Bob Licciardo

Bob LicciardoI THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE

   My name is Bob Licciardo, and I was born in San Francisco, California in 1939. I spent my career serving as Chief Appraiser for Bayview Bank, and as a real estate broker and consultant before retiring in 2000. But before I led this life, walking with the Lord, I led a very wild and sinful early life. My brothers and I were raised by an alcoholic father and my mother left us with him when she couldn’t take it any longer, driving my childhood and early adolescence in the wrong direction.

   Despite my troubled youth, by the grace of God I married early and found my faith in my thirties. It was during this transitional period that I knew God was dealing with me and my many mistakes. I’d had a Catholic upbringing, and I served as a diligent altar boy in the Catholic church before I went wild. Although I had always known about Jesus, I never had a real relationship or understanding of Him on a personal level. Finally as a 30-year-old man with three growing kids, I felt called to clean up my act to become a better father, and a better example to my two daughters and son than what I had while growing up. I’ve been walking with Jesus ever since, and am now preparing to celebrate eighty years of age, sixty years of marriage, and forty years of being baptized in the Pacific Ocean.

   When I started going to church again with my family, things were good. I felt that I had made my peace with God after leaving my reckless past behind, and I was in a good place in my life. At the same time, I could hear God communicating with me, telling me to prepare to die. That's what I thought, and it was very real to me. I thought to myself, “I can’t just tell everybody I'm going to die soon.” Instead, I created a list of things I needed to do before my time came, and spent weeks going through each item until I finally reached the end.

   The last thing on my list was to reach out to my two younger brothers just to tell them I was thinking of them, and my wife to tell her that I loved her. She could tell something was wrong by the sound of my voice over the phone. All the while, I was pacing back and forth, wondering how this was all going to happen.

   I couldn't sleep. At the time, I was at my grandmother’s home, preparing to drop her off at the train station for a trip she had coming up. From my room, you could see the ocean in the daylight, but the darkness of night disguised the view. Nothing was happening as I stared out the window, and I continued to pace about the room as the nervous energy built up inside me.

   My grandmother handed me a shot of brandy and said, "You need to take this, so you’ll be able to sleep." 

   I took the shot back to my room and gazed out toward the ocean, but it was dark. I called out to the Lord and asked, "What is going to happen? Is this going to hurt? Will you take care of my wife and children?" I continued to ask these things as I attempted to get some sleep.

   It was cold when I went to bed, so I curled up and continued to look out the window. The only thing I could see was a shooting star in the black sky. Finally, at one point, a warm feeling washed over me and I knew God was speaking to me: very gently, he told me that a man would be born that night.

   "Who is this man?" I asked the Lord. “Why are you telling me about him?” Again, I wondered, who is this man?

   The man He was referencing turned out to be me. I had never heard of anyone being reborn prior to this, but looking back, that’s exactly what was happening to me. After that night, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and able to start a whole new life. As I went about my business the next day, however, I remember feeling burdened by the thought that I was the only one God was dealing with in this way.

   It wasn’t until I attended my first meeting with the Full Gospel Businessmen that I realized I wasn’t the only one.

   It was either in San Francisco or Oakland, but truthfully, I can’t remember. What I do recall vividly is the big meeting room I entered with circular tables, where I could see and hear the speaker very clearly from where I sat.

   I heard the Lord telling me, "That man knows and understands what happened to you.”

   That was my first introduction to Demos Shakarian and the Full Gospel Businessmen. I found out that I was not alone in my experience with God, and became personally acquainted with Demos after the meeting. I ministered with him, side by side, praying for people in need as I served as Field Representative at World Headquarters of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International.

   I've served in all chapter positions, started chapters, and have been very active now for over forty years in the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, and with all the glory to God, it's what I plan to dedicate my life to for the rest of my days.

   Abba Father You are a great God and You are a great Father and in Your Son, Christ Jesus, we have the strength and power to be all that You have purposed us to be and to do all that You have called us to do, and we have the understanding to receive the fullness of You; it is in the name of our Lord and our Savior Christ Jesus that we pray. Amen.

 

Hearing His Voice Testimony

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