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700 Club Canada: June 14, 2018

Watch the 700 Club Canada for June 14, 2018 Read Transcript

(light music)

- Welcome to the 700 Club Canada.

I'm Brian.

- And I'm Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson.

It is great to be with you.

- It really is.

On today's program,

we're taking a look at the topic of identity.

We know there are many that find their identity

and their faith in God but for others,

their identity comes from somewhere else.

- Perhaps your identity comes from your talents

or your traits, maybe your job or your family.

- Where'd your identity come from when you were younger.

- When I was younger, I think from performance.

I wanted to live by the rules.

I grew up in a great family and I knew the rules

and I knew everyone would be happy

if I performed well.

- Oh.

- Until I failed and that's where I really had to find out

there my true identity laid, what about you?

- Ya know, interesting enough, it came from my Mom.

My Mom and Dad because my mom, I was always

a very small child then.

Ya know--

- You were little?

- Oh my goodness.

By the time I was in the eight grade or going to

the high school, I was 4'11", 125 pounds.

- Wow!

- But she used to always say,

"He's a little piece of leather,

"but he's well put together."

He would always tell me ya know that you can do it,

you can do it.

- I love it and you sure have.

- And we have and we continue.

Now this is the other side of the Wheaties commercial.

- Right.

- So today, you'll see how one simple truth

about God can not only change your perception of him,

but also yourself.

- So true and that's what happened to Emily.

She struggled with identity almost her entire life.

Her story will be up later.

- And joining us will be author Sonia Brown.

Growing up, she struggled with her identity

as an albino growing up in Jamaica.

She'll be here to talk about her book, Silent Tears,

which chronicles her incredible story.

- Truly is incredible but first, a much needed

reality check for one hard living fella.

This is how Rob escaped his destructive past.

- Watch.

- [Rob] I never really, truly felt love or affection

in my household.

There was just way too much anger,

way too much physical, emotional,

mental conflict in the house.

- [Man] Growing up with abusive and sometimes

absent parents, Rob Decker tried to cope any way he could.

- I started drinking at a pretty young age.

I think I was about 15 years old.

For me, it was just never a fun thing.

It was an absolute escape from absolutely everything.

- [Narrator] While alcohol and eventually drugs

helped him cover up his hurt and anger,

it was sports and fitness that gave him

what he really needed.

- [Rob] The lack of affection, the lack of love,

the lack of someone paying attention to me

is probably why I really drifted toward fitness

because in that industry, it's all about the me.

It's all about look at me.

- [Narrator] In the years following high school,

Rob went through life with no direction or purpose.

- Life in my 20's was a huge blur.

I wasn't able to hold onto jobs too long.

I think my true motivation was

drink as much as I can, do as many drugs,

have as much fun as I can.

I was on a destructive path.

It was basically like slow suicide.

- [Narrator] Meanwhile, he continued working out.

That led to a number of relationships,

but they were superficial and short lived.

- I'd been in a couple relationships that were

really, really good, but they weren't destructive

enough for me and so,

I destroyed those relationships and I hurt

some really good people in the process.

- [Narrator] When he was almost 30, Rob met a girl

and soon fell in love, but like all the others,

it turned bad quickly.

- It was extremely destructive.

There was nothing positive about it whatsoever.

It was more of tearing each other down

and there was nothing edifying

about that relationship whatsoever.

So, her and I broke up due to all the negativity

in our relationship.

- [Narrator] Going through another breakup was devastating.

- And that's when one of my old co-workers,

a friend of mine had convinced me to go to a Bible study

and at this point, I'm like why not?

I have nothing else going for me.

This God thing might work.

This group of like 10 or 12 guys

asked me if I wanted salvation,

if I wanted to accept the Lord.


I just knew, like something in my heart,

something in my spirit kept telling me,

this is the right decision.

Ya know, you get this little tugging at you.

Like this is what you need to be doing.

- [Narrator] But weeks later, his ex-girlfriend came back.

- She called me up and told me that she wanted to see me

and that she was sorry for everything that ever happened

between us and that she really wanted to work it out.

I was just drawn to her for whatever reason.

It wasn't a healthy one.

I turned my back on the Lord knowing what was best for me,

to go back to what I was familiar with.

- [Narrator] Their relationship was as destructive as ever.

