Faith in Action 

Story to Tell 2-w700-h500I’m quite used to standing up in front of people and talking. It’s part of who I am and what I do and for me it’s 'reasonably’ comfortable - as long as I’m prepared! But what if the prospect of talking in front of 200 people terrifies you and yet you have a story to tell that might benefit others?

Sarah, a lady who supports TK's (Tlitha Koum) work by co-leading our Women Together groups, did just that at the Crown Him 2016 event recently. Her journey through addiction and the passion she has to help other women similarly affected, are both inspiring. She knows that her story and her experiences helps others. She shares.

Time after time, the moments when I see God most at work are the moments when his people hear him and step out in faith. It’s not always easy to hear him, is it? And then stepping out is a big ask too.

As Christians, we ALL have stories to share. Sometimes we do ourselves a disservice by saying we’ve nothing to offer; our life story is boring; no-one wants to hear about me; and maybe our lives do seem dull in comparison to one of Indiana Jones-esque excitement and adventure on the mission field in Africa! But as Christians isn’t that just an excuse? We all have something and someone to share. We have THE greatest rescue mission in global history to share and not sharing it at all is like keeping to ourselves “springs of living water” whilst those around are gasping for its life-giving and life-saving properties. Why would we not share Jesus? What do we fear?

I don’t take lightly that genuine fear of stepping out to talk about our faith. It’s easy for me to write these words above but as our culture becomes less inclined to Christianity and more inclined to consumerism I recognise it becomes more difficult to speak out. It was incredibly tough for Sarah.

But how good are we at firstly hearing how God wants us to share our stories and our faith and then secondly once we’ve heard, how good are we at stepping out in faith and actually doing something about it? I’d warrant that for most of us we remain terrified of even sharing our story and our faith with one person, let alone 200.

Sarah heard and as a result felt compelled to tell her story. However fearful she was, she stepped out. Someone commented to me recently that people had talked of the many things they had learned and taken away from Crown Him but that overwhelmingly Sarah’s testimony was the thing that stood out….the story of how God had impacted her life. She stepped out in faith before 200 people and is continuing to tell the story of God’s compassion towards her to other groups around Ipswich. I am humbled enough by her faithfulness to ask the question of myself, how prepared am I to talk of Jesus compassion towards me. How often do I? When was the last time? Are you equally challenged?

As I close, let me point you towards another person’s stepping out with his story. Dan Walker. High profile. The new presenter on the BBC News breakfast show. High criticism for living his Christian faith with integrity. Pilloried in the press with his creationist and keep Sunday special views. High cost. Just Google “Dan Walker criticised” to find out more.

The cost for Jesus in following the purpose for his life was that he died so that we could all find living water. That price was off the scale, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  We’ll perhaps never fully understand the price he paid. The cost for us could be high too. The stakes are high - no question. Are we up for the challenge? After all, would we deny water to those who thirst?

May we all be inspired by Sarah and Dan…..and Jesus.

Ken Donaldson.

Ken Donaldson 2Ken has been a Christian since 14th February 1982 (“the greatest Valentine’s Day I’ve ever known!”) when he was 21. He lives in Eye, Suffolk with his wife, Susie and has two daughters and two step-sons.
He currently works four days a week as project director for TK. The charity runs support groups in Ipswich for women with addictions and is creating a residential rehabilitation centre for women to the north of Ipswich.
Ken has had senior management positions in housing, retail, aviation and printing, working for Mission Aviation Fellowship in Kenya for 3 years in the late '80s.
He was a member of and served in leadership at St John the Baptist Church in Ipswich for 23 years and at Greenfinch Church in Ipswich for 6 years. He and Susie are currently looking to join a church near to home.
Beyond TK, Ken is a counsellor and supervisor of counsellors with a private practice in Eye, he trains counsellors and is a co-director of Barnabas Counselling Training as well as a trustee of Inspire Counselling and Training in Ipswich. He is passionate about helping impoverished peoples both in the UK and Africa and until recently was a board member of Hands at Work (UK).
His greatest challenge - self care!!

Ken Donaldson, 22/02/2016
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