ICFW - My Story

Ulla Fewster

     Ulla Fewster is Swedish and has been a missionary in Thailand. After meeting her English husband, David, she worked with him for a couple of years in Laos and then, after the country closed to missionaries, worked in Thailand until 2001.

      One night Karin shared my bedroom, because her sister with whom she usually shared a room had chicken pox. The date was 30th January, 1951.That night God used my friend, Karin, to persuade me to become a Christian. She was only thirteen and a half then like myself. We were chatting together in bed, as young girls are prone to do when they should be trying to go to sleep when Karin asked me, “What do you want most in life, Ulla?” I can’t remember if I had a single big wish or not, but she said, “Most of all I want to see you saved, Ulla.” I was thunderstruck!

    “How can this be so important to you?” I asked. “You are my friend. This should be the most important matter for you to think about, too, and to do something about”, said Karin. "But I can’t ask Jesus to save me, for I have promised myself never to become a Christian!” Karin really cared, and she had good arguments which she used to make me understand that I was being very foolish. We talked for a long, long time. The end result was that I committed my life to the Lord that night. I asked the Lord Jesus to forgive me all the wrong things I had done. Karin prayed for me, and I prayed after her. She was both an evangelist and a pastor, that young girl! I am still proud to know her and so thankful to God for bringing us together at that time, so that my life could receive input from God and be directed by Him.

     “Now”, said Karin, “tomorrow morning you must tell somebody that you have made this decision to follow Jesus!” So, the next morning I told Aunt Edith, Karin's Mum, and was she ever pleased! “I thought you girls were talking in bed and talking till very late”, she said. “I thought I must go in and tell you to stop talking and go off to sleep, but somehow I experienced a check in my spirit to leave you alone.”


      Praise the Lord! I am so very glad and grateful that she obeyed the Holy Spirit.


      I also told my parents that I had become a Christian, and at school it didn't take my classmates long to find out either.


      To start with I can’t say that I felt any different from before, and I don’t think I can say that I felt the joy or excitement that comes into your heart when the Lord touches you, but it was the first step on the right way. I knew I had done the right thing.

     But oh, how difficult it was to be a Christian! I mustn't do this, and I mustn't do that. Yes, it was hard to change. I tried and tried, but it wasn't the kind of life anyone would rave over. It was a start, but I don’t think I was born again yet “Karin”, I said, so many, many times, “As soon as I have asked the Lord to forgive me for something I do it again without thinking, so I have to ask for His forgiveness again and again. It is hopeless for me to be a Christian, Karin”. However, I knew that the next step was to ask to be baptised, for this was in obedience to God’s Word.


      I was baptised by full immersion on 8th April, 1951, and I can remember that my parents were present for this occasion.

     A bit later on, Karin and I shared the same bedroom again one night. As we were talking together, I took the opportunity to complain how impossible I was finding this “glorious” Christian life that I had heard so much about. I was near giving up. It didn’t seem worth trying any more. It can’t have been much fun for Karin either. She must have felt like tearing her hair. Karin has told me that she, too, can clearly remember this particular evening, especially as she felt cast upon the Lord. She was at her wits' end. What on earth was she to say to me that she hadn't said already? It was then that the Lord gave her a scripture, which she pointed out to me, a scripture which was such a blessing and revelation that night and has been so from then on throughout my life. It was Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it” (Good News Bible).

     By grace! Not by works! This was indeed a rhema, God’s “word” spoken directly to me! The light of understanding shone into my heart. It was literally bright and as if the heavens had opened to pour down God’s blessings on my soul. I was so happy! Gloriously happy! “Dear Lord Jesus! Now I can see that it is going to be possible even for someone like me to be saved!” Up till then I had really come to believe that I was more difficult for God to deal with than anybody else. What a relief now when I understood that it didn't depend on me after all! Salvation was a gift of God. I had never understood this before, although I must have heard it many times. It was as if heaven had come down. I suddenly “understood”. I believe this was the moment when the miracle of the new birth took place in my life. I had really been struggling up till this point. Since then I have often gone back to that scripture, and how grateful I am for it! I know for a certainty that if I had to be saved through works I could never ever be saved.

     At last I felt that I was a new creature in Jesus Christ and that all things had indeed become new (2 Cor. 5:17). I just marveled at the beauty and generosity of it all. I couldn't get over it. At last I felt that I had contact with God and could really talk to Him in prayer. This was another turning point for me. I also started to notice that my behaviour was changing as a result.

Lucienne

    I am a Brazilian who grew up in a traditional Catholic family and had my first experience with Jesus 18 years ago.This wasn’t a time when through a very difficult situation in my family because of an accident that my father had when he almost died, and other personal situations in the lives of my family.

    My brother, who was already evangelical Christian, spoke to me about an unconditional love of a personal God who cares about our lives. It was then I prayed to this God in the name of his Son Jesus Christ asking Him if He was everything my brother was saying, that He would change my life because I didn’t want to suffer any more as I was suffering, and that He could heal my father.

    To my surprise I received an inner peace like never felt before in my life and my father also was miraculously healed after a while. Since then I have served the Lord, seeking to know him more every day.

    In the second year of my experience with Jesus I received a calling to be a missionary (to serve God in a practical way in places where there were needs). I joined a course in theology in my church in Brazil, and was also involved with outreach and social services areas.

    In 2002 I took a course in an international Christian and interdenominational organization, YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Brazil in the state of Minas Gerais to work with street children and poor families.

    In 2005, also in YWAM, in the state of Parana in Curitiba I felt the Lord Jesus directing meto learn about emotional healing and deliverance. After this season I worked at a rehabilitation centre for women who were alcoholics and drug addicts helping them coming out of this wrong lifestyle and also restarting their lives differently. I worked for two years in the same place.

