Completing the Alpha course with Narelle Jacobsen (Salvation Army St Kilda community development officer) and becoming a Christian is by far one of the greatest things I have done this year.
For such a long time I have believed in God and had a fascination with Jesus Christ, but had never had the opportunity to explore this until close friends from my ‘Body 2 Soul’ exercise class invited me to participate in the 12-week Alpha journey.
In the beginning, I was extremely uncertain if I wanted to participate or if I was even ready to open my heart and mind to all this new information. But there was so much warmth and love from all group members I could feel myself forming not only a close relationship with them, but also with God.
I was beyond fascinated with the Alpha videos, and the group discussion we had during each session. Any questions I had were answered and I could feel more and more of the Holy Spirit inside me as each week passed. When I left each session I felt such a strong reminder inside me. A voice would say, “You are loved. You have a purpose.” This was new to me. For the first time I really did believe that I truly had a reason to be here on Earth.
The Alpha course reinforced that God has put me here for a good reason. I began to respect myself more, and believe in myself. I became more grateful for the life I live, and felt more of a desire to help others.
Being 23 years old, many people around my age, especially my friendship circles, had negative opinions in relation to me exploring Christian faith. This was challenging at times, but as time has gone on they have now recognised the many good changes I have made as God helps guide me on a more positive life path.
I believe that talking to God and the power of prayer has helped me in many different situations. At university I am studying to become a secondary school teacher. Doing the Alpha course and becoming a Christian reinforced that this is the right career for me, as I will be able to help others.
Through prayer, God has given me the strength to complete and pass what once seemed like impossible assignments and exams. The power of prayer has also kept me safe and guided me on overseas adventures and with obstacles faced on a daily basis. My prayers to God constantly get answered and good things keep on happening.
Doing the Alpha course and attending Recovery Church (Bentleigh Salvation Army, Vic.) has allowed me to meet many different people from all walks of life. This has really opened my eyes, and encourages me further; to continue to help others and be grateful for the life God has given me. Overall, this journey has been amazing, and is only just the beginning. I am excited for what lies ahead, and the journey and plans God has for me.
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is a chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic and discuss it in an honest, friendly and open environment.
To find an Alpha course near you, visit australia.alpha.org