Throughout October we'll be sharing stories of people whose lives changed when they met Jesus.
I grew up in a typically middle-class English environment. My mother was a regular churchgoer (my father less so) and their beliefs were relatively private. At boarding school I drifted thoughtlessly through chapel.
With hindsight, it was witnessing the conversion of a friend of mine (Rico Tice), which sowed the first real seed in my mind about Jesus. Rico’s conversion and resolute faith through a period of merciless taunting, made me think he could not have done this on his own – who was it standing over him?
Yet it wasn't until my early thirties that I started to follow Jesus myself. I’d recently met and married my wife, Tricia, and we were living in Singapore. She was already a strong Christian and had regularly encouraged me to explore the Christian faith – a need which became more acute as the deadly SARS epidemic swept through the area.
With Tricia’s encouragement – and coupled with my memories of Rico’s strength and faith all those years previously – I signed up to Christianity Explored at St George’s Church, Tanglin. It was then that I considered Jesus’ cross for the first time, and knew I had to respond. I went to every session and prayed for Jesus to come into my life.
Life before was focussed on me. I still struggle with this but it has become more focussed on Jesus and serving him and others.
I have been reading Psalm 62:5-7 recently and it is such a good reminder that we are dependant on God for everything.
I had previously thought my faith was a personal, private matter and had not understood the command in Matthew 28 to make disciples. I find this very hard but I do increasingly try to talk about my faith and who Jesus is.
We're humbled that Christianity Explored played a part in Richard's story. Now we're asking if you can play a part too - if we reach our £100,000 fundraising target this year, we estimate 200,000 more people like Richard could be introduced to Jesus through our ministry.