You are currently viewing Summer 2024 Testimonies 1: Joseph Labbe: Personal Testimony

Summer 2024 Testimonies 1: Joseph Labbe: Personal Testimony

Summer 2024 Testimonies 1: Joseph Labbe: Personal Testimony

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)

I was born in northern Maine and raised in a strict religious family. Every Sunday we attended church. The only thing that would allow us to skip church was being very sick. Even in my older teenage years, my older brother and I would go out on Saturday night to party, but on Sunday morning we knew we had to be at church.

When I was 18, I left Maine because of a job opportunity in Connecticut. Within a year of moving to Connecticut, my girlfriend, Lil, and I got married. As children came along, our church attendance started to decline. We were looking for any excuse to not attend. As the children got older, we would sporadically attend church, only to find ourselves back in the same spot we were in before. After several rounds of trying to go to church again and then not going, I decided I was finished with religion and wanted nothing to do with it anymore. Instead, I filled my time with work and earthly pleasures.

Even though I decided I was done with religion, Lil was determined to find what was missing in her life. She wasn’t happy, so she tried going to any and every church in town. When she came home, she would tell me how much she enjoyed it and would ask me to join her next time. That was not an interest of mine; I didn’t care where she went as long as I didn’t have to go myself. She tried several churches in town, but she still wasn’t satisfied.

After a few months of searching for the right place, Lil heard that there was a gospel tent being pitched in Terryville, Connecticut. On a Monday night, she wanted to go to the tent, but I had other plans, so she found a friend to go with her to the service. There she heard a clear gospel message, and when she returned home that night, she said that this was what she’d been looking for. She realized she needed salvation, which was only possible through the Lord Jesus Christ, and she knew that this was the place for her.

By Friday night of that same week, Lil came to know Jesus as her Savior. That wasn’t enough for her, though, and now her sights were set on me. She would ask me to go to the meetings, but I had no desire. After a while, I felt guilty, so I went to one, hoping to satisfy her. That didn’t work because then she wanted me to keep going with her. When I realized that she wasn’t going to let up, I became angry.

One Friday morning while I was at work, I was thinking about her continually asking me to go to the gospel tent. I told myself that if she asked me again, I was going to tell her that I would not go, and to never ask me again! This anger consumed me, and it was hard for me to focus on my work. However, on the way home, those thoughts slipped from my mind. I walked into the house, sat down at the dinner table, and Lil walked into the kitchen all dressed up. Forgetting about the gospel services, I asked her where she was going. When she told me she was going to the gospel tent, I asked her if she wanted me to go with her. What was I thinking? It was too late now, so I went along with her to the gospel meeting.

During the service, I was convicted of my sins for the first time. I wasn’t sure how to be saved; I didn’t even know how to talk to God. I was so upset that I was driven to tears, but I was determined to go back to the gospel tent. After the meeting on Wednesday, September 10, 1981, the preachers noticed concern on my face. They asked if I wanted to speak with them after the meeting, but I didn’t.

That night I couldn’t sleep. I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and was very troubled. Lil had done her best to explain how to be saved, but I didn’t understand. After listening to her for a while, it dawned on me that the Lord Jesus, the One on the middle cross, was dying there for me. I asked her if salvation was truly that simple, and she said it was. Once I was saved, we embraced and wept. Just a few weeks after those tent meetings started in Terryville, we were both saved and on the way to Heaven.

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