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|Brother Leo’s Testimony…Call of The Beloved & Persecution by My Ch.|
Brother Leo’s Testimony… The Call of The Beloved & Persecution by My Church
November 21, 2020
(Clare) Dear Heartdweller Family, I want to share a testimonial from our youngest member, who was supposed to start college last fall, but instead, came here to learn about God. He was 19 at the time, and has made amazing progress. He has since then left the world behind interiorly, and is taking on a new habit and a new name as Brother Leo. Here he shares his testimony.
(Brother Leo) May the Grace of Jesus Christ be with all who hear this story.
This tale you will hear consists of my life up until my vocation. Bear in mind before reading this that I am no Saint, although I desire to be one with all my heart. Yet I write this for the Glory of God, and with the hope of edifying my dear Christian brothers and sisters. I mean this with all humility when I say I am the most wretched of all souls, but God, in His Mercy, seems to write best with broken pencils.
My call from Jesus began in the late summer of 2019. I had just graduated from high school, and it was soon the start of my college lifestyle, or so I thought. I was trying to follow Jesus as closely as I could and walk the journey of “earning a living” for myself, and winning the approval of my family and Church friends. Although I was excited, my heart still wasn’t satisfied, as I thought of all the new burdens that came with that lifestyle: books, endless homework and starting all over with making new friends, as well as the guilt of not being able to live up to others’ expectations.
Soon, a week before school, Jesus led me to the testimony of a dear sister who left all her possessions, family and friends, to pursue a life of intimate union with God. She even quoted a Scripture where Jesus says, in the Gospel of Luke… ‘unless a man renounces all his possessions, he cannot be My disciple’. This convicted me so badly, and I wanted to know more. As I listened to the rest of her testimony, I was excited, and also brought to shame. I began praying earnestly, asking God to let me renounce my life in order to be His disciple, not knowing that He would truly answer my prayer.
I constantly listened to her testimony, and each time, more desire increased in me to live this life. It was finally the afternoon of my first day of school, when Jesus answered my prayer.
I had just finished all of my classes, and was walking around the campus. A thought came to my mind to check my email. I saw a letter from Mother Clare, founder of Heartdwellers. I had asked her a few months ago, before school, if I could come to the mountain where she was forming a prayer community. But I hadn’t heard from her until now. As I read it, she revealed to me that it was God’s will that I should come to the mountain and be a part of this wonderful prayer community.
I couldn’t believe it. Her email was truly an answer to my prayer. I called her immediately to talk more about this. Excitement overwhelmed me. However, I didn’t know what to do. I cried as fear of rejection from my family and friends overwhelmed me. However, she comforted me with the fact that this was my decision. She said I could either fatten the pockets of some huge executive, or I could come work for Jesus and help gather souls into the Kingdom of Heaven. I then wiped away my tears and immediately told her… ‘I choose Jesus’. Before I knew it, that same day, I saw myself walking into a Greyhound bus station, to purchase tickets to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I spent most of my journey wondering if this was the right decision. Fear and sadness pummeled me all the way as I thought to myself, “what in the world am I doing?” After three long and tortuous days, I finally arrived in New Mexico. It was then that I finally got to meet Mother Clare, face to face, and drowned her shoulder with my tears.
As I spent my time here, it was then that I started to see all my sins rise to the surface. For some reason, I suffered from extreme, and I mean extreme laziness, both physical and spiritual. I just couldn’t overcome all my faults and mistakes. Within a few months I was tempted to return home. I realized I had not truly forsaken the world and my sins. And so, I struggled interiorly for long periods of time. Mother Clare was kind enough to let me return home, I had to see for myself that the world was no good. This was indeed proven to be correct when I returned home, as I received cruel persecution from my church.
For example, I was condemned harshly for believing Mary could intercede for you with Jesus. I didn’t realize it, but Jesus allowed me to receive a splinter from His Cross. I struggled interiorly with who I was and what God called me to do. Leaving college to live a life of poverty was not something the Pastor agreed with, in fact, he thought that college was God’s will for me. One Sunday while at church, they stood me up in front of the altar and started asking me questions like, “Who is Mother Clare?”, “What did you learn?”, and they accused me of being deceived and demonically possessed. I was trying to tell the pastor’s wife about the importance of the virtues of humility, charity, holy obedience. ‘No, that’s what they tried to teach you’ she said, and tried to get me to renounce everything I had learned on the mountain.
