My Father’s Autobiography


                         (CONSTANTIN ECONOMIDES)

Why am I writing my biography?

I, Constantin, (son of Menelaos and Domia Economides), am a no-one…

I have achieved very little in my life that impressed others, nothing much that would cause them to hold me in high esteem!

In fact, it can be said that in the eyes of the world I am just a failure, a loser…

I believe, however that in God’s eyes I have distinguished myself for being a totally sincere person who is steadfastly zealous in putting God’s Words into practice in my life, meaning business in striving to please him in every way.

 I have followed his ways and instructions faithfully from the very first day that I decided to follow Jesus Christ (it was on a Sunday, 18th of June 1972), in spite of having gone through many difficult and testing times since then in my life.

Back then, in 1972, I was a young energetic man, 23 years old.

I had already been deeply hurt emotionally a number of times by the girls that I had loved.

I was very unhappy with what life had already offered me until then, and I was apprehensive of what it still had in store for me…

A few months before that memorable Sunday, I remember struggling with the thought of unleashing shamelessly the carnal side of me in the hope of finding, in wayward ways of living, some pleasure and satisfaction out of life, regardless of the hurt that I would cause to others!

I struggled with such thoughts, and I finally took a decision, a solemn decision:

“I choose to be a good person, even if that makes me unhappy.

I would rather be unhappy and good, than happy but evil!

And I meant it with all my heart.

I am convinced that God noticed me that day and made arrangements to draw me to himself for me to become one of his children!

I am also convinced that the devil took notice of my solemn decision as well, and just like he did with Job in the Bible, Satan challenged God to let him prove that I surely did not mean what I said and that I would certainly recant my decision after he had put me to the test.

And God accepted the challenge!

My biography is a record of this lifelong test that I had to go through and that will probably continue until my dying day:

I was first allowed to find happiness by receiving what I craved for most of all: a lovely wife and good children that made me feel truly blessed and thankful to my God in spite of all the difficulties that this life brings along.

Then, my family, my source of happiness, as well as everything that I had achieved until then, were removed from my life in a most hurtful way that made me feel terribly disappointed, unhappy and depressed!

If I were to find some happiness again, I would have to look for it in the forbidden, Godless realm that this world offers!

I did not, and the process was repeated so as to utterly crush my spirit.

It did not!

During the long, awful and depressing periods of utter unhappiness and strong temptations that I experienced I was very hard with myself so as to remain holy, faithful and pleasing to my God and Saviour, Jesus Christ! 

My fear of God and my love for him helped me to succeed in controlling my very strong passions and actually made out of me a better, more God-centred person.

I therefore believe that I can be an example and inspiration to my children (I have ten of them, all in all), for whom this testimony of mine was primarily written.

 I hope and pray that all those who will also read the story of my life will be encouraged  to cling to Jesus and accept suffering when it comes their way.

 Suffering is God’s way of testing his elected ones, of cleansing and strengthening them so as to enrich their soul with the qualities that he requires from them, qualities that will distinguish them and bring to them un-imaginable future heavenly blessings.

Where do I begin!

Where do I start to tell you the story of how I became the person I am, constantly fluctuating emotionally between great “highs and deep lows, and why my life became so filled with movement and restlessness and deep unhappiness?

I will have to start with an event that took place years before I was born:

My mother grew up in the island of Samos, in Greece, where she deeply and un-reservedly fell in love with a young man whom she very regrettably had to leave when, after the second world war, her family moved to central Africa. 

She never forgot him or stopped loving him!

That, I believe, was one of the reasons why I became such a restless person… 

You see, our Creator demands that a girl keeps herself physically and emotionally un-involved and pure until marriage. 

Disobeying God in this way brings very destructive consequences not only to the girl’s own life, but also to the lives of her future family, and in my case… to mine!

After my mother left Greece and emigrated to the ex-Belgian Congo (today the RDC), she was pressured by her family to marry my father, a Greek Cypriot, whom she did not love, herself being still deeply in love with her ex-boyfriend.

Soon after their marriage I was conceived, and although I have no memory of it, I know that in her womb I could sense and feel all the despair and unhappiness that she felt.

And it affected me… I found myself craving for love and physical tenderness, from the very day I was born up to today…

As a baby I was constantly crying, and my mother could not work out why!

 I know why: I wanted to be held, loved, cuddled, continually, all the time!

 I needed to feel her love for me, something that she did not do, as she, herself, was drowning in her own emotional disappointments.

As for me, this need…, this deep longing of my soul never left me

As a result, I became a very insecure, destructive and naughty child, with an immense need to be held and loved!

My father’s roots were from the island of Cyprus, but he was born in Alexandria, Egypt.

His father (that is my grandfather) had studied in a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem to become a priest, and then, unordained, he joined the large Greek community that had settled in Egypt.

It is only when, at the age of 60, my grandfather was given the lucrative opportunity to “pastor” the growing Greek community in the Belgian Congo, that he finally accepted the priesthood and moved there.

The second world war had just ended, and my father was discharged from the army and moved with his parents to the Congo. There, pressured by them, he married my mother.

Being an accountant, he first joined the Belgian copper mining company in Jadotville, our town, and he worked there for 10 long and unfulfilling years. 

With the money that he and my grandfather had saved, he finally bought a bakery and a soft drink factory.

My parents worked very hard (18 hours every single day), in order to outdo the strong competition that they faced and improve their business. They invested greatly, importing the best machinery from Germany, and made our bakery into the best and most profitable one in the region.

The soft-drink factory could not outdo the Coca Cola one, but survived.

Their work became their life!

In 1960, as they were just starting to reap the fruit of their hard labour, the country went through its independence from the Belgian colonials. 

From then on, the ex-Belgian Congo was engulfed in uprisings, lootings, violence and wars. 

All the Greek shop owners experienced extortions, repeated pillaging of their businesses, nationalizations, and evictions.

Two years after the nationalization of all businesses, the economy of the country dropped to rock bottom levels, and the Zaïrian government (as the Congo was then renamed) was forced by the World Bank to hand the destroyed businesses back to their owners.

These were difficult, unstable and insecure times!  My parents had to work again extra hard to restore our destroyed business to the state they were before nationalisation.

Understandably, they were far too busy and tired during those long, hard years to properly be looking after me.

Looking after my younger sister however was a totally different matter:

Three years younger than I was, Helly was a very cute little girl, the pride of our parents. She was not hyper-active and naughty as I was (she was only very self-centered), so rules and treatment for her were different.  

She was the apple of my parent’s eyes…

1.   As a young child

I was the black sheep of the family.

I was uncontrollable, exceedingly hyperactive and mischievous. (Just look at the way I stand out in this photograph of my Belgian kindergarten classmates!)

When I became eight years of age, I was daily running in the streets with some other naughty Greek boys of my neighborhood, smoking, messing around in a shameful way with little girls, breaking into already half vandalized shops and generally being very unruly, despite the frequent hidings I got from my father…

When one day, my father caught me smoking. He gave me such a good hiding outside our shop, in front of everyone, that it brought me back to my senses and I never smoked again.

Another time that I benefited from my father’s hidings was when, a couple of years later, I bullied a Belgian child at school and punched him on the face for no good reason (the Belgians were generally demeaning to all “foreigners”, us Greeks included, and I took my anger and frustration out on this poor boy).

That same afternoon, his father and him came to our shop and spoke to my father who immediately got hold of me and gave me another good, hard hiding right in front of them.

As a result, I stopped bullying and I never ever wrongfully hit another person again in my life.

Twice, years later, in my youth, men came to me looking for a fight… 

In both instances I avoided their first blow, grabbed hold of them, dropped them on the floor, with my knee on their chest and my hand raised, ready to hit them on their exposed faces but…I stopped at the last moment.

They deserved a beating, but I refused to give it to them! 

I was glad to see that, despite my short temper and my natural strength, I had a gentle heart: I hated violence.

I am sure that God noticed me these two times, as well, since he loves those who have a good heart and refrain from hurting others.

So, I am very thankful for these two hidings (among many others) that I received from my father. 

These two well-deserved hidings stopped me from immersing myself into more evil habits and behaviours. 

They had the desired effect on me, and I do not hold grudges against my father for all the other spankings he gave me.  

And there were many…

2.  A restless teenager

As I was reaching my “teens”, my father gave me an advice that I took to heart since it was obviously right for me.  

He said to me:

“Costa, whatever you enjoy, whatever your heart sets upon, you dive into it headfirst and without reservations.

So, take my advice:  Do not ever start anything that can “hook” you.  Things like smoking, gambling, drinking alcohol, etc. for if you do, these things will destroy you.”

I took his advice and kept well away from such things that could get a hold on me, everything that is except… loving the girls, a passion that truly enslaved me some years later…

But this advice I received when I was still thirteen years old, and though I was very attracted to the girls, I was too shy and complexed to approach them. 

So, I spent my time doing better things:   


At the Belgian, French-speaking school that I was attending I met Daniel Salvatore, whose father was pushing him to start doing athletics with two other boys in our high school. I joined him and was straight away hooked on sports.  

We were doing the decathlon, that is ten events: Long jump, high jump and pole-vaulting, throwing the discus, shotput and javelin, running 100m, 400m, and 1500m; and for lack of steeples, we replaced the steeplechase race with weightlifting.

Sports did me a lot of good, not only physically but also psychologically. I loved every moment of it.

That year was the best year of my youth. Every day we would train all afternoon until dusk. 

As a result, we both failed at school that year, and Daniel’s parents made him give up sports.   

I tried to keep on doing sports by myself, but I could not. I needed a friend to train with. Left by myself, I soon gave up…

About to become a mercenary 

That is when I got involved again with the wrong friends . I got hold of some guns (a WW2 rifle, a machine gun, a pistol and bullets) that I bought from the natives.

It was illegal,  of course, and I was afraid to use them,

except when pausing for some photos or hunting. We would have been in big trouble if we were caught, for then a rebellion was in process.

