I had grown up like many other lads knocking about the streets. Playing football and going to the BB was the nearest I’d been to church. My teenage years were spent going my own way, following my mates, and it wasn’t until I got married and my wife Dorothy started taking our first child to church that God started coming into the picture. Dorothy started nipping my head about what God was doing in her life and continually telling me that I should go to church. I gave her many arguments and excuses about why I shouldn’t or wouldn’t go. At last she stopped constantly telling me, dropping just the odd wee comment.
Our second child was born, and Dorothy was still getting up on a Sunday and taking the kids to church. I wanted the kids to go to church, but that stuff wasn’t for me. Then doubts came into my head. Wasn’t that a bit hypocritical – my kids had to go, but not me. What message was that sending to them? So, I went to the evening service now and then – it was only an hour out of my Sunday. Some time later Andrew asked if I would like to do a Bible study one hour a week with him. Ok, I’d do it – I was in control, and I could stop any time I wanted.
Six years later, I was still doing the Bible study, and while I was still putting up a lot of obstacles, things were changing in my life. My attitude to life was changing. My self-centred approach to everything was going. Was God real? I wanted to know more. I started going to Church in the morning and evening to hear about God. My business partner and a friend who worked for me started to go to the Church as well.
Then this same friend who worked with me took ill and was due to go into hospital on a Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm. I was at the church that morning but during the service I couldn’t listen. I kept hearing someone telling me I had to go and talk to my friend before he went into hospital. After the service I went to straight to see him. Those were the last hours I spoke to him – he never came out of hospital. Looking back I now have no doubt that it was God working in my heart that day.
My search for God in my life had now begun for real. Going to church and hearing God’s words explained from the Bible helped me, and it was at this time that I would say I actually became a Christian.
Since then I have continued to grow in my Christian life by hearing God’s Word preached in the church and through doing Bible studies with other people in the church.
How then did I come to be on a mission trip to Phoenix, Arizona? One of the people whom God has brought to our church mentioned to me last summer that her home church in Phoenix was having a mission team. So I decided that since we have received a lot of help from mission teams, I could go there and help put something back into the church. So this January I went out to Phoenix for ten days to help the church there tell the people in their community about the Lord Jesus.
Don’t spend years in the darkness saying I’ll think about God tomorrow. We don’t know the time we have. Come to God today and don’t look back. It’s not easy saying you’re a Christian to your friends and workmates, but you don’t do it on your own, it’s God who’ll change you and give you a new life.