This is a story of the Gospel given and learned on so many levels. Missionary Evangelist Linda D. Casraiss shares only a portion of what she’s been through and what God has showed her through His word and what overall changed her aspect on religion verses a relationship with God. Whether you agree with her or not, there is still insight on what she has to say and God has blessed and given her a platform to do so. We all on this earth can be a voice of change. Here is her story…be blessed.
How was life for you growing up?
Linda: “Growing up for me was quite challenging living in a very dysfunctional family. As a toddler witnessing my dad mistreat my mother as I sat under a chair crying and screaming in fear. My brother 10 months older than me, standing next to my dad pulling him anxiously desiring for him to stop beating her. Growing up with babysitters while my mother worked shifts on her job. Growing up for me was like raising myself while my mother worked various hours and my brother and I were always home without adult supervision older elementary school age. Few good memories as a child. Some fun summers at the beach. Most exciting times was when my Granmom and PopPop took us to amusements parks, miniature golf, dairy queen and rides through the country. They knew how to entertain us. And we looked forward to visiting them. They were my dad’s parents. My brother was always the admired child and grandchild. He was the one that got all of the attention. Looking back on some Christmas’s I always felt he got what he wanted for Christmas while I got what others wanted me to have. As a teenage it was tough. Growing up in such a racist world, blacks wanting to know if I was black or white and whites being the best friends I ever had sometimes. Raised in Catholic School most of my black friends were from the neighbor and went to public schools. The few black friends I had in Catholic School eventually turned on me trying to cut my hair and beat me down. I did have one black friend in Catholic School, Lynne was her name. She was my true friend and she took up for me at times when I couldn’t defend myself against others. Growing up going to neighborhood parties and seeing that my friends could always stay out later than me, they all had boyfriends before me, wore make-up before me and I thought all my girlfriends were prettier than me. They had both parents in their homes when it was just my mom, my brother and me. All my friends graduated from high school and went to college.
I graduated from high school and went to a local business college that I hated. That’s where my father wanted me to attend instead of sending me to a college where I wanted to attend. I did not do well there. And stopped going. From the age of 13 my family would spend summers at Martha’s Vineyard. I met a friend there and summer’s after that I went with her family to Martha’s Vineyard where I met the love of my life. Really! It was 4 years after I started vacationing there. My girlfriend had a boyfriend and he visited and brought his brother. A year after that I got pregnant out of wedlock and at 19 years old I had the most gorgeous baby girl, Shaune’. I kept it from my daughter’s dad because I did not want my brother to mistreat him. My dad wanted me to have an abortion and I disagreed. So, he talked me into putting her up for adoption and I agreed to that and signed all the papers. When I had her, my dad made sure I was not on the maternity floor so that I would not see her. My friends flooded my hospital room telling me they saw her and that she was simply gorgeous. My dad did not want me to disappoint him and leave that hospital with her. But my friends and godmother, Aunt Theresa encouraged me to see her. Having a C-section 45 years ago had me in the hospital back then for two weeks and my godmother was my private nurse. She was there with me day and night. I decided from the coxing from my friends to see my baby. I asked the nurses to take me to see her. In spite of my dad’s offers of money and a new wardrobe to leave my baby in the hospital, I ignored that and went to see her. From that second on I decided to take her home. They actually would bring her to the floor that I was on to let me feed her, hold her and love on her and I named her Shaune’ and my godmother took me in and that’s where I lived comfortably with my baby. Everyone should have an Aunt Theresa. My dad got over it after my godmother lectured him and convinced him that she motivated me to keep my baby. My Grandmother who raised most of her children alone after her husband my grandfather died a tragic death, she would repeatedly tell me saying, “I raised all my children by my self, you can raise one.”
Did you grow up in the church?
Linda: “I grew up in the Catholic Church. Catholics attended church on Saturdays to tell their sins to a priest, it’s called Confession (in a dark booth). Back then that’s what Catholics did. Don’t know what they do now. I was a faithful Catholic. My mother sent us to church every Sunday but she never went. I believed in their doctrine as a young child. In high school I questioned the Nun in Religion class about confession. I told her in front of the entire class that I did not believe in it. She asked me why? I told her that the priest in the booth did not die on the cross for me and I feel that I should not have to go to confession on Saturday and tell him my sins. In response to that she said, ” Well, Linda, if you do not believe in it, then don’t go.” I was shocked at her response in front of the whole class. But that’s what she said and I never went to confession again. Now, I was not saved but I knew that JESUS died on the cross for me. Nevertheless, I did not have a personal relationship with HIM.
