Hi, my name is stephen..

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I grew up in Summer Hill, residing in a broken home torn apart by the ravages of alcohol fuelled abuse, and this caused me to search for avenues that would take me away from my worries back 'home'.

For a brief number of years I found success in sports until the day I sustained a long term injury and as a result, my sporty lifestyle became a party lifestyle which seemed fun at first but over a couple years;

◦ Casual drug use became frequent drug use

◦ Fornication led to an unwanted abortion

◦ And chronic binge drinking transformed me from a teen who had been trying to escape abuse, to becoming a very abusive young adult.

Eventually I reached a point in life where I was unable to stop, even though I really wanted to. Lacking self-control, I repeated this cycle of life, a 'vice'. I was a hamster trapped in a cage stuck on a wheel getting nowhere.

I was diagnosed with depression and I received medical and professional help to correct my state of mind and 'chemical imbalance’, however, I came to realise there wasn't a quick pill or any psychological treatment that could take care of my life problems.

One Sunday in September 2013 I broke down in my bedroom crying uncontrollably as I pondered how I could escape the destructive pattern I was stuck in, the torment of abuse and the shame of the things I had done and the person I had become. I came to a decision that committing suicide was my only hope. Although I was not a Christian, but rather an Atheist, I was desperate enough to say "God I am going to kill myself in one week, if You are real please save me".

The following days were some of the worst I have ever experienced until the day before the deed was to be done. On that Saturday morning a Christian simply handed me a flyer, which I would usually refuse, however given the circumstances, I took it and had a quick read.

Those few seconds opened the opportunity for this person to invite me to a Church service the next morning and he shared the gospel with me, which is the good news that Jesus Christ has paid the wages of sin, death, for those who believe, and that God is rich in mercy and desires to be reconciled to His creation.

I became intrigued, my interest was piqued and considering the timing of events I figured I would go to church the following morning and give God a one-hour shot to change my mind about suicide, and I am so glad that I did.

I went to church, not your typical stained glass windows and wooden pews, and there was a small group of people. I really didn't know what to expect. The service began and I was more concerned with my contemplation of suicide rather than the preaching, however, near the end of the service I responded to an 'altar call', which is an opportunity for people who are aware they aren’t right standing with God to be led in a prayer where you typically acknowledge Jesus as the son of God and the atonement for your sin, and ask God to forgive you and help you to live for Him.

As I said these things in prayer I had an encounter with God, my own personal experience. It is my evidence that God is real and exists and there is no one or anything that can stand against that moment in which I received all the proof I needed to became a born again Christian.

Immediately there was a change and I remember everything had seemed to be so dark and depressing for sometime yet when I left the building and walked outside I was amazed at the brilliance of all creation. The sky looked beautiful, the trees were beautiful, the sun appeared gloriously beautiful, and even the annoying racket of birds chirping had become a beautiful song. I basically felt the biggest high I ever experienced.

So I began developing a relationship with God by beginning to apply His Word to my life, and as a result, I can happily say that there was such a radical change from the former man, to the new person I had become in Christ that it became non arguable proof of Gods existence to my family members and my, at that time, ‘ex-girlfriend’.

In my sister's own words: "we (her and her best friend) thought you had been brainwashed". To her credit I had been, just in another way. The toxic mess of my past which flooded my brain with filth had been washed away by the power of God.

For so long I had wanted to;

◦ Stop taking drugs knowing it was bad for my physical, mental and emotional health

◦ Stop fornicating traumatised with the first hand consequences of aborting a human life

◦ Stop the influence of alcohol and abuse in my life

But I couldn't until the day I acknowledged God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and was born again by the Spirit, being made a new creation in Christ.

It has almost been 6-years since. I have tasted the world for 20-years and can joyfully testify that living for God is greater than any words can express.

Thankfully my ‘ex-girlfriend’ who wanted nothing to do with me for some time came to Church and has her own story to tell of how she became a Christian. We then got married after a couple years and now have 2 wonderful boys.

My sister for sometime was sceptical; attributing the radical change to 'brain washing', as I said before, however, after a bad night out at an event, she decided to come to Church and after her own unique experience with God, she decided to become a Christian.

Our parents have also become Christians since it is impossible to refute what has happened in our lives.

God is absolutely amazing and I thank Him for his profound Grace! I'm grateful that someone as unworthy as I could be forgiven. God has set me free from the destructive lifestyle I couldn’t escape, He has repaired my damaged family network, and now we have a healthy relationship with each other.

I am so fortunate to have received the revelation of God and His redemption plan and it is my desire that everyone would give God an honest opportunity to reveal Himself to you. I speak from personal experience, it is life-changing.

