I Surrender

I was born in Brazil, and my parents and grandma were all Christians, but they did not always follow Jesus fully. I grew up going to church most days not just on Sundays. When I was 11 years old I began surfing and found I wasgood at it, and I was part of the Christian surfers in Brazil.

 As I grew older I realised I would have to either be one of the ‘bad boys’ or risk being bullied. I quickly decided to be one of the ‘bad boys’.  From the age of 13, I left the church and joined one of the many violent gangs which were in our area.

 I spent a lot of time looking at the way that the people who went to church were not living as Jesus wanted us to, and I excused myself from going to church because I did not want to be false like I saw that they were.  My father was a heavy drinker and violent when he had had a lot to drink. He would punch my mum and this made me very angry.

 My life continued with studying, surfing, driving around in the car I had bought through the profits I made in bad living. In the gangs we would drive around, take over people’s cars and make them give us money to let them go. I quickly became rich, and feared by others in the gang as I did the dangerous things I did without having to take drugs to do so.

 I was a proud and arrogant young man, and the devil was setting me up to, pull the carpet from under me and, make me fall. One day I heard that one of the professional killers, who was my bodyguard, had been killed by another gang. At this point my life changed. I shouted my mouth off saying I would get revenge for him. The other gang heard what I was saying and decided they would kill me before I got chance to kill one of them!

 For 3 or 4 days they searched for me. They looked for me in the place where I should have been, but thankfully I had not gone there. I went back home to think about what I needed to do. Either I needed to kill them or they would kill me. As I walked away from my auntie’s house a man came to find me. All the people who were supposed to be my friends had left me alone.

I went across to one man who I thought was my friend. He took me into the house, and then phoned the rival gang to tell them where I was. Three men surrounded the house ready to kill me. They called me to come out or they said they would burn the house down and throw a grenade into the house.

 I realised I had three choices, 1. Kill, 2. Be killed or 3. Give my life to Jesus. I chose to give my life to Jesus. I told God I was sorry for all the wrong I had done and asked for His forgiveness.

Jesus heard my prayer and a light covered me, and Jesus told me to go out of the door. I did so and jumped over the wall in front of me and ran off into the forest.

 The three men who had come for me could not believe that I had managed to leave the house without being shot. Jesus had got me out.

 There had been so much trouble because I had been proud and stupid, but now I had decided to go back to church and look to Jesus instead of looking at other Christians.

When I was 18 years old I heard from a cousin who was a football player in Portugal. I decided to visit him. I found Portugal very beautiful and it was there that I might the lady who was to become my wife. With life now much safer; with sun, sea and surf, I began to forget what Jesus had done for me and I began to forget Him. I became half-hearted as a Christian, but God has some good ways of getting our attention. One night as I was working as a night watchman in a holiday complex there was an amazing tornado which tore into the buildings where I was working. I called out again to Jesus and He rescued me.

Now I want to walk with God and I don’t want to ever go away again.

Jesus called my wife and I to come to England to learn more about Him. He has helped us to work with Him in Indonesia, and then in the summer to go back to Brazil to do some more training. Jesus has been so good to me and I just want to surrender my whole life to Him and do whatever He wants me to do.

LIFE, not Downhill, but PEACE

My husband had impressed on me, probably unintentionally, that at the age of 32 it was the downhill track to the end! This was definitely rather depressing!

I had been brought up in a Christian home; my father’s faith was based on imperatives, and much guilt, even to the end when he considered his cancer a God given punishment for his unfaithfulness. My mother always came back from church rather elated, and we as children knew the rules of God, but not a lot more.

 Our 2 year old daughter was in need of grommets because her hearing was so impaired. I was beset with fear about an operation under aesthetic, my sister had been involved in a car crash, and I knew that life could be taken at any time any place.

When a friend, who was having a few people for drinks, started talking about people experiencing miracles of healing at her church, and that anyone could come on a Tuesday morning – I made a decision to bring my daughter.

 It was a coffee morning setting, there were no children – I rather dreaded that my very alert daughter may cause distractions. Worship started – they lifted their hands and I thought “Oh No”!  my daughter who was sitting with complete concentration nudged me and said “Mummy Mummy, you go like this”, and she opened out her two tiny hands. I started to weep and could not stop when they sang “And when Your hand is on this child Your healing I receive”. They then told of a boy who had been at a special school and they had prayed for him – he slept for 3 days and now was healed and in mainstream education.

