John Jacobs

"I'm a Jew.

I grew up in a fairly orthodox Jewish family in NW London, and enjoyed typical family life. I'm really glad to have had the love and the discipline which that involved.

In my early teens I saw that materialism was the prime mover in most people's lives and that their religious life was empty ritual - a burden rather than an enrichment. I saw this as a failing in God rather than in people and left Him out of my thinking more and more. I was studying science and was convinced that "scientists" would soon have all the answers. I dropped out of university, having become a regular user of drugs, and dropped into the "hippy" lifestyle. Science and the technologists had failed to provide me with satisfactory answers to life.

Existential philosophy rapidly replaced my Rationalist views, and it wasn't too long before I set off to travel the world. I was still searching for meaning in my life two years later when I was hitch-hiking in the USA. It was my first view of the Grand Canyon that began a chain of events which changed my life. It was the sheer size of the Canyon, nine miles across and a full mile deep, that shook cherished beliefs in geological erosion. An awareness of God - a real and living God who was able to make great mountains and chasms - grew from that point. I'd begun to think of a return to Judaism, but God had other ideas; and my path seemed to cross those of born-again Christians almost every day.

At a free hostel in Sante Fe, I was given a copy of Luke's Gospel and reading it by the roadside and in my tent, I started to find out about this strange and powerful man called Jesus. My next experience of Christians was in Springfield, Illinois, where my best friend's fiancee persuaded me to go to church with her and although I wasn't impressed by the service, I saw a life and a joy in people which I didn't have. Their purity of life and high moral standards made me feel uncomfortable and I wanted to get away.

I got away from Springfield but not away from God. I was travelling with Brian, a young Christian man from Springfield, who quietly answered my sometimes hostile questions and showed me by his lifestyle what true Christianity was like. What he had was real, that I could see, but as a Jew, even the thought of considering Jesus divine was unthinkable.

My path led to Lima, upstate New York, where I read a book called 'Who Moved the Stone?'. This book examines the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and leads to the only possible conclusion. The logic was irrefutable and the obvious question had to be faced: If Jesus's claim to rise again was true, then why should He not be the Messiah of the Jews, and Saviour of the world? That night, around the kitchen table with some other believers, I prayed and accepted Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.

I am still a Jew ... as was Jesus ... as were all the first Christians ... and I'm glad that God showed me His love in sending Jesus, the Messiah."

Brenda Warwick

It was a miraculous encounter that changed my life completely.

A gap year with SIM

This experience more than any other, has helped me see what a loving, faithful God I have.

Sue Susans

I knew then that God was talking to me ... once home I gave my life to the Lord Jesus.