Then, one night at her condo, they had another argument.

This time, she went too far.

- She had called the cops and told the cops

that I tried to rape her and I tried to kill her.

When those words came outta her mouth,

she completely betrayed me and turned her back on me.

That was painful.

I felt extremely betrayed and I felt extremely

broken and hurt, very confused.

It just didn't make sense to me whatsoever.

Hopeless is probably the best word.

I felt very hopeless.

In that moment, I was like I just can't do this anymore.

This is not the life for me.

- [Narrator] Rob dove head first through a

third story window.

- My foot clipped an awning and changed my fall

and I ended up breaking my back

and shattering my left arm,

breaking my wrist and collapsing my left lung

and I just woke up on the ground with shallow breath

and looking up at a broken window

and asking God why?

Why would you even let me live?

I was in terrible, terrible, terrible pain.

- [Narrator] Recovering from seven surgeries on his back

and arms, Rob had plenty of time to think about his life.

- Ya know, here I am, completely shattered man

and I'm not going anywhere.

I can't move.

I can't even feed myself.

I believe that that was my one on one time with God

and he reminded how just a couple months

prior to me jumping out of the window

how I actually accepted him to be my Lord and savior

and so, here we are.

Now we can have a relationship.

Everything's outta the way now.

Now it's just me and you.

- [Narrator] The girl eventually withdrew her allegations

and disappeared from his life.

As Rob recovered, his priority was getting to know God.

- My why questions to God were like

why would you let me live?

Why would you let me experience this?

I already had the troubled childhood.

I didn't have a good relationship with my parents

or my sister.

Why? But I was never really mad.

At the end of the day, I still know that those

are my choices.

I chose to drink and I chose to do drugs.

I chose not to lean on him.

I chose not to seek him out.

Those were all my choices.

Ya know, he kept reassuring me

how great my life was gonna be.

- [Narrator] With God's help, Rob kicked his drug

and alcohol problems.

Today, he shares the love he found through Jesus Christ

with his wife and son.

He's also a personal trainer

using lessons from his past

to encourage people who feel their lives are hopeless.

- I was using my talents and my gifts

and my charm for all the wrong things in this life

and I knew that God loved me

and that he wanted me here and he wanted me

for a greater purpose than what I was putting out there.

If you earnestly seek him, he will help you.

I know that.

You knock on that door and he's gonna open it

and he's gonna bring you right in.

(light music)

- It's amazing how the Lord can actually

turn what seems to be a tragedy into a success.

- Absolutely and you know, something that struck me

during this excellent story was that,

first of all, God really wanted him there

for him to survive throwing himself out of a

third story window.

But also, how dangerous relationships are.

You know, he was on a good track and then this woman

came back and I have seen this over and over

and over again, whether you're a man or a woman.

But you have to be careful and guard your heart

from the relationships

that come in your life. - Toxic relationships.

- Because that can really derail you.

- Yeah, it took him for a spin and it really brought him

into a place, a dark place and you might be in that place

right now and you're asking, "Can I come back?"

I wanna remind you, just like those men in his life,

when he came to Christ,

that moment still exists for you too.

If you've never had that moment,

I'd like to give you that opportunity today.

There is a new day for you.

Rob's now using his talents for the Lord

and not just for himself.

But you, today's your day and I believe that God

can do that as well.

Just pray this prayer.

He's not concerned about your words but he's

concerned about your heart.

Pray this with me.

Lord Jesus, I've blown it big time.

I'm a sinner.

Lord, I need you, I can't do this.

Please come into my heart.

I give you my personal permission for your

heavenly intervention.

In Jesus' name, amen.

- Amen. - That simple.

- Coming up, the quest for inner peace

finally ends for Emily when she learns the truth about God.

- Call the number on the screen.

- My parents divorced when I was four

and then they both remarried three times.

I lived with my mom until I was 15 years old

and then I moved in with my Dad.

I got in trouble all the time.

I was always adapt to push boundaries.

Just whatever the rule was, wherever the line was,

I had to take two or three steps ahead of it.

I remember in junior high thinking that I was

attracted to girls.

I believe that okay, if I feel this way,

that must mean I'm gay.

Whenever I was 15, I started seeing someone.

From that moment forward, the war between me

and my parents was on.

So, of course, I just pushed harder, rebelled even more.

