Personal Stories 

Darren

I wanted you to understand a little bit of my life and how my childhood affected me and the way I lived my life until recently, so you can understand how and why I have come to be baptised today.

When I was 16 months old my mam and dad had a really volatile relationship, dad was always beating my mam up and then she had an affair and eventually left.

I have four sisters and a step sister, one day my mam took my twin sister and I to the shop where she abandoned us in our pram.

It was a good job that the shop keeper knew us and so he rang my dad to tell him what my mam had done.

We then all lived with my dad who was an alcoholic and if we did anything wrong he used to batter us. Dad always used to beat me with his belt, especially the buckle part.

He was always in the pub, drunk all the time and we used to have to get our own teas, which was always basic food as he would not let us use anything that was more expensive, like tins of luncheon meat.

Because of this, I was always in trouble at school for fighting and got suspended every other week.

We used to have to go to get dad out of the pub every night at 9pm and take him home and this went on for years.

As we were on our own so much my sisters got into the wegy board and all sorts of bad things began happening in the house, I WAS REALLY FRIGHTENED.

My gran used to come down and I have always been close to her, she believes in God and used to say the Lord’s prayer with us, when she did this the bad things stopped happening and I began to realise that there was a God and I used to believe in Him in my own way.

I eventually moved out of my dad’s and  moved to my sisters as I had began for standing up for myself against all the bad things that happened at home and I used to fight with my dad all the time.

I got myself into more trouble as I hung around with a bad crowd  and we robbed cars went for joy rides, I was caught 4 times, received cautions and served  community service.

From then I lived in hostels, got a flat, life was not getting any easier, then I managed to share a house and started some college courses  and got a job with Mars food and I thought wow life is changing for the better.

However, I lost my job and the house, moving back into my dad’s where I was drinking heavily, and fighting with him again.

I had to move out again and met a girl who, I lived with for seven years and with children. The relationship was full of secrecy and we were always fighting, we used to become so angry with each other and eventually I left.

I then I suffered depression, drank at least 10 cans a day and bottles of cider, I went down to 9.5 stone and tried to commit suicide on a couple of occasions, I was so far gone that I tried to cut my finger off with a blunt pair of scissors, because someone told me to!

I hated my life.

Eventually I met Kimberly, we became homeless and I never claimed any benefits, which meant we had no money, so we lived behind some bins on the street.

We used to go to Tracy’s soup kitchen on a Sunday to get something to eat and she asked us to her Baptism at Jubilee. Kimberley liked it here and wanted to come on a Sunday.

We got invited to the Alpha group and there I realised as I was being taught that I needed to make a commitment to God. God would and could help me change my life if I trusted Him completely.

There was a special prayer in a booklet that I was given at Alpha and I prayed that God would come into my heart, and change me, I asked him to forgive me for all I had done wrong.

From then on my life has changed, we have a flat in Cottingham, we have a life worth living and volunteer here at Jubilee, helping with the Big Issue and Craft Group and I am going to learn to be a cook. We are also getting married in April.

I want to help others and I know that I am loved and that I am going to Heaven when I die.

My favourite verses are in John chapter 16.

It is about Jesus being the True Vine and how we need to love others, so I have prayed, that my story as hard as it is to tell you, reaches other people’s hearts and that they also come to know and trust God too, so that their lives can be changed  like mine.Minimise

Carl & Jane

When we were married in 1985 we planned to have at least six children, but just over two years later, after many hospital tests, we were told by the doctor “I’m sorry but due to your low sperm count you are unable to have any children!”

After the initial shock we decided to get on with our lives by spending our time with work, holidays and buying things to try and fill the emptiness of our childless marriage. Then came the self-pity, bitterness and especially anger, mainly towards God. “Why was He doing this to us?” We were good people who loved children, “What have we done to deserve this?” As we started to drift away from each other our marriage began to fall apart. But during this time we also began to seriously ask God questions like “If it’s God’s will for people to get married and have children what about those like us who can’t have any?” “What is your plan and purpose for them?”

We soon began to realise that if we were blaming God then we must have some faith to believe that He exists, and if He exists then He might be able to help us! So we bought a bible and started to read it, after a while we read this verse “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him”. (Hebrews 11:6)

We started to believe what the bible says about God was true, but couldn’t understand what Jesus Christ had to do with it! Because we didn’t know any Christians and we didn’t go to church we decided to ring the pastor of a local church to come and explain things to us. He came to see us and explained how Jesus Christ had died for our sins on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead so that we might be forgiven. We thought that we were already Christians because we lived in a Christian country and been baptised as babies.

We knew we weren’t Christians, but we wanted to be, so we prayed with the pastor and told God that we were sinners and asked him to forgive us for our sin and thanked Him for sending His son Jesus to die in our place so that we might be forgiven!

Since that day God has enabled us to adopt a beautiful daughter called Bethany, named after the place where Jesus brought a man called Lazarus back from the dead, and in a similar way God brought our marriage back from the dead! Shortly after adopting our daughter God told us “Although Bethany was not made by you she was made for you!”

Throughout the years God has continually shown us that He wants to be actively involved in every area of our lives, and has provided the church so that individuals and families can find out what He’s really like and share his love and to enable us to enjoy the real reason and purpose for our lives.