That is when, a Belgian friend of mine and I decided to secretly enroll in the Congolese army as mercenaries. We applied for the job, and were waiting for the army’s decision but our parents received the answer in the post since we had inadvertently given our home address!

The police was also tipped off that we were in the possession of army guns, and we were thrown in prison for three days. We were judged and I was condemned to two years of imprisonment, fortunately with a suspended sentence.

I was then 16 years old.


That same year all the belgian kids returned to Europe, since the Zaïrian government was about to nationalize the belgian copper mines.

A friend, who was leaving, gave me a guitar that he had made himself and that he was not going to take with him, and that is how my new passion started: Music.

I was not at all gifted, but having nothing else to do, I sat throughout the three months of school holidays, and played the guitar all day and every day.

When the belgian kids returned from Europe for the new school year (since the nationalization had been postponed) I could scratch my guitar well enough to start a band with some friends.

My guitar playing was mediocre, but I discovered that I had a good, strong voice and could perhaps impress the girls…

So, I kept on playing and singing throughout the years.

My moral versus my carnal mind

Music gave me something to do while trying to keep my mind off the many carnal thoughts I was tortured with:

I was longing for an opportunity to start having sexual relations with the girls (european girls, I mean, for I would not even consider approaching the local black girls that were then an easy but demeaning prey for us, europeans), however, I was having inner moral battles about it all:

I felt that it was wrong to have sex with anyone else except with my future wife: 

I knew that, if I was to start messing around before I met her, then I should not complain when I would find out that my future wife also had given in and started messing around sexually before marriage!

This, however, would have bothered me immensely!

So, in some timid way, I was trying to hang on to chastity for as long as possible. 

Love, deep love for my dream girl, my future wife, had always been waiting to burst out of my heart, and I was hoping that we would meet soon, while still very young, and… that she would be my first one, and I, her first and only one. 

From a very young age I could not wait for the day when I would meet my wife, a girl that would love me as much as I would love her, with all her heart!

If I had my way, I would have married at 13, so great was my need for love and… what goes with it.

I gave up waiting.

When however, at 18 she had still not appeared, and since I had by then left the Congo for Europe and later for South Africa, I gave up my ideals and gave in to my tremendous physical and emotional needs…

“Loving” the girls became my passion, my life, and I got hooked on it indeed. This passion truly made a slave out of me, an addict. 

I was ashamed to see how much it ruled my decisions, my actions, my life, but i was powerless and could not resist any given opportunity.

I was never very successful with the girls, I must say… I was too much in a hurry to get them to bed.

But in all my messing around I was still looking for the one that was meant to be my wife.

The girls that I was meeting however, were far from being the kind that I respected and wanted to marry…

3.  In South Africa

There was one girl that I met in Johannesburg who was less carnal than the others, Jeanette.

I fell in love with her.    

We got engaged and lived together in Cape Town for a year. Then, she left me…

I was very hurt and became very unhappy and disillusioned. It took me years to get over her…

I had lost all hope that I could ever find someone worth having, who would truly love me…

Life became empty, dreary, without meaning.

I considered the existence of God

That is when, one particular day when I was in Durban, South Africa, alone and in the dumps, I distinctly felt a heavy atmosphere around me (now I know it was an evil presence), and evil thoughts came into my mind:

“Become evil! Do not even give a thought if you hurt others; just use the ladies for your own pleasure, innocent girls, married women and all.  Fool them, rape them, do whatever is needed to satisfy yourself, regardless of the damage that you will cause…”

“And what if there is a God, judgement day, hell?”  I asked myself.

This was the very first time that I gave a thought about God!

 I had always left religion out of my thinking and out of my life! 

I struggled for a while with these two “voices” in my mind.

Within me a real battle had flared up, a battle between good and evil… 

Finally, I told myself with resolve:

“I do not know if there is a God, judgement day or hell, and I don’t think I will ever know for sure. But one thing I do know: 

I would rather be good, even if unhappy, than evil and happy!

And I repeated my resolve in a loud voice, with all the determination there was in me:

“I choose to be good even if it leaves me unhappy…  rather than to be evil and happy!”

God noticed me 

I am sure that God noticed me again that day and decided to draw me unto himself and make me one of his children: 

A few days or weeks later an elderly couple stopped their car to give me a lift.

“You are Greek!” Mrs Broekman exclaimed. “There is a Greek young man who comes to our church. Would you like to meet him?”

“Very much so”, I replied, being always pleased to meet people of my nationality.

That Greek only came months later, reluctantly, just so that Mrs Broekman would stop bothering him.

But Mrs Broekman had not given up, and sent me another Greek of my age, Argiri, who visited me in the home that I was sharing then with four wild Mauritian friends of mine.

He told me that he was studying to become a preacher, and we started discussing about God.

Challenged by the Bible

Although I knew nothing about God, I disagreed with just about everything Argiri was telling me.

When I had asked him my…100th question and was ready to argue with him again, Argiri said to me:

“I see that you don’t accept my words; and why should you, as I am just a man like yourself. It would be my words against yours…

So, I will not answer your question myself. I will just show you what God himself says about what you asked!

He then fetched his Bible from his car. It was the first time that I ever saw a Bible!

He opened it and made me read a passage. I read it and did not understand a word.

So I asked another question. Again, Argiri searched in the Bible for the answer and made me read it.  Again, I did not understand a word… 

But one thing I understood, then and there, very clearly:

I may think that my opinion is right when speaking with a man, but I cannot argue with God (if he exists that is, and if this Bible is his Word!). 

If this book truly contains God’s Words which say something different from what I think, then He certainly is right, and I am wrong!

I suddenly became conscious that I had to know more about it all: I absolutely had to find out if God existed or not!

If He did, how could I possibly go on living my life on earth without first finding out how I am supposed to live it?

But I thought: Can anyone ever be certain that there is a God?

One cannot see him, hear him, smell him, touch him.

Someone, I told myself, can only blindly believe that he exists! And blind faith is not my cup of tea…

Still, during the next few weeks that followed I refused to let these thoughts about God’s existence slip out of my mind. Instead, I encouraged them, causing many pertinent questions to prick and torture my mind 

I needed to come to a conclusion! For if God exists, then it was my duty to submit to him, to live the way he orders me, to follow him and please him. 

I searched in my mind for proofs, desperate to find the truth about these most important issues that I had avoided facing until then. 

And then, despite of all my ignorance on the subject, I found the answer within my soul, my mind and my heart. I told myself:

“Jesus certainly lived and taught on earth. History testifies to this. 

 He was the very best man that ever lived on earth.

Of that, I have no doubt: No one could find any fault in him! Even those who hate religion speak well of him: Indeed, even the communists, who are atheists, say that he was the first of their kind…

Now, even though I am far from being a good man myself (as Jesus was), still, bad as I am, I hate lying and deceiving.

I do not deceive anyone.

If Jesus (who I know is much better than I am), said that he came down from heaven, from God’s presence, and spoke about life after death, about heaven and hell… then it must be true!

He could not have been lying and deceiving mankind!

Otherwise, he was much worse of a man than I am, not a better one! 

And that I would not accept! I would never accept that Jesus was much worse a person than I am…”

So: Here was all the proof that I really needed to know in order to be fully convinced that there is a God, a life after death, a heaven and a hell:

Jesus spoke of all these, and I now knew that his words were the Truth!

I decided to follow Jesus

So, it is all true!


There is a God, heaven and hell… 

And now, what shall I do? What comes next?

I had no idea.

That is when the Greek young man that Mrs Broekman first told me about, Costa Criticos, finally phoned me and invited me to go with him on Sunday to the Baptist Church in Durban North, that he and his family were attending.

I went…

It was the first time that I had been in a Protestant church!  

After the service, the pastor, Reverent Anton Hoffman, invited me to have a cup of coffee in his home, and there he gave it to me:

Pastor: ~ You are a sinner!   

I smiled…

Pastor: ~ You are heading for hell!  

I stopped smiling…

Pastor: ~ Jesus accepted to bear the punishment that your sins deserve!  

I was all ears…

Pastor: ~ To benefit from his sacrifice, you must become his disciple, obey him in every way! Are you willing to make him the Lord of your life?                     

“But”, I replied, “I am not ready”.                                                   

Pastor: ~ You will never be more ready than you are today. You must simply take a decision. You must decide to follow him.  

So, are you willing to accept Jesus as you Lord, to rule your heart and life, that he may become your Saviour?

I hesitated…

Pastor: ~ Yes or no?…    

How could I ever say “No”!        “Yes”, I answered timidly.

The pastor asked me then to kneel and repeat after him a prayer of repentance, pledging obedience to Jesus. 

After riding my Honda 750cc from church back home, I said my own prayer, one that I meant with all my heart:

“Lord God, I know that you are real. 

I want to follow you, but that means… giving up the ladies!

To me, this is impossible: It is like trying to lift myself off the ground by pulling on my own hair! 

Can I tie myself against some mast like Odysseus did so as not to dive in for the pretty mermaids (in my case the ladies)…?!

I would do it, if I could, but what kind of a mast would that be?  (And I actually looked around to find one…)

(“Odysseus” is the protagonist in the “Iliad”, a Greek mythology book written 8th century BC.

In order to “hear” the beautiful mermaids singing on an island and not irresistibly head his boat on the rocks – like all other captains did before him, Odysseus ordered his sailors to tie him on the mast of his boat and then to block their ears with wax.

In this way, he could hear the sirens, and even though he struggled to jump in the sea and join them, he was restrained by the chains and lived…

His sailors were unaffected and did not sail the boat on the rocky island!)

I continued my prayer:

“But now that I know that you are real… perhaps you can do a miracle to help me.

I don’t know what! 

As for me, I will do what I know I must do: I will try hard, very hard not to approach the girls anymore, so as to please you. 

I will stay well away from them all… 

But how long will I be able to do so, Lord? 

