Three Coffees

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Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

Simon – Extended story

I started my faith journey at the age of four!

I think worst sin I’d committed was stealing a hula hoop from my brothers crisp packet but its funny how guilty you feel about the smallest of things! Somehow, I knew this offended God and my tender heart wanted to put things right. This is one of my earliest but real memories. Praying a simple prayer, asking God to forgive me and feeling such a sense forgiveness and acceptance.

The years have rolled on and to say I’ve tripped up on the way is an understatement. There have been times of blatant rebellion and times of lazy drifting but I can honestly say God has stuck with me. I have learned to apply the principles of the Bible into my career choices, marriage, fathering, in fact, every aspect of my life and this has allowed me to stand strong in all of life’s storms.

I have experienced poverty, near death experiences and painful rejection. I have also travelled the world, experienced personal healing and enjoyed overall great health.   And in all this, God has stuck with me. My story is simple. The day I met with Jesus connected me with purpose and a constant source of encouragement and forgiveness. I am living my dream. Actually it’s His dream!


Ann – Extended story

I was born in Wales and initially lived with my mother, I didn’t know my father. When I was 3 years old my mother married my stepfather. He became the man who would sexually abuse me for years.

As a child I believed in God and even prayed but was unaware that God sent Jesus His Son to die for me that I might be forgiven all my sins and receive His righteousness and the Hope of Eternal Life.

In 1952 we moved to Gloucester but only stayed 18 months before moving to Cheltenham. I attended Sunday school at an Anglican Church and was in the Brownies and Girl Guides attached to the same Church. I was sincere in my belief in God but my understanding was limited.

When I was 14 years old I was confirmed in the Church in Wales, where I was Christened. I reaffirmed the promises made on my behalf by my God parents.

During my late teens and early twenties, I  was treated for mental health problems caused by my stepfathers behaviour towards me. These ranged from a complete mental breakdown, anxiety, depression and seasonal affective disorder. I had several courses of Electrical Convulsive Therapy. I was by any standard very disturbed.

When I left school I worked in a drawing office . It was at this time that I had my first mental health problems and left a career in industry. I look back and see God’s guidance in all this.

In 1967, although off sick at the time, I went into the local labour exchange and asked if they had any jobs in local hospitals nursing! I still can’t believe I did this because I had never wanted to be a nurse.  There was a vacancy for a nursing auxiliary and I was given an interview and offered the job. Considering I was off sick with psychiatric problems, this was what I look back on as a miracle. I started working at a Hospital in Cheltenham the following week.

In 1968 I left the Hospital and came to Gloucester to do General Nurse Training . It was at this time I became a Christian. We had a Service in the hospital chapel at the end of our initial 8 week training in the school of nursing, before we started working on the wards. An Anglican Minister spoke from the Bible, John chapter 3 v16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”  The minister said, “Where it says ‘whoever’ put your own name there.”  It meant me personally, if I believed in Him I would not perish but have everlasting life. I believed that day and it was for me wonderful news, ‘Good News’. My life was transformed!

I started attending a Baptist Church and was baptised by total immersion in 1974. I knew as a Christian I had to forgive my stepfather for what he’d done or I would be bound by the past.  This I was able to do, over a period of time, by the Grace of God. In forgiving I was set free. When he died in 1976 I cared for him prior to his death which was truly the Love and Grace of Christ in action. (not of me at all).

In 1976 I left the hospital to train to become a Psychiatric Nurse.

In 1978 my mother and I moved from Cheltenham to live again in Gloucester until she died in 1979. I was still attending a Baptist Church at this time.

 In 1981 I was searching for something more spiritually at this time but didn’t know really what I was looking for I just wanted more of God. On 1st March I found myself at Robinswood Church (now called One Church). I was desperate that day and felt so alone.  A Welsh lady spoke to me, this was very special for me because Jesus knew how much I wanted to hear a Welsh accent that day. How compassionate He is and gracious!  I knew that night I had found my spiritual home.  A few weeks later at the Church Conference I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and received the gift of tongues. I have to say that this was wonderful to me because I knew very little about this blessing, indeed in some Church’s I had attended I was told that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was for the New Testament Church at the time of the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible and not the present day. It seemed every meeting I attended God met me in a very special way. On one occasion someone spoke a word in tongues and the interpretation said, “You will never again see a Psychiatrist as a patient but will work with many as colleagues.”  In the September I went for a short break to Wales, staying at Haverford-West. I attended some special meetings at Calvary Church. During one of these meetings the Pastor came down from the platform and had a word of knowledge for me, he said exactly what I had heard some weeks earlier at Robinswood, “You will never again see a Psychiatrist as a patient but will work with many as colleagues.” I can’t express what I felt on hearing this again. (God is Awesome!)  Well I have worked with many Psychiatrists over the past 30 years but I haven’t seen one as a patient for 42 years. God is faithful and keeps His promises!

