My name is Monica and I was brought up in a catholic
family and went to a convent run by nuns. Yet all I knew about Jesus was no
more than many unbelievers. I didn’t know what it meant to have a special
relation with Jesus, although I believed in and prayed to Him and continued to
attend my local catholic church.
I got to a period in my life where I felt a deep yearning
for something, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I use to get depressed because I
couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel contented. On the outside, life was good.
I had a great job, active social life, I did some travelling and had my family
around me but inside was a gaping hole yearning to be filled.
Life went on and I continued to carry round this feeling
inside. A couple of years down the line, I decided to leave home and move to
South London. Two weeks before I was due to move out, I went to a Christian
book store and bought myself and my family bibles. I also remember randomly
picking 3 books from the shelves without looking at their titles. During this
period, my sisters started going to a new church and I went along with them.
They immediately answered an altar call and gave their lives to Christ. But
still I held back but couldn’t explain why although I loved the church and knew
that I was in the right place.
I moved into my home and continued to travel from South
London to the new church in Brent Cross. The people in my church had an intimacy
with Jesus that I had never experienced, but craved for. I remember one
Saturday, I went into my bed side table and took out the books I had bought and
read the titles. There was ‘The Purpose driven church’, ‘The purpose driven
life’ and ‘Good morning Holy Spirit’ by Benny Hinn.
I sat down on the bedroom floor and read all 3 books and
I knew in my heart that this was that which I had been searching – it was Christ.
So I gave my life to Him right there in my bedroom and I felt the presence (a
heat) and knew it was the Holy Spirit. Immediately, the Lord delivered me from
depression and swearing.
Tinu is from Nigeria and is married to Kenny. Here she tells us of God's healing and saving power in her life:
I was born into a Christian family. I never thought I needed to be 'born again' as I considered myself morally ok - no stealing , no telling lies etc...and I tried my best to behave well most of the time.
When I turned 14, a 'born again' Christian from my class spoke to me about giving my life to Christ, but I didn't know what they were talking about as I was a church goer and I didn't really understand the difference. A year later I was diagnosed with an incurable disease on my right leg. After two failed operations, I asked myself 'What have I got to lose?...Let me accept Jesus into my life and see if He will heal me.'
During my hospital visits, I met a woman who gave me a sheet of paper with some Bible promises about healing.... Exodus 15v26 “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” and 2 Peter 2v24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” Also one of my cousins told me about reading the Bible as the Word of God is living, active and powerful. So every day I read the verses and then I started reading from John's Gospel in the Bible right through to Revelation. I wanted to know the truth. I told God that I wanted Jesus to come into my life, not only for healing, but so that I could have a personal and real relationship with Him.
One afternoon as I was reading John 1v12:
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"
I was so happy to realise that I was now in God's family and I could talk to Him freely, knowing that I belonged to Him because I believed. My life changed and I became a new creation...and the healing? I was healed supernaturally by the power of God - it's a miracle - but more than that - I got to know Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.
Hi, my name is Manoj Subramaniam.
I work in Tesco Supermarket Brent Park, London.
I was brought up in a Hindu Family with nine members and I am the youngest child. I followed Hinduism and believed in other religions too. I use to spend most of my day watching TV or playing cricket, which was laziness in every aspect!
One day through my best friend I heard about the Lord Jesus Christ through a strange statement in the bible: John 3: 16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
As simple as this statement seems to be, it took many years of ‘religion’ before the truth of it finally dawned upon me. I have always believed in Jesus, but in my childhood, I would never spend any time praying or reading scripture.
When I was sixteen, a serious change in my commitment to God occurred, I realized that I wanted and needed a stronger relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. At first I was crushed emotionally, thinking it was too late to develop a deeper relationship with God. I viewed myself as such a wretched sinner, and I wondered if God would forgive me because I hated the actions I had committed in my past. My spirit was crushed, I called out to the Lord as Godly sorrow flooded my heart, but then it hit me: God’s mercy is everlasting! I cried out to the Lord, asking him for a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone and soon after things changed.
A deep love for God developed and through the scriptures I was getting to know God and my Lord Jesus Christ. I developed a hatred of sin my daily life. I am in no way perfect, but through Christ who strengthens me, I sin much less, stay away from things of the flesh, and I am spiritually minded. I have, by the mercy of our loving God, been ‘reborn.’
I want to help others know truth. I am forever humble that God’s grace came upon me. Thank God our Heavenly Father for our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 7:10 – For the sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation – and there is no regret in that, but sadness that is merely human causes death.
2 Corinthians 4:6 – The God Who said “Out of darkness the light shall shine!" is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of Christ.
I am Angelika, I'm 26 years old and I am Polish. I have been at SHCF since June 2014.
Since I can remember, I have always wanted to know more about God, I was curious about what He was like and I had plenty of questions.
I looked for the answers but I did not find them in the Catholic church. Fortunately, in 2012 I moved to North London where I used to share a house with one Christian woman (now my friend), who gave me the Bible.
When I first started reading the Bible I realised that it is full of guidelines. It shows us how to act in life. It tells what we should avoid and explains why. It also says how we should treat other people and ourselves. It was something I really needed, as I often did not know the right way to act in life. I had never had any good examples to follow.
I also realised that God is so loving and kind and that He does not give us His commandments to limit or to enslave us, but to protect us and free us from sin. I found the answers to my questions, an example to follow (Jesus), and I got to know God. I got to know His character - kind, loving, forgiving, caring and faithful. I decided to give Him my life and I was baptised few months after I made the decision, in June 2013.
God leads me every day, teaches me and makes my life meaningful. I am so grateful that I am part of God's family.
Hi! I'm Carol and I was born into a Christian family: both my parents and grandmothers being devout Christians themselves, I never really questioned it because even as a child I always felt safe when I prayed to God. I always felt like He was watching over me. Even in my teens I witnessed God moving in so many ways in my life and my family that there was never a reason to turn away from God's safe house.
Being a Christian to me means trusting in Jesus always. It's not always easy when life hits you, but it's so very necessary. It means always realising and acknowledging that without Jesus, I can't get very far, and with him, loving others and coping with the awfulness of this world is just so much easier. I've been through some dark times in my life but when I look back, I realise that it was God that got me through, because I still can't understand how I made it out in one piece!
I started coming to SCHF in 2005, after being invited by Tasha, who I worked with at the time, but my attendance was very random that first year because I had a Sunday job and only came when I was off but God kept on leading me back. Then 2006 I became a regular.
I enjoy the sense of belonging and the fellowship - being truly part of a family even when I'm away from home (Zimbabwe) and knowing that I'm part of God's family. SHCF is a place where no one judges you but accepts you as you are.
My name is Roshanthi Pereira. Firstly I want to give thanks and praise to God for the opportunity to talk about the amazing gift he gave me about 19 yrs ago. I was born into a Buddhist family. My parents were never strict when it came to following Buddhism but we used to go to the temple once a month and also took part in religious activities …I was what you call an atheist, never believed but just went and took part to please my parents.
Due to my dad’s work commitments I lived in Nigeria from the time I was about 5 -12yrs. When we moved back to Sri Lanka for good, I found it extremely hard to adjust, apart from the surroundings and friends being so new, even the language was completely new to me as I didn’t know to read and write in my mother tongue.
I was quite bitter towards my parents for many years since they sent me to a school in which I had no choice but to study in my native language. I struggled so much to adjust and the teachers really hated me because I used to speak in English, some of them even threw my books out of the class rooms and I was ridiculed at times. I hated everything about the school and filled myself with so much hate and anger towards everything. After I left school, I tried to join the hospitality industry but I couldn’t even do that because of the bad reputation females get over there once you join a hotel, so I had to give up on that Idea too which made me even more bitter.
I hated the country so much because all I could see was bad things happening. I felt really low and thought the best way out was to kill myself, so I looked into many different ways of ending my life. During this time a very close friend of mine took her own life: it was so painful, and I noticed how awful it was even for my own parents to see this girl die. I decided then I could not inflict that kind of pain on them but would do it when they were no more. I was extremely depressed and suicide was always in my thoughts. My parents noticed and tried a couple of ‘religious things’ to help me but nothing did …
A couple of years passed and I met my now husband , he spoke to me about God and invited me to church … and of course I went just to please him but hated it and thought it was such a joke; people raising their hands – really???? I thought they were mad, so whenever I was asked to go again, I made excuses.
One year on 31st December, I was all dressed up to attend a dinner dance while my husband was all dressed up and ready to go to church to see the New Year through. He was even kind enough to drop me off at the hotel, even though I had no intention of going to church with him… I was an extremely stubborn and headstrong person! The amazing thing is that the moment I stepped into the hotel, I had a strong tugging in my heart that I needed to be in church instead so I left the hotel and saw the New Year through in church and I felt something powerful touch me on that day.
I was so confused and didn’t know what was happening. I started going to church after we got married and felt scared as it was all so weird and different from anything I had experienced. I didn’t understand what it was to have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe! I went through a discipleship programme too but didn’t understand about repenting for my sins. I mean I hadn’t murdered anyone??? I realised gradually that sin is not only about the big stuff, but about our attitudes and thoughts and even a small lie is a sin!
I learnt how I needed to forgive AND be forgiven! I learned about how Jesus died on the cross for my sins. This made me look into all the anger I had towards my parents and the Lord Jesus released me and gradually, I felt free. By knocking on God’s door he helped me to find Him more and more. My thoughts of suicide disappeared and I was finally happy.
I realised that having Jesus in my life meant I could have a relationship with Him: I could just be myself and talk to Him - He is always there for me but I would have to surrender and allow Him to change me and mould me. I finally gave my life to Him and made a commitment to God. I received the best gift I could ever have as I am alive today because of Him.
“For the plans I have for you are to prosper and not harm” The Bible: Jeremiah 29v 11
I know the good work the Lord Jesus has begun in my life will be seen through to completion as His word says. It was quite difficult during the initial few years, learning to read the Bible and learning how to depend on God and not on my abilities. Over the years I have faced many challenges and still continue to do so, but I have only been able to get through them because of God’s unfailing love. As the Bible says, He will never leave me or forsake me. I know that I have victory in Him and through Him and I know that I am never a victim.
I know true forgiveness can only happen with Jesus. It’s hard to live day in day out with people either in your place of work, family, friends etc. who let you down, use you or hurt you. I always think of what Jesus went through on the cross for me: every lashing, every beating, being poked, nailed, prodded, ridiculed and yet He forgave and He died for me so that I can have eternal life. Because of Jesus I realise daily that none of us is perfect, we are all sinners who constantly make mistakes and if Jesus can forgive after facing all that horrible torment and torture, then I can do it too because my pain will never be even remotely close to what Jesus went through to give me Salvation.
He turned my mourning into dancing and turned my sorrows into joy.
HE TRULY IS
THE AIR THAT I BREATH AND I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART AND I THANK AND PRAISE
GOD FOR LOVING ME FIRST.
My name is Natasha, I am a Jewish woman who came to know Jesus as my Messiah about 12 years ago. Being brought up in a Jewish home, I learnt the Jesus was for Christians only and certainly not anyone Jewish people could heave anything to do with. I was not taught that He was the Son of God sent to die for my sins. Growing up, I would not say that we were particularly religious, but we did keep certain things.
By my early twenties I became a little disillusioned about God and was not sure what I believed any more. At age 24 I became curious and asked God to show me what the truth was. At the time I prayed, I did not even feel certain that God was really there. Over the next few months, God began to reveal to me that Jesus (or Yeshua in Hebrew) was indeed the Messiah who had died in my place to purchase forgiveness for me.
I decided to commit my life to Jesus... I sat on my bed and told Jesus I wanted to follow Him and belong to Him.
Over the last 12 years Jesus has changed me and my life immensely.
I came from a very broken background and as a result had different issues including various addictions. One by one God has been removing those addictions, whilst healing me from the inside out so that little by little I don't feel I need to depend on all the things I was using as a crutch in life.
It is nothing short of a miracle that I now go out and have a great time without the use of drugs or alcohol...and anyone who knew me could tell you that! It is nothing short of a miracle that I no longer binge on food and make myself sick afterwards. It is nothing but a miracle that I have been able to forgive and love people who had hurt me.
It is a miracle that I am alive today, living life, thinking of others rather than trying to hide from life and thinking of myself. And I have learnt this: God is not mean, God is good and He loves us and He was always waiting for an opportunity to get involved in my life and help me if only I would let Him. I am very grateful.
Andy worked as a postman for many years. Here he tells how God changed his life.
I was brought up in a Christian environment. My grandparents and parents were Christians so I went to Sunday School as a child and to church from time to time with my parents. Although I grew up in a Christian home and went to church, I wasn't really interested in God, so when I was old enough to make my own decisions, I stopped going to church.
Later, due to the death of my granddad, I met some people from the church he attended who were very supportive to us as a family. I started to go to the Youth meeting and later to the church on Sunday.
One Sunday, the church had invited some young men who came to share how God had transformed their lives. One of them told his story of how Jesus had changed his life - he had been a 'Hell's Angel' and he had shared some graphic details of the life he had led.
When I saw how dramatically God had changed his appearance and outlook on life, I realised that I too needed to know God in the same way. I have known Jesus since 1985 and can tell you that I have experienced for myself that He IS real!