- [Narrator] At 18, Emily moved out so she could live

the way she wanted.

- I was convinced that I was okay.

I viewed it like a civil rights type thing.

I thought I was doing the right thing the whole time.

And believed I was defending my person

or ya know, not just the behavior.

I never questioned it as being wrong.

At 18, I was no longer afraid of getting in trouble.

I wasn't trying to play nice, I guess, anymore with it,

which caused me to act really wild.

I drank a lot.

I went into a ton of parties.

I smoked weed almost every day for some years.

I dated different women.

I was so far, so far off.

Unrecognizable even to me now.

I just let myself go and I said,

"Well, this is who I am."

- [Narrator] One day, Emily's aunt invited her to

a Bible study.

- I was reading about different attributes of God

that I'd never considered.

He no longer looked like this blob in the sky.

He was Holy and good.

And love, but also just.

Also righteous.

God grew in my mind from being this

live and let live figure to a creator

who had a purpose and who was involved

and cared about our day to day.

- [Narrator] Even though she tried, Emily couldn't stop

thinking about what she was learning about God.

- I look to my best friend and I say,

"Hey, what if they're right?

"What if this is true?"

She told me I was killin' her high and she left.

I immediately went and got the book that I'd been

reading to study.

That night, I was reading about

what the book calls a salad bar religion

where you pick and choose different parts.

You can pick some in the Bible, some new aged stuff,

some whatever.

I realized that that's exactly what I was doing,

that I was combining what I liked,

disregarding what I didn't like.

I Google verses on homosexuality.

I come 1st Corinthians 6:9 through 11.

Do not be deceived.

It says neither the sexually immoral,

nor this, nor that, nor those who practice homosexuality,

nor some more will enter the kingdom of Heaven.

It says and such were some of you.

But you were washed, you were sanctified,

you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.

I realized that I was not a Christian.

I realized I wasn't submitted to him at all.

I realized that my religion was worthless

'cause it had no works, it had no anything.

I immediately wanted to obey him

and wanted my life to look like a life should look.

I didn't know how to even describe anything.

I just said I can't be gay anymore,

that's all I know to say.

I can't do it.

I don't know what I'm gonna do

but I know what I can't do anymore.

It's right here.

It's very clear and that's okay.

I don't need to have anything, I'm alive

and he's forgiven me and that's,

that's better than anything and I don't deserve it.

When I first got saved, I thought,

"Oh, well I should go out an date a boy."

That's not the fix, of course it's not the fix.

It's God, it's not jumping from homosexuality

to heterosexuality at all.

It's holiness that can cause us to.

I had to understand my identity has to be in Christ,

not in dating a Christian boy or anything else like that.

I needed time to grow and just understand

what scripture says.

- [Narrator] Emily took advantage of her time alone,

learning more about God and what it means

to be a Christian.

After some time, she met someone.

- Ben's mom introduced us

but he already knew my testimony.

So he already knew everything

and was totally cool with moving forward with me.

What's cool about Ben is that

he knows his own need for grace,

ya know what I mean?

He understands it biblically,

which is that we are all broken.

I may have looked more broken outwardly from Ben

but he understands that he is in much need of God

and forgiveness and ya know, redemption as I am.

So, on the two year anniversary of me getting saved,

Ben and I actually got to marry.

(bright music)

Look at scripture.

Look at your life and be as fair as you can

and say, "Do I look like a redeemed saint?

"Someone who bout with sin,

"but someone who's been redeemed?"

I still struggle with sin.

I still struggle with different attraction

or with the desire to lie if it's easier,

but it doesn't have to be what my identity's in.

My identity is in him.

I feel loved in that I'm not a slave to it anymore.

He saved me.

(light music)

- I had a salad bar religion.

Picking and choosing the bits that I wanted

and not taking it all.

Then, Emily got ahold of Revelations 21:8

and it shook her world because she found out

that God is holy.

I wonder if you know that as well.

There is nothing that you have done in your life

that is so bad, when you have breath in your lungs,

that you cannot be redeemed.

I believe that God can do the impossible

and I pray that you see that because she said

Ben had his own brokenness and he knew

he needed to be redeemed.

On the outside, he looked completely like everyone else

but on the inside, he said he didn't judge me

and we don't judge either.

God doesn't judge us on this side.

