I had a wonderful happy early childhood, growing up enjoying beaches and forests and the beauty of nature in New Zealand.
Unfortunately, when I was eight, my parents separated and life changed suddenly and so did my perspective on ‘happiness’.
Thankfully, my mum had started wondering about God and trying to find a church to get baptised at because she had started reading about baptism in the bible. She went along to a meeting and got baptised in a tank of water. A few days later, a kind couple from the church came to our house and prayed with my mum and she spoke in tongues. I saw her change from a sad person into a strong person. I knew I felt good when I was sitting next to her when she was praying.
After a few years of going along to the Sunday school group I was invited to go with them to a kids camp. We had fun doing all sorts of activities and then we had a prayer time together. I sat there wondering if there was a God and asking this God that if he was real, to prove it. Amazingly, I spoke in tongues. I got baptised the next week. I can say what I noticed was a peace and confidence and when I read the bible it was no longer just stories, it had messages that I could apply to my life.
I have been going to these church meetings ever since, all over the world!
Through the stress of university and work I found that prayer really helped me manage my stress levels and gave me the confidence to make positive choices for my life. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way I want it to, and it isn’t always clear what decision I should make, but I have found that I can pray and sing songs and that calms me down while I let God show me the way. Patience does not come easily to me, even after 30 years of growing in faith!
I have seen how prayer can do wonders. One day when I was working as a teacher in a Christian school, one of my students suddenly had a seizure and fell off his chair. I called for an ambulance, and the office staff called the student’s parent, who arrived before the ambulance. I offered to pray for the child, and the mum looked relieved and said “Oh yes please!”. Within a few seconds of praying, the seizure stopped. When I was relating this story to one of my friends, she told me that her son had had a seizure while they were driving and it even continued in the hospital while the doctors were administering anti-seizure medication.
I don't know why things happen the way they do, I just know that God is there with me, even in those really distressing moments and God has been a great comfort throughout my life.
There is nothing better to me than talking with someone about how to get closer to God and find more peace and joy in life.