The Catholic Church does teach the Trinity and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. I was a really good Catholic. But I was a greater and better sinner. I remained faithful as a Catholic and raised my daughter in Catholic School and attended church every Sunday faithfully. Until she was in the third grade and brought home a Children’s Living Bible. It was part of her Confirmation package that I paid for before she received her First Confirmation which is part of what the Catholic Church celebrates when you reach the third grade. I began reading that from cover to cover and realized that the Catholic Church was not following what that Bible said. I discovered so much that contradicted their beliefs and their Bible, the Latin Douay. So, I stopped going to church there and met with the parish priest and told him what the Bible said and asked them why they did somethings that the Bible says not to do. He told me this in particular that they believe in fortune telling as an example and I told him that the Children’s Living Bible that Shaune’ brought home from school, their school says, that fortune telling is witchcraft and sin against GOD. He said, “Oh no, some of the Bishops in the Catholic Church tell fortunes.” I was in shock. I scheduled another appointment to speak with him and when I called to confirm that appointment I was told that he was deathly ill. Something told me that he was ill because of what he had told me was OK to believe in when the bible said it was witchcraft and sin against GOD. I pulled my daughter out of the school and never returned to the Catholic Church”.
When you hear the word religion what comes to your mind?
Linda: “Catholicism. False Doctrine. Carnal Christians. Legalism.
Why do you think that the youth lose faith and don’t know God?
Linda: “Peer pressure and not knowing how to get rooted in Christ and stay there. Not having mentors that take the time to lovingly care and understand. Or having parents that aren’t consistent with their walk with GOD. I regret ever sending my daughter away to college. She was not ready. She was not mature enough. She backslid there. And she asked me years ago, why did I send her off to college? I wanted her to experience college life and it really smothered her. She never really expressed that she did not want to go. She was out there away from home and she didn’t like it at all. She wanted to be a cosmetologist and I thought that was not right for her when I should have allowed her to pursue that. I had to bring her home and encourage her that she can still make it. Now that was my mistake. Youth need also to have a hunger and thirst for the word of GOD just like an adult and remain in fellowship with true believers just like adults. I believe God’s Hand remains on the youth through their struggles because JESUS was once a youth Himself. I believe that HIS mercy is greater on them and HIS compassion. PROVERB 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it.” We have to trust GOD with our youth that have been rooted in the word at a young age and we have to believe God’s word that when they are old they will get a grip and walk again close with GOD. We must pray daily for our youth, they have so much opposition in the world today. But the Holy Spirit is greater than that and is drawing them in”.
What are other avenues that you think would benefit the youth?
Linda: “Fun times growing up in the church. Having friends that truly love GOD and they can see that it is not boring. I was an Awana Director for 5 years and my group TREK was 7th and 8th graders. And they were not made to come every Thursday night, they loved it. We had Trek Awana time which was about 30 minutes reading and working our way through a book that was written and geared to maintain the attention of that age group. We got into discussions about peer pressure and soul winning and leading peers to Christ mentioned in the books.Even fears at their age. I also would give them time to share about their day and week at school and at home and they felt safe to share likes and dislikes, challenges they were having and then we would pray about it. There are avenues available for youth from toddler age to high school graduation such as Awana. Awana has a great track record with the youth equipping leaders to reach kids with the gospel and engaging them in long term discipleship. I was teaching in a first grade class right before Christmas and there was an activity that the kids had to do on a worksheet that said, “What can you give someone for Christmas that will cost you nothing or that you do not have to pay for?” A little boy named David filled out his sheet and said, “JESUS.” Well, when I saw that I felt a huge opportunity for ministry. So, I asked David to read his worksheet and explain what he meant by that to the class. He told his class of 30 some first graders about Jesus. And then I asked him if he would show them how they could have JESUS as a gift for Christmas. I let David stand in font of the classroom while he was doing this. He then asked the entire class to bow their heads and close their eyes and repeat after him. This first grader actually led those classmates in the sinners prayer and they accepted Christ into their lives. Now this was in a public school and I was elated. One kid said, “I don’t believe in that.” Then another kid told him, “You don’t believe in JESUS?” HE said, “No.” The boy said to him, “You can’t get into heaven unless you do.” There were other children that had already known and accepted Christ before that day. Later, I asked David how did he know how to lead the class to Christ and say that prayer? He said, “Awana.” And told me that his mother is an Awana Director at his church. Proves that Awana works for youth.”
