YEAR BORN: 1982
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: POLAND
HISTORY: PURSUED VIOLENCE, DRUGS, AND A PRESTIGIOUS CAREER
I was born in a small town in Poland, not far from the German border. Surrounded by farms and forests, I had a peaceful life. My loving parents encouraged me to live a good life, do well in school, and pursue a prestigious career.
My troubles began when I went to study law at a university in the city of Wrocław. Away from my parents, I chose harmful associates. I had always liked soccer, but under the influence of my new associates, I became a true fanatic. My favorite team came from Warsaw, and on weekends I followed them no matter where they were playing. Those trips featured heavy drinking, drug abuse, and occasional violent fights with supporters of the opposing team. I viewed this as an escape from the stress of daily life, though I knew that getting arrested by the police could ruin my law career.
My friends and I liked to visit clubs and discos. Once there, we often became involved in street fights. I was arrested by the police several times, but I always managed to avoid serious trouble with the law—sometimes by means of a bribe. I really thought I was living life to the full. Even so, deep down I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I went to church every Sunday in an attempt to ease my conscience.
HOW THE BIBLE CHANGED MY LIFE:
In 2004, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door, and I agreed to discuss the Bible with them. As I learned more about what it means to be a true Christian, my conscience really began to bother me. I knew that I should stop drinking heavily, taking drugs, and associating with people who did not live by Bible standards. I also saw that I needed to transform my aggressive, violent personality. Although I realized that I needed to change, I found myself continuing down the wrong path.
A turning point came one night when I started a fight with eight men. I remember lying on the street, being punched and kicked in the head. Feeling that I was close to death, I prayed: “I’m sorry, Jehovah, for not taking your Word seriously. If I survive, I promise to study the Bible with the Witnesses and sort out my life.” To my surprise, I did survive. I kept my promise to study the Bible.
In 2006, I moved to England. My goal was to earn enough money to return to Poland and gain a higher law degree. As I continued studying the Bible, one scripture made a huge impression on me. The apostle Paul wrote: “I do indeed also consider all things to be loss on account of the excelling value of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have taken the loss of all things and I consider them as a lot of refuse, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8) Like me, the apostle Paul had received a law education—and he too had been a very violent man. (Acts 8:3) Yet he came to see that there was a better way to live: serving God and doing his best to imitate Jesus. When I meditated on Paul’s example, I realized that a lucrative career and violent conduct were not keys to happiness. I became convinced that if Paul could change, so could I. So I decided to stay in England and forget about pursuing a further law degree.
The more I learned about Jehovah, the more I felt drawn to him. I was touched by his promise to forgive those who sincerely want to make changes. (Acts 2:38) And when I meditated on 1 John 4:16, which says that “God is love,” I began to discern why God hates violence.
I wanted to be part of the happy brotherhood that the Witnesses enjoy
I was also impressed by the conduct of the Witnesses. It was obvious to me that they try to live by the Bible’s high moral standards. I wanted to be part of the happy brotherhood that they enjoy. After some struggles and adjustments in my life, I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2008.
HOW I HAVE BENEFITED:
The Bible has transformed me from an ambitious, violent, drug-abusing, heavy-drinking soccer fanatic into a servant of God who enjoys teaching others about the Bible. I still like to watch soccer, but I am determined to keep such entertainment in its proper place.
I am now happily married to Esther, a beautiful fellow worshipper of Jehovah. We find real joy in teaching the Bible to Polish-speaking people here in northwest England. For the first time in my life, I feel true satisfaction. I have a clean conscience and a full, meaningful life.