Please do a miracle and deliver me from this bondage so I can follow you…


Three days later, while riding my motorbike, it dawned upon me that a miracle took place within me: I felt like a drunkard who was saying to himself:

“Three days now I have been staying away from bars and drinks… Normally, I would be shaking uncontrollably for my dose!

Now, however, I have not had a “drink” for three days, and I am not shaking. I am at peace. I can keep it up!


All I need do, from now on, is to keep away from those bars… (the ladies, in my case).”

I can now testify, 51 years later, that from that very day, Sunday 18th of June 1972, until today January 2024, I have not succumbed to the many temptations I have faced!

I have never had sex with anyone other than my two wives, even though I have lived all in all at least 15 years without a wife, utterly frustrated, very unhappy and depressed, fighting off the temptations that were now coming increasingly my way…

With God’s help, I did the “impossible”, since for me, this was impossible.

God had changed me from within:

Until then I had been totally ignoring him. From that day onward I wanted to live for him, to please and obey him above all!

I am eternally grateful for this change in heart that took place in me!

And I am eternally grateful to this elderly, white-haired lady, Mrs Broekman, who pushed everyone around so that I may be introduced to the Saviour of my soul…

Being “Born Again”

 Now, being “born again” I knew that I would have to live from then on, much like a monk, always avoiding temptation.

In order to live a pure, holy life I had to literally keep away from all women that I was attracted to, or the ones that were attracted to me.

I had to learn to truly hate this sin that empties me of my self-respect, and that destroys in a few minutes of pleasure so many hearts, marriages and lives. 

I had to learn to fear God! I had to prove it to him (and to myself) that I was truly a Christian, by being obedient and resisting this great weakness of mine.

How could he ever consider me to be a true child of his if, every now and then, I would indulge in this sin! For I knew that if I would allow myself to fall once, I would inevitably fall again and again…

I therefore avoided looking at the pretty girls at all costs:

When walking in the streets, I would keep my eyes looking at the ground right in front of my feet so as not to see their beautiful curves…

Watching TV, going to the movies or parties, etc. were likewise forbidden ground for me,  for the same reasons.  

 Being restrained and guided by God’s Word and Spirit to live in such an unsocial way was hard, very hard but necessary, if I wanted to have victory over this weakness of mine.

Studying the Bible 

As soon as I became a follower of Yeshua, (that is “Jesus”, in Hebrew) I bought myself a Bible and read it for hours every day. Actually, I never stopped studying it daily ever since…

I was thirsty, very thirsty to know everything about my newly found Lord and his teachings.

The basic teachings of the Bible were clear, easy to understand and difficult to put into practice, but many other passages were quite mysterious, confusing.  

I persevered reading the bible daily throughout the years, and after going through the whole bible once, twice, thrice…I started to understand it better.

Falling in love with God

One thing that I understood right from the beginning though, was how good God is, and how grateful I should be:

I discovered that he is what I always thought he would be: the very best person that there is.

Him being so incredibly good, righteous and praiseworthy, as Jesus, his Only Son revealed to us, made me fall in love with him. Yes, I don’t know how else to put it! I fell in love with God when I realized how good and forgiving he has been to our ungrateful mankind:

We men rebelled against him, and we just about destroyed all the plans that he had made for the universe that he had created.

To this day, our attitudes and actions are constantly offending him, insulting him to his face, us being totally disinterested in him, ungrateful and evil.

And yet, he did (and does) the impossible in order to bring us back to himself:

He even sent his only Son, Jesus Christ to the slaughter in order to be able to accept back those of us who repent of our rebellious and evil attitude towards himself!

 Our Heavenly Father chose to load the punishment that our sins deserved on his very beloved Son that he loves above all, so that his attribute of “being Just” be kept and honoured.

Having done this, he can now accept the repentant sinners without being accused of being unfair, unjust, or partial.

God’s divine attribute of being « Just » demanded that Jesus, our Creator, be punished in our stead.

Jesus, being himself an indivisible part of God, became a man, suffered, died and experienced the agony of going to the world of the dead, (Hades) for us.

Is there any greater example of love and self-sacrifice found in anyone else? 

God’s goodness and love for us demands from each one of us our eternal gratitude, our love and obedience!

Well, I gave him mine, and  from the day that I was “born again” my thoughts were constantly thinking of God and my heart was constantly talking to him!

4.    Back to the Congo

Now that I was a born-again child of God, I needed to share with my parents, my friends all the wonderful things I had discovered about God. 

So, I returned to Zaïre, (the Congo) and told everyone of what I now knew of God, and how Jesus had changed me from within!

I was taken aback that no one paid attention: Not my parents, not my friends…

Instead of being happy for me and follow my example, my parents were very upset that I became a believer in Jesus.

For them I had just changed my religion: in their eyes I left the Orthodox Church and became a Protestant! That is all!

Unable to convince my parents and friends, I channeled my zeal into spreading the Word of God to the local African population: 

I was given the opportunity once to speak to the inmates of the local prison. They all assembled in the main courtyard of the prison, some 300 or more of them, and I told them a modern parable that I knew would speak to their hearts:

“In the early 1900s, there lived in the USA two chinese brothers. 

The younger one became a member of a street gang. 

One night, during a fight, the young chinese drew a knife and killed his opponent!

Pursued by the police, he was seen entering the building in which he and his brother lived. His brother saw him indeed rush into their apartment with bloodstained clothes and a knife in his hand:

“Help me, save me, the police are coming…” the murderer shouted.

It did not take long for his older brother to understand what had happened, and seeing his brother in despair he had an idea:

“Get undressed, and exchange clothes with me.”

They did so, and when the police finally broke down the door, they found the older, innocent chinese brother with the knife in his hand and wearing the bloodstained clothes. They arrested him.

During the trial that followed, the innocent brother did not open his mouth in his defense, and was sentenced to death, a painful death on the electric chair!

The day before his execution he wrote the following letter to his kid brother:

“My brother, whom I love so much,

When you will receive this letter, I would be dead, executed for the murder that you have committed in the clothes that I now wear. 

There was no way for you to escape, and the only way there was for me to save you was to take your place.

I am doing this gladly because I love you. I love you very much.

 But me, sacrificing myself for you, would be worthless if you were to go on living the evil life you did until now. 

Now you are wearing my clothes! I want you to live in them the way I lived, otherwise my sacrifice for you would have been in vain, and you would be guilty of my death as well as that of the man you knifed!”

Upon receiving this letter, the younger brother went to the judge and showed it to him, asking them to execute him also. But the Law could not lay a hand on him since the sentence had already been carried out. Although guilty, he was free to live because his brother took upon himself the penalty that he deserved…

And I told my “captive” audience:

You and I are the younger brother, and Jesus is the one who took the punishments that our sins deserve upon himself. 

There was no way for God to “forgive” our sins, other than him sending his One and Only Son to earth so that He may suffer and die an awful death in our stead! 

All that needed to be done for God’s attribute of “Justice” to be satisfied and for his mercy to be able to be expressed, since God needs to be first of all “Just” before he can be “Forgiving”!

He did what had to be done, and now he urges us, urges you: 

If you want to benefit from my Son’s sacrifice you have to exchange the clothes of your soul that are stained by sin with those of Jesus, my Son, and be determined to live, while wearing his clothes, in the same way that he did: that is to live a holy and loving life. 

If you do not accept this deal, you will not only have to bear the punishment for your sins yourself, but most of all, you will be guilty of bringing upon yourselves my Son’s death. 

And then there is only an awful existence in hell awaiting you.”

I then made a call for anyone who wanted to invite Jesus to come into their heart and to rule their lives, to kneel and repeat a prayer of repentance and dedication to him after me. 

At my great surprise everyone knelt, everyone!

Some time later, a Christian friend of mine, Babaka, who was the prosecutor in the court of justice in our town, asked me to go with him and stand by 9 prisoners who were to be executed that night. 

The men had no idea that their end had come when they were awakened at 3am. They were handed over to us for some spiritual advice, but they were all shaking uncontrollably and could not register our words.

At dawn they were lined up in the bush and shot in front of our eyes.

It was very disturbing! 

One of them, even after having been shot many times in the heart, started to breathe heavier and heavier, and had to be shot 5 more times in the head before he stopped breathing. 

It scared the hell out of us all who were there!

I heard a voice…

One night, while still in the Congo, I heard a distinct voice as I was sleeping that said:                                            

“Tomorrow morning you must send some money to Costa Criticos”! (him being the young guy that first took me to church).

As soon as I woke up in the morning, I wrote a letter to him and included a check for as much money as I thought I had in my bank in South Africa.

Months later I received a letter from him that basically said:

“The day before receiving your letter we totally ran out of money. In the morning, we fed our children and then knelt and prayed this prayer:

“Our Heavenly Father, in your Word you promised to supply our needs if we put you first and foremost in our lives.

We are doing just that. 

Please do not let us now be put to shame in the eyes of our unbelieving parents. They had been insisting that we could not trust you to provide us with what we need to survive, and if we are to ask now for their help, they would be proven to be right! Please help us somehow…”

Well, early that morning… they received my check. Praise the Lord!

Serve God or Mammon?!

 That year, I worked with my parents, trying to make their workload lighter, but I grew restless and longed to serve God by reaching others to become Jesus’ followers just as I did.

I wanted to become a missionary! 

My parents threatened to cut all ties with me and leave me without any financial help or inheritance if I was to do that.

“But”, they said, if I were to stay in Zaire and take over their business, I would be very rich within five years” (our business being in those days a real gold mine!). 

They were not suggesting that I stopped being “religious”, no! no! 

All I had to do was to spend all day and everyday day of the week working, just as they did.

Business first, religion second!

I needed, they said, to look first and foremost after my financial interest… It must become my priority in life. Religion must come second …

Yes, but Jesus tells us, in his Word:

“Seek first and foremost to enter into God’s Kingdom and to spread the gospel to everyone. Everything that you will need in this world will then be given to you” (Matthew 6:33).  

