I grew up in a Christian home, we were read bible stories regularly. Mum would listen to worship music often and dad would tuck us into bed at night and pray the Aaronic blessing over us “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and be gracious to you and give you his peace.”
These are happy memories, however our lives were scarred by a terrible tragedy, when I was three years old my father’s sister was murdered by her husband who also committed suicide immediately after the event. They had two young boys.
It tore through the fabric of our family, my father found it difficult to cope and resorted to collecting things on a large scale, piece by piece he began to fill up our small home until we couldn’t run through the house anymore for fear of knocking something over.
My mother didn’t know what to do, she liked a tidy house, and the clutter was too much so she ended up staying in bed, she couldn’t bear the sight of the house.
When I was eight years old, a friend of my mother’s from church, who was also a doctor, had a conversation with my mother about her declining health. She convinced my mother that for her sake and the sake of us children we would be better off moving somewhere else until my father had cleaned up the house. So my parents split up and mum took us kids with her to live in another house where our living conditions were greatly improved.
At this time, I had an awareness of God as someone who existed, but I didn’t have a personal relational knowledge of him.
I went to school and was beginning to be caught up into sin by my classmates. At the end of my 11th year of life my mother said she felt that God was telling her to take me out of public school and put me in a private Christian school. I had come to a realisation that my parents were never going to get back together, which deeply hurt me. I my new school I had to read the Bible every day and I believe that through this God was working in my heart.
When I was thirteen my parents finally divorced, and my father moved from New Zealand to America to marry his new wife. But he did something for me before he left that was truly great.
My older sister invited me to a Christian youth camp and my father paid for us to go. It was there that I had a radical encounter experiencing and understanding the wonderful love of God. There was an alter call placed before me, a call to follow Jesus with my life. I went up to the front of the auditorium and I committed to follow Jesus. My knees gave way and I wept. I have never been the same since and I am so thankful to God for his faithfulness over the last twenty years.