During the 1980s and 1990s, the then government decided to close all the big Mental Hospitals, including the one  I was working  at.  I left there in 1987 and was part of the team that opened a purpose built unit for the care of elderly people with mental health problems. I remained there until the year 2000 when I took early retirement.

In November 2009, for months I’d been feeling the loss of my identity. Although I’d stopped working 4 years ago, its only at this time it  seemed to hit me – the loss of being part of a wonderful bunch of people who were a great support professionally and relationally.

On 19th November I met with Sue, a One Church leader, to discuss any possibilities that the Church might have for me to work in the community. I could easily have gone to the nearest voluntary agency but I didn’t want this. I wanted to do whatever it was through the Church. Sue explained to me the benefits of doing ‘Blaze’ a one year ‘Personal Development’ Course which  was run by One Church. I knew this was the answer as I had been asking God for direction for my future. I was accepted for the Blaze Academy of 2010. This was an amazing year. There were many challenges, my having to produce my original birth certificate, for a CRB check, without my father’s name on it was an embarrassment. I began to realise that because I am a child of God and now belong to Him, I can imagine putting my heavenly father’s name in that empty space!

This was the beginning of my breakthrough year.  During the year I had to produce my life story, which caused me pain as I remembered the past.  But now I am proud that God has been writing my story of healing, wholeness and purpose.

In 2006 I received a Prophesy which I would like to share with you:

‘The Lord says, “There are many of you who never even knew the love of a father and who have struggled to know the love of your Heavenly Father because you had no earthly father.

There are those of you who were even abused by your father – not just sexually but emotionally and verbally and your heart is still scarred from these experiences. But My child, My beloved child, you who I knew from before your conception, you who I knew before the beginning of time, you who I designed – yes each part of your body, I know your frame – how intricately you were formed, your soul, your emotions and your mind. Beloved child, even though your earthly father didn’t take you up, I your Heavenly Father take you up. Even though your earthly father didn’t take up your cause, I your Heavenly Father now take up your cause. Even though your earthly father did not embrace you or look into the depth of your soul so that you would know that you were truly loved, so even this day My child I embrace you and I look deep into your soul beyond all your failures and omissions. I look beyond all your human frailties and your shortcomings, beyond all your self-hatred and your rejections. For I see your heart as a pearl of great price, for which I sent My Son to die. As you put your hand in Mine and look in My face and you behold My Glory…Let the tears start to flow. For, beautiful child, it is I, the One who loves you and as the tears flow, beloved-tears of healing, tears of grief, tears of lost days, tears of misunderstanding, you must forgive that one, that father who rejected you – for he knew not what he did. Forgive the father who abused you – for he knew well what he did, but he was so bound with his own lusts, angers and rejections that he could not break free. Forgive the father who was absent and who never held you – for he knew not what he missed. Forgive the father whose tongue was cruel to you – for he knew not kindness himself as a child.  And, loved one, as you forgive even this day so I the Lord God of Israel, the Father for whom Fatherhood is named, I break the yoke off your back. I break the bondages that have weighed you down and enslaved you even these many, many years. I break the rejection and self-hatred that has crippled your life, that has kept you from your call and destiny in Me. And now, My child, am I not the lifter of your head? Lift your head, loved one and know that you are all beautiful in Me, there is no flaw in you. As you take My hand and as you lift your head to the King of Glory, know that you now enter a new season, a new place in Me, a season of joy and peace, a season where those things that previously hindered you will fall away, a season of preparation for your calling and your destiny in Me. So rejoice, My child, rejoice and be exceedingly glad My child, for the King of Glory is your Father.”

