Hellish nightmares prompt desperate search

Roy Daniel
“I felt helpless to help myself”, Roy Daniel confesses

Waking up in a terrified sweat, Roy Daniel was plagued by nightmares that he can only describe now as hellish.

"In some dreams I would be driving a car and then suddenly the road would disappear and I would fall into hell forever," he recalls.

Even as a naughty boy who was often disciplined by his loving Christian parents; Roy learned from a young age that his rebellion against them, or 'sin', would lead to punishment.

"I often saw that people who did not get spankings struggled to understand how a God of love would send people to Hell for sin," he says.

"I got loads of spankings and I therefore knew sin would be punished."

Looking back, Roy appreciates the way his parents disciplined him firmly but lovingly and says he always felt secure in his Christian home.

His parents worked as missionaries and always prayed as a family for their needs. They often saw God prompt people to give them exactly what they needed.

Despite knowing the character of Jesus, God the Son, through his parents, Roy says he later learned that "being born in a bakery doesn't make you bread."

"I actually prayed many times to become a Christian and nothing happened," he recalls.

He wondered why Jesus was so alive to his parents but God never seemed to speak to him.

He tried to find God his own way by doing "Christian things" like reading the Bible and going to church but he held tight to friendships with the boys he knew were a bad influence on him and was also drawn into pornography and a prideful nature.

Over time, Roy realised that he did not have a relationship with God because there was a wall of sin between him and God.

"I thought Jesus was just there to save us from going to hell, which I was very afraid of, but I did not have to give up doing my own thing as I wanted," he says.

"I did not understand that, in spite of not being a murderer, I had disobeyed God's ways and I needed to surrender all those things to the God who gave his Son Jesus to die for me."

As he grew older vivid nightmares began to rule his nights and Roy found himself wondering if God even existed.

Surprised and cross with himself for thinking this, Roy set aside three days to pray and read the Bible to seek an answer from God. On the third day, Roy read in Romans that his good works were not enough to save him from sin's punishment.

"I thought of how I organised the nights of prayer and I made the puppet theatre. What would people think if a Bible college student, like me, was a sinner?" he says.

"My pride was getting in the way but suddenly something wonderful happened. I swallowed my pride and for the first time, none of my good works meant anything to me. I was not scared of hell, just sorry about my godless life and for going my own way."

Roy says it was then that he knelt down, broken before God with nothing but his sins.

"I wanted a relationship with God. I wanted to surrender to His authority, but above all I wanted to know Him. I felt helpless to help myself," he says.

"In a moment Jesus came into my life and gave me a new heart. Based on Jesus dying on the cross and rising again, God freely did a mighty work in my heart.

"It was so simple I could not believe I had struggled for so many years. It was a free gift."

For the first time Roy says he felt like a new person and he knew that he loved God more than his father or mother and even his own desires.

"I realised that salvation is not just a packet we receive to walk around with under the arm but a person Jesus Christ who comes into our life, forgives us freely, changes our heart and leads us on as the authority we once lived without," he says.

For the first time the peace of God washed over Roy and he says he never suffered from such terrible nightmares again.

He got involved in ministry with the African Evangelistic Band and helped to produce two popular Christian media sites called www.prayerclub.net and www.gebedsklub.net to encourage others through contributions of sermons, poems, hymns and testimonies.

Through initiatives such as this, Roy has a heart for encouraging people to patiently walk with God, so that He will make them more like Jesus.

"The greatest thing is reading the Bible, obeying what we read and through these scriptures seeing more of Jesus."

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