I was speaking to someone recently who shared this story of hope with me:
The story began by taking a loaf of bread and giving it to a young fella. He was living in a camping ground and he was homeless before that.
From the loaf of bread he moved in to live with a mate and after that he started moving furniture and he realised the love of Christ had been shining through (our church helps get furniture for strugglers).
After a few months of helping and receiving, he decided it was about time he did something with his life. He told me that late one night he got down on his hands and knees and asked Jesus into his life. At that stage he was also suffering with HepC and at various times been in prison and asked to go on a program that the Government ran. Each time he was knocked back. His psychiatrist didn’t think he was up to it yet.
Once he became a Christian he went to them again and this time was accepted. Originally it was to be 12 months BUT it was only 6 months. His liver had begun to heal. He had 6 months where he fought. There were times when he wanted to give up and he was encouraged just to go another day. Each time his mood improved.
All this time he is going to church and getting involved in the Christian community and also helping to give out to people. He was no longer living on the streets but settled into a house with four walls and a roof, that were important to him. He actually joined Alcohol Anonymous and gave up the drink. He has been sober now for 2 ½ years.
Now he is an active member in the congregation, reading during church and has even taken a service BUT the amazing thing is his liver has been healed. He was telling me one day that he had a death sentence of 2-3 years but now he feels as though he has a completely new life.
I had the pleasure of baptising him at the beginning of the year. He told me afterwards that he said that he felt so clean – the slate had been wiped clean. At other times he has told me he felt Jesus scruffing him by the collar and dragging him up out of the gutter because that was where he’d reached – rock bottom.
At times he still struggles. BUT, he knows at the end of the day Jesus is there for him and he reaches out to him. He gets into the Word and we discuss at numerous times what he has been reading. His family has been amazed by his progress. What they remember of a drunken, homeless man, sleeping in car bodies, is no longer there.
How he began this life is another little story. He had a father who was a Christian and was killed in a motorbike accident on his way home from work. He still remembers his father used to work for the Army and he remembers that daunting service he went to as a 6 year old. His grandfather took him under his wing because his mother had remarried and the new husband didn’t want the child. So the grandfather took him under his wing and he promptly died when the young fella was 12 and from then he just drifted in and out of trouble, in and out of jail, alcohol, drugs… you name it.
So he has come on an amazing journey. He told me a while back that once he had been cleared of the HepC, his liver was completely healed and he had been given a new life. The old life had gone. In Jesus we are given new lives.
He has just finished a TAFE course and now hopes to start up his own little business. It won’t make him millions but he said as long as he can get off the pension he won’t be a burden to society.
So just pray for this young man, that the Lord will continue to guide and direct him in his life that he now has. Amen.