I’ve always had a passion for helping young people. Life is my home church and it’s where I come to grow. When I was eighteen, I remember getting a clear vision from God that I would one day run a skate building.
About five years ago, I met Ryan Ries, a member of the Whosoevers, an organization that empowers young people to connect with God and make positive choices no matter what their circumstances are. Ryan spoke at a church event and from there we became good friends; I felt passionate about the values they stood for and the work they were doing and thought that it would be a great opportunity to collaborate with them and spread the message further around our city.
I now host a free skate-boarding event four times a year at my business in Keswick, providing a barbecue and multiple prizes to connect with skaters. The event, Skin On, stems from a sermon I once heard. It talked about how Jesus was God incarnate, and came to earth with skin on; we want to show young people Jesus through us with skin on.
I am just willing and open for God to use me and what I have so that I can help play a part in helping and impacting our community.
Skaters are not people you might expect to necessarily walk into a church, but through the Skin On events, one of the skaters, who was doing life tough made a conscious decision to follow Jesus. By keeping in regular contact with him and providing spiritual encouragement, he has begun a new journey with God.
Life has been somewhat of a second home for me. I grew up in the local church and it has completely impacted the way I live my life–it was here I met my husband, where I dedicated my three children and where I gave my heart to God.
Over the years, serving in the local church has always been a constant in my life, and has ultimately helped in developing my relationship with God and provided me the opportunity to know more about how I was created–talents, passions and purpose. As a Life Group leader, I love meeting with my girls and sharing and encouraging them–and in the process, I am blessed and encouraged by them.
For twenty-five years, I’ve also served in the children’s ministry, and it continuously brings me joy in supporting the teachings we offer our children and giving them a safe environment to have fun, learn and explore the Word of God.
When I was uncertain about my career path, God filled in the picture for me, and allowed me to discover more about myself and my giftings while still using me to bless others and meet their needs.
Abi and Lola
When we migrated to Adelaide from Nigeria, we knew no one. We had no family or friends or support system to lean on. We started attending Life a few months after, and the people in the church became our second family, full of love and kindness.
Life is a home to us, it’s a place of comfort, a well we come to draw strength from so that we can carry on with the challenges we face day to day. It’s a place where we feel like we belong.
Four months after we started attending Life, our son Nathan was born prematurely at twenty-six weeks and they were not sure if he would survive. While in hospital, Nathan had a respiratory tract infection and was on life support for eight days laying there lifeless. We prayed with the church and our Life Group until God answered. God comforted us through the one-hundred-and-seven days that Nathan was in hospital and our church family were there standing with us all the way. In particular, our Life Group blessed us by providing meals for us and supporting us through this difficult time.
We constantly ask ourselves, 'What would we have done without our Life Group?' We were standing in a very tough storm and God blessed us with the right people to lead us through it.
Today, Nathan is a wonderful and active toddler. God is so good, and has blessed our family so richly that we are, in turn, able to bless others.
Life has been my home for almost ten years, and for me, it’s a place where I can meet and connect with others. When my daughter was quite young, there were times I often felt quite isolated, and Life gave me the opportunity to feel apart of a community.
I look back fondly on the year I spent with my daughter in the creche because it was also a significant moment where I saw myself building strong friendships with other mums. Church plays such an important part in the life of my family, and there really is a sense of community for the needs of my husband, daughter and I—for my daughter, participating in the Life Kids program every Sunday is something she looks forward to.
My husband and I have one child but after a year of trying to grow our family and experiencing two miscarriages, we were feeling quite despondent. One Sunday morning during the worship, I had a vision of myself sitting a few rows ahead, heavily pregnant. A couple of days later, a close friend told me she had been praying for me and for this specific situation. It was later in the week that I found out I was in the early stages of pregnancy and having experienced miscarriages before, I was feeling worried about what could happen. However, I continually reminded myself of the vision and promise I had from God.
In October, we welcomed our beautiful son into the world - completely healthy and happy.
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