Although I had a Christian upbringing many years ago in the UK, I only now realise just how little attention I paid to any of it! After many years in the Church, I drifted away in my late teens. Since then, I’ve spent most of my life trying to find meaning in created things… money, work, status, cars, etc. It was a never-ending list of ‘things’.
My wife and I emigrated to HK 20 years ago, and we tried attending another church once. Just as before, the words ‘went in one ear and out the other’ and my heart remained closed. Then one year ago, life completely changed; I now look back and see a very different person to the Christian I am today. We visited St Andrew’s for the first time in 2022. Although the experience seemed familiar at first, as I sat there listening to the service, the words suddenly sounded very different from those I’d heard. The same passages were now having a very different effect. The Word of God started to hit the mark, awakening something inside, along with a real desire to understand more.
Christianity Explored came next, with a life-altering moment when the truth finally hit me—the Gospel is the best news I will ever hear; having my doubts blown away and knowing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for us. Then on to Partnership, which was very informative and prepared us for the Growth Groups. We met some lovely people and made new friends. (A wonderful tip given to me in Partnership was that if you’re ever struggling with any of the questions, “The answer is always Jesus”. I will be forever grateful for that pearl of wisdom; I repeat it a lot now.)
The next step was to join a Growth Group —a fantastic experience which has helped me so much! It’s more rewarding than I ever imagined.
I’ve never been really excited at the idea of a bible study (or study of any kind), but I can now assure you a Growth Group offers much more. We are a band of brothers and sisters from all walks of life who are learning about the Bible whilst developing a sense of fellowship and community as we journey together. A mixed bag of backgrounds, education, careers and ages, with different levels of understanding scripture, starting from novice level (me) upwards, with one common goal that brings us together—a desire to learn more about God’s Word. The different responses to scripture allow me to see things from other perspectives; everybody’s input is respected and provides a broader view than I would have achieved alone. A special thanks to our group leaders, who are not only great teachers but also do an amazing amount of work on our behalf, creating a culture of caring and togetherness. Besides providing support and comfort, being in a Growth Group has also provided a whole new aspect to my spiritual journey.
I highly recommend joining a Growth Group to everyone, whatever age and however far along the journey you might be. After all, I’m proof they will accept anybody!