making a difference - changing lives

Monday, 31 October, 2011

Testimonies of lives changed by fresh expressions of church, taken from expressions: making a difference.

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Transcript

Voice 1: Zac's Place has personally helped me to find my way, my faith and my belief and through Sean’s ministry was able to find peace and also able to move on from the past.

Voice 2: I've been going to Church for the Night since it began. My favourite was a Christmas one; it puts across the church in a different way than what you would normally perceive it.

Voice 3: Almost 3 months ago I started to come along to Vitalise every Sunday night and as clichéd as it may be it has literally changed my life. The people I've met have become lifelong friends already – they are constantly teaching me new things and so I'm learning more about my faith – am able to talk about it more confidently – I'm able to appreciate it more as well. And just the fact that we've got such a great community, you’re free to be yourself – cry every week.

Voice 4: About eight years ago I moved into the YMCA – then I heard two people speaking about this church and I thought – yes that would be just nice for me to come along – so I did. I got baptised five and a half years ago and that’s when I changed.

Voice 5: I suppose the thing I feel most about the group is the overwhelming love from everyone who comes here. Although we have a very spiritual feel about it, that point is not laboured but we know that God and the Spirit is within the actual room. There's the opportunity to go off to the quiet table there, put a stone in the water, and reflect on issues that are concerning us and there is always that quiet opportunity with no-one standing over you.

Voice 6: Had a heart attack at the age of 20 induced by an overdose and then shortly after that I started taking heroin. I got to the stage where I think that God brought me to such a level where I had no option but to cry out to him and ask for his forgiveness and being with Paul and Elaine and the rest of the people on the project, they actually helped me through my withdrawals when I decided to come off methadone. They prayed me through it and I do know for a fact that it was nowhere near as bad as what it should have been. That was the power of God working in my life to help me through that struggle.

Voice 7: They've shown me for the first time in my life a lot of love and to look for love in God, which I have, which I never did before. It's a lot of bad experience I've had but I've never been happier in 20 years and I'm actually happy now.

Voice 8: I think the event at Costa has brought me back to church 'cos I did spend a spell away from church. It's because it’s very informal, I know that’s attracted me, you know, definitely brought me back to church and that’s a good thing.

Voice 9: I think that when I came along to re:gen I wasn't expecting at all to be accepted because I had been in hospital for nearly 2 years and I had kinda gone back a year in school and I had suffered quite a lot with self-harm behaviours and stuff like that and you can come along and you've still got people here who like you despite what you've been through – despite all these things – and they're will to give time and to support you along the way as well.

Voice 10: What I found going to churches when I was younger with my mum was that it was sort of left to you – I'll tell you a bit about God and you’ll have to go and sort yourself out, but here it’s sort of acknowledged that you are human and you do need help and we don’t have all the answers but we’re going to help you as much as we can – we’re going to support you as much as we can. I've discovered gifts that I didn't think that I had – leading worship and stuff like that – it’s about my confidence as well because growing up I didn't really have much of that.

Voice 11: I had this one girlfriend – she was caught in a house fire – and that completely blew my whole world apart sort of thing – and when I came here it kinda of like filled the gap that I needed. No matter how bad things are outside - no matter what's gone on – I can always come here and I feel loved. There's always people here listening for me and that I can talk to and open up to.

Voice 12: Well I used to be a violent man – you can't change yourself only God can do it. He's given me a love for other people that I wouldn't have had before.

Voice 13: I were homeless, I was on the streets selling Big Issue – heroine addict – everything – until I came here and found my way to God – and God found a way in me.

Voice 14: At Sunday Sanctuary for our breakfast we have croissants, chocolate croissants…

Voice 15: We come down here on Sunday morning and we have a little breakfast with Mark and then we do little activities and make things and then we get in a circle to do stories.

Voice 14: … fruit, toast…

Voice 16: I enjoy it because I get to play with my brother and sisters and we get to make things and it is fun.

Voice 14: …smoothies, orange juice…

Voice 17: I think the best thing at the Sunday Sanctuary is the making activity because last week we made a kaleidoscope.

Voice 14: …it's a really good breakfast.

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