If you could have one power that Jesus had what would it be and why?
Linda: “To love like HIM no matter what. That’s POWER! All gifts from GOD work by LOVE. LOVE is the first fruit like JESUS is our First Fruit. Agape’ Love is unconditional love and that is the love that the Bible says that GOD has shed abroad in our hearts by Christ Jesus. It is not preached about much. It is not too much displayed in the church even from leadership. It is majorly lacking in the church. And Agape’ Love is the nature of GOD and HE has given HIS nature to us. And the Bible is clear when it says, “You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew7:16-20 “Wherefore by their fruit ye will know them.” GOD repeats Himself here and when HE says something twice it is meant to have an impact on us and for us to walk in it. HIS command and not a suggestion. HE has made us capable of walking in HIS Unconditional LOVE. Not sloppy Agape’, genuine Agape’ Love”.
Describe Jesus in one word?
If there was one character in the bible that you could relate to, who would it be and why?
Linda: “RUTH. Ruth was changed by the love of a woman of GOD. Led by the Holy Spirit with her pure heart. Recognized the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the right GOD for her. Leaving behind all other gods she served in her homeland. Brought out of darkness into HIS marvelous light. GOD broke all the rules having a Moabite woman led by HIM to fulfill HIS will in her life and become part of his ancestry. Ruth became a living testimony to GOD by faith. Ruth in blessing the woman of GOD Naomi got blessed with her Boaz and became part of the genealogy of Christ. (Matthew 1:15) I can relate to Ruth. Having Jewish roots and never knowing it until after I got saved and took care of my Grandmother Ruth and she began to tell me her Jewish heritage and I led her to Christ. Ruth in the Bible is such a romantic love story; first the love she had for Naomi and then the love she had for Boaz. GOD truly blessed her and ordered her steps and that’s how our steps have to be ordered, strategically by GOD and against all odds. She is a winner! And I see myself a WINNER!”
What is your favorite verse in the bible and why?
Linda: “Roman 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of GOD unto salvation to all them who believe; to the Jew first then to the Greek.” I am a soul-winner. I wrote a Teaching Manual on “HOW TO WIN A SOUL TO CHRIST AND MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE.” I am editing it into a book right now. All true believers are commanded by God to win souls to Christ. This is the Great Commission. I have been all around the world taking Bibles into China. I lived there for 6 months leading souls to Christ and attending underground churches. GOD has taken me into other countries, Jamaica, Israel, Philippines, Russia and all around the United States of America with teams leading souls to Christ and referring them to local churches for follow-up making sure they are disciples. The only currency you can take to heaven are the souls you led to Christ. Nothing else in this life will be there”.
Thank you Kenya for this interview and allowing me to express my life briefly in the ministry that GOD has manifested in your life young lady. There is so much more in my life to tell. Kenya is a guest presenter on GateKeeper’s Ministry International Radio Broadcast which I host. She recently ministered on the Topic: SPECK OR BEAM and GOD used her mightily. May the LORD continue to bless you and use you in the life of your peers for HIS GLORY. GateKeeper’s Ministry International is a global ministry that declares the Word of the LORD and pierces the darkness via GateKeeper’s Ministry International Radio Station. GOD has just established this ministry in my life over the last three years and developed it into a non-stop Word of GOD preaching machine. Utilizing men and women of GOD to speak the oracles of Almighty GOD on the radio to this nation and others from the scriptures and prophetically. Kenya will be a frequent presenter on the broadcast and I am honored to have her. This has become an open door for many men and women of GOD that has a WORD in them from the LORD and do not often get the opportunity to preach it, teach it and deliver it. This has become a pulpit for young and old. It is a fun way for me to be used of GOD and I am humbled and honored that HE has assigned me to be a GATEKEEPER.
I certainly hope someone was blessed reading some of my story. I hope someone was ministered too as well.
GOD BLESS YOU!
MISSIONARY EVANGELIST LINDA D. CASRAISS
If anyone would like to share their story on how they’ve found God and what He’s done in their lives, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Remember, you too can be a “Voice of Change”.