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Shunned Jehovah's Witness Finds the Truth

Cynthia Cooper grew up a Jehovah's Witness, but experiences an encounter with Jesus Christ. As a result, her family disowns her, leaving her desperate for a manifestation of God's love. Read Transcript


I REMEMBER BEING FIVE AND

GETTING MY FIRST CHRISTMAS

GIFT FROM SCHOOL.

Reporter: CYNTHIA

COOPER'S FATHER DIDN'T ALLOW

GIFTS OR CELEBRATIONS.

WHEN HE GOT HOME, HE

IMMEDIATELY THREW IT IN THE

TRASH.

I REMEMBER BEING CRUSHED

BECAUSE I DIDN'T

UNDERSTAND.

Reporter: CYNTHIA

COOPER'S FATHER AND MOTHER

WERE JEHOVAH WITNESSES.

HER FATHER WAS AN ELDER OF

THE FAITH AND STRICTLY

ENFORCED ALL OF THE RULES OF

THE RELIGION.

NO CELEBRATION OF

HOLIDAYS, BIRTHDAYS,

CHRISTMAS.

JESUS CHRIST WAS SIMPLY A

PROPHET WHO CAME TO THE

EARTH.

THEY DON'T BELIEVE THAT GOD

IS ABLE TO TALK TO YOU.

Reporter: AS A CHILD,

CYNTHIA WAS INDEPENDENT AND

CURIOUS.

SHE STRUGGLED TO UNDERSTAND

HER FATHER'S RELIGION.

I WOULD ASK HIM

QUESTIONS, AND A LOT OF THE

QUESTIONS HE WOULDN'T

ANSWER, OR HE WOULD GET

FRUSTRATED WITH ME.

PRETTY MUCH HIS RESPONSE

WAS, BECAUSE I SAID SO.

I FELT VERY LEFT OUT AT

SCHOOL.

I FELT VERY ISOLATED.

THERE WAS REALLY NO OUTSIDE

INFLUENCE OR OPPORTUNITY TO

BE SOCIAL OUTSIDE THE

MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH.

Reporter: CYNTHIA

CARRIED HER LONELINESS,

DOUBT, AND QUESTIONS INTO

HER TEENS.

SHE DREADED THE EXHAUSTING

WORK REQUIRED BY THE

RELIGION.

THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES

BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN GET

YOUR SALVATION THROUGH

WORK.

AND SO THE MORE HOURS YOU

HAVE IN FIELD SERVICE, THE

MORE DOORS YOU KNOCK ON, THE

MORE VALUABLE YOU ARE TO THE

KINGDOM HOME.

THE OLDER I GOT, I WOULD

PLAY SICK EVERY SATURDAY.

I'M NOT GOING OUT IN FIELD

SERVICE.

JUST ANY LITTLE WAY THAT I

COULD AVOID, YOU KNOW, DOING

THE WORKS OF THE KINGDOM.

Reporter: THE MORE WORK

HER PARENTS DID FOR KINGDOM

HALL, THE MORE CYNTHIA

REBELLED.

I PUSHED THE ENVELOPE

MORE.

I WENT OUT AND I DID

WHATEVER I THOUGHT IT WAS

BIG AND BAD ENOUGH TO DO.

SNEAKING OUT WITH MY

BOYFRIEND, GOING PLACES I

HAD NO PERMISSION.

Reporter: WHEN CYNTHIA

WAS 13, HER OLDER SISTER

MARRIED A MAN WHO WAS NOT A

JEHOVAH WITNESS.

HER SISTER'S ACTIONS AND HER

PARENTS REACTIONS FINALLY

BROUGHT CYNTHIA TO A

BREAKING POINT WITH THE

RELIGION.

MY PARENTS HAD LITERALLY

THROWN ALL OF MY SISTER'S

CLOTHES OUT ON THE FRONT

LAWN BECAUSE SHE HAD GOTTEN

MARRIED.

I BEGAN TO THINK, THIS IS

YOUR CHILD.

HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU LOVE

YOUR CHILD AND YOU LOVE GOD,

BUT YOU'RE TREATING YOUR

CHILD THIS WAY.

I JUST BEGAN TO QUESTION.

IT WAS SOMETHING INSIDE OF

ME THAT SAID THIS IS NOT THE

LOVE OF GOD.

SO I BEGAN TO SEARCH FOR

GOD.

Reporter: CYNTHIA

SECRETLY PRAYED FOR GOD AND

ASKED HIM TO REVEAL

HIMSELF.

SO TALKING TO TIME FOR

THE FIRST TIME IT WAS

FOREIGN.

THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES HAD

TAUGHT ME THAT GOD DOESN'T

SPEAK TO PEOPLE.

HERE I AM TALKING TO THIS

GOD WHO CAN'T HEAR ME -- I

DON'T KNOW IF HE CAN HEAR

ME.

Reporter: THEN IN HER

JUNIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL

HAD, SHE EXPERIENCED

SOMETHING SHE WAS TAUGHT

COULD NEVER HAPPEN.

SHE BELIEVED SHE HEARD THE

VOICE OF GOD.

I ACTUALLY HAD A PINCHED

NERVE.

AT THE TIME, NO ONE KNEW

WHAT IT WAS.

I SAID, LORD, IF YOU HEAL

ME, I'LL SERVE YOU.

I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE, I

DON'T KNOW HOW TO SERVE YOU,

BUT IF YOU HEAL ME, I WILL.

I HEARD THE HOLY SPIRIT SAY

OKAY.

AND SO I TURNED MY NECK, AND

SOMETHING SNAPPED IN THE

SIDE OF MY NECK.