Oh I’m lost for words, what amazing, truly Awesome promises from my Heavenly Father. How Gracious He is, Truly Awesome! To me it’s incredible that He speaks of both my natural father who didn’t know me and my stepfather who abused me. But oh what comfort in the words of my Loving Wonderful Heavenly Father. I’m really lost for words again, Then His promises to me for my future. The new seasons He speaks of and I know I’m already in by His Grace. A season of joy and peace, a season of preparation – that was Blaze and Oh yes, I still have a call and destiny I must fulfil even yet in Him (and it doesn’t matter how old one is.)  Pastor Simon once told me, “Your best days are ahead of you Annie” and I believe it! I’m so excited but truly humbled by my Heavenly Father’s compassion and love towards me. I pray that Father God will be Glorified through my story being told and many blessed, comforted and some even gain hope and peace as I have. Thank you Jesus!

 

 

 

 


Steve – Extended Story

  My parents took me along to church from day one, so I grew up hearing about Jesus. As a kid I thought it made sense went to Sunday school and was part of a good church that provided opportunities for kids to learn about God and have fun. I do remember going to evening church services though and sneaking out the back to get the keys to the church hall and playing footy in there with my brother at every opportunity!

Through the rollercoaster of adolescence I had my heart broken by a couple of girls I really liked and felt really rejected. It wasn’t their fault, but both break ups hurt me really deeply. I was also pretty zitty and got plenty of grief at school suffering some bullying for my Christian faith, my refusal to doss around in classes and desire to please people in authority by trying to get along well in class. That didn’t go down well with most of the guys in my school so I was the ‘creep’, ‘boffin’, ‘vicar’, ‘gaylord’ and whatever other daft names get thrown around at that. So I guess my confidence and self esteem took a bit of a battering and it was in those teenage years I began to lean on God, talk to God personally and relate to Him as more than just some big guy up in the sky. I found genuine, consistent peace, security and unconditional love in all the rejections I faced and made the decision to call God ‘THE BOSS’ in my life. God was going to be my unshakeable foundation who would never reject me.

I remember specifically after being rejected on one really painful occasion I was in tears and crying out to God for comfort. I felt prompted to open my bible and found this amazing bible passage that’s stuck with me ever since from Isaiah 43:18-21, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.’ It was amazing and the first of numerous ‘coincidences’ in my life where I’ve opened up the bible and read stuff that was directly relevant to what I was struggling with at the time. Not coincidences at all! When we cry out to God He speaks to us, if we really want to hear the answers! That’s my experience anyway.

When I got to around 19 I felt God challenge me about how much I trusted Him with my future. I had grown to love God very deeply, been given some great experiences through my local church and going around with my dad seeing the power of God bringing healing, miracles, freedom from emotional and demonic oppression for numerous people. But now God was asking me ‘if I don’t want you to ever get married will you say yes to me and trust that I have your best interests at heart.’ That was a huge call for me and I took a few weeks to think and pray. I got to the place where I gave God my answer. ‘God you know how much I want to get married, but I love you, you are my rock, my BOSS and if you don’t want me to get married ever then I trust that you know best.’ I really did mean that and left it with God.

Only about 6 months or so later after lots of personal thinking, praying, chatting to friends and family I started a new relationship with a girl called Julie. I’d got the nod from God that His question to me months earlier was a check on my priorities rather than an absolute request and so Julie and I started dating on 14th February 1996. After Julie spent 3 years at Reading Uni studying History and trying to escape me I managed to drag her back to Gloucester and we were married at Sandhurst Village Church in Gloucester on 24th July 1999. It was a glorious summer’s day, we loved each to bits and can both genuinely say that we love each other more deeply now, through all the random twists and turns of life in the last 12 years plus, than we did that day. We’re hugely grateful for a marriage where we’ve aimed to put God in the centre and pray together from our first date and ever since.

I could ramble on for days about all the ways God has proved Himself repeatedly to be the rock of our lives since our wedding but 2 examples in the last few years of God’s wisdom and care for us come to mind. The first was a few years back when we looking to move from our first home to a larger house. We had looked around lots and found a place we thought was ideal. We prayed about it, put a bid in and it was accepted. Everything seemed spot on. But the weeks dragged by and then the whole house move fell apart. We had prayed, trusted God, felt it was right and it had all gone belly up. What was God up to? Well the short story is that we ended up with a bigger place for the same price in the same area of Gloucester that suited our long term needs far better than the original place we had lined up. When the first move all went wrong we were stressed and didn’t get it. But we kept praying and looking, tried to trust God’s wisdom and plans and they prevailed yet again. God knows what He’s doing!

