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From South Africa to the UK

I was brought up in a religious home in South Africa where everyone attended church every Sunday. I went to church largely against my will but was happier in the Sunday School and youth clubs as I found the Bible stories interesting and  entertaining and I enjoyed singing the hymns.I was christened as a baby as it was my parents’ wish and later, at the age of sixteen, I was confirmed although I would say that I was not ready for this as I still lived my life my way and I had no time for God.

After my schooling I left home to study in the city and the many attractions and vibrant nightlife soon had me living a life of reckless abandon. For the next seven years I continued to live my life and there was certainly no room for the Lord even though I knew that he existed. Anyway, he would not have fitted into my lifestyle of constant parties and having a good time.

While I was living away from home, the friends that I had made began to go their separate ways. I very soon became lonely and began to feel that something was missing in my life. My discontent grew and when the wife of a couple that I was boarding with invited me to church with her I decided to go. I knew then what the problem was. I had abandoned God and lived a life of my choosing.

I remembered my mother’s words to me: “If you want to find decent friends or a good husband, then meet with the Lord’s people.” However, my friend soon stopped attending church and I stopped too as I did not feel comfortable or bold enough to go alone.

A year later I met Antony, my future husband, and I realised that we had received a similar upbringing and shared the same ideas. I knew that I had found a great friend and someone to accompany me to church again. We attended a Methodist church together a few times before we decided we wanted a change in our lives and came to the UK to look for it.

Upon arrival in England we soon found ourselves living in a houseshare and I was pleasantly surprised to notice a small chapel in the same road. It was my intention to pay a visit as soon as possible. The initial welcome I received compelled me to attend regularly and I soon became ashamed of the sinful and godless life that I had been living. I wondered if God had the grace and generosity to forgive me for my sins and this drove me to come before him in prayer. I asked the Lord Jesus to save me from my sinful life and to forgive me for
all the evil things I had done. Soon after, I began to feel him working in my life and changing me for the better. He changed my priorities and the worldly things that had consumed so much of my time began to lose their glitter as I became determined to do what God wants.

With each passing day I am ever more grateful to the Lord for sparing me from a life of certain doom and for rescuing me from the clutches of Satan. He has shown me infinite love, mercy and grace and given me the gift
of eternal life _ far more than I could ever have hoped for and certainly far more than I deserve.

Rochelle Heathcote

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And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12