I had already made up my mind: to love and seek to please God in this life, and I did not aspire to get rich and enjoy what this world has to offer…

I wanted to serve him and to do good to others, and there was no doubt in my mind that the best thing that I could ever do for my neighbour was to do what Mrs. Broekman did for me:

There is nothing that is more important than to help someone to be brought to repentance, to be brought to Christ that he may receive God’s forgiveness and salvation. 

Nothing is more important than this!

So, longing to learn how to better evangelise everyone, I said goodbye to my parents and travelled to England where I was to enter All Nations Christian College 

They felt betrayed, and they disowned me!

Ever since then, my parents were distant towards me, but they still helped me financially a number of times when they felt that I needed help.

They did send me some money while I was in England, without me letting them know that I needed to pay the fees for my second year in Bible College.

I had been “trusting” that God would “provide” for those fees in due time, and there it was… (Just as with Costa Criticos’ case!).

As years went by, I noticed that several times when I was in difficulty and decided to step forward “trusting that God will provide”, my parents sent us some money, even without me telling them about our needs…

5.  In England

I arrived in England in 1973 and spent two years in the missionary training centre studying God’s Word…

l soon found myself studying God’s Word alone in my room, since I could not understand a word of what the lecturers were saying in their echoing lecture rooms. 

I thought that I could not understand them because I was not familiar with their British accent, but much later I realized that I had a serious hearing problem: 

Years earlier, in the Congo, while playing with guns, an army rifle was fired with the end of the barrel being barely 10cm away from my ear… since then I lost 80% of my high frequency hearing in both ears, and I cannot understand at all when people speak in a noisy place.

God’s Spirit at work

One night, while at bible college, “granny Chrissy” came to my mind…

She was not really my grandmother, but when my parents sent me to school in Greece at the age of 9 (because they were too busy working and could not control me), I stayed at my uncle Paris’ house (my father’s brother), and granny Chrissy took care of me.

She loved me and took good care of me during those two years that I spent in Athens.

I, being a child, took all her loving care for granted and never showed her any gratitude or love in return

When, two years later I returned to the Congo, granny Chrissy slipped completely out of my mind.

And now, fifteen years later, while at bible college, suddenly my mind went back to her. 

My conscience was pricking me that I had never written to her, nor ever shown her any gratitude or love!

I sat down and started writing to her a letter. I stayed awake until late at night, praying for her, for her soul, with many tears running from my eyes.

Months later I was told that the night that I prayerfully wrote to her that letter, was the night that she was giving up her last breath…

Another manifestation of God’s caring Spirit”!

 My first family.

While at Bible College in England, I met Anne, an English fellow student.

 I fell deeply in love with her, and we got married as soon as we finished our studies

I loved her with all my heart, even though Anne was not exactly what I was hoping for: She was not the virgin that I so wished she would be, nor was she in love with me… she still secretly loved her ex-lover (a repeat of my mother’s story!).

But I was certain that I would win her love with the immense love I had for her! 

I was wrong: Throughout our marriage she never stopped loving her first lover…

I felt this deeply inside my soul.

I felt a great pain, a knot in my heart because of it, but I never said a word: I knew that if I did, that would be the end of our marriage.

In spite of this inner pain, I was very happy having her as my wife, and I loved her wholeheartedly.

Anne and I had seven children in all which I also loved very much, and I taught them to live in God’s ways; they did so while being under my care, but when they left me most of them joined the worldly crowd…

 Samuel, our firstborn was born in Greece.

Louisa was born in England

 Daniel, our third child, was born in England, prematurely, but died four days later… 

   Philip also saw the day in Athens 

Caroline was born in the Congo

 Domia was born in South Africa. She bears my mother’s name

 Nathalie was also born in Cape Town, South Africa

Their birthplaces gives you a glimpse of how many times we moved from country to country and town to town…

My life was very unstable. I never managed to settle anywhere!

No matter where we found ourselves, we were a very happy and exemplary family, even though I was plagued with many financial problems.

Looking back though, I notice that the enormous love that I had for my family was not shared!

The tremendous efforts I made for them were not appreciated…

  6.  In Greece

Having completed my studies in the bible college, my wife and I went to Greece.

With no church backing me up I considered myself a self-appointed, independent missionary.

With enthusiasm, I was trying to let people see that they had been brainwashed by the Orthodox Church which taught them “truths” that were in opposition to the teachings of the Bible.

{When the early Christian Church stopped being persecuted in the 4th century AD, many false teachers entered it for political and financial reasons, unscrupulously corrupting and distorting the teachings of Jesus so as to benefit from them.}

The way of Salvation was consequently completely distorted and hidden to the Orthodox and Catholic believers.

Fortunately for us, the Words of Jesus that were written in the first century by the apostles themselves, were kept untouched throughout the centuries, and the Truth can still be perceived by those who study them.

Having studied them myself without much dogmatic interference I was telling everyone I met in Athens:

You have been brainwashed…

The only way there is for you to see the “Truth” is to remove the “dogmatically colloured spectacles” that your church has slipped in front of your eyes, and to start reading by yourself the New and Old Testament.

Wipe out of your minds whatever you have been taught until now and start studying the Bible seriously, and the bible only.

Only then will you be able, after some time, to distinguish Truth from error.”

But then a thought entered and anchored in my mind:

“Are you sure that you, yourself, haven’t gulped in (unwillingly) Protestant teachings which are not backed by the Bible?

Do you put into practice the advice that you give to others?”

I did not think that I could possibly have been brainwashed!

But nor did the adherents of these dogmas think that they were either! 

And yet, I knew the Bible well enough by now to be able to see with certainty their errors. 

So, it could be that I also have unknowingly swallowed some “protestant teachings which are not really in the Bible!

I felt then compelled to put into practice the advice I was giving to others and review all my theology.

It took me many decades of serious independent study of God’s Word to see where even the evangelical doctrines have erred from God’s written Word.

In search of the Truth

In order to escape from any dogmatic influence that I may have had, I had to stop calling myself an “evangelical” Christian! 

In all sincerity, I started to look at myself as simply being “a child of God”, and nothing more. No dogmas attached! 

I started questioning every teaching that I had received during the past four years, since I became a child of God.

Needless to say, the evangelicals wrote me off, and all other dogmas never trusted me.

Ever since then, I had little Christian fellowship, few Christian friends, but this new approach made me free, free to distinguish “Truth” from error wherever I saw it, even in the evangelical theology! And, in time, I found a number of errors in it as well as in every other dogma…

The evangelical beliefs however proved to be much closer to the Truth of the bible than all other main denominations. 

“Truth” on the many topics of the bible is not found easily. 

Each biblical truth on a particular topic can be likened to a jigsaw puzzle in which a person must assemble and sort out all the pieces that are spread out throughout God’s Word before being able to see the full picture, the Truth!

And so, I kept on reading the bible from beginning to end again and again through my life, noting all the passages related to a particular subject, so as to be able, one day, to make an educated conclusion as to what God’s Word really teaches.

 There were many crucial topics that I had to ascertain in my mind.

It took me years and years of studying seriously and with an open mind the bible (and the bible only, not of theological books on any subject which will again tend to brainwash me), before I was confident that I had the right picture on the most important theological issues. 

I never wished to become a theologian, but I had to become one, and it was only after 25 years or so of serious study that the conviction grew within me that I was at last freed from most human teachings.

Reading in such a way God’s Word is actually a commandment of God who told us that: 

If a man wants to live, he must feed his soul in the same way that he feeds his body, daily, with “every word that came out of the mouth of God…”  (Matthew 4:4)

And now, after 51 years of such personal daily study, I feel that I have honestly allowed the Spirit of God to teach me his truths.

I have however still much to learn, and I am always open to correction.

All this time I have only been sharing my theological understanding with my wives and my dear children, the only audience I ever had so far.

A “captive” audience, admittedly…

I wished that God would have opened opportunities for me to teach the Word of God to others, but it never happened.

An evil spirit manifests itself.

Once, as I was explaining the gospel to a young man in Athens, he said to me:

“During my final exams this year, I was studying until late at night. I went to the bathroom to refresh myself, and when I looked in the mirror… I did not see myself but a demon!

I lost consciousness, and when I came back to myself, my parents were above me, telling me that I was shouting and frothing from the mouth…

I didn’t tell them what happened, but I tell you now.”

After he had shared this with me, I prayed with him asking God to reveal to us if indeed a demon had entered him, and what was I to do about it!

That evening the young man came back, somewhat scared, and told me that while I was praying for him earlier on, he lost his vision! When he recovered it a minute or so later, he saw to his amazement his tummy bouncing in and out vigorously and uncontrollably at great speed.

He was terrified!

Clearly, the evil spirit was forced to manifest itself as I was asking God in prayer precisely for that!

And now it had to be exorcised! 

Before doing that, I read to him Jesus’ words:

“When a demonic spirit is expelled from a person it travels through arid places seeking rest, and not finding any, it returns to where he had been evicted from and finds the person’s heart clean and tidy… but empty!  So it goes and brings seven other spirits even more wicked than itself to share that room with him, and the final condition of that person becomes worse than before.”    (Matthew 12: 43-45)

This young man however was not willing to invite Jesus to enter his heart and take control of his life and fill it with his presence. 

So, even though he was my next-door neighbour, I could not help him, and he never came back to see me. 

Frustrated to the limit.

We stayed five years in Greece.

Thanks to the National Technical Diploma that I had obtained in South Africa, I was now working for a living in various places as a technician, but I had no peace within me:

All these people around me were living without God, without Jesus ruling their hearts! They were grieving God with their worldly lives, their adulteries, their greed, their self-centredness, their worshipping of Mary and the “Saints”, their refusal to even read the Words of God…

They were bound for hell, and I had to warn them!

How could one not shout « FIRE! FIRE! » to the inhabitants of a building, whose ground floor was already on fire?

