My life was full of damaged relationships. I believed in God and at times prayed, but I didn't make God part of my life, so I made many bad choices. All this led now to a broken family. I first made a connection with GRLC after speaking to a counsellor for family problems who was also a pastor at the church. I had to have major surgery and had no family close by to help and she organised people from the church to help me. I felt their kindness and support. Attending GRLC was the first time I truly felt peace, acceptance, love and belonging. Being embraced by everyone with genuine warmth touched my heart and still does. My life has changed so much, I feel I now have a relationship with Jesus that I didn't have before. I feel a closeness with Him and His love. I no longer doubt. Being separated from family at one time would have destroyed me, but the relationship I have with Jesus has given me strength to cope with the sadness and peace I've never had before. I now feel confident about my future. I have the Lord, I have hope for my family, I have friends and a church I feel part of. I look forward to seeing what the Lord has for me to do for Him and the church in the future. This has changed my life and in many ways saved it.
Just before I started coming to church my parents were going through a messy divorce and I was also being bullied at school. It was a very confusing time and as an only child I felt very alone. But I was introduced to GRLC by my scripture teacher who was a pastor at the church. So I feel like I basically grew up at GRLC and they are my second family. By going through the Sunday kids program and Georges River Youth, I constantly had an amazing support network of loving, kind hearted people. These people have introduced me to God's amazing love and they've helped me grow in my faith by just simply sharing their testimonies. I have been able to experience how God has worked in other's lives, which has helped me trust in God more. I can now see the amazing things He is doing in my life. Jesus and GRLC has definitely had a huge positive impact on my life. I know God has an amazing plan for my life and I can't wait to experience this with the people I love as well as new people that God may place in my life.
The last 8 years were horrible and full of grief. I lost my mum, dad and sister, and my brother vanished. My eldest daughter passed away at 27 years of age. My relationship with my partner of 28 years broke down, I was unemployed and looking after 3 children. I hid all the pain. A family at my daughter’s school started to help me. They were so kind. One day they said, 'Why don’t you come to church?' I found myself wanting to come because I loved these people and if the people at church were like them then it would be ok. I came to church and had an overwhelming feeling of no shame. People were friendly and real and God was real in their lives - and I wanted that too. Each Sunday I came I was in tears because I felt safe, no condemnation and peace. I started to pray and listen to Jesus. The church’s Life Care team helped me in all areas- food, bills and getting myself organised. They gave me strength again. I was a mess caught up in my own turmoil and couldn’t let go of it. Every time I connected with people at church, I could let go a little bit more. Before, if there was a problem in my life, I'd fester on it and hide away, but now I don’t live that way. Life is so different. Jesus is growing in me. Now I have beautiful friends and this is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Now I have a relationship with Jesus and He is always with me and on my mind. I have hope and inspiration now and I don’t fear anymore.
(James) I was a Christian for a long time, but lonely. I had no support and Stella was anti-Christian. Our marriage was quite difficult. (Stella) On the outside I looked ok but something inside me was broken and nothing worked to fix it. I had been going through a very rough patch with James, my children and family when my neighbour invited me out for a coffee. We'd never talked about faith before and I'd never say yes to going to church. We talked, and by the end I asked 'Can I visit your church?' (Stella) I came to church and I didn’t imagine it to be like this. People were kind, it was relaxing and I loved the music. My tears wouldn’t stop. I felt like something was going out and something was coming in. I still didn’t believe in God but I began to think that maybe God is real. For the next few weeks I felt like a different person. James and I stopped fighting and became desperate to talk about the bible. I became a Christian after four weeks and on the fifth week I got baptised! I still had so many questions but I now knew that I believed, I was saved and that God loved me the whole time. (James) Now our lives and marriage are so much better and we have great connections with our church. (Stella) Looking ahead, we believe God will continue to work wonders in our marriage. We feel much stronger and we see each other and our kids so differently. We see Jesus in our kids. As a mum it is so amazing. We have a vision of walking together as a team.