My husband says it’s about time I tell people what Jesus did to save my life. I’ll try to be brief.
1972, my father kidnapped me from Western Australia and dumped me at Fitzroy Police Station Victoria. Following day, I was in a Court room in Melbourne and was declared Victoria Ward of State and then sent to an orphanage. I’m a Forgotten Australian. I did not speak English, we barely ate, there was fighting, crying and children dying. One day, I collapsed and broke my right hip twice in the playground. I contracted rheumatoid arthritis, pain was intense. Each night, I would tell myself, I wish I was dead over and over again. Every morning I woke up alive. I was finally re-united with my mother.
1973, living in a State Housing Commission flat (Mia Mia), a man came to our neighbourhood carrying a blue, red and yellow striped bag, harmonica, coil bound book. All the children from the flats sat near his feet while I stood a number of metres away. The man played a tune, opened his book to display a picture of Jesus dying on the cross. The man pointed directly at me and said,
“God sent His Son Jesus to die for you.”
He said it three times. I did not believe the man, I could not imagine how someone could die for me. My heart started to beat, my legs started to tremble, I could not contain myself any longer and I ran home as fast as I could. I hid in my wardrobe crying out aloud.
I was thinking of all the wounds and hurts. I had suffered at the hand of my Muslim father. He dumped me; he beat me. I was in intensive care for a year with a multi-organ failure and almost died, I almost died of pneumonia and hospitalised for a year, my father beat my mother while I was in her womb and I almost died. I was hit by a train and almost died and hospitalised for a further 6 months. I was telling myself I should never have lived. I should have died. I deserve to die. I never felt love.
Why did Jesus die for me?
My mother knocked on the wardrobe. She asked me, “why are you crying?”
I said, “I’m not crying,” wiping away my tears.
I asked her “would you die for me?”
She quietly said “no.”
Her response came as a shock to me and I then said, “Jesus died for me.” It was at this point that I felt a great burden lifted. My mother asked me why I am in the wardrobe. I replied, “I’m hiding from God.” She said, “God can see you in there.” I instantly felt peace. I could see the universe that God had made and all the stars in it. It’s difficult to describe… but I felt an indescribable peace beyond measure of love and healing. I was six years of age.
I attended a Catholic school and yearned to know more about Jesus and God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I challenged Priests with verses on the bible and Jesus lead me to pray to a Heavenly Father and not depend on earthly things. The more I read His word the more I was driven from the Catholic Church. I finally left the Catholic Church to my mother’s disappointment. Instead of attending church I read His word and volunteered at nursing homes in hope to find that man carrying that red, blue and yellow striped bag to say thank you for preaching the true word of God that saved me.
In 1988, I purchased an apartment. One Sunday morning, I head towards Joondanna Nursing home – Western Australia. Directly across the road from my apartment I see Mr Archibald sitting on a bench. We had a chat and I asked him if he knew a street evangelist. He said, “there is a man called Mr Slaney who carries a bible with him preaching his head off.”
When I heard this, I got instantly excited and almost cried. I was directed to Mr Slaney’s room. I knocked on the door, a little lady answered, she said she was Mrs Slaney. I asked if her husband preached at Mia Mia state housing commission flats in the 70’s. To my surprise she said yes. I entered the room and a man said, “Is this what I looked like back then?” He had the bag strapped over his shoulder, held onto a harmonica and coil bound book. It appeared to me that he had been waiting for me. I could barely see him as my eyes became instantly flooded with tears.
I ran to him and said “YES, YES.” He stood still and starting preaching like he did all those years ago underneath that tree. He then turned to that page of Jesus dying on the cross and read John 3:16. We chatted all afternoon talking about God and His precious word.
I returned home with a feeling of walking on a cloud. Following week, I returned to visit Mr and Mrs Slaney. Mr Slaney’s bed was missing, the room was dark, Mrs Slaney lost weight. She grabbed my hand and sat me at the table. I kept asking, where is Mr Slaney, where is Mr Slaney. She told me Mr Slaney’s life story, Mr Slaney never had paid work, he was called by God into Street Evangelism and each morning he would wake up at 4am to pray for 500 people.
He travelled from suburb to suburb to preach to tens of thousands of children during his lifetime but he never witnessed a child coming to know the Lord. His ministry was with children. For many months, he had been dying of Parkinsons and he was not ready to go to heaven until God delivers one saved child as proof that his work with children was God’s will. Mr Slaney passed away peacefully that night I came to see him.
In 2000, I reunited with my biological father and forgave him. He is still a Muslim and I still have Muslim friends. I am only able to forgive because of what Jesus had done for me on that cross and the experience of God’s love I felt in that wardrobe back in 1973.
Anyone reading this, must take this Christian walk very seriously, we are living on borrowed time, there is a spiritual warfare and we must be prepared for the greatest battle to come. Be prepared saints, we are ambassadors of Christ and get yourself prepared with the armour of God. We must not heed to any man, no religion, no fortune tellers, no idols. Put your trust in Jesus and read His precious word and pray daily. When you stand before your Creator – our Heavenly Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, you will stand alone before Him, you will be stripped of everything, your religion, your titles, money, worldly goods, your family, even your children won’t be beside you at Judgement day. God will ask you, did you put your faith in my Son Jesus?