AND IMMEDIATELY I WAS

HEALED.

AND I KNEW IT WAS HIM.

AND THEN IMMEDIATELY THE

PEACE THAT I FELT ONCE THAT

CAME OVER ME -- IT WAS

AWESOME.

Reporter: CYNTHIA KEPT

HER PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

WITH GOD A SECRET UNTIL SHE

MOVED OUT OF HER PARENTS'

HOME.

SHE KNEW THERE WOULD BE

GRAVE CONSEQUENCES.

WHEN SHE WAS 19 AND LIVING

INDEPENDENTLY, SHE DENOUNCED

THE JEHOVAH WITNESS

RELIGION.

I WROTE A LETTER TO ONE

OF THE ELDERS OF THE

CONGREGATION, AND I TOLD

THEM I NO LONGER WISH TO BE

A WITNESS.

I HEARD LATER ON THAT THEY

PUBLICLY DISOWNED ME AT THE

SERVICE.

Reporter: SO DID

CYNTHIA'S PARENTS.

WHEN MY PARENTS DISOWNED

ME IT WAS DEVASTATING.

I REMEMBER MY DAD CALLING ME

AND TELLING ME I WAS NOT

WELCOME.

IT CRUSHED ME.

THERE WERE SO MANY DIFFERENT

EMOTIONS.

BUT ONE THING I KEPT IN THE

BACK OF MY MIND IS THAT I

HAD HEARD THE VOICE OF GOD.

SO IF ANYTHING HAPPENS, I

KNEW HE TALKED TO ME WHEN HE

HEALED ME.

SO THAT'S WHAT KEPT ME

GOING.

Reporter: A COUPLE OF

MONTHS LATER, CYNTHIA MET A

PASTOR AT A LOCAL GYM, AND

HE INVITED HER TO CHURCH.

BECAUSE OF HIS INVITATION,

SHE ATTENDED A CHRISTIAN

CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME IN

HER LIFE.

AT FIRST SHE WAS AFRAID.

I HAD BEEN TAUGHT THAT

ALL OTHER CHURCHES WERE TIED

UP WITH SATAN, THE DEVIL.

AND TO GO IN AND EMBRACE

THAT WOULD BE BASICALLY

WORSHIPPING THE DEVIL.

BUT THERE WAS SUCH A PEACE

THAT CAME OVER ME THAT I

KNEW IT WAS GOD AND I KNEW

IT WAS HIM LEADING.

Reporter: THAT DAY

CYNTHIA LEARNED ABOUT JESUS

AND HIS PLAN OF SALVATION.

CYNTHIA GAVE HER LIFE TO

CHRIST.

WHEN I FIRST GOT SAVED

AND I ASKED CHRIST INTO MY

HEART, I FELT CLEAN.

GOING TO THE ALTER, I FELT

LIKE I WAS BEING RINSED OF

EVERYTHING.

IT WAS A FREEING

EXPERIENCE.

IT WAS INDESCRIBEABLE.

Reporter: CYNTHIA'S NEW

FAITH WAS GENUINE, BUT HER

CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY

ONLY WIDENED THE GAP BETWEEN

HER AND HER FAMILY.

I FELL INTO A DEEP

DEPRESSION.

AND I CAN REMEMBER HAVING A

BOTTLE OF PILLS.

AND I CALLED ONE OF MY

FRIENDS AND I BASICALLY TOLD

HIM GOOD-BYE.

BECAUSE I WAS PLANNING ON

KILLING MYSELF.

AND RIGHT BEFORE THAT

HAPPENED, HE KNOCKED ON THE

DOOR, THANK GOD, AND HE

PRAYED ME OUT OF THAT

DEPRESSION.

Reporter: WITH THE

SUPPORT OF HER CHURCH,

CYNTHIA DREW ON GOD'S

STRENGTH AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

HER VICTORY OVER DEPRESSION

CAME WHEN SHE STARTED

READING THE BIBLE AND

MEMORIZING SCRIPTURES.

CYNTHIA SAID HER HARDSHIPS

ONLY MADE HER FAITH

STRONGER.

I LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT

WHO JESUS WAS FROM MY

PROVIDER, MY COMFORTER WHEN

I WAS LONELY.

HE WAS MY PEACE, YOU KNOW,

WHEN MY MIND WOULD TRY TO BE

CONFUSED.

HE HAS BEEN MY MOTHER.

HE HAS BEEN MY FATHER.

HE HAS BEEN EVERYTHING TO

ME.

Reporter: TODAY CYNTHIA

IS STILL ES STRAIRCHLD

ESTRANGED FROM HER FAMILY,

BUT SHE HAS FORGIVEN THEM.

SHE SHARES HER STORY IN HER

BOOK, "THE COST OF

RELIGION."

I HAVE A RELATIONSHIP

WITH JESUS CHRIST.

I LIVE MY LIFE BASED ON THE

RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE I WANT

TO BE PLEASING TO HIM.

THAT IS SO ABSENT FROM THE

RITUALS THAT COME WITH

RELIGION.

THERE IS NO COMPARISON.

IF THERE IS SOMEONE TODAY

WATCHING AND YOU WANT JESUS,

AND MAYBE YOU WERE TAUGHT HE

IS JUST A PROPHET.

I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TODAY

TO INVITE HIM INTO YOUR

HEART.

HIS BLOOD IS MORE POWERFUL

THAN ANYTHING.

HIS SPIRIT IS MORE POWERFUL

THAN ANYTHING.

IF YOU DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM,

HE WILL FIND YOU.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

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