The Miracle of Salvation
Hey guys, I’m Sandrine Tucker and I am from Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo. There’s two of them, so I have to preface that. And, I’ve been in the US for 22 years. I came as a 16 year old, turned 17 two days after. But the journey of my family and I coming to America was one of, my God, like three years of praying for us to come to America. America for us was a home like the promised land, you know. We would read Exodus, and we would see how the children of Israel would pray to go to the promised land.
I came, like I said, from Congo, and at the age of 13 years old my life just turned upside down. I grew up in my family; I’m the oldest of six children. And, um, and we were, you know, it was just a good bond playing with my siblings. We had a great relationship with my dad, my mom had a good job, I went to the best schools, a Catholic school back home. Until the age of 13 when my father suddenly died. After just two weeks of him bleeding internally, he died. And that began literally, it’s like hell opened up and, I don’t know, things began to happen.
So my dad passes away and come to find out my parents were never married, which is a no no in African culture. Then the family started fighting over us, over taking over my dad’s things, the house, they wanted to repossess everything that belonged to my dad. Well, if that was not the worst thing, two months later, war started. So I found out that my mom was actually not fully Congolese. Which in America, it’s probably not a concept people have, but in Africa, we are very tribal. Here, there’s maybe racial division. But in Africa, it’s very tribal, but also very nationalist. So the Congolese were having a war with Rwanda and my mom happened to be third generation Rwandan, born in Congo. So when the war was between the two countries, we had to leave the country. My dad was Congolese and he had just died two months ago. Good for him, he escaped that whole situation.
So I found myself as a 13 year old without my dad, the only thing that identified me as a Congolese child, teenager, and then a month after that my mom disappears with three of my siblings, three of my other siblings. Myself and two of my siblings, we ended up living with my dad’s side of the family. They mistreated us and we ended up, I mean, they wouldn’t feed us, we were a burden. We were a burden and if you are familiar with any street children in Africa where two parents pass away, that means that you have no hope. So I was 13-14 completely broken, hopeless, my whole life turned upside down, finding out that my identity as a Congolese was actually not. I was really not fully Congolese. My features, the way I look, I have a long face, I’m dark skin and my nose…Everything that God designed me became a sin, became a hindrance for me.
I would go places, I would be threatened to get killed. Now they would ask me, “What’s my name,” and my name is Congolese because my father is. They would ask me to speak in a Congolese language. I knew the country’s language, but when you are denied who you are, the very essence of who you are…So I went from there and then a few months, seven months later, we found my mom and were united. Then we had to fight to stay alive. Because there were shootings, they were burnings, like on the news, they would be burning anyone of Rwandan blood. So we fought my siblings, my mom and I, we fought to just stay alive.
My mom who was Catholic – and you know, praise God for Catholics – just her own personal relationship with God changed at the moment because she was a widow at 40 years old, with six children, beginning from 13 all the way to two years old, having to run for her life, provide for us, stay alive, keep us alive. And then I began to see my mom pray. I’d never, my mom would drink to drown the pain, but something in her was just awakened. She started fasting. It was not hard because we had no food, but she started fasting, praying, and then she would quote these scriptures. “You are a Father” – I don’t even know where it is, but I remember in my head, “You are a Father to the fatherless. You’re a husband to the widow. God, show Yourself. Prove that this word is true.” And we stayed like that for three years and then we came to America.
For me, it was like, Finally! I made it. Right? Finally, God delivered me from that torment, that place, literally a pit of hell. But what I did not realize, many times God can change our situations, God can change where we are, but if He doesn’t change the inside, no matter where we go, how much money you get to have, you will still be broken. So I came to America happy as a seventeen, I turned 17. No English, okay. – So if you hear me speak this English with all the errors, okay, you better praise God because it’s a miracle. – So no English, and then suddenly all the rejection, all the spirit of death. People will threaten to kill us. We had police show up at our house several times, threatening to kill us. But then with my mom’s prayers, they would leave. You will hear neighbors who got killed, girls who got raped, and we were never touched. So I saw God’s providence, but I still did not believe that this big God cared for me. Because if He cared for me, individually…Because a lot of times we know that as Elohim. We know that He’s the creator of the universe. But we don’t know Him as the One who cares, the One who sent His Son Jesus to die so that we may have life and have it abundantly.