God gives us an opportunity to judge that he's faithful.

Why don't you do that right now?

If Emily's story impacts you, I wanna pray

a prayer with you and I want you to call

the number on the screen.

She said, "I'm still battling today,

"but I know at the end of the day, he loves me."

Don't play the daisy game.

He loves me, he loves me not.

He loves me, he loves you not.

He's not mad at you, he's mad about you,

but he wants to have a relationship with you.

Pray this prayer.

Jesus, I surrender now.

Please have your way.

In Jesus' name, amen.

1-855-759-0700, prayer partners are standing by.

Today's your day.

Up next, Laura-Lynn sits down with author,

Sonia Brown, to discuss how she doesn't let her

albino status define her.

- [Woman] Our boat was being pulled without us knowing.

The boat just smashed into the concrete wall

and the force of this water was so strong,

I put my arms around my daughter and she was

ripped away from my arms.

I was just screaming, "Where is my daughter?"

Suddenly, a man walked up and he said,

"Ma'am, I think we have your daughter."

- [Man] He came with a sense of peace.

Felt like he was an angel.

(upbeat music)

- Welcome back.

I'm here with speaker and author,

Sonia Kennedy Brown to talk about her book, Silent Tears.

It chronicles her painful journey growing up with albinism

in a culture that rejected it.

Welcome Sonia.

Sonia, thank you so much.

Silent Tears, this is your book and yet,

you're not silent anymore.

I hear that you are sharing your story

in many places to help people to understand.

- Yes I am.

Every since the release of the book,

that's what I've been doing.

- Tell me about being given this title, albino,

and what that meant to your life

and how you navigated that.

- Well, as a little girl, it was very shocking for me

to see the public's response to me.

I was even aware of it before I myself could detect it

because my parents knew how I would be treated

because of someone else who was treated that way.

- And where did you grow up?

- I grew up in Jamaica.

- In Jamaica, so of course, everyone was dark

and you felt like an outsider.

- Actually, not necessarily.

Jamaica's a very mixed culture.

Whites, Chinese, Indians, everybody.

But the problem is, an albino is seen as someone who

is so different because they believe that the Gods

have an ought against you.

You're possessed with an evil spirit.

So, in any culture, it's seen as a rejection from God.

- Wow!

And so, you not knowing that, but your parents knowing

that there was going to be this rejection of you,

you began feeling that inside and so,

at what age were you when you thought,

"Something's different about me and it's difficult."

- As long as I can remember because it's not just

a matter of feeling it, it's a matter of

people rejecting you by using words that were derogatory.

They called me several names.

Freak, dundus, raw, yellow.

It's fire, it's so many names that were

other than my name.

So, because of that and people didn't wanna

associate with me because they feel,

they reject us by not connecting with us

physically in the environment.

- Wow.

- Yeah, so you're lonely.

- You're lonely.

And so, what did that begin to do to you then?

- I began to be very disappointed at first,

very disappointed and sad.

But then, as I grew older, the anger started building up.

It settled because I would go home

and tell Mom about the way I was treated and my Dad

and my brothers and sisters.

They were very sympathetic but the sad part is,

I saw tears in my Mom's eyes whenever I complained

because it was daily.

Going to school, going on errands,

eventually I stopped complaining a lot

but when you don't externalize it,

you internalize it.

So I began to internalize the anger.

- So you saw the tears in your Mom's eyes

and that's what made you kind of keep it to yourself.

Then the anger is going on and it's just

building up inside.

What were you exactly angry at?

The people?

- I was angry at the people

because I felt they were mean.

As a little child, it's hard to even determine,

but I knew I was angry at the people.

I was angry with children in school because

they laughed at me and wouldn't play with me.

So you feel isolated

and that built my anger.

It bothered me because adults did the same thing.

- Really?

- Oh yeah.

- I mean, that's even worse, isn't it?

- That's even worse.

- Yes and so, did you have a relationship with God at all?

- I grew up in a Christian home

and my parents were praying people, my brothers and sisters

and because of their relationship with God

and they taught me that everyone was valued by God,

I learned to value other people but then,

I must admit, at one point, I was angry with God also

because when I could read, as far as I can remember,

read fluently by the time I was four

and as I grew older and I could read,

I read in Psalm 1:39 where God says,

"I'm fearfully and wonderfully made."

