Today I have something a little different for you. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how as Christians, we should be excited and honoured to be able to share our stories of salvation, redemption and grace with our friends, Christian or otherwise, but we very rarely are. We have good news, so why are we so reluctant to share it? I have felt convicted to use this blog to share how God has been moving in my life and in the lives of my friends to hopefully bring some new perspective and encouragement to others.
So then I knew I wanted to share my friends stories, but I wasn’t sure how to label it. I thought back to conversations with one of my closest friends, Sarah, who was the person that made me question why Christians were so reluctant to share their testimonies with one another in the first place. The more I thought about it, the more that I realised we need to be: fearless.
Because what have we got to lose? More importantly, think of what there is to gain. How do you know that by sharing your story, you aren’t going to be letting somebody hear the exact words that they needed to hear that day? How do you know that you aren’t going to be speaking into somebody’s life and affirming them? Sharing your testimony can open up so many opportunities.
BE FEARLESS: #FEARLESSFRIDAY
Every Friday up until Easter, and beyond, hopefully, I will be bringing you a testimony from one of my dear friends. I am so so grateful that they have decided to be fearless and become vulnerable in order to share their very personal stories with you. I love hearing others’ testimonies as each and every one is different, intimate and special, and I love seeing how God works among us in unique ways. Life is not easy, and it can be incredibly painful. But walking with God makes it bearable and so worthwhile. It is always such a blessing to be reminded of that.
I hope that you are as encouraged as I am.
If you want to participate in #FearlessFriday, and I welcome you and challenge you to sign up, drop me a message through email or the contact form and we can chat. I would love to see you become a part of this movement with me and see lives changed.
My wonderful friend, Phillip, has agreed to kick things off and share his testimony with you today:
I do not know the point that I began believing in a God or some kind of Supreme Being but it was certainly from a young age. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe (until the age of 13) and since Zimbabwe is predominantly Christian, I grew up being taught in my family and at school that God undeniably exists.
However, what I never knew or perhaps did not grasp, was that He is relational, He desires for me to know Him. At the age of 13, I moved to England and continued my life with the belief in God’s existence but never really being close to Him or knowing what He had done for me and what it means. Soon enough I started studying at a boys’ school and I met a boy who is one of my best friends today. He was very distinct in the way he looked, behaved and talked, he was a respectable kid not just amongst his peers but also amongst his teachers. It became apparent to me that he was a Christian but he was still different even in his Christianity.
We were fairly close by the time we started studying at the same college together and that closeness flourished as the two years of college went by. I knew him more, met his family and began to go to his church’s youth club. I eventually began attending the Sunday services after his (probably many) invites. In all this, I believe seeds were being planted in me through my friend, his immediate family and his church family. I observed this new group of people and was perhaps weary at first but was largely inspired by them.
In my first year of college, I found myself going to other events at a different nearby church with my friend and one particular day I attended a significant event in that church that happened in the summer, once a year. It was here, the 8th of July 2011 that I heard a preacher say something along the lines of, ‘if you want to give your life to God, stand up and go to the back of the building’ and I did so without much thought or understanding. That was it, a seemingly ordinary decision occurring on a conventional Friday. Little did I know that my life was never going to be the same.
Various things happened to me during that period, God carried me through addiction, frustration, intense doubt, joys and triumphs. He convicted me and made me realise the truths in His word and put something new in my heart. I remember acquiring a place at university in my second year of college but I soon chose to decline that opportunity for a reason I cannot quite recall.
What is certain to me is, that following my gap year, my walk with God cemented exponentially. On July the 6th 2013, I was baptised and with firm surety. I knew that life in God is what I desired.
Fast-forward to 2016 and here I am in my third year of university, alive and being changed in Jesus Christ.
Phillip Chapita is twenty-two years old and of Zimbabwean descent. He is a passionate follower of Jesus. He is in his third and final year of study at Nottingham Trent University studying Criminology. Phillip’s interests include theology, music (his favourite genre is jazz), linguistics and running.