Stephen grew up in a Christian family in Northern Ireland. Like many families during the past troubles, his was touched by awful tragedy. As he got older, Stephen chose not to follow God. He made some poor choices and his life took a few wrong turns. One of the more tricky ones was suddenly leaving the country with his best friend’s girlfriend! His friend was a tough guy and usually let his fists do the talking! So Stephen was now running scared. All this time, two people never stopped praying for him – his mum Violet and her good friend Enid.
Many years went by, and then one day at work driving his lorry, Stephen just couldn’t stop thinking about his betrayed friend. It was really bugging him. So asking around, he eventually found his phone number and rang him. He didn’t know what to expect, but he just knew he had to do this. The friend told him “I’ve forgiven you. What’s more, I’m a born-again Christian – I got saved!” Stephen was really impacted by this turn of events, and his friend told him “you need to buy a bible – a nice big expensive one! And then read John’s gospel” So he did everything he told him.
Then very soon, Stephen knew he just had to pray. He simply prayed on his own, just quietly, asking God for forgiveness for all his sin. The next day, driving the lorry…the usual road rage…gone! The old favourite death metal music…gone!…not even the desire! He said he was driving along with tears streaming down his face! He could hardly believe the joy and peace, and wondered what exactly had happened to him, so he rang his mum. She said “Stephen, you’ve been saved!”
The following weeks have been characterised by a deep hunger for God’s word, for fellowship, for prayer. Every lorry driver, warehouse worker, Stephen’s boss…basically everyone he meets – they all get to hear about Jesus and are given gospel tracts – Stephen says “you need to be saved!” The decades of prayer by Violet and Enid have been gloriously answered, praise God for His mighty grace!
So, you faithful “pray-ers” out there: never give up!
Emmanuel Church, Pemsby