When I became an adult, I got so angry

because I said to him, if you knew me before you formed me,

why didn't you make me like everybody else?

I said that to him.

It shocked me kind of to say that to God.

I thought I was gonna be going through great retribution.

- Right, maybe a lightning strike

for being so honest. - Trust me.

- It did but I was so very angry.

- You were expressing your deepest heart to him

and saying, "If you could've stopped this,

"why was I born this way?"

- That's what I said to him.

- Did he say anything to you?

- Not at the time because I even wrote my big sister

when I was in university and told her.

She wrote me back and she was so frightened

because of the letter I wrote to her from Michigan.

- [Laura-Lynn] She was concerned.

- She was concerned about my spiritual journey

because of the fact that I expressed such anger

in the letter.

But I just felt I had no one to understand,

although they really loved me.

But a lot of things, I didn't express.

One of the things is, if you don't mind,

I wanted, there are 10 children of us.

- Right.

- And everybody, my brother also is an albino.

He had the experience of being socially ostracized

like myself but I wanted a husband,

I wanted a friend, a deep friend who cherished me

and when you watch your sisters getting married

and your brothers getting married

and you're isolated, it makes you feel rejected.

- Right.

- So I was angry that I went through nursing school

and I was going through grad school

and grad school had a double purpose.

I went there because I wanted to find a guy

while getting my degree.

- Right.

- So when it didn't happen, instead I got sexually abused

by someone, I just lost it.

- That added more insult to injury, didn't it?

- Yeah.

- Now, the Lord did provide you eventually

with a husband.

- [Sonia] Yes he did.

- Yes and what was that experience?

- Oh, a mutual friend introduced us.

It was just heavenly when he said to my parents,

"Thank you for the most beautiful rose in your garden."

You know how that made me feel?

But for seven years, we had a beautiful relationship

and at the end of seven years,

it was just beautiful.

He treated me like a lady, ya know?

- So God really did meet that desire in your heart

even with all the challenges you had.

He gave you this wonderful man.

But that wasn't, that didn't go past seven years.

A tragedy struck.

- After seven years, he was diagnosed with cancer

and in seven weeks, he died and I was devastated

because at this time, I was mostly healed from my anger

because I went into a deep depression

and then, I was assisted by a pastor

out of ya know, how to handle it.

Then, my husband died.

I said, "God, how could you?"

So I couldn't repeat Romans 8:28,

"All things work together."

I said, "God, what good is it?"

But eventually.

- Somebody's sitting out in our audience today, Sonia,

and they're saying so many bad things

have happened in my life, I relate to this woman's story.

Will you tell us why you're so sparkling

and beautiful today,

why there is a light in your eyes that's inexplicable.

How did God heal you?

- I went back to the same Bible passages

that I found difficult to accept before,

like the same Psalm 1:39 and I read it again

and God said to me, "Sonia, you're fearfully

"and wonderfully made."

I have a habit of putting my name

in passages in the Bible when I'm reading.

So I personalize it.

I said, "God, thank you!

"You knew me, you made me for a purpose."

Then, in Isaiah, it said I'm engraved on the palm

of his hand and I thought,

if I'm engraved on the palm of his hand, I'm special.

So I said, heal me of my brokenness

and use my life to glorify your name.

- Wow.

- And that's what he has done.

- He has done that.

But quite a journey and I know you've

chronicled that journey.

Do you have some good scriptures that you base

this healing on in your book?

I imagine you do. - Yes, I have.

- So, the book is Silent Tears.

- Growing up albino.

- Growing up Albino and what a story.

Some tragedy and yet, I see the power and the grace of God

in you, Sonia.

Thank you for sharing this story.

I hope that if you're going through some discouragement,

that you will pick up this book, Silent Tears:

Growing up Albino by Sonia Kennedy Brown.

God bless you for sharing that.

Well, it's been great to see you today.

We'll be back.

Always enjoy giving you a little bit of inspiration

letting you know that God loves you.

He sees you, he knows you.

Join us next time.

(light music)

- [Narrator] To contact us, phone 1-855-759-0700.

You can email us at

or write to us at Christian Broadcasting Associates, Inc.

The 700 Club Canada, PO BOX 700,

Scarborough, Ontario, M1S 4T4.

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(light music)


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