So, I did all that I could to let people know of Jesus’ words, but to no avail:

They would not even give me an opportunity to tell them what I knew!

I was utterly frustrated.

7.   Back to Africa

So, I took my wife and my then three children and moved back to the Congo, where people are much more open to hear the gospel.

My parents had offered to employ me in their bakery, and I was sure I would be of much more use to God and my fellow men there.

Anne and I worked at my parents’ business, and on Sundays we were working on opening a “mission” deep into the bush.

With the money we earned we bought a large piece of the forest, made a road to get there, and we were about to start building when an American mining company warned me that the piece of land that I had bought was part of their land which they had already bought years before…

Their papers and maps were not lying…

My money was never to be returned, and I had to give up my plans of making a “mission” in order to help the poor villagers to improve their lives and faith.

My wife and I asked again for guidance from our Heavenly Father, fasting three days and nights, and the answer came some months later:

My father (the earthly one) made me choose once again between running their business fulltime or leaving it and going about doing God’s work.  

I knew that without work and money I would not be able to do any Christian work in the Congo, and so we moved to South Africa… 

In South Africa, again.

There, in my last attempt to be of service to God, I worked in the Johannesburg YMCA, a supposedly Christian boarding hostel.

I was the YMCA’s residence secretary, responsible for the practical running of the hostel and for the residents’ spiritual welfare.

My duties of managing the hostel however gave me no time at all to befriend the residents, and I was unable to help them spiritually…

After a year of hard, unappreciated and unfulfilling work I left the “Y”, went to Hermanus, a village near Cape Town, and started there my own business.

I opened a gym.

Being naturally strong and well-built I decided to open and run a gym there.

My parents sent me enough money for us to survive for a year and to buy the metals needed for me to build my own gym equipment in our garden.

I could not possibly have bought new ones.

It took me a whole year to design and weld all the equipment and I opened up my gym and named it “Fit, Healthy and Strong in Body, Mind and Spirit”.

It kept us busy and afloat financially for the next ten years.

Hermanus is a beautiful retirement village, right at the bottom tip of Africa, and understandably, my gym did not work well there.

So, after a few years I moved it to Cape Town, the second most beautiful town in South Africa, after Hermanus… 

There, I had to open my gym out of town, where I would be able to pay the rent, and most importantly, where I would have my whole family around me all the time, since I was terribly unhappy and restless when away from them even for a few hours. We rented a house in a farm and set up the gym in the empty barn.  

We named it “Gym in a barn”! 

We were very happy being there but were still struggling to make a living!

It was mostly my fault:

I would “share Christ” with whoever came to exercise in our gym, and I placed Bible verses all over the walls. I would ask the girls to dress more modestly and so on, and I eventually I drove all my customers away…

And yet, my gym was so beautiful:

Once, two men entered it, and after looking around they told me:

“We are the owners of a world-renowned American bodybuilding magazine, and we travel throughout the world, visiting the best gyms there are.

We must say that this gym equipment we see here is one of the best that we have seen!” 

I was actually offended, because they said, “one of the best…” and not “the very best” they had seen.

I was training every day, and coaching my customers, but the gym was giving us less and less money for us to live.

Unexpectedly, my parents started sending us money to help us support the six children we had then, and I used much of that money to build ourselves a mobile home instead, so that we could finally have our own home one day.

I also started building a mobile kitchen that we were going to use as a way of getting a second income.

I worked two full years building “our future home”, but I could not finish it since my parent’s stopped helping us financially, and I had to abandon it half-finished when we left South Africa!

I managed however to finish building our “mobile cantina”.

Every Saturday we drove it to a flea market in Cape Town and we earned good money there.

However, we could not find other spots to place it during weekdays: We were constantly chased away by the police…

The fateful accident

Early one rainy morning, as I was towing the cantina with my truck to the flea market, the trailer jackknifed and overturned on the slippery highway. Everything in it was destroyed!

We were devastated, ruined, and totally disorientated, spiritually.

Why was God not blessing all our efforts?

We were working hard, doing all we could do, but we needed his help! And not only was he not helping us, but he also seemed set to destroy us…

I must say (in God’s defense) that the night of the accident was the only time ever that the children were not sleeping in the cantina while we were travelling! They would have been killed…

It was as if God was waiting for such an opportunity to allow this tragedy to happen to us, so as not to cause injuries!

God was protecting us, but not helping us…And I was grateful!

As I was pondering about all this, it became evident to me that this terrible accident must have been God’s way of telling us to get out of South Africa. 

Actually, there was no other option: The year was 1995, just after “apartheid” was abolished in South Africa and, having gone through all this before in the Congo, I knew that, as a poor “white family” living in Africa, without the means of staying well away from the black population, we would sooner or later see our children get raped and killed! 

I understood that all these dreadful events that God had allowed to come our way were his way of forcing us to get out of that country.

But how? We were barely surviving then!

God helped us leave South Africa.

Well, a month or two after the accident, as I was polishing gold rings and watches in the streets of Cape Town, (with a little battery powered polishing machine that I had built for the purpose), a couple that we knew from Hermanus recognized me, and asked me how I ended up like this, working in the streets of Cape Town!

After I told them what happened, they gave me a check, right there in the street! The amount written on it allowed us to buy air tickets for us all to return to Greece…

God intervened once again at the last moment from heaven and helped us to go to safety, in Europe, by means of this couple, Mike and Banty, who had a supermarket in Hermanus.

May God bless them.

Had we stayed in South Africa, we would have been among the first victims of the newly found “freedom” that the black population were given…

8.   Back in Greece, my family deserted me…

When we arrived in Greece, however, Anne let me know that she was leaving for England…

Her brother, a pastor, had told her that the British government took good care of single mothers and their children. Once in England, she would indeed be given a spacious house in a good area of London and a monthly allowance that would help them live much better than they ever lived with me.

And that is how I found myself rejected by those I loved most, deeply hurt, and utterly depressed…

The fact that my wife never really got to love and appreciate me and the financial misery we lived in, were the main reason why she left me.

There were of course other reasons:

Two years earlier, on the 18th year of our marriage, I dared at last to ask Anne if she now loved me more than she loved her… former lover!

I had refrained from doing so for 18 years, and I thought that I now may get a positive answer… 

Her answer, however, was such that I felt deeply offended, unloved and more hurt than I ever had been by anyone.

It is indicative that the only ring that she was wearing on her fingers was one that he had bought for her…

From that day onwards, anger and bitterness invaded my heart, my soul…

I started to long again to find another love, a true love, and I seriously considered becoming polygamous since the opportunity arose:

A 22-year-old girl who was training in our gym, a virgin, that I had never touched but fell in love with, was willing, even eager to become my second wife. 

Nowhere in the bible it is stated, or even implied, that polygamy is forbidden. On the contrary, many of the men of God practiced it, and God had made provisions for it in his Law. He even told king David that it was he, God himself, who had blessed him with many wives… (2 Samuel 12:8)

Marrying Ciska would have been a perfect way for me to be happy again, but, after some hesitation, I opted against it, for fear than Anne would leave me. 

I did not want to ever cause the breaking of my family. 

I sent Ciska well away from me, to Israel, and I grieved much because of it.

Peace and harmony had left our family, and two years later, as we left South Africa, Anne, also left me.

My children that I loved so much followed their mother. 

I begged them to stay with me in Greece.  I explained that if they were to stay, they would save our family, and their mother would soon come back to us.

But they refused to do so, in spite of my pleas.

I never forgot nor forgave their decision.

I cut all ties with them all and did all I could to forget them, so as to remain sane…

Alone and utterly miserable

The following years were pure hell for me.

I knew that the only way there was for me to get out of the terrible desperation and misery I lived in was for me to get married again and start a new family.

The Bible’s teachings on the subject did not forbid me to do so: Jesus forbids a divorced man to remarry only if he had sent away his previous wife.

I, not only never sent my first wife away, but I asked her to stay and to return…

Every day, for the next nine years after my family left me, I was fervently praying, asking God to help me find a better wife.

But I had a dilemma: In order to find a wife, one must approach the ladies, and I would never do that: it was too dangerous… Girls are my weakness!

I managed not to fall under temptation all these years simply because I was avoiding the ladies, knowing that I am not strong enough to approach them!

All I could therefore do now was to pray for a wife, but would do nothing about finding one!

In any case, I knew that it would be very difficult for me to find the kind of girl that I needed.

Only a virgin and a truly God-fearing girl would do. And there were not many of them around!

I knew that with such prerequisites my chances of getting married again were minimal…

What mattered most, I told myself, was to prove my dedication to God during these very unhappy times.

These days were the most difficult and unhappy years of my life. 

I nearly, very nearly, blew my brains away. It was only a timely visit of my eldest son that prevented me to pull the trigger!

After our divorce

When my first family left me, I stayed for a while with my unsympathetic parents in Athens, in their beautiful condominium. 

They had, by now, sold their business in the Congo, and had moved to Athens.

My parents and I never got along well, and now, them being influenced by my heartless, self-centered sister, their attitude towards me deteriorated to the point that I could not stay with them any longer.

I moved to our garage, at the basement of the building, and slept there next to their car. I would only go upstairs to eat once a day and use the toilet.

I was so broken and depressed that I did not mind living like a “bum”. 

In any case, my heart and my mind were suffering much more than my body was…

I spent many months sleeping in the building’s parking lot. And I slept most of the time… Sleeping helped me to slowly heal, for I was truly devastated. 

I became aware that there was a room next to the garage, in a half-hidden, illegal and dilapidated part of our building. It was in a terrible condition, but it had a toilet in it. So, I discreetly moved into it.

I lived there my next nine years utterly crushed by my God. 

I knew that he was behind all that had happened to me. He had decreed all the disasters that had fallen upon me one on top of another, much like with “Job”, in the Bible.

 Nothing can happen to me unless God lets it happen…

But why? Why was he so hard on me?

Did I fail him in some important way since I became a child of his?

