Having been brought up in a religious family, I have been familiar with Christianity and God since I was young. My parents were from an Ethiopian Orthodox background and this influenced the way we were brought up. That being the case, my brothers and sisters and I were not really concerned about Christianity but followed the various religious ceremonies and celebrations because it was simply what we did as a family.
Then I was 12 we moved to Isleworth and shortly after started attending Amyand Park Chapel. I tried my best not to attend. I made excuses and said I was too ill to get to church. However, after two weeks the excuse was wearing thin. I eventually did go and really enjoyed it but that was only because there were loads of kids my age and I was making friends. I went to a number of the clubs and was quite comfortable with how things were.
During this time my brothers and sisters were also attending regularly. Within a year or so of being at Amyand Park Chapel, my brothers and my elder sister really changed. They were starting to take Jesus seriously. I would walk into conversations at home when they were discussing the Bible, Jesus and church as if these were really important matters. They had changed and their change was having an impact on me. I started to pay more attention to the messages that I was listening to at the clubs. I became more and more aware of the fact that I was a sinner. I had done and said things that were wrong, and if I stayed like this, I wouldn’t be going to Heaven but to Hell. This really made me think about the solution, Jesus; he died on the cross for people like me. Although he was sinless, he died for the sins of those who trust in him.
One evening during this time I just couldn’t sleep. I knew I was a sinner. I couldn’t ignore the fact and I wanted to believe that Jesus had died as my substitute. So that night I prayed that I would believe. After I prayed, I felt a great sense of peace. I stopped worrying about the things that were unsettling me because I trusted in what Jesus had said and actually done. Jesus, through his death on the cross, had that night saved me.
Since then, I have been living for him, following his word. I thank him for making me realise that there is an eternal world to come and that this world with its hurts, pains and short-term pleasures is passing.
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.