Attended Sunday School ✓
Sang hymns ✓
Read my Bible ✓
Memorised Bible verses ✓
Was dedicated to God ✓
All of the above told me that I was a Christian. This was challenged when I was in my early 20s!
After graduating from university, and not being able to find employment as a primary school teacher, I was lucky to work full-time in a photo lab. There I met Damien. He was very open about his church and how much he loved God. I thought he was unusual and I couldn’t fathom why he loved going to church so much; my experience of church growing up was that it SO BORING!!!
Damien and I had great conversations while we worked. However, at the time, I did not appreciate him telling me that I wasn’t a Christian. What??? I had recited John 3:16 in front of my church congregation when I was about 8 years old; of course I was a Christian!!!
I am so blessed that he asked me the next question: Do you have a relationship with Jesus?
Of course, I answered “Yes!” But, deep down, I knew I didn’t. I knew ABOUT Jesus, but He wasn’t my friend and I didn’t spend time with Him like I did with other people who I had relationships with. Damien certainly got me thinking!
During that same time, I met a girl named Ilona. She was one of the nicest people I had ever met and, looking back, I actually only ‘knew’ her for a few months. I soon discovered that Ilona attended the same church, Christian City Church Camberwell, as Damien. However, because of the size of this church, Damien and Ilona did not know each other. What a coincidence!
Then, I caught up with my best friend from university, Jenny. Now, she was the last person who I expected to go to church! But, almost as soon as we sat down that day to have a cuppa, she said, “Guess what? I’ve just started going to an amazing church!” Immediately I asked her if it was Christian City Church in Camberwell. And, it was ⚊ Unbelievable! I knew God was trying to get my attention. I decided that I’d better check out this church the following Sunday.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was that it was NOT A CHURCH! It was, in fact, a high school hall.
The next thing that impressed me was that there were NO OLD PEOPLE (or not many).
Then I heard the music – definitely not the hymns played on the organ that I was used to from my childhood. I was IMPRESSED!
Towards the end of the service it felt like the pastor was speaking to me only; he seemed to know exactly what I’d been going through (and it hadn’t been a great time for me!) and he knew exactly what I needed to hear. Tears started to flow. However, when he asked if I wanted to accept Jesus as my Lord and saviour, I have no idea why, but, didn’t respond.
That same week I received a phone call from another pastor at that church. As he was talking I ‘saw’ a light bulb above my head and all of the sudden I ‘knew’ what John 3:16 meant. It was like it dropped from something I KNEW in my brain to something I was finally able to FEEL in my heart. That night, over the phone, I prayed the sinner’s prayer and Jesus became my Lord and saviour.
I will be forever grateful for Damien, Ilona and Jenny. For challenging me and for introducing me to Jesus.