Conrad tells the story of how he met the Jesus Centre and how God changed his life.
I date my life from when I first came to the Coventry Jesus Centre. When I saw a booklet with the title “How the lost sheep was found”, I just said “that’s me”.
I had given up totally on life itself, as I had several illnesses and serious medical issues – diabetes, arthritis in my lower back and serious migraines. I was looking for a way out and was not able to see the direction. I was hospitalised for 11 days with stomach issues. When I got out I found my room had been burgled and £13k worth of clothing, kitchenware and tools had been stolen. I became homeless and was on 14 tablets three times a day, plus my insulin.
I was referred by the Red Cross in Birmingham to come to the Peace House night shelter in Coventry, as I am not a migrant or asylum seeker but just an over-stayer. When I came to the Peace House I was lost as I was not used to that life. I had always been a working person. To see my life fall this way was unbelievable, shocking.
During the first six weeks here in Coventry, I had no friends, knew of nowhere to go and had to be out of the Peace House for 12 hours every day. It was winter and I had no way of getting by as a diabetic. I felt totally lost.
Then I saw a flyer for the Coventry Jesus Centre and was welcomed by the staff and volunteers, who gave me a listening ear and prayed for me that God would open up the way for me. When I first came in I found people who were soft spoken and something changed inside. I felt different that morning. I felt welcomed in Christ, the Son of God. I felt I was not alone but there are angels still on earth to guide you in the right direction if you are willing to listen. I was invited to church.
I was a different person when I left that first church service. I felt there was something saying to me that there is a God and as long as you believe in Christ, God will accept you for who you are. I cried during the service and the tears were because it made me realise I was in God’s arms again and I felt this no matter what the circumstances were. I felt I really belonged. I was moved by the welcome I had and by the freedom to express your faith.
Coming to this church has helped me to talk to God in a way I have never done before and things have started working out for me since. I have been praying since I came to church here and now I have been given a flat. I have been able to control my diabetes, put on weight, and I have less headaches.
I have never missed a day of church since first coming here, because church has helped me see how serving the Lord and others is done. It makes me feel I can express myself.
Being able to speak to Coventry Jesus Centre members has helped me to open my mind to positivity. Everyone here always has a gentle smile, soft words and encouragement. Wherever I go and whoever I meet, I always tell them about the Jesus Centre because I am touched by the love of people in this church. I feel good every day since then. I try to think positively every day.
I came to the Re-launch Commissioning Service and heard about how the Jesus Centre came into being from a garage until now, and saw how people have offered their lives to make everyone feel they are worth something. My motto is that “the shadow of each person standing under the sun points in the same way”.
Finally, at the age of 52, I have come to see how good God’s work is and I am privileged to be among the people who understand that. I pray that I will never look back.