After a work-related experience years ago, George Stokes decided then and there to give his life to Christ.
He says it was the best decision he has ever made.
Growing up in New Iberia, Stokes, 69, became a Baptist at an early age, after his father died in a car wreck when he was 1. He and his three brothers moved in with his grandparents.
His grandfather, a hardcore Baptist, as Stokes described him, instilled Christian values in the brothers at an early age. He was raised in the church for the next 11 years.
“We went to the Baptist church,” Stokes said. “And then my mother remarried. We moved back in with my mother and she was Catholic and we got away from the church.”
After being away from the church for some time, Stokes met his wife, also a Catholic, who was devoted to her church. Meanwhile, their children were going to a Baptist church with his grandmother.
“So we kinda had a conflict between Baptist and Catholic,” Stokes said. “And my wife said, ‘Well you have to choose where to go to church.’”
Choosing to go to the Baptist church instead, Stokes attended faithfully, but there was always something getting in the way of him completely giving his life up to Christ.
That was soon about to change.
It was a helicopter ride during a storm while working offshore that literally put the fear of God into Stokes.
“Let me tell you something, riding a helicopter in a rainstorm is nothing nice,” Stokes said. “It kinda scared me into thinking, ‘What’s going to happen if this thing (the helicopter) goes down and I’m going to die?’”
That moment, during that rainstorm, would forever change him. It put a hand on his heart, making him consider what life should be like with his faith.
“I knew what being a Christian was supposed to be, and what I wasn’t doing,” Stokes said. “And I decided I need to give my life to Christ.”
Though it took a few months at first, Stokes eventually came around to fully giving his life to Christ. He has been faithful in his church and life ever since, spending the last 20 years as a deacon spreading the message to God and is now a deacon Highland Baptist Church.
“The Lord has truly blessed me,” Stokes said.
Stokes always knew deep down that he wasn’t truly living his life as a Christian and fully giving his life to Him. Thanks in large part to that one helicopter ride, his trajectory in life completely changed.
He said he is forever grateful for it.
“I knew what I needed to do to get eternal life,” Stokes said. “I worked offshore for about 30 years and I rode a helicopter pretty much every day, and had no problems after that.”
Giving up his life, to Stokes means surrendering his life to God, and by doing so, doing things that the Bible teaches you to do and how to do the right things.
“I guess that’s the key point: Surrender. You have to surrender your life to Christ for you to truly know what to do in your life,” Stokes said.
Knowing that God saved his life that day, and every day after that helicopter ride, Stokes has given his life to Him, and he is appreciative of God’s love.
“I can do the things in life and be confident and He will take care of me no matter what,” Stokes said. “I trust Him and I know my life is secure, not only on this Earth but when I leave it.”