Dear Blessed ones,
How great is our God. I would like to share with you a little bit about myself and how our precious Lord drew me to Himself in 1996. All glory to Jesus!
I once was lost.
- Only child, born in England
- Came via ship to Australia- 1977
- Pennington Hostel, Adelaide was the first place where we lived where I attended a children’s group called the Good News Bible Club and attended my first ever evangelistic meeting.
- My parents saved and were finally able to afford to build a house in a suburb named Salisbury Downs. This is where I grew up.
- I was a troubled teenager as I was a girl with a secret, there was domestic violence in our household and I saw my mother endure much brutality.
- Married young 19- St Peter’s Cathedral, North Adelaide
- I had first child, a son when I was 21 years old
- I was a very ambitious person and always looking for a gt-rich scheme, I had a dressmaking business, studied Accounting at TAFE, was a sales person for a popular pottery company, as well as being a mum.
- My husband became involved in drug dealing- although I opposed it I still redecorated house with the money.
- Eventually we lost our house due to my husbands alcoholism.
- We moved to a rented house, I continued with my sewing business, by now I had two children.
- I became involved in New age teaching, positive thinking books, success teachings etc. and for a time, participated in a bible study with Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- In 1996 I met a lady named Karen, a local school mum who told me about Jesus, day after day, week after week.
- I was deep in sin!
Then I Met Jesus.
I am so thankful that my friend was faithful to keep sharing the gospel with me. Eventually the Lord convicted me of my sin and my need to be forgiven. I knelt down on my lounge room floor and gave my life to Jesus, repenting of all my sin and trusting in Him for salvation. From the very beginning I fell in love with Christ and was so aware of His presence with me. Hallelujah!
- My first church episode- I could not understand one word, the pastor used long words and theological phrases, but I loved the music, the atmosphere, my friend encouraged me that what I was feeling was the Presence of God. I am so passionate about His presence today and I love to praise His name.
- As a rand new Christian I felt like I had hit the jackpot. I felt as though I had discovered a whole new world, God’s kingdom and I did not need to look any further now for fulfillment, as I had found what I had been looking for, the right way to live, the way to success, I found Him. Jesus. My salvation.
- Right from the start I was on fire, I filled my home with Christian music, which I love, especially black gospel, which is my favourite even now, because they worship with such abandon and with the whole heart. I would spend hours worshiping the Lord as my husband worked shift work.
- I was passionate! Evangelism- told all my family they were going to hell and needed to give their lives to Jesus, laid hands on every sick person telling them the Bible said they were healed and giving all our money away, because I heard a preacher say we would receive a 100 fold return. I had zeal, but not much wisdom those days. But my heart was a heart after Jesus.
- When I wasn’t worshipping, I was in the Word. I bought books, watched tapes, at home and listened in the car, read my Bible and prayed, all with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit was with me helping me understand. I had a new obsession, God, and I wanted to know all of His ways, right now.
- One night a friend took me to the church music practice. They practiced their songs and then worshipped God freely for the rest of the time. They put a microphone out the front of the church and said, “If God gives you something to sing, come to the microphone”. I felt compelled to go forward and my heart was beating so fast. I took the mike and sang “Praise the Lord” over and over, and felt I was in the very throne room of heaven, I was aware of the people around me but they seemed very far away and could them saying “WOW, who’s this?”. They were stunned. Finally I stopped and slumped into the front pew, overcome by the power of God. The people around me laid hands on me and they were praying, and then the music director laid hands on me and prophesied saying “The day will come when you will sing, the joy of the Lord will come and people will be healed.” Later on that evening I was invited to come each week and after a while they put me on the singing roster.
- Funny thing is I never sang on the platform in this church.
- Our finances, debt and my husband’s alcoholism became worse until we could not afford to pay our rent.
- At this time, we were offered a government subsidised house in a regional town called Renmark and we thought this would solve our financial problems. We visited the town and checked out the house. I hated it was small, ugly and in a horrible area, but on this trip I saw there was a Christian bookstore in the town, which gave me some comfort, I didn’t want to move, but I knew it was God’s direction.
- Not long after moving II found out there was a small, local AOG church in Renmark which met in a local community centre every Sunday morning.I went there and quickly made friends.
- At the time I was pregnant with my third child and during this time my father-in law died suddenly of a heart attack. This led to my husband falling into a deep depression for 2 ½ years and his alcoholism worsened. Even the birth of our third baby did not cheer things up. Our marriage became strained as I shouldered all the responsibility of parenting and mounting bills and debts. But I found my strength in praise and worship. To me I knew it was spiritual warfare.
- I became very involved in the church, attending music/prayer meetings each week and bible studies in my pastors home. It wasn’t long before I began leading a women’s group in my home and I also began to sing and speak in the church. I took every opportunity I could to encourage and build up others and I came to understand God had given me a gift. The power of words. The power to encourage.
- The devil raised a number of enemies against me at different times, people who pretended to be friends but had an evil agenda, but I stuck it out with God, held on and out of these times came a measure of discernment which I really needed.