 

hi, my name is jess..

I became a christian roughly 5-years ago after experiencing a radical encounter with God during a revival service in this Church. I didn't grow up in a Christian household but a part of me did believe that there had to be a God. I had a false perception of what it meant to be a christian and really believed that Christians were boring and weird people. Oh how I was so wrong.

Before I gave my life to God I had such an emptiness and void that I couldn't fill. I made some terrible decisions and had a hard time moving on after my father passed away because of the closeness and the bond we had together. I didn't know how to deal with my dad dying so I focused on things to distract myself. Ever since I was little I wanted to be professional sportsperson so I tried to pursue a career in being a professional athlete but all the accomplishments were only mere satisfaction. I started to smoke cigarettes, beginning to become very complacent, not really caring how it affected my playing. I was representing NSW, playing national league and was being sponsored to play for the Northern Beaches at the time, but I eventually gave up because of this. My interest in playing went out the window and so I tried to pursue other things instead. From here I got myself into a gambling addiction, thinking that I could be a professional poker player. As fun as it lasted, and the money that I did have during this time, the money never lasted. It was never secure and I ended up becoming into debt because of this. Now in debt and had just suffered my first heartbreak in a relationship, I really had no idea what I was doing with my life. I was just living through the motions.

My life then changed radically when I walked into this Church service that I was invited to. God used this preacher, Pastor Ben Dekker from Holland, to speak into my life so powerfully. I felt an overwhelming presence of God and love that night. A love that I was longing for, for so long, that I couldn't find in a relationship, sport, gambling or anything else. A love like no other. I walked in with such a heaviness and left the complete opposite. It's like I came in with a 40kg weighted vest and left without it. The feeling was amazing. From then on, my life did a 180 degree turn. I no longer need to gamble, smoke, drink or try and be fulfilled through a relationship, because I was high off the love of God and what He had done for me. God moved supernaturally for me and helped me get out of my gambling debt within 6-months, something that I had struggled and battled with for so long was gone. God has blessed me with such a beautiful family, something that I always wanted but never thought I would have.

The feelings of guilt from the past, the blame I had for myself, the insecurities, the fear of not knowing where I was going if I died, the uncertainty of what my purpose in life, was gone. I have a new life in Christ, my warped perception of Christianity has changed. This decision is the best decision I have made!

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

I am still a work in progress and yes, things still go wrong and not everything works out just because you’re a Christian, but the amazing thing is that I serve a God that's much bigger than I. I serve a God of miracles, of signs and wonders, and nothing can separate me from the love of God.

 

HI, MY NAME IS BRENDAN..

I began attending the Potters House in 2012. I come from a broken family with my parents separating when I was 6 years old and subsequently divorcing. Over the years I suffered from a feeling of neglect due to this and the fact that my mother was working 3 jobs to pay the bills.

I was raised in a Catholic home and believed in God, however due to the suffering in my life by the age of 16 I decided that I did not believe in God. It was not long after this that I began partying and was addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and pornography.

My addictions worsened and by the time I was 18 I was addicted to harder drugs, partying from Thursday through to Monday morning and drinking everyday in between.

I was at a rave one evening in 2010 where I met a girl, who is now my wife and through whom God worked to get me saved. My now wife got saved miraculously in 2011. Through some difficulties in our relationship I had cause to cry out to a God I had not acknowledged since my youth. I had a powerful encounter with God and was saved.

I am now delivered of all my addictions and am serving God to this day. Since that time I have had the honour of being married to my now wife and we have a beautiful daughter. I have been tremendously blessed by God in all things and have been dealt by Him with incredible Grace.

I have had tremendous opportunity to preach the Gospel at home and internationally and I now look forward to forwarding the message of the Gospel, that Jesus’ forgiveness is for all mankind and you can be restored in to right standing with God.

The name of the rave was ‘God’s Kitchen’ and he has indeed been cooking up plans for my life even though I had abandoned Him.

 

hi, my name is teriana..

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This is how God changed my life.

I used to be a very insecure person. I would look in the mirror and I just felt so ugly and fat. I would compare myself to others and put myself down. Because of this mindset, it made me believe that no one could love someone like me, and that I would never be enough.

Through all this I still turned away from God, "I just wanna do my own thing”, I thought, but God showed me that He had plans for me, plans that not even I could stop. God saved me, He freed me from self-hatred, from the lies that said that I was "unloved" and "not enough". God showed me that I am beautiful, I am loved and I am enough. I learnt to accept that I am who God says I am. He changed my life and I am forever grateful for this love that He has showed me and this grace that has set me free.

