I was first told about Christianity and Jesus by my family members and my church. They were the first ones to introduce and teach the Bible to me – though due to my young age, I didn’t really understand it until I had my first real encounter with Jesus.
If I am being honest, it didn’t really make a difference to me at first. It just felt like another story, teaching me good moral lessons, but I didn’t really pay attention or believe they were true. That is, until I was 13.
At the age of 13 I went to a Christian festival called Spring Harvest, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I made friends, got to stay up late and enjoy some great music, but the greatest thing of all was my first encounter with Jesus. I felt the Holy Spirit for the first time. Since then, I have had multiple encounters with Jesus, many of them at a youth event called New Day.
Not much changed after first hearing about Jesus but it all changed after I had my first encounter with him. After meeting him, I’ve felt my faith strengthen and I know that someone is always here, helping me.
My faith has really helped me get through some tough times, mainly because of my anxiety, and school doesn’t really help with that. It’s really nice to know that there is somebody always listening and understanding what you are going through. It’s also just really reassuring knowing that it’s not just anybody, it’s Jesus.
If I had come to faith at an older age then I wouldn’t have had Jesus to help me during those tough times. It’s nice having him to lean on as a young teenager.
I go to two churches at the moment: St Peter’s and Greenhouse. Greenhouse started out as just a few families getting together talking about Christ, but it is becoming more established now. I went with St Peter’s to New Day, and I have to say it was an amazing week. It was a huge camping trip, five days’ long with over 7,000 teenagers! I had the privilege of getting to know Jesus even more there, and I will never forget the day I had my first encounter with him.
I would say to any young people considering faith, find a friend who is a Christian who can take you to youth events – they are the best places to get to know Christ. I also find that being around kids my age really helps, as you feel more comfortable praising God when everyone is doing the same.
As told to Pathways by Ben Churchill.
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