No matter how much I searched my past in all earnestness, I could not think of having ever fallen into any willful sin after I became his child.

God could of course be simply testing me, much like he tested Job, in the Bible.

It could also be that he had decided to cleanse me of anything that remained impure within me, to refine me, like one refines gold: by passing it through fire! 

Or perhaps he was punishing me for all the sins that I had committed before becoming a Christian! 

Or maybe he was training me, like the army harshly trains its best men, that they may become tested, trusted and useful soldiers in the country’s service…

No matter what the reason was that God had decided to treat me so harshly, I had decided to remain faithful to him, laying down flat on my face like Jeremiah the prophet did, receiving his blows, until he was done with crushing me, and starts lifting me up again.” (Lamentations 3)

 And this I did.

I kept myself busy with studying God’s Word, going to church, playing music and doing some weightlifting.

During the summer periods I would set out to earn some money:  I would load my guitar or my keyboard on my bike (or later the car that my father had bought me), and I would go to the Greek islands, to Cyprus or to Spain…singing and playing in hotels and restaurants.

In all these places I lived like a monk, on rocky and deserted spots in front of the sea, well away from the crowds,  from the girls that made my head spin….

At Church I would sometimes meet other Christians from foreign countries who were in need of somewhere to stay. They were all more than welcome to stay in my room, for as long as they needed to:

 George, a young Bulgarian, stayed more than five years in that gloomy room with me.

We studied and discussed the Bible so pleasantly, together…

And there was Taiwo, a Nigerian who had to send all that he earned to his wife and children in Bulgaria for their survival. He only kept a minimum amount of his salary for himself.

His wife never appreciated all the sacrifices he was doing for his family and years later divorced him…

There was also Maurice, that Congolese musician who was struggling to find work! After staying with us nearly a year he travelled to France where he did find somewhere to play…

Mr. Giorgos was an old man, a beggar who slept in the streets of Athens.

I let him also stay with us one winter, but he would not stop bringing in our room whatever “interesting” he picked up from the rubbish bins, and so, when summer came, I asked him to go back to the streets…

And there were other people also, like this Norwegian tourist that I found in a park. All his money had been stolen, and he had still more than a week to spend in Greece before his plane would take him back home.  He stayed with us.

I was a help to them all, and they were a blessing to me.

9.  In Asia, I went searching for a good girl 

And then one winter, after nine years of living like a monk in that room, waiting for God to bring along the dream-girl I was waiting for, I decided to go and look for her in Asia: 

After all, Jesus told us: “Search, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7)

So, I went to India.

I spent a few weeks in Mombay, expecting some divine guidance or intervention, but to no avail. 

I then took a train to a forgotten village: I had been given the address of a “missionary” who lived in the middle of the Indian continent, in the jungle so to speak, and I was hoping that he would be able to point to me the right girl. 

As soon as I arrived there, however, I realized that God had sent me there not to be helped but to help:

Pastor Hariem, a local Muslim man converted to Christianity, lived with his mother, his wife and two daughters in poverty, indebted and miserable. His congregation consisted of some old people and young children…

I stayed two weeks with them, and felt urged to help them out financially.

But, I had very little money at my disposal, and I knew that if I was to help them substantially, I would not be able to continue my journey in search of a wife!

What would God want me to do? I asked myself. 

The answer that I felt deep within me was:

“This pastor is one of Jesus little ones, that must be treated as if it is Jesus himself. Would I leave Jesus with just a “handout” so that I can continue my search for a good wife?” No way!

So I gave them about half of what I had in the bank, 700$, and I promised him to send to him as soon as possible enough money to buy himself a brand new diesel powered tricycle costing 2130$ which would not only get him and his family out of misery (since he would be transporting people and goods with it), but it would also give him many opportunities to talk about the Messiah to all those who would hire his services!

That was a wonderful solution to all his problems, and I was determined to do all I could to help him. 

As for me and my plans… too bad that I will not be able to continue my journey in search for a wife…

Maybe it was not God’s will. Or maybe he can still make it happen!

I did send to pastor Hariem the money I promised him, a year or so later, when I received my part of my inheritance, but I was very disappointed when I heard that he used the money to buy a laptop and a motorbike for traveling around…

Having done so, he started sending me (and others) emails (by means of his laptop) asking for our support in his ministry…

Now, looking back, I think I was fooled into believing that he ever was involved in any “ministry” work.

In the Philippines

Leaving that forgotten village in the middle of India I went on to Thailand where I contacted a Filipino friend who used to live in Athens.

He told me that I could only hope to find such a girl as I am looking for in the Philippines. In fact, he knew one, just like what I wanted her to be, a virgin, a teacher working in a Christian school in a village called Lucban.

I still had enough money to buy an air ticket, and so I travelled to Manila and straight to Lucban, a five-hour journey by bus.

The girl he had in mind was not at all my type, physically.

I told her so, and she was offended… I apologized.

Even though hurt, she offered to help me find somewhere to lodge in and she took me straight to the house of… my future “in laws”!

Two weeks later their eldest daughter came on a weekend to visit her parents. At that time, she lived in Manila, where she was studying to become an accountant in some college.    So, we met in her own home…

Joanne was a virtuous young girl, as morally praiseworthy as I wanted my future wife to be, but so young, so much younger than I was! She was quite pretty as well. She looked more like a Chinese than a Filipina.

She also was so happy and settled there where she lived with her family and friends. How could I ever hope that she would consider marrying me!

Me! A middle-aged stranger with no money or home of my own.

Me, a man whose previous family spat him out of their lives (like a pip), certain that they would be much better off without him.

Me, a tough character, with my qualities well concealed beneath my shortcomings: I was unsettled, un-social, with a pretty negative attitude in life, and when upset…hot tempered!

How can I ever hope to impress anyone, let alone her!

Another man would not have dared to approach such a wonderful girl.

 I had nothing to offer her. Nothing, that is, except…

How can I put it to you and not sound completely out of this world?

Well, I felt that if she were to be my wife, she would become more than just a religious person, but a true child of God. I knew that if this girl was the girl that my God had in store for me, she would realize that I was the best person for her to marry and follow in this world, since few others would ever bring her closer to God than I, or love her more than I would!

And, if she was indeed the dream-girl that I was looking for she would value this more than anything else.


So, armed with such convictions I found the courage to approach her:

Two days after her arrival, however, she left back for Manila!

I sought guidance from my heavenly Father, fasted three days, and I also left for the capital.

She had told me that she was giving her final exams and after that… I hoped she would be willing to spend time with me…

Joanne, the girl with the beautiful, sweet smile, helped me find a room to rent in the same house she was living in with three other girls from her college, and… allowed me to approach her.

I explained to her that I had set out 2 months earlier from Athens, in search of a virtuous and God-fearing wife, and by that I meant a virgin, a girl that had never indulged in any sexual activity. 

 “Are you such a girl?” I asked.

“Of course,” Joanne answered with a childlike, sincere look on her face.

I proceeded in telling her that I wanted her to become my wife and hoped that our age difference would not be an obstacle. 

“It will not!”, she said in all simplicity! And that is how our romance started.

My next fear was that she would be put off by my difficult and demanding character. I could only turn to my God for help, for him to help her to accept me the way I am, for I was determined to be with her (as I was with everyone else) exactly myself, not hiding anything from her, even at the risk of losing her, since I knew how wrong it would be for me to trick her into marrying someone I was not! 

God once more listened to my prayer by making her practically blind and immune to my abrupt ways…

Two months later, we were married.

In her village, where the wedding took place, I could see the perplexing look on everyone’s face: Joanne, one of the most admired girls in Lucban, was getting married so suddenly and so early in her life, at 21, to a foreigner!

All the guys that knew her were after her, and yet, she chose someone who was 33 years her senior! 

And obviously not for his money… Why, then?!

I had asked her the very same question weeks earlier and her answer was: 

“I had been thinking of dedicating my life to God, as a nun, but now that I met you, the thought came that this is how I could serve God best, by becoming your wife”. 

This is what I understood from her incoherent way of speaking in English, and it thrilled me. 

Now, however, looking back, I wonder if I understood her well!

As soon as I did meet Joanne, and our loving relationship had started… my bank account run dry!

I then phoned my father who sent me enough money to cover all my expenses for the months ahead, as well as for our wedding feast and for the air tickets.

I am grateful to my father for helping me on that very crucial moment. 

Later, after my father’s death, my sister subtracted the amount he gave me from my inheritance. Knowing her, it was expected…

10.  In Athens, as soon as I received my inheritance…

As soon as Joanne and I were married we left for Greece, and I moved up from my “dungeon “to my father’s flat.

 He welcomed our company and our help, since he now lived alone, with just a lady taking care of him.

My mother had passed away five years earlier. She fell, broke her hip, and died on the operating table at the age of 83.

Months before her death, my mother had asked me a question, out of the blue:

“Costaki, what will you do with the money that we will give you after our death? Are you going to give it to the poor, as the Bible says?”

I knew straight away that she was looking for some excuse that would allow her to give to my sister just about all their fortune, leaving me with just handouts, so to speak.

As I was about to answer, I became conscious that my words were being carefully listened to by my Heavenly Father. And I said:

“Mother, I need the money for myself: I have nothing of my own, and there are so many things I want, I need to have… 

But if, when I get my inheritance, God will bring a situation in my path where I would feel it is my duty towards Him to help someone financially, I will most certainly help. That is what God expects from me, and that is what I will do.

 I am not going to look for such a scenario to happen, but if it comes my way, yes, I will give what needs to be given.”

And God paid attention!

So did my parents…

It so happened (and that was no coincidence) that when I received my inheritance, years later, after my father’s death, things turned out to be just as I had told my mother:

 Taïwo, the Nigerian friend of mine who had been staying with me for some time in my underground room, wrote to me a desperate letter telling me that he was stuck in Bulgaria with a confiscated passport, and with no chances of ever finding any work there. He and his Bulgarian wife and four young children desperately needed help! 