I heard but could not believe. At the end they asked to pray for my daughter – she said “Yes her hearing was better, thank you” but she was just being polite. I was still completely broken and they asked if I would like prayer and I agreed – all dignity was out of the window so I had nothing to lose. I drove home. I had to pull into a layby.  I just could not quantify the peace. I lived on my nerves in the past. It was the most indescribable peace. I was late collecting my husband – he was very justifiably annoyed but it was as if he was saying that the sky was blue with a breeze and all was well. That was 27 years ago, I have followed Jesus since. I have known a gift which was completely unexpected – being a very unaware person in the natural! I have been fortunate in finding places to worship and inspiration as we moved from London to other places in the UK.
 I had longed for years to go to Bible school but realised with a family that it would really be a stretch too far. I was invited  to come to a Bible Study which I have been doing for the last four years – it has transformed my walk with God.
I have found out about Him for myself, and then get together with others to check up! The result is such confidence and a daily delight! The Holy Spirit is amazing and together with knowledge of the Bible, equips and is an unending story of hearing, learning and doing and also simply being. I still am amazed how there is not a stampede to become followers of Jesus Christ

Rediscovering Jesus

I’ve always believed in God, and creation. As a child I loved hearing about Jesus at Sunday School, (Anglican), but somehow I’d forgotten about Jesus in my young adulthood.

I had an emotional breakdown after 2 years of untreated post-natal depression with my first child, and was suffering from extreme anxiety due to financial problems.

 I was preparing to be baptised with the Jehovah Witnesses, when I became aware that their faith for salvation did not come through Jesus; also their teaching denies Jesus is God.

 I started attending a Christian Church, and Jesus came to me during a ‘mission’ week fairly soon afterwards. 

 Jesus opened my heart, quite literally, I can remember the feeling so clearly, I could feel my heart being opened physically within my body as if two hands were pulling it in two, and felt Jesus beside & over me and the Holy Spirit coming into me. I did not find this frightening but Jesus assuring me of His presence.

 Christ in my life has first, and foremost, given me joy and peace, and Jesus has helped me make right decisions, but now He has become so much more.

 My walk with the Lord has been bumpy due to me not putting Him first. 

I have grown gradually, but in the last couple of years I’ve had amazing blessings by making a conscious and heartfelt effort to put Him first.

 I have listened and acted upon his instructions

He has shown me very clearly in my heart, and in my mind that He is the Word that God wants to speak to us, and through us to other people.

His power is in the Word and it is important for people to read the Bible for themselves to receive their own blessings.

My Journey

 was bought up by Christian parents. When I was a child I even went to Sunday School, where I was taught many Bible stories. However these were just nice stories to me. As soon as I was old enough to make the decision, I decided to stop going to church on Sundays. To me, as a boy, I found church a boring club that I didn’t want to be a part of because I could think of far more exciting thing to do with my weekends.

During my teenage years I was introduced to science. I liked science, because I always had  a logical mind and I felt that science had a lot of answers. It was during this time that I was introduced to the Big Bang theory. I don’t think I ever felt completely comfortable with this idea, as it seemed to make no sense to me that something could come from nothing! No one would make a skyscraper and say ‘wow, that’s amazing how that made itself.’ Sadly as a young boy who could be influenced I did accept the Big Bang theory simply because I had come to trust my science teachers and this was now what everyone believed.

 I suppose, at this point,  I was very naïve and didn’t want to be different, so I just accepted what I was told.

Without any sort of spiritual influence in my life, my focus in life became ‘how can I best pass the time?’ I very much embraced the saying ‘ if the dead don’t rise, let us eat, drink for tomorrow we die!’

I tried lots of different things to find fulfilment, happiness and identity. No matter what I tried I couldn’t find any lasting joy. It was during this time that I discovered surfing. I found surfing to be the most peaceful and exhilarating thing I had tried so far. Following an unlikely series of events, my sister and I ended up going to a Christian festival in Cornwall, in the summer of 2009. I obviously went for the opportunity to surf. We surfed during the days and listened to the bands in the evening. One evening a man came up on stage and said something like,

‘ if you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus then put your hand up.’

To this day I don’t know exactly why, but I put up my hand and I received some leaflets, but I left feeling slightly deflated.

I quickly forgot about saying I wanted to know more about Jesus when I returned home, but God didn’t forget!

