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Over the coming months we will be featuring the accounts about people in our church who have put their trust in Jesus.

We trust that you find these articles helpful and think afresh about the hope that Jesus can bring to you also.

The best day of my life.

Amy

Amy comes from Brighouse, Yorkshire and is a 4th year student at the University of Chester where she is studying to become a primary school teacher.

During the summer months she spent some time in Burkino Faso with Pioneers(UK) helping some missionary families with practical tasks and gaining first-hand experience of life in a missionary's environment. She writes:

I was brought up in a Christian family, taken to church from a very young age and knew all the bible stories that were taught in Sunday School. At the age of nine, I was sat with my dad and we were talking about Heaven and Hell and what it meant. My dad told me that because heaven is a perfect place we couldn't get there by ourselves, because we are in no way perfect; however, Jesus Christ had died for all of our wrongdoings so that if we put our trust in Him and ask him to forgive us then we can join him when we die. I prayed with my dad that evening and asked Jesus to forgive me.

Although I had prayed with my dad and asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and forgive me, by the time I was thirteen and at High School, the pressure of school meant that I was not living as a Christian and wanted nothing to do with Christianity. At this point in my life I was living for myself and trying to detach myself from Christianity However, even though I would not call myself a Christian at this point, I would still attend a youth group with my friends and go to church to please my parents.

When I was sixteen, there was a weekend away planned for my youth group. I went along with my friends and, with it being a Christian youth group weekend away, along with great opportunities for outdoor activities, there were also talks that we had to listen to. The guy speaking was talking about Heaven and Hell and I just remember being really challenged by it all. I remember coming to the realisation that I would be going to hell and I broke down in tears. My friends saw what was happening and sat with me after the meeting. We talked and actually I understood that I have an amazing God who gave his only Son so that whoever believes can live with him in heaven. I wanted this, Hell is a terrifying place and I didn't want to end up there. I prayed with my friends and asked the Lord Jesus to forgive me for all I had done. I became a Christian that day and although it is very difficult at times and I make mistakes almost everyday, I know that I have a God who forgives me and loves me. it was the best day of my life and I have never looked back since.

Life changing choices

Jan

I have lived in Chester, with my husband Alan, for nearly 40 years and have two daughters and a loveable and lively grandson. I was born and brought up with  my twin brother in the South of England. 
After the death of our mother when we were eight years old, and our father's subsequent remarriage, we moved to Lancashire where my brother and I completed our education. I joined a youth club connected with a local Church where monthly attendance at church was obligatory and following the service a Youth meeting was held.
It was here that I became aware of my need to get right with God.

At one of these meetings I was challenged about where I would be if my life was to end that night. I had been to Sunday School in the places we had lived and never doubted the existence of God or the person of Jesus, but now I realised I had nothing to assure me that God would accept me into His heaven.

I knew that if I was to know God's forgiveness and come into a relationship with Him, I had to accept that Christ had taken the penalty for my wrong doing (sin) and confess my faith in his death for me personally. This brought me to the point where I had to make a choice that would affect the rest of my life. Shortly after making that choice I left home to start nursing training at Clatterbridge Hospital where I met another Christian who took me to her church.
There I learned the importance of reading the Bible and prayer in order to grow spiritually and know what God wanted to teach me and how to live to please and glorify Him.
I also met Alan there and we were married after I completed my midwifery training.
We later moved to Chester and I joined Upton Baptist Church. In 1988 I received a phone call that was to change the rest of my life for the next 22 years. I was invited to a prayer meeting prior to the start of a class where the Bible is studied and its truth applied to everyday life and and situations. God's plan was that I should be involved in the leadership team of the class and eventually to teach it - what a privilege! I loved the study, training and teaching involved and it was a great time of experiencing God's enabling through some challenging times both in the class and in family and church life.

Four years ago God made it clear that it was time to "retire" to spend more time with Alan and serve Him in other ways. This too has been a time of joy and blessing. God continues to be faithful and we are grateful that he drew us both into His family.