at Trinity Broadcasting Network. It was at the last congregation (a charismatic congregation) that I experienced such a bad feeling and seeing all the uniformed (seemingly orchestrated) “praise” that I said to myself. “If this is what it means to be a Christian church member, then I do not want to be one. I will just live in a way that I know the Lord would be pleased”. At the time I did not realize it was satan (or one or many of the demons) which gave me the thoughts like, “This is what it is all about” and to my bad feelings they gave me “See your not saved, because if you were then you would be doing the things they are doing.” After this experience, I determined to try and live to what I knew to be true in my heart, but not go to a “Born Again” type of Christian Church.

After being saved, God gave me grace to be different. Before being saved I was in the “in” crowd. But the “in” crowd was very greatly into sin. After going through the above mentioned (what I call the “religious ordeal”) , I decided to try to do my best to do what I knew to be true in my heart. At this same time, I threw myself into sports as a way to escape many of the sinful temptations which teenagers are subjected to now a days.. In junior high school I had been very good at sports. This worked well for a time, but I have learned (the hard way) that no man is an island and also that scandalous sin is everywhere. [but inside the church of the Living God (hopefully and prayerfully)]. You see eventually (by my junior year) I had started to drink alcohol because it was all around me and all of my sports buddies were doing it. I would do it primary on the weekends as part of the social interaction for the people I was hanging around. You may wonder how come I did not try harder in finding a church home. I do not know, maybe I should have? One thing that really hurt me back then was the hypocrisy I saw in so called “saved” people. I knew that they were not real and I said to myself “At least these people (some of my friends) do not put up a front.. You see, many of the so called Christians were doing the same sins that my close friends were doing and this really upset me. As a result, I had more respect for those who a lest admitted what they were (sinners) and did not pretend to be something that they were not. Looking back I realize that there was no substance to the false religions and those who were influenced by them. I believe this is the reason God showed me so much mercy. I continued in this numb state until my sophomore year in college. I had been going to California State University, but I desired to attend the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). During this numb state I was approached to be a model for magazine, television etc.. This was a very pridefull situation which I had gotten involved in (justifying it to myself by the money which could be made). Well, I had reached the proverbial fork in the road part of my life. I had been scheduled to go to Italy to do modeling in Europe and my efforts in school had afforded me the opportunity to go to UCLA (because I had been accepted to the University). I was scared. I did not know what to do. All along this time for months I had this gnawing feeling in my soul. I was not happy. I had really started to try and get things right with God. I knew I had to get my act in life together. It was at this time I began to really pray hard about what God wanted for me to do and out of the blue the Italian trip was canceled. This was my answer I had been praying for. I then knew I was supposed to go to UCLA. I began to search for housing by the campus. I had a older friend that had been going to UCLA for two years prior to my acceptance. My other friends and I had visited him a lot during this time. It was decided that he and I could live together so as to share in the expenses. Since he knew more of the “ropes” I followed his opinions on housing. We found an apartment directly across the street from UCLA on the west side of campus right on the west bordering street called Galey Avenue. We met with the apartment manager to discuss the terms. This apartment manager was Kenneth Paul Hackett. I remember getting a really good peaceful feeling about being there and getting the apartment at this facility. I remember God giving me the witness that this was His will that I be there. This made me very happy, because prior to this, it had been a very unsettling time in my life.

It was not long before I had a conversation with Kenneth. Somehow, the conversation got on the subject of Jesus Christ and the gospel. I remember thinking that “this guy (with his accent!) is just trying to make me what is”. What you have to understand about me is, that I was a rebel’s rebel. By the grace of God I now realize that at that time of my life I knew what I was against, but I no clue what I was for! That day I told Ken, “You are just trying to make what you are”. I remember his response, “ I am not trying to make you do anything. I am person who believes in freedom. Don’t believe a word I say, you search it in the scriptures. It is between yourself and God”. I said, “OK I will! (Angrily) He gave me a little booklet that he and Brother Colin Dyer of Mount Calvary in Hendersonville, TN had produced. It had questions in it like Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God?, What is a Church? With scripture references to answers. What you also have to realize is that at this time of my life I had come to following conclusion. Man is a sinner and anytime he gets involved in the things of God, he is going to mess things up. You see I was brought up Catholic and at this time of my life I recognized the apparent historical lineage of the Catholic religion and so combine with the rational just previously mentioned, I reasoned the following. The Catholic religion must be the true Christian religion because of the lineage (it has been around. I thought at this time, since the time of Christ which is not so (it did not start until 367 years after the time of Christ’s birth.) With respect to all things that it did wrong (which the Holy Spirit had taught me were wrong by witnessing to me things and bringing scriptures to my mind) I blamed them on the sinfulness of us humans. I was not God’s fault. It was the sinfulness of man. As you can see, I thought I was on pretty strong ground when I began to study the booklet that Ken had given me. I will say that I did study it with and open mind and prayer.

