Clifford’s whole family met Jesus
by Danielle Martell
In the New Testament we hear stories about whole families coming to faith in Jesus and being baptized, much like the conversion of Lydia and her household in Acts 16. Today, some of us may wonder, “Does God still move this way in our Canadian families?” Well, according to a Calgary family with a 31/2 year old son Clifford, God recently did move this way, and the transformation of Jesus in this family has changed everything!
No childhood bond
Clifford’s mom Lili explains… “I suffered a traumatic birth with Clifford which resulted in post traumatic stress disorder, and postpartum depression. “The fallout from that was not bonding as I should have with Clifford. I loved him fiercely, but there was a disconnect,”I was also stuggling with anger. When Clifford first said, ‘I love you, he said it to Mike, but he just wouldn’t say it to me.”
The beginning of change
Into this tough and painful place came God. Lili started attending an Alpha Course at Northside Foursquare Church in Coquitlam, BC. where they then lived. Mike noticed her anger and hurt was quickly and remarkably changing. “I was surprised by the huge shift,” Mike said, “I never would have went [to Alpha] but I saw the change in Lili very quickly. She was happier in just a couple of weeks. Her anger and anxiety were changing!”
“It was overwhelming to get into Christianity,” Mike shares. He felt very anxious to be in a group setting like Alpha and yet it was the perfect first step into Christianity for him. Somehow he felt like he belonged. Soon Mike was all in too!
Lili remarks, “The Alpha weekend was the most pronounced weekend when we accepted Christ and then we both experienced the Holy Spirit and we were definitely converted!” Lili’s anger and anxiety are now totally transformed.
Mike and Lili started Alpha last Fall and a couple months later on December 3, they were baptized and dedicated Clifford along with his younger sibling.
Clifford & mom
Mike and Lili haven’t been the same since they met Jesus, but neither has little Clifford!
“… he now lifts up his shirt, and pointing to his belly (where he thinks his heart is) proudly proclaims, ‘Jesus is in there!’” Lili says. He started to trust her and say, “I love you,” for no apparent reason. Now he even comments at random, “You’re the greatest, Mommy.” Lili is convinced this is the grace of God in her life because of God’s gift of removing her anger. Today her and Clifford have a “trusting and loving relationship.”
Sometimes when we read in Acts that whole families came to faith in Christ and were baptized, we have a hard time envisioning what that may have looked like or how it may have played out in that family’s life. This family shows that God is still in the age-old business of saving whole families, what it looks like at the beginning stages of what God can do in a modern-day family.