- 3 ½ years after becoming a Christian God gave me a gift- I was blessed to lead my mother to Christ, and she has since led hundreds of people to Christ. She turned out to a gifted evangelist. The fellowship we have in Christ today is such a blessing to me.
- A few years later, my mum became involved with Teen Challenge, a ministry started in New York by David Wilkerson, a ministry called to the streets to help teenagers break addiction through the power of Christ. I went to Adelaide once every 6 weeks and joined my mum in Light Square and later in Salisbury feed and clothe the homeless and share the gospel and would regularly visit Teen Challenge Chapel where my mother attended. Eventually though a combination of people I knew from TC and helping a couple of people here in our church who were struggling with addiction, I became a teacher of the TC program at the Waikerie Living Free Rehabilitation Centre. I can truly say the the 18 month period that I worked there, was the hardest and the most thrilling thing I have ever done. I often say I have done 18 months of rehab myself and I learnt so much about freedom in Christ and the love of God in this place. It was here I learnt God is a powerful God of breakthrough, a mighty deliverer.
- My marriage grew worse and worse, my church and TC friends tried to help to no avail, my husbands health started to fail, ABI, he was abusive to our children, demeaning, verbal abusing at a level unspeakable, and every other kind of abuse. My husband was tyrant, our marriage was failing, while my ministry work was going from strength to strength.
- It was abundantly clear to me while working at Teen Challenge that I desperately needed some formal qualifications in counselling, and though a series of events I began to study the Diploma of Welfare Work (specialising in Counselling Skills), followed up with another year doing my Training and Assessment certificate.
- While studying at TAFE I met a lady who worked at a non-profit employment agency. She helped me obtain a job there as a support worker. It was a shock to the system! Although it was a Christian organisation, I was now working with non-Christians and also with men! It wasn’t long before I found out Gods power could work anywhere. I could sense him helping me and giving me ideas and solutions that brought breakthrough in people’s lives. I had favour with my bosses and they gave me great money, a work car and phone. Everything I did prospered.
- Still, in my own home, things were spiralling downwards, worse and worse, my husband’s alcoholism resulted in him being very abusive to point that I had to make hard decisions in order to keep my children safe physically and mentally and to keep myself from going insane! At this time my husband was in and out of hospitals, detox and rehabilitation centres. All to no avail. Things became so dangerous for us that I gave my husband an ultimatum, go back to rehab or our marriage is over. Some friends arranged for my husband to go to Karobran Farm, a Christian rehabilitation centre in the Adelaide Hills. Unfortunately he refused to stay, left after five days and did not fight for either our marriage or our family. I would not let him come home again, not this time, our marriage was over for good.
- All the time we were separated I prayed and hoped for reconciliation. Divorce was never I my thoughts, but it was unsafe to let him come home, so, through some more contacts my mum organised for him to move into a one bed unit through a group called SA Lutheran Homes. His true desire was to drink himself to death. I continued to pray and placed him before God’s throne. I did not hold any unforgiveness anymore. I was just incredible sad. I had no idea what was going to happen. The outcome was in God’s hands.
- One weekend when I was in town, I took my children to see their Dad, with strict instructions to call me if there was any trouble. Unbeknownst to them, their Dad had called Drug and Alcohol line that day and threatened to kill me. They took the threat seriously and called the police. I received a distressed call from my girls calling me to come and get them. My mother and I drove down only to find the police had made a roadblock in the street. We went inside to find my children, family members and many police there, my children were traumatised and we found out that there Dad had resisted arrest and my children had watched the scene from the 2nd floor window as they saw the star force, drop their dad to the ground, knee in the back and guns pointed to his head. I bundled my kids in the car, and that is when I knew, this will never end. I told my mother, as soon as I get back to Renmark, I’m hiring a lawyer. This marriage ended in divorce 2008. Dead.
- Still, God gave me amazing grace though this this period of my life. I can’t explain it, but he upheld me. Thankyou Lord.
- Since this time, God has greatly prospered me, blessing my the work of my hands and we were able to move into a beautiful home, furnish and decorate it, buy a new car, and we have travelled overseas four times. I had the pleasure of visiting Israel recently. I have paid off debts and established savings, all through prayer and direction of the Lord. He is my guide. I have had to learn lessons about singleness in this season and have experienced God I such a close way I am amazed.
- Now and again, when I am lonely and have doubts, the Holy Spirit is my closest friend and comforter. My goal is to carry myself in a way that brings honour to God. He is the lover of my soul and the keeper of my heart, and my home is under God’s rule and protection.
- So, though life can be difficult at times, all things have indeed worked together for good, and I now know compassion and His grace abounds.
Many things I’m sure, university degree is planned, more travel, preaching, singing, more serving in the church, God willing. My desire is to follow Him in all things. To be completed surrendered to His will and to bring Him glory and praise. To shine for Jesus!
My blessed brothers and sisters, I pray that my testimony is a blessing to you and has encouraged you today. May God draw you closer to Himself and give you a heart to serve Him. You are gifted and much loved! In Jesus’ Name. Amen!