What I am going to tell you now you may not identify with, but it is spoken about in (2Peter 1:9) Even though I had been praying and at time feeling God, the attack by the adversary was great and the battle ground was my intellect. In fact the day I argued with Ken we finalized the conversation with me agreeing that a person has to be able to feel God in salvation. The adversary was causing me a lot of confusion. Looking back on it, now I can separate the feelings and the witnesses God was giving me during this period, but while I was going through it all

I could not separate it all out nor understand the things that were transpiring. I do know this. Satan wanted me dead. He tried everything possible to make this happen. I remember thinking “If he could have killed me or made me give up he would have done a few days or weeks ago” during this time in order to motivate myself intellectually to press forward. If I had it all to do over again, I wish I would have not tried to use my intellect so much, but rather prayed to God more for the strength necessary to accomplish His will in my life! It got to the point to where I did not know whether I was saved or lost. This issue was brought up in the booklet that Ken had given to me to help me search out the truth. I remember thinking “I will just assume that I am lost so this way if I am He will save me” because I did not want to assume that I was saved and then find out I was not when it was too late. During all of this I would go up to Ken and Linda’s apartment and talk to them. I would ask Ken question after question. All of this culminated one night, when after much discussion with Ken, he asked me if I wanted to pray. (I believe he could see the torment I was in.) I said yes. We all got down on our knees and I began to cry out to God. (Please remember, at this time I was assuming I was lost.) During this prayer God witnessed to me and brought back to my remembrance the time and place that He had saved my soul and that the real reason I had so much pain was because I was not right with Him and that I had been afraid of getting too close to Him for fear of being asked of Him to do something that I thought was above my ability to accomplish. He had been witnessing to me about this time in my life that it was when He had saved me, but I did not want to accept it. I had gained some preconceptions on what it must be like, however this night His witness was so strong that I knew it was right, I had been saved and what was wrong with me. He let me know this night that I was too far from Him. He had hinted at my call to preach, but He did not reveal it fully to me. I remember getting up from this prayer saying, “I know what I need to do”. I felt relieved because I had done what He wanted me to do.

Shortly after this, Ken and Linda invited me to service at Nyland Missionary Baptist Church located in Ventura (about a two hour drive away). It was at this small church (they only had 12 or so in attendance) on that Sunday evening. It was this evening that the Holy Spirit witnessed tome “you are home”. I felt so thankful and such a peaceful feeling came over me that I hope I never forget it! At this time I still had not studied out the lineage of the Baptist Churches. I just knew what I was feeling, and I knew it was Jesus who was witnessing it to me and I was happy!

A little while after this, Ken and Linda moved to Downey, I was still going to UCLA and living at the same apartment complex. Ralph and I would drive down together for services in Downey, The Hacketts were holding services in a modern Baptist Church building (between the modern congregation’s meeting times). By this time, Ken and Linda’s eldest daughter (Faith) and her husband (Bennie Peach) and their first born child (Christina) had moved out to California to help in the mission work. These were good times for me. The Holy Spirit was really moving in our midst. My younger brother had gotten saved. (I say this because I was there when it happened and the Holy Spirit bore witness in my heart that it had happened and that what he (my younger brother) was telling was true. My little sister was under conviction and I remember her being in the worst mood one Sunday before she was going to go with me to church. She was so out of sorts that she almost did not go to church with me that day. Ken preached with great power and demonstration of the Spirit that day and then he asked if anybody had anything on their heart. My heart was pounding within me because for several months I had been wonder what it was like to be called to preach. Thoughts like “how do you now if you are called to preach” ran through my mind. He was leading me to announce that I was called to preach so I stood up and told all those present that God had called me to preach the gospel. Just after this, the service broke loose into an alter service. It is this service in which my younger sister Kristen got saved. She is now our churches’ clerk. I will say to my shame that there was a time during God’s leadership for to me to announce that I had been called to preach that I felt sorry for myself and that I tried to run from it by denying that He was calling me. This, however, only worked to bring problems into my life. I am now thankful to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (the three forms of the one true God) that He has called me to preach His glorious Gospel. I count it all joy and a privilege to be called to preach the glorious good news that Jesus Christ came died on the cross and rose from the dead, conquering sin, death, and satan. Glory be to His name for ever and ever, Amen.

A Servant of Jesus Christ,
Elder Timothy Lee Hirou

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