The second thing was in 2007 when I had worked for a few years as a part-time youth worker at a local church. We felt God calling us to become foster carers and needed to make some tough decisions to prepare for that, including me resigning from the job as youth worker. We were all set for me to find a full-time job and for Julie to be the full-time carer at home once we started fostering and then this ‘perfect’ job came up for me to apply for, full time school chaplain. I went for the interview feeling strangely relaxed and confident for me. I waited for the verdict and got some great feedback from the headmaster there. He said I had really impressed them but hadn’t got the job. I was their second choice and had come very close. I was very confused and that old ‘what are you up to God?’ question came up for us both again big-time. It’s only in hindsight that I can genuinely see how a promise from God in the bible from Romans 8:28 is always so true, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ The job wasn’t right for me and God’s wisdom prevailed as we ended up both going part-time and sharing the role as foster carers for our boys, that we continue to share with a real sense of partnership rather than one of us being the carer and the other the breadwinner. That’s unquestionably been better for us and better for our boys, but we would never have gone that way if I’d been given that job.

So my life’s been pretty ‘ordinary’ in some ways, no major sex, drugs and rock n roll I guess. But I could write an encyclopaedia about all the many times Jesus has been so much more than just a ‘crutch’ for me to lean on in life. Jesus is, and has been for the last 25 years, the power and purpose to helping me to make the most of the God-given potential in my life. I have experienced God’s love personally, powerfully, life-changingly and see God working in the lives of people around me all the time. Jesus came to this earth to give us ‘life to the full’ (John 10:10) and my whole life to this time has just proved to me personally how real God is. Being a Christian is an incredible adventure living in relationship with my rock, Jesus Christ!


William

William

At primary school a Catholic priest taught us the Catechism. I did well in these classes and was soon baptised. However, as I grew up, through secondary school and as I started working I found I was not committed to God. I lost what I thought was a good job and this started me thinking about my life. My Parents, even though they were not Christians, had given me a name that means “I put my trust in God”. I thought to myself, “Why can’t I do what my name means”. I started searching for God and at a good Christian church I gave my life to him and was baptised the Bible way – I’ve not looked back.


Polly

PollyI lived in a non-Christian home but attended Sunday school. I next attended Church after getting married. We had two beautiful girls, everything was perfect, then my husband left, leaving me to look after the girls. Life was tough, but I had fantastic family and friends. I was invited to go to Church by friends but it didn’t feel right. No matter what I tried, something was missing. Some years later the same friends invited us to Robinswood Church, the girls were excited about going. Life has not been the same since! We found the missing part. I know now that even through my most difficult days God was with us. Being part of a Church family has been overwhelming and the support we have received has been tremendous. In 2006 we were broken into and our lives could have fallen apart but with love, support and trusting God we survived.


Mike

My dad was a great bloke but not much of a father.

Throughout my life I have battled the twin challenges of Asthma and Eczema, using running and singing to try and improve my fitness.

I earned a degree from a top university but felt that my life lacked focus when I was growing up. It was not until I gave my life to Jesus in my room at the YMCA in Cheltenham that things started to take shape.

In my forties I learned to play Bass Guitar having dabbled with Guitars for many years.

The young people around me at One Church and their “can-do” attitude inspire me. I am gradually finding out what I am good at.

Lately I have been thinking about how young eagles leave the nest and flap their wings in order to soar. That’s how I’m seeing my life with Jesus now.


Amy

Amy

My name is Amy and I am 20 years old. I have some of the best parents and I have been bought up in a Christian family my whole life. I have always known about God and about church, but one day I had to make a decision to make God the centre of my life.

When I was about 13 I woke up one morning after having a dream. In my dream I remember being stood in front of two doors, one door was really colourful and looked really inviting and it said ‘Heaven’, the next door looked really unwelcoming and quite frightening and had in massive letters ‘Hell’. I was stood in front and I had to pick which one I wanted to go in, which one I wanted my life to reflect.

When I woke up I was left with this choice, I decided to pick the one that said ‘Heaven’ on it, this was the start of my personal relationship with Jesus and I have never looked back since.