So I came to America, I was living, but I was just a corpse. But I remember crying out to God and I said, “God, I want to leave this life. I came to America, but I’m not even enjoying this life.” I’m full of anger, full of insecurities, the words that were told and said to me, that I was not beautiful because my mom was Rwandan and because I had Rwandan blood, that I was not enough and that I deserved to die. “Why did You keep me alive, God?” So I was living literally tormented. The dreams, the images of hatred towards me…What’s amazing, what the devil does is the very thing that was said about me, said to me, became the things that I began to say about myself. I cried out to God to change me. That either He changes me or I die. Funny thing is in Africa, I fought to live. But coming to America, I didn’t want to live anymore.
Then I found friends. We were part of the ESL program, English as second language students. All my friends, we partied because I was like, that was my way of escaping. I didn’t know anything else. So I just escaped and partied. Until one time I was at a club with my friends and I heard the audible voice of God. And that was my first time. I grew up Catholic. I grew up Seventh Day Adventist, my mom was Catholic, my dad was an Adventist, so I never really encountered the supernatural. But I remember being in that club. It’s called AAA in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the bathroom, my eyes were opened and I looked at the girls around me who were throwing up. It was just like, very defiled. It smelled awful. And I heard a voice that told me, “Sandrine, if you don’t change, if you don’t give yourself to Me completely, this will be your future.” And I had, I was reminded at the moments, those three years in hiding, how my mom would pray. How God provided for us. How God really brought us to America. He reminded me that, “I cared to bring you to America, but I also care to make you whole.” And my excuse was, God “If You bring me to a church, I will serve You my whole life. But I don’t know how to get back to You. I don’t know how to connect.”
So I was a senior in high school, at a school here. And that was a Saturday in the bathroom. That Monday, in the bathroom, an American white girl shows up to me with a flyer and invites me to this retreat. I barely spoke English. And she’s talking to me. A lot of times when American students would speak to us they had to like, use their fingers, you know, but when she said, “Come to church. Come for Jesus…”I knew, I heard “church” and “Jesus” and it was like, This is what I prayed! I prayed for this in the bathroom! And this girl invited me in the bathroom. No one, not American students, black and white did not talk to the foreign students. We were just in our little corner whether Europeans, Africans, Asians. We hung out with each other. Americans didn’t speak to us, so for this girl to walk up to me and to invite me to this retreat, I said, “Yes.” She’s explaining and I’m like, “Girl, like, I don’t know how else to tell you. But yes, yes, yes!” And that began a journey for me of healing.
So I went to this retreat and – The thing that I saw on TV, right, Benny Hin laying hands and people, people falling. – I saw all that and it was crazy. My mind was telling me this is not real. But my heart was saying, “yes.” And they start talking about forgiveness. So you have to forgive. So I, I mean, the whole three days of that retreat, I wept and wept and wept and wept. Because Jesus was saying to me, “Sandrine, I want to make you whole, but there’s got to be a transfer, there’s got to be an exchange. If you want to have in your heart, you have to release all the people that you have.” And I want you to know, it was not just my dad dying, it was not just my mom running away, to save her life rightfully so. It was not just the family members who mistreated us and wanted me to get married at 14 so that they could get rid of me. It was not just the country that rejected me, I had to forgive. You know, they had us write lists, names. And I remember telling God, “I don’t even know how to write all the names.” and the girls, these were 16 year-olds, they stayed with me. And it’s like, it’s like any person that comes to mind, we’re gonna write it. So I just wrote, Congo!
It was hard to forgive. Because for so long, my identity was that anger. For so long, hatred towards the people who hurt me was my identity. And here I was, wanting a new identity! I wanted freedom, I wanted to no longer have those nightmares. But there had to be that exchange and finally, one by one…But what’s beautiful is that when I forgave, I felt the peace. When I forgave I felt the peace and, and it was forgiving my mom, because so much rejection that I felt, so much hatred that I felt…I hated her for being more than for giving me the face that I had. If it wasn’t for her, I told myself, I wouldn’t ever get kicked out of my country. But that was the initial work Christ began in my heart. And then it was deliverance and then they were like, things started coming out, you know. I don’t know who’s listening – to the ones who are listening – There is, I don’t know, you read the New Testament, Jesus casts things out and He cast things out of my heart. There was unforgiveness that opened the door to the demonic, there was anger that needed to leave, there was fear of failure, fear of disappointing myself, because I had put myself in such a place. Everyone failed me. So I put Sandrine on a pedestal. You know? And then I failed me. So I had to let go of that fear. And that was deliverance that had to take place to free me.