   In 2007 I returned to work full time for YWAM Curitiba as volunteer worker, where I became involved in the areas of praise, worship and intercession (worship to God and prayer for people or specific situations).Right after I did the DTS course(school of evangelism and discipleship training at YWAM)I continued as a full-time volunteer worker in the ministry called "the Lord Reigns’’ which is committed to the proclamation of the kingdom of God through worship, intercession and services in areas of need.

   Working as a volunteer in this ministry in YWAM I understood that God was challenging me to come to England to support a couple of YWAM missionaries also in social areas. I have been in Leicester for a year and 4 months where I learned some English and served the community with practical work, made some kind of mobilization at the London 2012 Olympic Games and two months in Wrexham in Wales. 

   After that I returned to my country to get a new visa and came again to YWAM Wrexham since 2013. I have made new friends, improved my English and have a great expectation to see God's glory manifested also in this country as has already been seen elsewhere. Wrexham is a land of blessings, where God's dreams happen.

   Many lives still need to learn about this God who cares about each one of us, who blesses you to be a blessing for all nations and people that He puts in your path.

   May the love of God and his presence fill your heart with joy, and life transformation

   Big Hug to all.

Amir

   I was born in a Muslim family in Tehran (Iran). I’ve been living in a good condition in my country. “It was the best of times...” Life was comfortable, good job, good cars, nice apartment, good family life... “It was the worst of the times...”
Because of political things and differences with the Muslim regime I was arrested. (In Iran people are arrested and disappear forever!). I escaped but that was not the end.
I had to put my family into the hands of human traffickers.
I was terrified. We were hiding in a house in Istanbul (Turkey) more than a month! Opposite was a church.

   My wife and I went in and asked God to save us from this awful condition. I called Jesus for the first time! Suddenly I was at peace after the prayer in a way I had never been before! It seemed there was an unwritten code between me and God in that situation, because in that state of utter despair I looked to a saviour who, when I’d started my journey just a few weeks before, had not impressed me much. I always have one regret about that brief encounter with Jesus that I couldn’t have an opportunity to know him before! Anyway, to cut a long story short. One week later we were asking for asylum in London!
That was a great thrill; it touched me again in a way I couldn’t explain. It moved me in a way that went beyond my thoughts.

   So we met Christian people as the Lord had planned for us. Meeting Christians in the church and in ICFW has shown us true example of Jesus Christ. After hearing about Jesus I realised that Jesus was my Saviour, Jesus is my Saviour and he will be my Saviour forever. “Grace and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you”.

Heather Waring

   I was born not far from here in a town called Southport but I moved to North Wales when I was 13 years old and I have lived there more or less ever since.
I have a sister and two brothers and I was brought up by my mum and my step dad.
As I was growing up my step dad did not believe in God at all but my mum was a regular churchgoer and she encouraged my siblings and I to go to church with her from quite an early age. By the time I was a teenager I would happily have called myself a Christian.
I believed in God, I believed that Jesus was God’s Son and I believed that Jesus had been both crucified and raised from the dead.
The problem was that Jesus was someone that I thought about in church on a Sunday morning and my faith did very little influence the way I lived my life the rest of the time.

   This all changed when I was 19 years old. I had started my veterinary degree at Glasgow University but I was spending my summer holiday at home with my
family. My mother, sister and younger brother had started attending a little country church and as previously, I went along with them.
I remember very clearly sitting there one Sunday morning and listening to the pastor talking about Jesus.
It was the first time I had ever heard the gospel explained in language that I could understand.

   Up until that point I had considered myself to be a basically good person – certainly good enough to get into heaven.
But if what the pastor was saying was true then nobody was good enough to get into heaven and I certainly wasn’t.
Jesus had given His life in order to offer me the forgiveness I needed and all I had to do was respond.
At the end of the service I followed the pastor in a simple prayer – saying sorry for what I had done and asking Jesus to come and be part of my life.
All of a sudden it was as if someone had turned the lights on.

   Everything that I had been taught in church and in Sunday school took on new life and meaning and Christianity finally made real sense.
I was not transformed overnight but I did begin a slow process of change that that day and it was wonderful to be baptised a year later alongside my mum,
sister and younger brother who had also come to know Jesus.

   My first few years as a Christian were very happy and I enjoyed getting to know Jesus and learning to follow Him. As time went by however,
I started to become discouraged. The problem was I wanted to get more involved in the church but I had always been a rather quiet and shy person
and I felt I lacked any of the necessary skills. I couldn’t sing, couldn’t dance, couldn’t act and certainly couldn’t speak in public.
Eventually in desperation I came to God in prayer and pleaded with Him that He would use me.

   Almost immediately a friend I had not seen in over a year contacted me to tell me that she had just become a Christian.
I was thrilled and we got together for a chat over a cup of coffee. I invited her to my church and we decided that we would start meeting regularly
to read the Bible together. A few weeks later a colleague in work started asking me questions about heaven.
Instead of trying to answer her I invited her to join us and to my surprise she did. After that we started inviting other friends and colleagues until
we had formed a little study group that met every week at my friend’s house to drink tea, read the Bible and talk about Jesus.
We met for five years altogether (right up until I left to come to Capernwray) and during that time I saw many of my friends come to know Jesus for
themselves.

   If God had revealed His plans to me beforehand I would not have thought myself capable of leading such a group and I think I would have run
in the opposite direction. Instead He led me a step at a time and along the way I discovered a real passion for studying, teaching and discipling
new believers.

   Naturally my next step was to start thinking about Bible school and so here I am!
As you have probably gathered I am still a pretty quiet person but I am not shy anymore and that makes a big difference.

   I know that God has made me just as I am with a plan and a purpose in mind and I know that He can and will use me.
Of course there are still times where I feel inadequate but I am learning to stand on His promise that
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).