Harry

Harry
I joined the army at 16 to get away from an oppressive Catholic regime. Life in the army was spent drinking and carousing with a lot of coarse language.

It was when I was at the lowest point in my life, 28 years later, that a friend told me of his God. I knew that He was what was missing in my life. I met several Christians who lived the life and wish I could say I was the one who found God. Truth is it was me who was lost. He wasn’t the same being who I’d left at 16. This God loved me; thought I had worth. I confessed myself before Him and begged to be allowed into His life.

Since then I’ve married and both of us attend our ‘family’ church. The changes in my life have been dramatic and lasting but still ongoing. I’m being renewed.


Kathryn

Kathryn

I have been brought up in a loving Christian family where I was always encouraged and pushed to live bigger and better. I made my own decision at the age of 12. Since then I have grown massively in confidence. I no longer depend on other people for affirmation and my self-belief. I know that I am wonderfully made and that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.

I’m just trying to follow God’s plan for my life which led me to Gloucester this year where I am being stretched and challenged beyond my expectations. I love being part of FAX and being able to serve in part of such an incredible church. Not only that but I also have an amazing new job and some great friends!

God is good!!


Paul

PaulI’ve been a Christian since age 9 and through some ups and downs since then I truly know that God is my solid foundation. He brings;

Peace – I know that my sins are forgiven through Jesus and that God understands and loves me no matter what. All I have to do is believe, ask for forgiveness and I’m clean!

Purpose - I’m not drifting aimlessly, or frantically struggling to make sense of it all. I know that I have a destiny and that the Holy Spirit enables me to apply gifts and talents both within the church and in everyday life.

Pleasure - Serving God and others brings pleasure to God and real personal fulfilment. It’s great to look beyond the ‘I want’ culture that typifies our consumer-driven age. I really appreciate good things, but pursuing these doesn’t consume me.

It’s a great journey!

 

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Paul – Extended Story

Paul - Extended StoryThe truth is that I’ve believed in God for as long as I can remember, having been brought up in a Christian family and at the age of 9 I distinctly remember praying with one of my Sunday school teachers and asking God to forgive my sins and saying that I wanted to follow Him always.

Having said that, as I went through my junior school into early senior school I found that the way I lived didn’t really match up to that prayer. I often got into trouble at school, was bored and restless and fights and petty theft were becoming a norm for me. Being a dad now its dreadful to think how I’d feel about my own kids doing that from the age of 9!

There were three things that really altered my course and God was at work in all of these;

1. I was caught stealing and my Dad got a copper from our church at the time to come round in his uniform and give me a right telling off.

2. We moved to a more ‘charismatic’ and lively church – my Dad really found that God was real and became wholeheartedly committed to following Him, as my Mum already was. The church was really inspiring for me too.

3. A few years later – at the age of 14, I started going out with the girl who I’d eventually marry – ahhhhhhh! What a Godsend!

So, my teenage years were spent learning more about God, I was baptised at the age of 14 and experienced the Holy Spirit’s power working through me as part of a very active and passionate youth group. Even when I was temporarily ditched by my girlfriend (she soon saw the light!) I knew that God was with me and He got me through a difficult time. All in all I was happy and the future seemed bright.

I found my twenties much more challenging spiritually. Great in many ways – got married, home, mortgage, good career, loads of (before kids) free time, playing in sports clubs etc. etc. But I allowed God to get crowded out as I pursued these other things. And ultimately I had an emptiness because of that.

We changed churches a couple of times and at one point I didn’t even bother going for a year or so – when I look back I clearly still believed in God but just wasn’t focused on growing spiritually or pursuing my God-given purpose – had no idea what it was or how to find it.

Thankfully God orders our steps, even when we don’t realise.

During our time at one particular church my eyes were truly opened to God’s call on my life. This was a period of real spiritual and personal development – during which I changed careers, qualified professionally, my wife did pretty much the same, our two kids were born and a while later my wife’s Mum passed away from cancer. She was really well cared for at the church and that made me realise truly what being church meant, rather than just going to church. I found that God had gifted me in various ways and the church provided a drive and purpose to grow and learn how to use these gifts. I am so thankful for that time.