Deliverance literally meant that things had to be expelled. Demonic oppression, I was not possessed, but I was oppressed. The way I would think about myself, when I would look at myself in the mirror. It didn’t matter how much, you know, how many times I quoted the scriptures, there was a stronghold. There was another part of my mind, of my thinking that Christ did not reign. So, He had to come and clean the house like He talks about, and He cleaned it, and I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I began speaking in tongues. Oh, yes! And I tell people, I don’t care if you believe these things or not. It happened for me, it happened to me. It’s like in John 9 with the blind man. The Pharisees, they asked him what happened? He said, “all I know, I don’t know what He did. All I know is I was blind and now I can see.” And they kept questioning. He asked them, he says, “Do you want to also become His disciples? Because I’m looking for this Jesus, I want to give my whole life.” And that’s what happened to me. That freedom, I literally felt like, loads and loads of baggage is removed off of my life, off of my back.
I called my mom and said, “Mom, you will not believe what happened. They cast demons out of me!” And my mom says, “Oh, you need to run. It’s a cult.” And I said, “Mom, it is not a cult. I have never felt free my whole life.” And to believe it or not, my mom went to one of those retreats. My whole family went to one of those retreats and to this day, it’s been 21 years. I’m still loving Jesus, following Jesus to tell you that deliverance is real. One third of Jesus’ ministry was deliverance.
So 18 years old, I get radically saved, on fire, literally like I went…if you were alive, I preached to you because I felt that I didn’t want anybody else to be, my gosh, I didn’t want anybody else to live one more day outside of that freedom that I had found with Jesus. I did not have a car. I did not speak English, but I was at any church event. Like, if the church buildings were open, I was there. I hitchhiked, literally, I asked for rides, I would go to a coffee shop, and to witness to talk about Jesus not knowing how I would get home and all these things sound crazy. Like my husband now, I told him and he said, (whispers) “Don’t tell that to people, that sounds crazy.” But what you don’t realize is that I just wanted to give the rest of me to Jesus.
I remember saying that for the rest of my life, Satan will pay for the 18 years of torment that I received, that he inflicted on my life and that was my goal. So that’s what happened. Jesus radically healed my heart. Literally, my heart was like a piece, you take a tomato, and you puncture it, you puncture it with a nail. – Just imagine with me. – Puncture this tomato, and it’s oozing, just these, everywhere I went I oozed anger. It was hatred, it was bitterness. My face, if you look at pictures, before I give my life to Christ, I look different.
When I say give my life to Christ, it doesn’t mean that I did not love God, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t following God. But really at that point, is that I gave Him all of me, even the broken part, especially the broken part. Many of us are following Jesus; we’re following Him, but we don’t want to bring Him into those places where you’ve been raped, where you’ve been…and nobody knows. I just feel like there’s some of us, the ones who are listening, you’ve been really wounded and you’ve never told that to a person. Because the enemy has convinced you that you, you still have power. And you want to prove to yourself and to the people that you’re strong. But I’m telling you, it’s only when we allow Christ into those crevices of our lives, those rooms that we’ve never allowed Him in. And for me, that was salvation. The word salvation means sozo, where you’re made whole. Where your body, spirit, mind, all of you is completely restored and that’s what happened with me!
Now I have six kids, starting from 11 to 10 months old and I just want to tell people that Jesus wants to restore you. He wants to restore your identity. When you read Ephesians 1, it says “Blessed the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ. For He chose us, in Him, before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless in love before Him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ.” So here it is, just like, in Him I’ve been adopted. I’ve been chosen. I am loved. I am the beloved. I have been filled. I’ve been sealed. I have an inheritance. I am the beloved of God. And that is our identity.
I am discovering, and it’s beautiful, it’s a journey, like walking with Christ, because I’m continuing to discover the depth that in Ephesians 3 it says that we may experience that love being rooted in Christ, that we will grow in that love and we will know the width and the height, and the…whooo! He’s so good. That identity can only come in Christ. And I’m on this beautiful journey with Him. And 21 years and not one day have I regretted giving my life completely to Him. That is the miracle of salvation. Thank you guys.