20 October 2018
Sometimes our stories start in unusual places. Mine began at a Billy Graham Crusade in Boston, USA when I was only five years old. I sat with a group of adults from our church and heard Billy Graham give a message. I marvelled that even I could understand. Suddenly I wanted to go forward at the altar call and give my heart to Jesus. But I was too shy to ask anyone to trek down to the front of the stadium with me.
A week later I asked my father if I could get baptized, and he took me to the pastor of our church. The pastor looked down at me with a bemused smile on his face and didn’t even speak to me. He turned to my father instead. “She is too young to understand these things. Becoming a Christian is a weighty matter. Let her wait until she is a teenager, then she will know what she is doing.” So, my father and I walked away.
My child-like heart hurt with the rejection and I push away any thoughts of a relationship with God, that is until I was 12. My great grandmother had recently emigrated to the States and she pulled me aside one Sunday afternoon. She told me how Jesus loved me and died for me, and if I asked him to forgive my sins, he could come into my life. But I had no interest in any kind of religion, especially if it had no interest me.
Then when I was fourteen, my father said he could prove that he was a Christian. He said it was because he had a deep desire to serve God. Somehow that re-stirred a hunger in my heart and that Sunday afternoon in October 1970, I knelt by the window in my bedroom. But I had no idea of what I should say. My grandmother had told me one way to do it and my father had intimated another. I decided to do it my own way.
I knelt by my bedroom window and studied the fields and woods across the road. With eyes open and my head resting on my hands I prayed to the God of heaven and earth. “Please be my boss,” I said. I stopped, trying to find more words to say, but nothing came to mind. I stayed there for a while and then got up. I didn’t even think to say, “Amen,” or “Thanks.”
But now I had a problem. I had decided to follow Almighty God, but I didn’t have a clue how. Then I found out that my cousin was a Christian and she attended a youth group in the city where she lived, about 1000 miles away. I asked if she could share what she was learning, and she began to write to me twice a week. She showed me how to have a quiet time with God, how to memorize verses and share my faith. She taught me that I could pray anywhere I wanted, and in any position I liked, even standing on my head. She set me on a path that has kept me going.
That was my beginning, and I’m still around!
Kat tells her story of sharing Jesus life to life, from experiencing him in the honesty and vulnerability of a Navigator group, to demonstrating something of Jesus to students
“For me, university was a huge turning point. I remember thinking that I could just walk away from God at that point, but the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow me to. I joined a Navigator small group.”
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