I gradually began to realise that money doesn’t necessarily make people happy, and if I wanted true happiness I would have to put my trust in something other than sex, drugs and money, which society, friends and TV had told me would make me happy.

Sometime after the festival I suddenly had a hunger to read the Bible. I found a Bible that had been on a shelf at home for years. I started at the beginning and just read. I found the more that I read more hungry I was to read. I would read on the bus journey to and from school and whenever else I got a chance. I knew that people would look at me strangely, but I knew in my heart that the things I was reading and thinking about were far too important to let what other people think affect my search for truth.

I approached Jesus very scientifically, I needed evidence. If I couldn’t be 100% sure Jesus was the son of God, then I wasn’t interested. I found lots of evidence for God over the following few months, so much so that I was convinced.

I can now say to people I was 100% certain that God is real and Jesus is the Son of God.

I was convinced intellectually, however I had a desire to know God personally, and so I began a search after miracles, and found out the nature of God and get to know Hi. I have continued on my journey and I know the journey is not over, but I do have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Jesus Never Let Go of Me

 I had all I ever wanted, my own house, married and three children, so why did I feel so empty inside? Surely I shouldn’t feel this way?

 It was Christmas 2010, I’d arranged to meet a friend and her son at the local play centre. I walked through the door and had this sense of peace, it was overwhelming and amazing at the same time. I knew it was God and I knew he was calling back to him.
 Over the next few weeks I battled with going back to church; I’d walked away from God twenty odd years before as my life was a complete mess, but I made it an even bigger mess. My dad was an alcoholic, and I constantly destroyed relationships as I didn’t really know how to get on with men.

There was a lot of hurt and pain, disappointment, arguments, and when I did marry my first husband it was a disaster. He tried to control me, and so the marriage ended in a bitter, nasty divorce, but I also knew God was calling me back to him for a reason.

I had remarried, and couldn’t stop thinking about what my husband and children would think about me wanting to go to church?
 I started to volunteer at the play centre, as I knew the leaders from years before, and it was there I saw the alpha course advertised. This was the beginning of an amazing journey.

God has filled the void I felt, he has begun a journey of healing me and showing me what love is really like…His Love and I’m learning to Love people and enjoy their company.

I’m learning so much, words are hard to find to express the change in my life, I’ve gained confidence I never had before. It’s a journey.  I am so glad I said yes that day to following Jesus because he took all my hurt, pain and mess to the cross and I will never be that person again

NO Way Out.

My life was a complete mess because of wrong decisions I had made. When my marriage was failing, instead of us both asking the Lord for help, I went off and joined the Freemasons, a local drama group, a local singing group, a soccer team and the ‘boys night out club’. Eventually my marriage failed, and I was left with my angry teenage children, a bigger mortgage on a house with structural problems, a job I was no longer able to cope with, and a body that was physically and mentally on  a downward curve.

It was at this point that a couple of Christian friends reminded me of the Bible, I started reading and praying regularly more in desperation than in conviction; or even interest , but what I read told me that I had to turn to Jesus. With help I was encouraged to leave my old life with my own rules and I had a bonfire of doubtful books, videos and regalia. I lost many friends who thought I had ‘fallen off my perch’. One close friend asked me what drugs I was on!!

I began to ask God to turn my life around, I knew that through Jesus’ death on the cross I was forgiven. Then came three difficult and lonely months wondering if I had done the right thing, but slowly a great peace came upon me, and all aspects of my life came into clarity and order. I still had difficulties and problems, but now I had Jesus.

I knew that everything would work out the way He had planned, and that I would one day be in heaven with Him as He had promised.

Now, as a Christian, I have a relationship with God, and His son Jesus Christ, I also have a heart for people I come into contact with who are sick, unhappy, depressed, angry in despair and who are not happy with how they are. Many of these people may have drug or alcohol problems, many have been injured by events outside of their control. I have found that everyone can be helped, cured, healed, restored ( use whatever word you want), through the love, power and authority of Jesus Christ.

I have experienced degenerating back conditions, with a long history, totally cured overnight, I have heard of many receiving their sight, and even many raised from the dead. I know many cases where addicts have been healed ( without withdrawal  symptoms ), and where physical illnesses have been cured, and the body rejuvenated as the person is set free from hurts and fear to become a new person with a contented and totally changed lifestyle having been released from depression, illness, feelings of suicide, and even poverty. The Lord God looks after His children

Standing Up On The Inside

We’ve done everything we can. There is nothing more we can do to help you!