 

hi, my name is eliza..

I gave my life to God in October 2015. I grew up as an Atheist with no belief in God what so ever. I would hear stories of how God changed peoples lives, and I respected the idea of God for people who needed that comfort, but God was still a fantasy in my mind. As I didn't think I had any issues, I didn't see the need to give my life to God, let alone search for Him.

As I grew into a teenager, the typical things drew me in such as the party-lifestyle, boys, rebellion, gossiping, lying.. and the list goes on. Whether I was a young little girl lying to my parents, or a teenage girl getting drunk, I've been a sinner my whole life. Still, I didn't think these things were 'bad', because 1. I didn't believe in God, and 2. Everyone else around me was doing the same things.

5-years ago my brother, Stephen, gave his life to God. He's one of those people that went through hardship and struggled with things like 'depression' and 'suicide', so at the time I thought it was very typical for him to make this decision because in my eyes, he needed God. One thing I couldn't quite shake was that I saw him struggle for many years. He would visit doctors and take medication to help him, but all it really did was numb him a little bit whilst he continued in the same condition. However, when he gave his life to God, everything changed. Finally, he was set free from depression and filled with love and joy. Now this wasn't just another story that I heard, this was my brother and I saw this transformation first-hand. His whole character changed literally overnight and I saw God heal him, restore him, and bless him over and over again. Physically seeing this with my own eyes caused me to be curious if God was real.

I went to a music festival in September 2015 in which an incident happened and I thought a close friend of mine was going to lose their life. Thankfully they didn't, but I couldn't shake off the questions of "where would they be right now if they died?". This experience helped me to see the value of life and it shook me to the core. No longer was I ignoring the questions of death because they were too hard to bare, but I was seriously consumed with the fear of death and more than ever did I want to know if God was real, because if He was, then I knew I needed to give my life to Him so that I could make Heaven my home.

I took a step of faith and without knowing how this Christian life was going to pan out, I decided to give my life to God, knowing that if He was real then I really needed Him. The moment I prayed the prayer to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour and accept Him into my heart, I too, was a changed woman. Now, not only do I have the right to Heaven because Jesus paid for my sins, but I also have the most amazing life as I live for God. I always say to people, "if God created the world - everything seen and unseen, then what makes you think that living for Him is going to be boring?". It's a common lie that the Christian life is a boring life - I promise you, it is the most fulfilling life to have a real relationship with God Himself, our Creator.

I now know what the truth is, and it's what everyone is looking for but can't seem to find it because they are looking in all the wrong places. The bible says "seek and you will find" (Luke 11:9) - this is a promise from God! If you genuinely seek Him, you will find Him. God created you with a purpose and for a purpose and He's just waiting for you to open your heart to Him.

 

hi, my name is eileen..

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I’m from a family of 5 kids. My parents divorced when I was about 5 years old. My mum became a Christian earlier on in my life so I was blessed to have a Christian upbringing with Christian values, however, as a child I didn’t see it that way. I understood what it was to be a Christian and what it was to have a relationship with God but I always felt that it was something that I was made to do rather than my own choice.

As I got older, things like partying, drinking and having a boyfriend intrigued me and because I didn’t really have a solid relationship with God, and felt church was something my mum made me do, it was very easy for me to be tempted and fall into temptation. At 18 years old I thought I was old enough to make my own decisions and things like ‘God’ and ‘Church’ was nearly, if not completely, out the window for me.

I got into a very serious relationship that ended up becoming very toxic and left me feeling empty, broken, insecure and filled with self hatred. This was the first time I felt an empty void in my life and instead of turning to God I filled my life with partying, drugs, more toxic relationships and a demanding job. All of these things were only mere band-aids to my problems and my emptiness. I continued on this cycle which led me into being heavily depressed which slowly led me to the point of attempting suicide. However, God saved me from taking my own life and He showed me through a born again friend the love He has for me.

I was invited to a prayer night at the Enfield Potters House on Coronation Parade and Pastor Dinh prayed over me. The emptiness, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts left instantaneously. Now I have more joy & love then I’ve ever had in my life. God has completely filled the emptiness in me, and no longer am I suicidal or depressed and I know I have full security in Christ. Yes, I still go through hardships at times but now I have God to lean on.

My God is a conqueror and no problem or hardship is too big or hard for Him. Everyone’s always saying they’re trying to live their best life and ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once) but, with Jesus you can live your best life twice on earth and in heaven. Choose Jesus, make the best decision you can ever make and live your best life for God. Glory to God.