I needed strength and encouragement, and so I sought out Mother Elisha, who is the religious sister and whose testimony I had been listening to over and over. She told me to leave the church, and that Jesus wanted me to sit at his feet and learn intimacy with him. For a few weeks I did this and stopped going to church. But, one Saturday, I decided to attend a meeting at church after persistent pleadings from one church elder. When I got there, the Pastor was really angry and we were in the back part of the church, when he grabbed me by the neck, threw me against the wall and slapped me. He told me… ‘Stop playing with God’s anointing’, and two elders took me into the Church’s kitchen and told me to renounce all I had learned in New Mexico. I was made to stand in front of the church and repent in front of everyone. They accused me of having demons.
After I suffered enough, I decided to leave my former church, leaving behind the world for good and do what Jesus wanted me to do. I longed to return to the refuge, yet Mother Clare would not permit this until she was sure that I had my fill of the world and no longer wanted to stay in the world. I struggled to find a job, but did find one at Wal-Mart. I felt so lost, depressed, and couldn’t go anywhere since I didn’t have a car. I used some of my income to help a friend in need and his family, but it seems the he used the money for his own purpose and this caused me anguish. I felt like I was drawn further away from the Lord, as there were temptations of lust, flirtations with a girl, smoking, fitting in with others.
I kept texting Mother Clare to ask if I could come back. It wasn’t until about five months had passed that I was finally invited to return to the mountain refuge. By then I was fully convinced that this was God’s will and that I am to be His little ‘fool’ on earth. Jesus then made it clear that I was to renounce the world fully and take up my vow of poverty. When I got home from work that day, I bought a plane ticket to leave a few days later. So, I packed all of my clothes and didn’t tell anyone at Church of my plans. I told my grandmother that I was leaving. She was sad but realized I was old enough to make my own decisions. The day of my flight, I got up at 4 am, headed to the airport and left Louisiana. I had a layover in Dallas and then made it to Albuquerque, where I met up with John, who drove me to the refuge.
When I made it back to the refuge, I was clothed in a habit and God expressed His delight by allowing me to receive a wound on my forehead in the form of a Cross. I then experienced an unexplainable peace and happiness as I felt truly accepted by the Almighty God.
A few months later, my former pastor died of cancer, which grieved me greatly, yet I know Jesus took him home to be with Him in Heaven. I always thought about how he perceived my vocation in Heaven. I knew he was being taught the truth by God and was probably happy, yet I always had this fear of him. It wasn’t until a few months after his death that I saw him in a dream. I saw myself standing in my former church and he was in front of me with two men standing behind me.
He then asked if I desired to live my whole life for God. I replied… ‘Yes, with God’s grace.’ The two men who were behind me then clothed me in a habit, and as I looked at my former pastor, he then took a cord and wrapped it around my waist, saying… ‘Treasures are storing up for you.’ I did not know what he meant but as he said this, he also began talking about miracles and that I must get out there and save souls for Jesus! I was the only one in the building clothed in a habit. As people came with their questions and concerns to the pastor’s wife, I woke up from the dream.
I didn’t understand the dream at first, but as I talked it over with my superiors, I knew I had received a visitation from him in Spirit, and he approved of God’s call on my life. I felt at peace and was very happy, and Jesus confirmed that this is where he wants me.
That’s all for now as this story is still being written to this present moment. However, I hope this edifies you, my dear brothers and sisters, and may you truly believe the Lord God Almighty will make your enemies be at peace with you, if you do His Will! AMEN!
(Clare) What a wonderful testimony! As I pray it inspires and encourages many of the young Heartdwellers to go against the status quo and follow Jesus with all their heart. He has great things in store for you. Your age matters not, but your willingness. If He can use a 74-year-old women to build a community and worldwide ministry, He can also use you. If he can use a 19-year-old with no experience, fresh out of college, then He can use you too, if you would respond to His call and leave everything to follow Him!
Brother Leo has grown into a wonderful young man, full of such gentleness, humility and diligence. He really struggled with laziness when he got here, as he was not used to hard labor. However, he is now one of the first to come help when someone is in need. He is also very diligent to lead the newest members in the community every day in the Lord’s Supper. When he first arrived, they began to call him the saint on the mountain. However, we have come to learn the Lord desires for us not to look to be praised by man, but rather receive all insults with humility and joy. May God bless you all.