Joanne and I were by then newly married and with a baby on the way.

We needed all the money we had received to help us settle down somewhere, since we had to get out of my father’s apartment that now belonged to my sister.

But how could I not help my brother in need, now that I had the means to do so?

So, for the next year or so I sent Taiwo enough money for him and his family to live comfortably, some 8.000 in all.

When I finally stopped sending him more money, Taïwo found a way to go to Germany where he found work…

Looking back, I think that I was taken for a ride again… 

Nevertheless, I am happy to see that, once again, I did what the Bible says that I should, even though it cost me much.

It is interesting to notice that things happened just as I had told my mother, years earlier, well aware that God was listening…   

God tested me to see if I would really do as I had said I would. 

And I did!

Helping out Joanne’s family

My inheritance soon vanished away: I had received 50.000€…

We used the money for traveling to the Philippines twice.

We invested it there unwisely.

 I also gave to pastor Hariem what was promised and helped Taiwo and his family.

Last but not least, I helped my wife’s family in the Philippines.

I was very grateful to Joanne’s parents who did not raise any objections regarding me marrying their daughter, even though they were reluctant, me being a total stranger, and even older than they were…

In the Bible it is written:

“Anyone who does not provide financially for his relatives, (and especially for his own household), has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5 v 8)

So, when I received my inheritance, I helped my in-laws to set up a computer business on the ground floor of their house. It was managed by Joanne’s younger sister and brothers. Unfortunately, this venture failed two years after it was started. My money was again spent unwisely…

At a later stage I helped her parents renovate the ground floor of their two-story house, helped them repay their debts, (their outstanding hospital fees, their loan from the bank, etc.) 

When we left the Philippines I gave to them my motorbike and my furniture that I had bought there, and I later helped them come to Europe where they stayed four years…

It is our foremost duty in God’s eyes to help the members of our family, and I did whatever I could for them.

11.  With Joanne as my wife…

I was so happy now that God had finally helped me find the wife that I needed so much…

Grateful as I was, however, we soon discovered that our individual needs, desires and characters were diametrically opposed, clashing against each other.

I wanted, or rather I needed to have my wife’s constant company in order to be happy. This however made Joanne feel… claustrophobic, dominated! 

And what is more, I wanted, I absolutely needed, to have our intimate, marital relationships daily, without exception, and this was “too much” for her.

Thus, we were confronted from the outset of our marriage with problems that we did not expect.

Fortunately for me, in those days Joanne feared God and always accepted anything that was written in the Bible, even though she could not always put it into practice with a smile…

I, on the other hand, wanted her to be not only submissive to me, but mostly happy! And with my demands I was causing much sadness to this young girl who did not hesitate to marry me (and I would add, who sacrificed herself to make me happy). Woe to me!

Our individual personalities did not help us live harmoniously:

I am a loud, and easily angered, and I am quite demanding… 

Joanne, on the other hand, even though usually quiet and pleasant, becomes aggressive and antagonistic as soon as I raise my voice. When I blow off my steam, she gets angry, and then all hell breaks loose…

I weigh one hundred kilograms, whereas she weighs barely 40 kg. If I were to lose control of my temper with an impatient gesture of mine it could be disastrous…

Fortunately, it never happened.

Still, it seems that the fear of me creeped into her soul…

 I must say here, in my defence, that in my first marriage with Anne, we had no such aggravations. No fights, no unpleasantness, none of these at all! Never!  Honestly. 

Anne’s attitude towards me was not negative, nasty or un-pleasant, as Joanne’s often was, causing me to react aggressively.

Being quick-tempered and loud, I would shout when upset about something, but Anne, my first wife, would never react in an offensive manner, and everything would quickly return to normal.

We never ever quarrelled!

Only in the last two years of our marriage, when I realized that she still loved her “first one” did any unpleasantness appear…

12.   Moving to the Philippines

Anyway, coming back to my second marriage, I thought that my wife would be happier near her family, and, after my father’s death, I decided to move “permanently” to the Philippines.

also expected that living there would be cheaper.

In both cases, I was mistaken…

By then Danielle, our daughter was a year old.

Yahel was born soon after we arrived in the Phillipines.

We rented a house in Joanne’s village, bought furniture, kitchen appliances, a motorbike, et cetera… 

At the advice of my in-laws, I also bought a large field in which I would slowly build our house, near to where their home was. Then the field was submerged in water, as all rice-fields are, but when, a few months later I ventured into it, I discovered that it was not a rice-field… It was a swamp! A swamp several meters deep!

I had been cheated once more! 

How could my in-laws not have known? 

I refused to suspect them of misleading me willingly, but the fact still was that I had been fooled and cheated again, and I lost the last money that I had received from my father…

I am not made to live in such an ugly, treacherous world such as ours…

Being a trusting person by nature, I can easily be fooled by the crafty ones!

At some stage, my in-laws also declared my marriage with their daughter “annulled”! And Joanne was in agreement!

Annulled” is the Philippine-Catholic way of divorcing and avoiding divorce procedures…

That same day I packed my bags and went to Manila in a daze…There, a few days later, I was offered a lemonade by some strangers I had met in a park, and I fell unconscious…

They stole all the money I had left and that I had hidden in my underpants…!

When I came back to consciousness, but still in a daze, I texted Joanne and told her what had just happened. (If I would have been in my right mind, I would have never texted her).

To my surprise she came to my rescue, and we reconciled… 

It was only because God intervened in an unexpected way that we were still together…

After being a year in the Philippines, we decided that we would be better off back in Europe, since the Philippines proved to be a very dangerous place for a European to live in with his family: 

Even though we never left our home unattended, we had been robbed a number of times: Thieves would “fish out” our bags and money at night through the first-floor burglar bars with a fishing rod!

And they seemed to know exactly when I had withdrawn money from my bank account…

I was also pick-pocketed several times of much money.

After being a year in such an environment, we became afraid, terrified that one day our children might be abducted for a ransom… 

13.   Moving to  Cyprus

So, we moved back to Europe and settled this time in Cyprus, a country which seemed to be ideal for us to bring up our children. 

As soon as we arrived in the island, we found work as musicians in restaurants and hotels. I had by then taught my wife to accompany me on the keyboard. Playing music together we were earning 200 euros a night… good money!

Building us a home.

The year was 2008. The world economic crisis broke out later that year, and we were left without work!

I realised that it would be nearly impossible for us to find work again, us being new and unknown in that area; and indeed, we have not worked again as musicians ever since. 

That year Joanne was pregnant with our third child when, being hard pressed financially, we had to move out of the house we were renting in Limassol. The income that I was getting from Greece did not allow us to both eat and rent a house, and so I had decided to set camp somewhere on the mountain…

Upon hearing this, the owner of the house we were then renting offered us to settle for free at the edge on an olive grove that his wife owned just out of town. It had a deep well (therefore water and electricity), and the owner assured us that he would never ask us to leave: we could build ourselves a mobile house at the edge of his field and could feel at home there!

We took this as being another intervention and provision in difficult times from our God, and we were grateful. 

So, I started building there, all by myself, our future mobile home”.

I first built a provisional shack” where we were all crammed up for the first six months until I could finish welding together the metallic frame of our future house

I put all my energy into building our home, trusting that will give us the stability that we needed so much!

Little did I know that I will not be able to settle there either…

I built our mobile home on six barrels filled with cement, so that it could be transported elsewhere if necessary. I managed to clad it in time before the winter rains…

At that time, my in-laws were also living with us in Cyprus.

 I had brought them there, thinking that it would help my wife to be happier with them near her…

And again I was wrong!

Them being near us added rather to our marital problems…They stayed on the island (illegally) for four years before returning to their country.

Noé (French for Noah) our son, was born while we were still living all together  in the “shack”.

I designed our mobile home to be 12,2 meters long, 4,5 meters wide, and 4 meters high, a big and heavy structure designed to comfortably accommodate all of us.

 My engineering studies helped me in designing our house the best I could, and I began working painstakingly, hoping that God would help me finish this time what I was starting (not like the house that I built but had to abandon in South Africa!).

I was 60 years old then, and I had to work very hard at it, full-time from early in the morning ‘till late in the evening for seven years in order to bring it to its present state.

Just as I did in South Africa I also built a cantina, as my wife expressed her wish to cook for a living. 

Later, as I was building it, she changed her mind, and the cantina is left unused next to our house…

During those years, my daughter Danielle and I became seriously ill due to viruses in the water (from the well that we were drinking), and since then we both feel chronically tired. I became significantly weaker and unable to work hard anymore.

All I could do was to take care of my children, teaching them all I knew:  I taught them the Bible, playing musical instruments (piano, guitar and bass), I taught them the French language, working with metal and wood, and more…


These were years of great austerity for us, and I started busking in front of the sea. Having taught Danielle to play the piano she joined me soon afterwards.

Passers-by loved seeing this 8-year-old girl play so well the piano and for a while we were earning more than I ever did until then…

The social workers however forced her to stop playing with me.

I was greatly disappointed, not only because I was earning next to nothing when playing alone, but most of all because Danielle greatly improved on her piano during that time.

Unconcerned, the social welfare set back for three years this musically gifted child of mine… “for her own good” (according to them).

I can still not get used to the many laws and the unconcerned attitude towards those who struggle to survive that prevails here in Europe.

I will only be happy when living in God’s kingdom!

My second family torn apart!

In April 2019, Joanne, my dear wife that I love so much left me, after 15 years of marriage. She was tired of being “dominated” and, obviously ashamed of being married to such an old, awful man as myself!

Others could see the writing on the wall right from the start of our marriage, she being so young and I so difficult!

We divorced, but I told her that I will always consider her to be my wife, just as I considered Anne to still be my wife. Should they wish to return, they would be welcomed back, both, as long as they had not lived adulterous lives when away…

(For your information, God never forbid polygamy. The “Christian” church did, centuries after Jesus’ death and resurrection…)

Joanne is now much happier being free to do the things she wants to do, and most of all, being away from me who still needs and demands much of her constant presence, love and time.

