I was 12 when I got saved. I saw a large bright white light in front of me when I asked Jesus to forgive me for all the things I had done wrong and asked Him to come and live in my heart. He has healed and delivered me from So much emotional pain over the years . I am so grateful for Jesus in my life.
I grew up in a Christian home, so I always knew about Jesus. It was at a weekend on a youth event that I truly gave my life to Jesus and began to know what it meant to follow Him. As a teenager I went to Soul Survivor evenings with my church, and went to our youth group on a Sunday evening, so this was how my faith grew and has sustained me.
Zoe's story 12.7.20
I was brought up within a catholic community and I attended a very strict catholic school in Kent that was originally run by nuns.
As I approached my teenage years I began to loose my way along the path of my walk with God and I began to rebel against my routes, morals and teachings.
In my early twenties after some traumatic life experiences that I would rather not discuss I found God again and reconnected to him.
I started to pray daily and I found a local church within the Christian community that I started to attend.
When I met my ex husband he made his religious views very clear from the start of our relationship, he was an atheist, however I didn’t allow his views to define him and decided to pursue the relationship.
Looking back now I realise that I was involved in an emotionally and sometimes physically abusive relationship (when you are living in it daily you do not recognise the issues)
Over time he managed to persuade me not to attend church and almost forced his views upon me, there would be consequences if I chose to have my own opinion and if I chose to rebel against him.
Throughout this time I continued to pray but he was not aware of this.
I fell pregnant with my daughter Alissa in my mid twenties and we made the decision to get married. I longed for a church wedding but had to settle for a registry arrangement at a hotel.
A few months after the birth of Alissa I became extremely unwell and spent majority of my time in hospital undergoing investigations and receiving treatment.
I had lost all control of my bladder muscles which resulted in me becoming unable to empty it naturally.
Since birth, I have had a condition known as Poland’s syndrome and it is thought that pregnancy contributed to putting adverse strain on my already weak muscles causing them to stop functioning completely. I had to self catheterise which left me vulnerable to infection.
During my stays in hospital I prayed and studied the bible daily, I was reconnecting with God.
After a few months I was informed that I was a suitable candidate for a new trial of a sacral neuromodulation implant. I was referred to UCLH in London where I underwent the 1st stage of the procedure. If successful it would mean that I would no longer have to self catheterise and I would regain control of my bladder muscles.
The 1st stage was a success, although only minimal progress was made so the settings had to be adjusted.
My consultant was happy that there was enough of an improvement to implant a permanent device. I underwent the 2nd stage and within a couple of months it was a great success. I continued to pray and connect with God at every opportunity.
Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, God is a healer, God is Great!
Following this experience I decided to find a church community for Alissa and I within our local town much to the discuss of my ex husband. Nevertheless worshipping God was extremely important to me and after reconnecting this was not something I was prepared to loose again.
Alissa and I started to attend Whiteley church where Phillipa Mills was the reverend.
Over a period of time I had a discussion with my ex husband about getting Alissa baptised. He made comments like he was not happy with me forcing religion upon our child, I pointed out that he had been baptised therefore I felt it was only right to provide Alissa with that same opportunity,
He reluctantly agreed. As Alissa got older and her and I were attending church every Sunday she began to discuss what she was learning at Sunday school at home. My ex husband was very angry about this and again began to limit the time we were allowed to attend church services.
Phillipa used to make home visits to me whilst my ex was out at work so that I could pray with her and she also engaged with Alissa.
When we moved to the island Alissa originally attended St Francis in Ventnor and we started going to St Catherine’s church and attending messy church within the school grounds.
After having the realisation that Alissa and I were living in an emotionally and physically abusive situation following the input and support we received from Bernardo’s and WOW we fled our marital home.
I constantly prayed into our situation, hoping that everything would be ok and we would build ourselves back up and become stronger.
We have now ended up at Newport Congregational church and we feel truly blessed to be a part of such a welcoming and supportive Church family.
Carol's story 28.06.20
His Gift becomes My Gift to Him
I have found these past weeks very difficult, concerns for family, some shielding, others working at the hospital, the loss of plans to mark significant anniversaries, have left me with a sense of battle fatigue and weariness. Add to that not having my usual activities, of coming to church and serve as an act of worship that routinely help my physical and mental wellbeing, and I have often questioned what is the point of it all. Feeling bereft of any sense of purpose, everyday life has become a struggle, even washing my hands can be painful, so although I haven’t given up longing to live well for my Lord, it has been a battle. We often speak of each new day being a gift from God, but I will be honest it hasn’t always felt like that, then I came across this from The Message, Psalm 61 verse 8
And my praises will fill the heavens forever, fulfilling my vow to make every day a love gift to you.
Finding this verse has helped to take some of the grind out of life and made the thought of a new day a little less daunting, even if it’s victories will be walking the dog and getting the ironing done. I believe, that as a loving Father, God understands my need to have something to give, so when income dries up, and opportunities to serve are removed, what is left, but the everyday tasks done unseen by others and yet with a heart’s desire to honour Him. They are often more costly than grand gestures for they are sacrifices and battles won through a heart’s desire to honour the one who gives us the strength to live each new day that He gives us, to give back to Him.
Jonathan's story 21.06.20
I became a Christian at university in London. A student I met playing rugby invited me to a social group. I argued with my head and said “You’ll never get me believing that (Christianity)” but I believed in my heart that what they said was true. I accepted Jesus.
Louise's story 21.06.20
As you all know Shane was really ill at the beginning of the year with meningitis, the first 48 hours were super scary, not knowing what it was and then not knowing if would survive, but thanks to our Awesome Lord and the prayers of our friends, he is still here. During that time, I knew that even though it was one of the darkest times, my God was in control, and I was at peace. Just as in Psalm 23, I did at the time feel like I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I wasn’t afraid.