5 years on, we found ourselves at Robinswood Church (now One Church) and this has also proved to be fantastic. We love being part of what God is doing in Gloucester and more widely. During our time at One Church God has really challenged me to confront fear, to grasp opportunities to step out and taken on new roles and experiences. This has included a mission trip to the Philippines with some amazing friends and the opportunity to lead a Connect Group and more recently the Connect system as a whole. This is way out of my comfort zone – praise God that in him we can do more than we could possibly imagine! Philippians 4: 6-7 are verses that I have relied upon for many years now;

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So to sum it up, without God I believe I’d be living a much more self-centred and limited life. With God I know I have a purpose, I have a peace that rests within me and I know that honouring and following God brings Him pleasure. There’s never a dull moment and I love being on this great journey!


Keith

I’ve lived in Gloucester all of my life. From a young age I experienced a lot of negativity in my life,  was neglected and abused as a child, was surrounded by spiritual oppression and made some really bad lifestyle choices. This all came to a head in the early nineties when I was diagnosed with a serious illness which resulted in lots of time in and out of hospital. To make things worse, so-called ‘friends’ stole almost everything I owned, leaving me with literally a suitcase of clothes. By this stage I’d had enough and wanted to end it all.

God had other ideas though and so, into my darkness he shone a light of hope, creating a new heart and perspective, giving me a future worth living for. I’ve been a christian ever since.


Louise

LouiseI was bought up in a Catholic home going to church every Sunday.

When I was 15 I lost interest in going to church and started going to clubs and getting drunk a lot with friends. By the age of 17 I was completely off the rails sleeping around and going out drinking most nights.

At 18 I knew my life was going nowhere, my dad was an alcoholic and I decided I didn’t want to end up like that.

A friend told me I needed to go back to church. So I went back to the Catholic church but felt just the same when I left as when I went in.

I eventually found myself in a Pentecostal church and realised it wasn’t church that was going to change my life but a relationship with Jesus!


Caroline

CarolineI had a great childhood. My parents were Christians so we went to church regularly but it was always because of their faith rather than my own.

When I was 16 I realised that although I knew a lot about Jesus I didn’t really know Him so I made the decision to follow Him and all that He stood for.

Years later I can honestly say that life would be so boring without Him. He gives me purpose and although I mess up and I sometimes make mistakes, He is always constant. Jesus gives my life meaning and hope and I couldn’t imagine it without Him.

He is amazing!


Heidi

Heidi

At 17 I became a Christian. I thought I would never turn my back on that decision.

Then in 2009 I did. Life got messy. I slowly stopped trusting God and began trying to figure stuff out for myself. Life got worse. I got angry.

In September 2009, I went to watch Joseph at the theatre. Joseph had a dream but life went real bad. But Joseph still trusted in God and didn’t forget his dreams. As I watched I began wanting to remember my dreams. I wanted to believe there was more to life than just existing, to see my future as good.

I went to church that Sunday and couldn’t stop crying. I began to put stuff right with God.

Six months later, I have peace and hope again. I thank God for being patient with me and not giving up on me. The futures bright once again.


Jennie

One Church photoMy story actually starts before I was born.
My Dad was a builder and had a contract to build a church in the local town, whilst tiling the baptismal pool the pastor said to him and his partner that one day he would baptise them. They just laughed. However, to cut a long story short the pastor did baptise both of them and four generations of their families.

So I was born into a Christian home and was taken to church from just ten days old, but that didn’t make me a Christian; so at an early age I decided for myself that I believed that Jesus died for me and that I wanted to give myself to him.
I thank God that I was given this great start in life and came to know him at a very early age. It wasn’t always easy and temptation did come my way but with God’s strength I’ve managed to keep him in the centre of my life.


Louisa

DSC_2893.1

Looking back I now realise that there was a part of me that was always looking for God. When I was a teenager I questioned things all the time and had an opinion on everything.

I enjoyed life. I had a job, boyfriends, a great family and social life, but I remember always feeling like something was missing. I remember lying in bed almost every night thinking about life and death and feeling this overwhelming feeling that I was missing out on something that I was supposed to be a part of but didn’t have a clue what it was.

Through a series of events I ended up at Robinswood church where I finally found all the answers to my questions in a relationship with Jesus. Someone once said to me that everyone has a God shaped hole in their lives, that was me, I didn’t realise what it was until God filled it.

The knowledge that God has a plan and purpose for my life gives me peace and confidence in everything I do. I have been a Christian now for nearly 23 years and I have never looked back.