It wasn’t life threatening but I felt that I was hanging on by my fingertips. Let me explain. Years ago I was in a wheelchair facing a dismal future. I was unable to stand. I was unable to walk and the prognosis I had been given was gruesome.

Doctors, nurses and the whole medical profession had done all they could do for me. They could do nothing more.

In no time at all I went from being a highly successful, very powerful business woman to someone facing the reality of failure. Sitting in a wheelchair with my legs stuck straight out in front of me (both of my knee joints had been surgically removed leaving me with two permanently stiff legs which didn’t bend). I couldn’t even get to the loo on my own.

I had a loving husband, a good marriage of over 25 years, a beautiful home, cars in the garage, money in the bank, but suddenly my life meant nothing.

WHY? I spent months just looking out at the garden thinking

“My life’s over. What now?”

Every ounce of my self-worth, my identity was tied up in what I did, what I earned, how powerful I was in my profession, how well I organised my home and looked after my husband,

Just when I was thinking,

“I can’t hang on any longer.”

The phone rang. Through a ‘fog’ I heard my friend saying,

“I know how desperate you are for something to do. I’ve told these ladies that you’ll help them out with some press work for their Christian conference.”

I remember screaming down the phone,

“What have you done to me? You know I don’t believe in this Jesus stuff.”

After my friend had calmed me down I heard myself saying,

“Alright, I’ll at least talk to them if only to get you off the hook.”

Desperate to keep my mind occupied, I did do the press work and through it found, Jesus wasn’t interested in what I did. He was interested in me – as a person. I discovered that He could help me stand up on the inside, and it had nothing to do with what I did, what I earned, how powerful I was, or how well organized I was. It was all about having a relationship with Him.

As I started standing up on the inside, it wasn’t long before God’s gift of wholeness began to work its way out. Admittedly it’s been progressive, but He showed me how to get out of a wheelchair, how to stand, how to walk. This gift of wholeness has literally been one step at a time for me, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Today, even though I have no knee joints, there is now solid bone from the thigh to the ankle in both legs, I stand, I walk, and I do many of the things which the doctors, once said, and I would never do. And I’ve discovered God never lies and He’s always the same. Whatever hurts and pains are going on today He’s right here all the time, helping me to stand up on the inside.

The Hand of God

My name is David and I would like to share 3 things that happened in my life while I was serving as a crew member on the St Ives lifeboat.

I became a Christian in 1957 at a Scripture Union camp in Somerset, but I did not really follow Jesus. I carried on doing what I wanted to do and did not seek to obey and Jesus and His word, the Bible.

In 1990 a vessel called the ‘Biscay Pride’ got into difficulties in St Ives Bay. Hurricane force winds were blowing and she was dragging her anchor towards the rocks at Gwithian. When we got to her she was very close to the rocks and time was running out. I remembered the Penlee lifeboat disaster was on my mind, and we were in the same situation. All I could think of doing was to pray, and I did!

‘God help us’ was all I said, and I meant it.

In my life as a fisherman, fishing off the coast of Cornwall, I have seen the wind get up very quickly, but I have never seen the wind die down so quickly. Within 10 minutes the situation had completely changed. The Biscay Pride had recovered her anchor and was heading out of St Ives Bay and up the Bristol Channel and the lifeboat was on her way back to St Ives. Jesus is still in the business of stilling the storms of life.

On another occasion, Christmas Eve 1992, the captain of a vessel broadcast a distress call saying he was sinking, and his crew were abandoning ship. During our search we were struck by a huge wave which put out most of our electrical equipment. I was standing on the starboard side when two waves hit. I was sent flying through the air. Everything was a blur, water, blackness, can’t breathe, swimming!

The next thing I remember as my darkness turned to light was the crew shouting my name.

‘David, can anyone see David, David overboard’. It was strange, because the next thing I knew I was standing right there with them.

‘I’m here, I’m ok.’

Did I go overboard? I think so, and so did the crew. So how did I get back on board? It could only have been the hand of God.

God says never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.

The last incident I would like to share happened at the beginning of my lifeboat career. A 19 year old Bristol boy had got caught in a rip tide whilst swimming at Hayle.

