I wasn't brought up in a Christian family and the only experience I had with church was for weddings and funerals. In April 2014 I was diagnosed with epilepsy and shortly after I suffered with depression which took a hold on my life and, indeed, I felt that I had no life to live. In September 2014 a new veterinary surgeon joined the practice at which I work. He was very open at the start that he was a Christian and spoke about the church he attended and we had several conversations about God. In December he asked if I would like to go to a carol service at the church and I decided to go along and see what the church was like. I enjoyed the carol service and decided to go along to one of the Sunday services. I remember at the end picking up a small book which was Mark’s Gospel. I took this home and sat and read it from the beginning. The words I was reading were so powerful that I wanted to read more. The vet gave me a bible and helped me with any questions I had and I joined the church’s Christianity Explored course. Here I was able to meet with other Christians and non-Christians and learn more about God and what Jesus had done for us. A few weeks into the course I had so many emotions that during Sunday services I would sit and cry, I felt that I had a decision to make. Would I follow God or carry on with my past? Then I realised my decision had already been made for me. God had made the decision to come into my life when I was at my lowest and He wasn't going to let me go. I had been saved by God. I now have a reason to get up every day; “For I know the plans I have for you", declares The Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is one of the verses that is really powerful to me. I was told this verse by my friend at the start and it is one that stays in my mind. To know I have a future planned for me, to know that God will love me forever no matter what, brings me so much joy. In 2015 I became a Christian. I started a new exciting journey with God by my side. I thank God for the witness He sent to me and the opportunities He has given me to be a witness to His word.
My work colleagues, friends and family have noticed a difference in me since I became a Christian and I welcome any questions from them. I have had some interesting conversations with my work
colleagues. My family don't understand why I have changed and I pray for them, that they will come to God and He will work in their lives just like He has done in mine. Since the Christianity Explored course finished I have joined a discipleship course where the church family meet once a week to share a meal together and go through a bible study. I also meet once a week with one of the church’s pastoral team when we chat and pray together and look further at scripture. This is a great way for me to be able to pray with someone and learn more about our God. I have started helping out with Sunday school with ages 3-5. This is great fun and it gives me the chance to be able to teach the gospel to the children and work with them through craft activities themed around the teaching. To see them learning and growing in their faith is so encouraging. The churches in Maidenhead have put together an organisation called Street Angels which is aligned to others throughout the country. During one of the Sunday services at church I saw that the Street Angels were looking for more volunteers. I was helped by the Street Angels when I was younger so I put my name down to help out where possible.
After an interview with some of the members of the group I went out on training evenings and I am now a full time member of the Maidenhead Street Angels. We go out at 10:30pm on Saturdays and walk the streets looking for anyone who needs help. We carry water, lollipops and flip flops for those who have perhaps drunk too much alcohol or need assistance for other reasons. We also look out for any homeless people who may benefit from our help. I have experienced many positive reactions whilst being out on the streets. People are always thanking us for looking out for them and always ask if we have any lollies for them. Whilst on duty we wear jackets with the Street Angels logo which identifies us as Christians and they also help us keep each other safe. As the Street Angels are formed from all the churches in Maidenhead, it has been an excellent opportunity to meet other Christians and serve with them. I am part of the 20s to 30s group at my church where we meet for social evenings and gather together as much as possible. I have made some very good friends and enjoy meeting up with them.
Next year I am looking to help out more with the church and look forward to my confirmation where I can invite all my friends and family. I'm also looking to help out with a Christian camp in the summer and attending the VCF conference. Becoming a Christian has changed my life, I have met some amazing people and learnt so much. I look forward to continuing in my journey in faith and serving for God.