My Journey With God
Hello, my name is Mark Bacot, and here is my journey with God thus far. At this time, I am blessed to be getting free ministry training at Christian Leaders Institute. I know God is calling me to serve him in ministry as a Chaplain.
Born in the USA in Fayetteville, North Carolina, I lived there in that area until the army moved me to Texas in my early 20s. I now live in Irving, Texas.
My Journey With God: The Importance of the Church
Here is my story on how the church played a huge part in my life. There is so much to tell; sometimes, I think I could write a book. However, to keep it short, I have left many things out. What you read will give you a clear understanding of what the church means to me and how I came to know Jesus. Also, you will see the enormous part my Savior played in my life even to this day.
From very early on, the church was a big part of my life. In my earliest memories of the time I was at church, I get all these flashbacks to remember certain things that left an impression on me. In Vacation Bible School, for instance, I remember summers that I attended. Even though I participated in every summer, certain ones made more of an impact on my life.
I spent many days out of each week at church, and I can’t remember ever feeling like I had to go because I wanted to be there. It was my second home. Many times, it felt like my real home, surrounded by a large family that was my actual family. I am not sure how many children thought this way growing up in the church, and I imagine more did than ever confessed it.
My Journey With God: The Church Saved My Life
When I say that the church saved me, I mean it saved me. My parents separated when I was maybe two or three years old. My mother remained a single parent until I was seven or eight years old. It was hard for me having a new father as I thought things were good the way they were. My biological father was still a part of my life, and I saw him one weekend out of each month. My father became a minister and started a church where he served until he passed away from cancer when I was around 20 years old.
I didn’t like my new stepfather from the moment I met him. This dislike was not because he was there to take my birth father’s place, but because I saw things in him that I knew were not suitable for my mother, my sister, or myself. He was not a good person, and I saw that from early on. I will not go into detail about what I went through during the years to follow.
However, I will say that without the church, I would not have survived mentally or physically. In my early teen years, suicide was never far from my mind, and the church and the Lord kept me in a place that made it tolerable to live.
My Journey With God: And God Saved My Soul
When I was around 10-11 years old, I had a near-death experience of nearly drowning. This experience changed me, and strange things started happening to me. Not long after this experience, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I asked him to come into my heart, even though he always had been in me. I wanted to profess this to him in the church. Since I knew suicide was wrong, I needed Christ in my heart to continue to keep me secure. I loved Jesus, and after I almost died, I knew it was wrong for me to want to take my own life.
Also, I wanted to make Jesus proud of me and to be able to see him one day. I knew that God had a higher purpose for me at that point. I thought about my mother, sister, and church family that I would be hurting. My mother needed me to encourage her and to keep her strong. It was a lot of pressure on me, and I was close to breaking so many times. It all goes back to the church and my extended family and keeping Jesus close to my heart every day.
My Journey With God: Life Growth
I have long since forgiven my stepfather and moved on from everything that happened in my youth. My stepfather has changed, and I see that. Now, my stepbrother is a minister and works for the Southern Baptist Convention. My mother, sister, and her family are very much involved in the church as always. I have survived cancer twice now. The Lord, my God, is not finished with me.
I found out in 2014 that I had cancer, I kept my faith and remained strong and beat it. Then, in 2018, my cancer returned. I went through eight weeks of daily treatments, and that cancer, thanks to God, was cured as well.
As an ordained minister, I work as a chaplain with hospice patients and their families. I am there for them, offering them spiritual guidance and comfort. Also, I want to help other youth and adults that maybe need guidance or counseling. God has plans for me, and I am blessed to be in his service.
My Favorite Scripture
Psalm 100 1-5
*Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
*Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
*Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
*Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
And his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
*For the Lord is good:
His steadfast love endures forever,
And his faithfulness to all generations.
Much love and peace to you from the Lord Jesus Christ!
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.