Noé and Yahel live with their mother now, but may still decide to live under me soon.

My children choosing to live with their mother was again a big disappointment for me!

Danielle chose to do what is right in God’s eyes and stayed by my side.

She also suffered much, just as I did, and she fought her depression and anxiety attacks by playing much on her piano and playing for hours with her rooster and chicken that she loves so much.

As soon as our family was torn apart, many things started going very wrong:

The owner of the field where we had lived on for 15 years, demanded that we remove our house from her olive grove…

We wanted to oblige but we were unable to do so for lack of money:

Moving an extra-large, 18-ton mobile house was very costly.

They cut our electricity and water supply in order to force us out, and since we were still being unable to move out, they took us to court and handed us an eviction order: If we had not moved out before the end of September 2023 our house would be destroyed or forcibly removed and sold for peanuts…

 That is when God intervened and helped us to remove our home from the olive grove in time:

I unexpectedly received enough money from a pension that was finally granted to me (weeks before the eviction date) by the Cypriot government! The arear-payements that we were entitled to gave us all the money we needed to move out of there in time and keep our home…

Another timely intervention from God!

We are grateful to God for not abandoning us in our times of great need again.

However, just as the trailer carrying our house was arriving to a camping site by the sea (where we had rented out 200m2), followed by a 100T crane and police escort, the town’s authorities, mayor of the village and the region’s building inspectors came to stop us from unloading our house!

They said that this camping ground itself was illegal, and all its campers would have to vacate it soon. We were not allowed to place our house there!

 Much argument followed, and we were threatened to be dragged to court, but since I could not possibly move to anywhere else, we placed our house there anyway, regardless of their threats.

The enemy, the devil was getting at us again…

We are used to it, by now!

What will happen next? We do not even want to think about it!

We hope that God will protect us and keep on helping us.

Moving our BIG, self-built MOBILE HOME. Short transportation demonstrations video


We can easily discern again God’s enemy and ours who tries and manages to spoil our every move and effort!

It helps us pray all the more fervently: “May your Kingdom come, so that your will be done on earth, just as it is done in heaven…”

We feel much like being another “Job” of the Bible…

 As I wrote in the beginning of my biography, it truly seems that God has allowed Satan to make my life difficult, unhappy and unpleasant in every way, so as to put to the test the decision I had made long ago, that of always doing what is good, right and pleasing in God’s eyes even if this makes my life unhappy and miserable, a “loser”!

Society and Christians do consider me to be a fool and a loser, but what matters most is that Satan has failed to separate me from my Lord even by an inch, so far!

In my eventful life I sometimes considered myself as being the happiest and most blessed person on earth, and other times, more often, as being the most unhappy and God-forsaken person there is…

But, through it all, I have managed to always be faithful to God my Saviour and, I hope, pleasing to his eyes…

My prayer is that I will finish my life without ever failing him.

Until then and, even though I am now 74 years old now, I still hope and pray to find a beautiful, holy girl, half my age or less, that will truly love me and be happy being always at my side.

I most certainly need such a miracle so as to be happy again…

Let me know if you know of such a gem desperate enough to be willing to join me.

And yes, I do have a sense of humour…, but this, I truly mean!


In the introduction of my autobiography, I presented myself as being a “totally sincere person who is zealous to put God’s Words into practice in my life”, and I hope that my biography has demonstrated this.

I wonder however if, while reading through it, you have sensed my first claim, that of being totally sincere.

This is, in my mind, my strongest quality!

The children and individuals who have lived long enough with me should have no doubt whatsoever of this basic characteristic of mine:

I am sincere, totally honest with myself and others, transparent like glass!

I hide nothing. There is no pretence in me!

Being totally sincere (first of all with oneself and then towards others), is the basis upon which Truth and virtue can stand and grow within us.

Honesty is perhaps the important quality that one must have in order to allow God’s Spirit to change us from within and improve us!

I have rarely seen it in other individuals and especially in today’s churches…

I want to see it in you, my children.

If one is not totally honest with oneself and sincere with others, he will probably deteriorate to the point of becoming a hypocrite and a deceiver, traits that Jesus our Lord strongly condemned. Their “Christianity” will become a pretence of being what they are not!

Jesus had no time for such people.

Other things that I want you to learn and recall:

Throughout my life I have kept away from the love of success and money.

I was “careful” not to pursue jobs or lifestyles that were financially profitable for me and my family but did not give me the time and rest that is needed to daily study God’s Word, and to teach, correct and guide the members of my family.

I have worked hard in order to achieve whatever I have undertook, but I always made sure that I would not take too much upon myself so as to always be rested enough in order to be spiritually alert and useful.

Since I need to sleep 9 hours a day, I also had to completely cut out all habits that would steal the little time I had to fulfil my duties.

I hardly ever treated myself or my family with pleasant outings, going to the cinema or even watching TV at home.

Perhaps I should not have been so hard with myself and those under my care, but life was always a struggle for me, and we always had to make sure that we read the bible as a family every evening for at least one hour, a time during which we would “eat” spiritual food and allow God to speak directly to our soul and heart!

This habit made me and those children who have lived long enough with me what we are now, truly dedicated children of God.

Make sure that you are always rested enough so as to daily have the time and strength to feed your soul with God’s Word.

Never become so entangled in society, at school, work, or leisure that you cannot fulfil and satisfy your spiritual daily needs.

They must be a priority in your lives!

Also stay well away from anything (whether: work, friends, hobbies, etc.) that will tend to draw you or the members of our family away from Christ’s ways.

That is what I did:

I even removed some of you, my oldest children from high school, after becoming conscious that our society’s system of education (and the influence that the other school children had on them) were most definitely influencing and moulding them to become much like the world wanted them to be.

And this had to be avoided most definitely, at all costs!

Boyfriend-girlfriend relationships were, and must always be, totally out of the question for us!

Until, that is, your future husband or wife would be, one day, clearly recognised and allowed to approach you within our family environment.

Always dress and behave modestly, regardless of the fashion and trends that prevail in the immoral and God-less society that we live in.

To sum it up, make sure, as I did, to spend most of your time together, as a family, even an extended one, trying to be happy in such a way…

All this advice and example that I have shown is, I believe, the key to a Godly, happy life.

Looking back, it may be said that I was perhaps a bit too hard on my family, since both of my wives and just about all of my children left me never to return…

Still, I do not regret any of my ways: the spiritual well-being of my family was my aim and my foremost responsibility.


To close, I must make one final comment: I am not a saint.

I have lived a holy life in the sense that I have never allowed myself to sin willingly, especially sexual sins which are my great weakness.

But I have other drawbacks which, it seems, spoil me greatly.

Both of my wives and all those who live close to me will tell you that I have a very short temper: When I am under stress, or when I get physically or emotionally hurt I can get very loud and aggressive.

The expressions on my face scare everyone present. Those who live constantly with me find this very unpleasant, and unless they really love me or feel strongly committed to me they would rather live well away from me. It seems that this has played a big part in the failure of my two marriages…

I am very sorry that I am not able to control my outbursts of frustration, anger and rage. I have prayed much about it, and for a while I have forced myself to be cool and restrained like a proper Englishman but, after three months of being thus “false” I could not bear it anymore.

I hated what I had become and chose to become my good old self again, driven by my strong emotions and my spirit that refuses to pretend to be what I am not.

Being impulsive and expressive is part of my nature, the way God has made me, and I see many advantages in being so.

To counter the unpleasantness that I cause to those close to me, (for I hardly ever lose my temper towards those outside my family), I have always counted on the immense love that I demonstrate to my wives and children, hoping to thus make up for this unpleasant trait of mine. But it has obviously not worked!

It seems that people do not notice so much someone’s qualities and actions of love, but quickly notice his faults and shortcomings.

Still, I am ashamed for my impatience and the swearing words that sometimes come out of my mouth.

May God forgive me for being a bad example to those close to me.

As for my outbursts of anger, I would say that, even though I bark loudly, I do not bite, just nibble…

                             CONSTANTIN ECONOMIDES

Constantin Economides
Constantin Economides

We hope that Danielle’s YouTube channel will become popular and that it will help us financially. We pray it will also become a blessing to everyone who listens to her music and the meaningful messages she shares with her (now 5000) subscribers.

 Tap on the blue link below to see her in action:   

              Born to be a musician & a light to the World


5 replies on “My Father’s Autobiography”

i am retired at 69 years old. Read about the life from 1972 was it? I am hard up with money myself, but will try to send some $$ your way some how. might need some info so i can send a check or if it better to send cash? Sure hate not helping you but will be praying at least you get all you need from others. Love to keep in touch with good folks like you…and love the sermons and you all are so cute and talented! May God bless you and all the Jews for if we bless them, He will bless us too! And I know for a fact that praising Jesus unleashes miracles.


It is touching to know that you have read my biography and that you like who we are. It is wonderful to know that you also love God, as we do.

In which country do you live? Please tell us more about yourself, if you don’t mind.

Thank you also for wanting to help us.
My daughter is sending you all the information you need to donate through Western Union, bank or some money transfer applications. Tap on the link below:

Looking forward to hear more from you, David.

May the God of peace and love be with you!

Are you David Neff from Northern Ca? Did you go to church there? My husband, Benjamin, knows a family of Neff’s there and I was wondering if maybe you are someone he knows?

Colossians 3:1-3

[1] If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:12-13

[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, [13] bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Colossians 3:16

[16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

We are reminded of what our focus should be now that we are in Christ . Focusing on Jesus , heavenly things and others . We are to do all things in love and as unto the Lord .

Thank you Lord for your your word . There is so much encouragement and examples of how we are to live in you. Help us Lord to continue to put you first as our main focus and to show your love and compassion to others even those difficult people in our lives . I know that this can only be done through you and if we abide in you daily 🙏🏼

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