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Katy

Katy

I always believed in God but never had a strong relationship with him. At school it was more day-to-day and I HAD to go as it was a catholic school. So when I finished I rebelled and felt like I could go and do what I wanted.

I would drink most weekends and would always be out with my friends without a care in the world, and God was soon pushed out the way.

I would pray when I felt things were hard and that would be it, but I never felt satisfied in day-to-day life, relationships, friendships, or in any part of my life.

After taking “too much” I begged God to come into my life, and was truly lifted to my feet like a gush of wind and I have never looked back. I now have God in my life everyday and we are the best of friends!


Sue

Sue

For 10 years I had been a “Prodigal”, as a result of taking offense in Church and relying on my own reasoning’s which Proverbs 3:5&6 says not to do!

Then, at the beginning of 2001 I was encouraged to join a weight loss programme called- ”EXODUS” (Out of Slavery & Bondage). The Holy Spirit spoke to and ministered to me in amazing ways…… (Psalm 32)

It was about falling in love with Jesus, listening to His voice, being obedient to His Word and will for my life.

I found out my identity in Jesus and my standing in Father God.

Also in 2001 my husband became very ill and I know that without the loving presence of The Lord Jesus, we would not have survived!

Through prayer, fasting and trusting; The Lord has brought me thus far in this awesome journey of faith in Him and His word. Ephesians 1:3-14.


Jacqui

Jacqui

As a child I had no real knowledge of God. A few lessons at school and that was it. I was given a Bible at 11 but hardly looked at it. God was remote. I wasn’t even sure He was real. I had the usual opinions of Christianity. I thought it was just going to church and I didn’t want that.

 

After stubbornly saying no to God so many times, I finally gave up the fight at 31 and said yes. For a long time I found it hard to accept why God would want to know me. It’s not until I look back on my life and all the things I’ve done that I can see He was there all the time anyway, even when I gave Him no thought at all.

 

But I found God has a plan and I’m part of it. How amazing is that?


Andy

Andy-

I can say that I have always been taken to church even at a very young age, as my father was a minister of an evangelical church.

 

As I became a teenager, I went to church and “believed in God,”

but I went out of duty, only going to keep my parents quiet and to see friends.

At the age of eighteen, I realised how much God was interested in my life and that He had a plan for me, so I prayed for his forgiveness.

There was no bright light, thunderclap or lightening but I knew that I had been forgiven and that I now had a relationship with Jesus.

I’ve had good times where things have just “fell into place” and I’ve had sadness and heartache too.  Through these times I’ve depended on God and even if we sometimes doubt in Him, he is always there for us.  He never disappoints!


Kennedy

Kennedy

My mum and dad broke up when I was still in my mum’s womb, so I never got to know my dad. My mum remarried and her husband did not like me so she left me in the hands of her parents who then were Methodists. Life was very tough for me as a child so much that at one point I wanted to commit suicide. I was hopeless and I never dreamt I would avail to anything. I thought God loved others more than me. However at the age of sixteen I gave my life to Jesus and since then life has never been the same. I am happily married to Prisca and God has blessed us with two kids. We are prospering both physically and spiritually! I am now a preacher of hope to the nations in Africa!!! Jesus is the only hope for families of the earth!!!


Alice

Alice

I was brought up in a stable family home with loving parents.

However, I made very bad decisions and ended up in very turbulent relationships. I had been violently abused by men and spent a lot of my time around drugs and people who sold and took them. I had taken drugs pretty much throughout my teenage life and have only just recovered properly.

The Lord spoke to me and told me that there was more to life than crime. I have also recently given my life to God and his works. I feel amazing now and am the happiest I have ever been. God has turned my life around and now I have good relationships with my family, whom I hurt so much during my self-destructive time. Love God. Love People. Committed to Excel.


Diane

Diane

Being a single parent is not a lifestyle I chose for myself or my child. Being a Christian seemed to make the turmoil of separation and divorce even more heart breaking because I knew how God honours family life and how He is grieved by any breakdown of relationships.

 

But through this experience I have learned how loving and forgiving God really is and how He understands my weaknesses. Not only does God accept me in my failings but He also restores my life by helping me to forgive myself and others. God also gave me a new sense of hope in the future. I am now happy in the knowledge that God will never leave me or give up on me no matter what happens.