Life Stories

 

Josie

If asked to summarise how God has impacted my life I’m sure I wouldn’t know where to begin. I have stumbled through enough to know he will never desert me or anyone if they call on him with an open heart.

At fifteen a friend invited me to his youth group. I didn’t pay much attention to the talks at first but the small group was friendly and genuine.  I became curious as to what these people had that I didn’t.  I found myself thinking I was pretending to be someone else whilst around them, someone nice and polite, but after a while I found I had let my guard down. I didn’t need to be foul-mouthed or rude to fit in here.

I came to Christ in the middle of the Christianity Explored Course. After the session discussing the Cross where Jesus took on the sins of the world I went home knowing this was a God I couldn’t ignore and carry on living without. I found myself and my purpose in life knowing the God who planned me before the world began. I don’t try to live now to repay him but to praise him in all I do, and I’m not always great at it, but I intend to persevere.

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Alan

It was May Day 1983 – I was preparing ground for planting runner beans when a steel rod protruding from the ground entered the corner of my eye whilst I was bending and altered dramatically the course of my life!

I had known my need of a Saviour from earliest years as my parents were ‘Born Again’ Christians

but I did not commit my life to God until I was 15. At age 18 I was the one in every 10 called to serve as a ‘Bevin Boy’ in Sunderland never having seen a coal mine in my life! My occupation previously was in the Admiralty Section of a Solicitors in The City of London – a work I really delighted in.

Whilst in the North East I began local preaching, this led to Bible College and then subsequently into the Ministry. I became Pastor of three different churches but at the time of the ‘May Day’ accident was Director of a Jewish Missionary Society. The accident to my eye led to a sub arachnoid haemorrhage of the brain followed by Meningitis. My family were informed that I would not survive BUT if I did I would be 90% afflicted. But GOD in His Wisdom had other plans!

I am now 84 years – and 90% well and so grateful to The Lord who has given me opportunities to testify to His Grace and keeping power. There is no bitterness in my soul but joy that I know Him. ‘Not a single shaft can hit – ’till The God of Love sees fit’. I commend my Saviour to you.

Liz

When I was 14 years of age I became deeply aware of my sinfulness and asked the Lord for His forgiveness through Christ.    He wonderfully revealed His love and grace to me in an overwhelming way.  For several years I enjoyed a close walk with the Lord.  The mockery of friends and class teacher actually strengthened my faith.

However, when aged 18, a number of temptations came my way and I stopped reading my Bible and praying.  I soon found that this world’s pleasures are empty and passing and as a result I became dependent on drink and smoking to calm me; then my life got into a total mess and I became deeply depressed.

The only reason I not take my life towards the end of this period was the fact that I was sure that death would mean certain hell for me.

Then one day I heard a minister preaching about “the unpardonable sin” – which I was sure I had committed.   To my amazement everything he said indicated that even I could be restored and forgiven.  After a night of prayer the Lord completely took away my desires for my old way of life and transformed me in every way.  This was 35 years ago, and His grace has kept me ever since.

I long that other ‘prodigals’ like me might come to know His wonderful grace!

Mike Mellor

Mike and Gwen
Mike and Gwen

Mike Mellor worked for years in the newspaper and music businesses, during which time he spiralled down into the chaotic life of an alcoholic. After conversations with a work colleague he was dramatically converted to Christianity. He then studied at the South Wales Bible College and went on to pastor churches in South Wales and Covent Garden in London. After serving as a staff evangelist with the Open Air Mission, he joined the pastoral team at Moordown Baptist Church in November 2008. Hope Church Ferndown, is a church plant from MBC and became fully independent in September 2011. Mike is still married to his long-suffering wife Gwen and they have four married daughters and seven grandchildren.

You can listen to some of Mike’s sermons on the Sermons page on this website. Mike can also be found on Twitter.

You can listen to Mike’s story below:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can listen to Gwen Mellor’s testimony below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Traceyanne

I was fortunate that my parents took my brother and I to a Bible-believing church in Cape Town, and as a child of around the age of five years old asked Jesus into my heart. I knew that all my sins were forgiven and had a strong assurance of my salvation.

I grew up in a very loving and supportive home but school was an extremely mixed experience and I endured targeted opposition from a peer group right throughout. I bottled this all up, put on a brave face and excelled in every field year on year. But really, I was learning to perform and achieve mainly for acceptance.

My concept of God then was limited to me following Him and having enough faith that He would protect me from problems! But it turned out the opposite! Throughout my nervous breakdown at Bible College, working for my two churches, and then our family having to relocate to England, the Lord has used opposite and painful experiences to teach me that His grace is freely given and that I don’t have to perform or achieve to gain his acceptance!

In all the variety of obstacles, frustrations, and constant limitations, I’ve received God-given perseverance to change jobs, cities, friends, studies and daily living strategies. Throughout I keep seeing the amazing grace that constantly provides loyal friends, church families and unending practical support of all shapes and forms.

This continues to amaze and spur me on…and the biggest lesson I’ve been learning these last 15 yrs is 2 Corinthians 12:9
‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’

Alistair

I was taken to church from a young age and as far back as I can remember I always believed in God and the Bible. Despite believing these things it never really impacted my life and as I grew older I started to care less about church and God.

When I was 15 I went on a Christian summer camp (for the activities and not the ‘Bible bit’), but as the week went on I found myself listening in a way I’d never done before. One of the talks was on what it meant to be a Christian; it’s about being in a relationship with God. As the preacher spoke it suddenly hit me that for the past 15 years I’d presumed I was a Christian because I went to church and knew lots about the Bible. I was genuinely afraid because I knew the wrong things I did in my life offended God and no amount of knowledge could change that. He explained that you needed to tell God you’re sorry for the things you’ve done wrong, thank Him for sending Jesus to die to take the punishment you deserve and ask Him to forgive you. I realised at that moment I needed forgiveness and only God could provide it. I prayed a simple prayer and knew instantly I was truly forgiven.

As a Christian I still do things every day that offend God, but I know it’s by His grace I’m forgiven and not by my own merit.