of Ron Kempen.
raised in a very Catholic home with an older brother, Robert,
whom the Lord used mightily later in my conversion. Robert
was crippled all of his life. As a child I loved being an
altar boy. I was taught that I had to be a Catholic to get
to Heaven. After our mother died in 1960, when I was eight,
things started to change as the Lord was working His plan
to reach us. Our stepmother taught Robert how to physically
take care of himself. Praise God, because this eventually
enabled Robert to go to college where he got saved.
got married in 1972 and raised my 2 children as Catholic,
even making them attend stations during Lent. Bound to his
wheelchair, my Christian brother would try to witness to me,
but I wouldn't listen because “he didn't know the real
world.” At that time my life revolved around football,
bowling and drinking.
a series of events occurred by which the Lord got my attention.
In 1989, I received a phone call saying that my brother was
seriously ill; he was in intensive care and he may not live
through the night. He spent ten months in intensive care.
Every weekend I'd make the eighty-mile trip to spend time
with Robert. He was so weak at first that he could only communicate
by eye blinking. Later on he could use his finger to spell
his thoughts. Often he'd request that I get a video for us.
Hmmmm, they were always Christian videos. Imagine that! After
the ten months, he was released, but he needed constant care
because when he would fall asleep, he'd stop breathing. So
in many ways I was exposed to “true Christians.”
drinking I’d come home and watch Jack Van Impe because
there was nothing else on TV and they would talk about end
time events. Things got tough at work and I had to quit. My
new job turned out to be much worse. Thanks to God, later
on He provided me with a good job. I was 40 and hard of hearing,
yet I was one of eight people chosen out of more than 450
applicants. Of course, my brother would send me tapes from
his church including one that drew my attention to James 2:10-11
which exposes the ridiculous notion of the so-called venial
1993, after all these seeds were planted, I decided to see
what the Scriptures say and when Billy Graham offered a study
Bible, I ordered a copy. The time was right to know who's
telling the truth. It took two years to get through the New
Testament, during which time I also was taking Catholic catechism
classes. This finally woke me up to the fact that what I was
being told as a Catholic did not match with what God's Word
had to say.
April of '95, I came home from my Catholic catechism class
and announced that I was leaving the Catholic Church. My wife
responded that if I did, she would divorce me. I couldn't
shut up; I had to witness. Unfortunately, I did that with
much zeal, but often without knowledge, and people didn't
December of '98 my wife of 27 years presented the divorce
papers. A month later, while Robert was studying Scriptures,
the Lord took him home. My life was really falling apart.
But God was still in control! A Christian family rented me
a room on their farm. All I owned was my brother’s bed,
dresser and computer as my former wife got the house that
I had just finished the payments for. I also had two very
good Christian friends that kept encouraging me to wait and
see the plans that God had for me, telling me that God would
not abandon His children.
can assure you that God does take care of His children! On
November 6 of 1999, I met a Christian girl on the internet,
and we felt it was a divine appointment for several reasons.
In February of 2000, I told my friends on the farm that it
was time for me to move back to the city. This girl from Pennsylvania
married me in July of 2000 and moved to Wisconsin, just one
year after my divorce, despite knowing that I now had Parkinson's
disease. We looked for a house, but we did not succeed. We
wondered if we would ever own a house. Our pastor read Luke
18:29,30: “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto
you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or
brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake.
Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time,
and in the world to come life everlasting.” This message
encouraged us and what follows is almost unbelievable.
dear Christian friends had bought an old run down house as
an investment. I didn't know what they were doing with their
little project, but having no other openings, I finally checked
the house they were working on. It was an old house, stripped
down to the studs, but it was perfect for what we needed and
affordable. This house just happened to be the very same house
in which my ex-wife lived when I met her way back in 1971!
Coincidence? Not anymore then when I moved off the farm, their
daughter moved back home, and we got to use her furniture
in our first apartment. Again, God's timing is perfect. How
does anyone plan this type of events?
closing, I'd like to give a praise report. My two children
are saved. For the past three years, I need only to look at
Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against
me; but God meant it unto good.” The divorce that was
meant to harm me because I became a Christian, God used for
my good. I learned from experience that He never deserts His
children. He provides all my needs and not my greeds. I have
a wonderful Christian wife, a house, and a ministry to reach
the lost souls of Catholicism. Most of all, I serve the living
Kempen - Gospel Light Ministries