We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching
the Bible and understanding our time in
the light of Bible prophecy
To Bring Comfort...
How could I look God in the face and ask for his forgiveness? If I’d had the answer
to this, I may have been better able to cope with the events that were unfolding
I suppose like many others born shortly after the war, from a very early age I have
had a life of loss, rejection, insecurity and confusion: a lack of self worth, self
esteem and self confidence. All rolled up with a nice fat bundle of feelings of
inferiority and, of course, guilt. I lost both parents and was separated from my
elder brother, and spent some time in a children’s home. I’d been born with congenital
cataracts, resulting in very poor eyesight in one eye and just light in the other.
However, I have also been incredibly fortunate throughout my life. Despite all,
at the age of five I went to live with a foster family who gave me a good home and
kept me on the straight and narrow - at least, most of the time. As a child I was
constantly reminded that it wasn’t a permanent situation, so I knew what could happen
if I didn’t behave - back to the children’s home. They showed me generally good standards
to live by, with lots of good, but also some rather non-Christian, examples.
In the great scheme of things, and in the circumstances, I have been extraordinarily
fortunate. However, it has been a difficult and at times a very painful journey,
carrying lots of baggage around for many years.
There is too much to tell it all here; however, I will mention the planned arrival
of our first baby. I was deliriously happy, so happy that I could hardly contain
myself and was frequently reduced to tears of joy – at last my own real family. So
you can imagine how I felt when, at 12 days overdue, she suddenly, and unexplainably,
died. She was so perfect, and I cannot describe the sheer heartbreak which can still
make me cry, even twenty years later.
It was four very, very long, painful and damaging years before her lovely sister
came along – the light my life.
Had someone asked me a year ago if I were a Christian, I would have said “Yes, I
don’t go to church very often but, yes, I live a Christian life”. Apart from my
little weaknesses and minor sins – the odd swear word, the odd fib, inappropriate
thoughts, sometimes too many glasses of wine … Oh yes - and the major sins which
really messed up my life. These destroyed my marriage, my self respect, personal
integrity and the vows I had made before God - the weaknesses and sins which cast
me adrift from what I had always believed in; my own honest values.
I’d known all along that what I was doing was wrong and I hated doing it, but felt
I couldn’t resist – I didn’t want to resist. Life owed me this bit of happiness
and excitement! But what followed was years of guilt and self punishment.
I found a wonderful counsellor who helped me to understand and come to terms with
what had gone before. She helped me to understand that I could forgive myself and
others, that I was only human, that there comes a time when we just have to accept
what we have done, make amends as best we can and move on. She made such a difference
to my life. I even began to quite like myself and regain some self respect! I was
then happier and more content with myself than I had ever been. I had reached a
place I could never have imagined.
However, there was one question we hadn’t tackled – or even discussed - during the
counselling: How could I look God in the face and ask for his forgiveness? If I’d
had the answer to this, I may have been better able to cope with the events that
were unfolding …
Recently baptised, Richard Pearce tells his story.
In 2007, my beloved brother (see photo) developed a tumour at the base of his spine.
It was successfully removed, and we were all so ecstatically happy when, after six
months, he appeared to have regained his health. In the meantime, my foster sister’s
cancer had spread, and it was clear that she had not long to live. Only weeks later,
my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour; doctors gave him between one and six
weeks to live.
My foster sister died on my brother’s birthday; my brother died exactly one month
later. My sister died with enormous courage and dignity; but my poor brother was
so frightened of dying. He told me several times that he was terrified; and I cannot
tell you how distressing that was for both of us.
We had grown up with different foster families, but remained in contact for almost
all our lives. I loved my brother very much – there were times when he was my father,
my mother as well as my brother. During those final weeks, we were able to talk to
each other and to say good bye. There had been many times when I had wished I could
exchange places with him.
I had felt so helpless and I was unable to find the words to help him seek guidance
and give himself to God. I felt I had let him down when he most needed me. That
was three years ago.
Since then my life has changed beyond all recognition, and during this past year
I have come into contact with a number of other people who were approaching death.
When one man was invited to attend a short service in the chapel, he declined, saying
he had not really been a believer, and would feel hypocritical. I tried to persuade
him that it was never too late to seek God’s love, but without success. I felt so
frustrated again, that I didn’t have the knowledge and the words to convince him
otherwise. There have been other incidents since where I have found myself praying
for and trying to convince people that God will listen, that God will forgive and
will be there for them if only they would trust and give themselves to him.
I have also found myself with others who have experienced serious and distressing
crises in their lives and I am finding an ever strengthening conviction and wish
to encourage them to reach out for God’s help.
I have my friend to thank for leading me to The Bridge, where I have learned more
in a matter of months, than I have learned in the rest of my 62 years.
I have been overwhelmed by the welcome and fellowship of the congregation, and I
give thanks to God for leading me here and for the wonderful teaching and way in
which they give praise to the Lord. It is wonderful !
However, what is also wonderful is that all this - and so much more - has given me
the surety of my own belief. I have been able to ask, and have received, God’s forgiveness
for my past sins through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, whom I believe lived
and died for me. I chose to testify to this change in my life by being baptised.
I pray that I will gain the understanding, wisdom and knowledge of God, in order
to point others towards Jesus, and to help comfort those I know and love, and those
I meet along the way.