We were called out to help him, as we approached him we could see him frantically waving and shouting for help. He kept going under and when we got to him he had gone down for the last time. We could see his lifeless body motionless below the surface. We dragged him back to the surface by his hair. As we dragged him into the lifeboat, his lifeless body came back to life. We took him to the beach and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

We never did hear how he got on. I’ve often wondered whatever happened to him. God had saved his physical life. I wondered if God had a special plan for him.

The Bible tells us that ‘anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Being saved physically is one thing, being saved spiritually is another.How do you stand? God loves you and sent His Son, Jesus, to save you. He is only a prayer away. I’verecommitted my life to Jesus and now live to please Him, He is my Lord and Saviour.

Evolution is just a Theory

I was born in Kenya, where I lived until I was about 6. During my childhood I developed an eye problem-squint- and was referred to an eye specialist called Dr. Calcott. He was a Christian, and was very evidently a man of God. He gave me a Bible and I´m sure he prayed for my salvation.

We came to England when I was 5 or 6 and I grew up in Sevenoaks, Kent.   I was educated at a Grammar school, and was a good student.

      During my teens I studied French existential literature, and became influenced by it and by the culture of the day: humanism, other religions, and the theory of evolution:  things which were not founded on Biblical principles. I began to despise the church and Christianity.

It was a time of upheaval and the pulling down of traditional values and family life, the hippy culture of the 60´s.

     I became both rebellious, and depressed. The outlook for a “naked ape “, a mere product of evolution, determined by society to me appeared very bleak. “ Where was there any meaning to life, or any hope!?”

Later when I was training to be a teacher at college, I began to discuss these issues with a friend who one day made this comment: “YOU KNOW THAT EVOLUTION IS JUST A THEORY, DON´T YOU? “

Well, at that time I didn´t know that!  I was dominated by a belief system which owed a lot to that theory. Now as this began to sink in, it raised a lot of questions in my mind and thinking. Then it was as though a foundational “brick “had been dislodged from the vast edifice of my belief system…… and it all began to shake and break up. Wow! That was something!

 I was given a New Testament and began to read about Jesus Christ. Now I saw with clarity, free of my past prejudices, and was amazed .I understood for the first time how glorious and unique He was. His words of sublime wisdom were speaking to me as I read. At first I felt shame and unworthiness before Him I felt, that He could never accept a person like me, knowing what I was like and what I had done. But His compassion love and acceptance won my heart. His words,” He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out” drew me to the place where I came to Him just as I was and received Him as my LORD and Saviour.  I came in penitence and faith and became a Christian.

I have never regretted that day and that decision. What a blessed decision and what a great change Jesus has made.

Through all the ups and downs of my life since then I have had an anchor to hold me steady .God has been faithful to me, patiently teaching and leading me, comforting and helping me.

     Sometimes these days I feel that I am only just beginning, God has done great things for me, but the best is yet to come.

God Rescued My Life

I was in a marriage which was falling apart.  My husband was taking his secretary out.  I began to get ill, and I visited the doctor regularly. 

I was prescribed a type of tranquilliser which I was allergic to, and the medication attacked my central nervous system, and blew my mind. 

I could not do anything at all and my husband and his aunt, who had brought him up, complained to my parents, and said that they had not been told that I suffered from epileptic fits, (which I never had!)  One night I was lying in bed on my own and in agony, wondering if I would ever get better and live, so I called out to God.  I did not know if He was there, or even listening to me. 

I said “Oh God, if you are there, please help me”, and He did.  My father wrote to his sister, who is a Christian and asked if she and my uncle could take me in for a while. 

My aunt and uncle ran a prayer group in their house made up of various people from many churches.  My aunt wrote back to my father straight away and said for me to go as soon as I could.  I went and found that the prayer group had been praying for me. 

When I met them I saw that they had ‘something’ which I did not have and I wanted it too

Not long after some American friends of my relatives invited an American evangelist to come over and speak to the group, and that evening I made up my mind to follow Jesus, and I was prayed for by this man. 

It was a slow process for me to start with because of the effect of the medication I had been given, and I was still taking other things, but I never looked back, and Jesus has been with me for many years now. 

He has been with me through numerous difficulties and disappointments; like when my father died quite young, and I was so upset.  I have relied on Jesus.  Jesus has healed me many times and even placed me in another land for a time. 

He keeps my life.  I would not be here if I had not come to know Him. I could not imagine life without Jesus, I would not want my life any other way than being with Jesus