My name is Silvia Lia Leigh. I was born in Romania more than sixty five years ago. At that time Romania was a communist country. Religion was forbidden. We were thought in school that God does not exist; that religion is for the poor illiterate people. I believed that! I grew up in a loving family of four. My parents were teachers in the school which I attended with my younger sister; Adica. My father was also the principal of the school. My parents thought us by example to be kind, respectful, humble and hard working. We did not believe in God and we did not attend church.
In 1973 I got admission into the Medical School in Timisoara. In my first year I met my husband Richmond, a Nigerian. We were class mates. We fell in love and against all odds we got married. After graduation, in 1980, we moved to Nigeria. We became very successful as medical practitioners. We started a private hospital in Warri Nigeria called “Lily Clinic”. We were very happy. We had three children. We had money and fame. What else could one possibly want? Nothing! Or so I thought…
In 1986 I had a crisis conversion. I met the Lord Jesus Christ. This was purely the grace of God in action because we did not attend any church. This is how it happened…. Before coming to Nigeria I have not seen a Bible. In January of the same year, I became very depressed. I saw nothing good in all my achievements. I even lost my desire to live. This was very strange because I was always an optimistic person. The mysterious depression started after ‘accidentally’ I read a scripture on a pamphlet: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). I did not know who Jeremiah was. The scripture was not explained. But after I read it once, I just could not forget it. It seems like the words got stamped in my mind. I tried to forget it but I could not. After reading it I started thinking of God. I fought the thought but I failed. It was like He was calling me. I panicked… I have never prayed in my life. Can I start now? A voice said: ‘It is too late for you. Don’t pray!’ Another voice said the opposite: ‘It is never too late to pray. God loves you!’ These voices made me crazy. What voice I am supposed to believe?
Finally, I made my choice. For the very first time in my life, I prayed. It was 14th of March 1986. I said: “God, if You exist, then come down from heaven and change my heart. Make me Your friend! I am tired of doubting You. I am tired of fighting you. But please God, I can’t wait forever for the answer to this prayer. I give You ‘a month’s notice’ to come down from heaven and change my heart. If You come, I promise to be Your friend forever. But if You chose not to come, then let me die in peace. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!” I did not know the meaning of the name ‘Jesus’ but I heard people pray like that so I guessed it was the appropriate end to a prayer. Immediately I knew that something ‘good’ had happened to me. Not certain of what, I felt a sense of destiny coming down enveloping my soul.
On the 12th of April, 28 days after this ‘a month’s notice’ prayer, the Holy Spirit came and filled my hungry heart. Like an invisible blood transfusion, I felt LIFE entering my veins. I was alone in the sitting room when this event happened. It was much later that I knew it was called ‘the baptism of the Holy Spirit’. I became a child of God, never to be the same again. I started reading the Bible like a mad woman. This hunger for the Word for God and for prayer continues without interruptions until now. After some time, my husband became saved also. We sold our private clinic and together, we are now in full time ministry. We are the founders and the senior pastors of Father’s House Bible Church in Warri, Nigeria. To God alone be all the glory!
May this testimony ignite in you the desire to be truly saved or to experience revival! In Jesus’ name, amen!
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh