Easter Sunday morning was special for us as a church as we witnessed the baptisms of Christian and Barbara.
Chris tells why the view from Shotover Hill is so important to him, and why it confirms God’s faithfulness.
Helen Sanderson-White, a singer and songwriter, tells the story of how God has led her into the music business and of His faithfulness.
This is the story of Wayne Thomas – in his words ‘how God saved me and my continued journey in faith.’ It’s the story of how the Alpha Course helped him in his steps to God, and how he now serves God as part of the Alpha Course Discipleship Group.
My story begins when I was eleven and I moved schools, from an all girls private school to a mixed state comprehensive school. It was a big school and a big change. I felt different to the other people there. They seemed very silly, especially the boys. I was picked on a bit, which I dealt with by ignoring them and hoping they would get bored and go away. But when they did, I was all on my own. I would stand outside the door waiting for the end of lunch break when we could go back inside. This left me very closed up inside with my emotions shut away from the outside world. I was very serious about life.
I’ve kind of always been a Christian. I’ve known that God loves me and Jesus is my friend since I was a child. My mum was my Sunday school teacher from the age of eight. But my experience of God is him taking this very closed up person and gently helping me to open up, like a flower, to be open to him and be myself with people.
When I was at University in Bath, I was in a prayer triplet with two other students, Sally and Sarah. The three of us got together regularly to talk about what we were going through and pray for each other. They became my closest friends and I learnt to be open with them and to be real with God together. One time, we went away to a Christian event. We got there after a long journey and were starving hungry. Sally had just been diagnosed with a wheat intolerance. They served us sandwiches with nothing else to eat till the next day. We took the sandwiches, sat down and said grace like we’ve never said grace before: thanking God for the food, asking him to bless us as we ate it, asking him to make the food sustain our bodies and not make us ill. Then we ate the sandwiches and she was fine, no stomach pain at all. And she’s been able to eat wheat ever since. This miracle really showed me God’s love for us.
During my degree, I did a 6-month placement in Texas. I went on my own and felt very alone. But I met an amazing lady called Inez. She was a real inspiration to me. She adopted me into her family, she took me to church every Sunday and then out for the day with her family. She was a Mexican American with a large extended family and even took me to family parties. She showed me what it looks like to be totally open to other people and totally open to God. Her openness to God overflowed into her care for people, including me.
In my final year at Uni, I started having long phone conversations with a boy called Paul, I had met at my church back home in Oxford. We asked each other lots of questions, ranging from “Do you like fruitcake?” to “What do you think heaven will be like?” With God helping me to open up like a flower, I was able to be real and honest with Paul. Now we have a beautiful relationship and have been married for nearly 10 years.
This is my story of an important part of what being a Christian means to me. I hope you found it interesting. I’d like to know what you think of it. Susan