Testimonies of peoples lives that have been transformed by the grace and power of Jesus.
Paul began drinking at a very early age due to a poor home life and was a registered alcoholic by the time he was sixteen.Most of his life was chaotic and he ended up being treated for severe depression, which lasted for many years. He came to the City Centre Ministries van one Wednesday night in 2004, which happened to be the first night of our new Alpha course. He was quite drunk and very loud and abusive but we reluctantly allowed him to come on the Alpha. He spent most of the evening shouting out obscenities and we found him such hard work. Despite Paul’s condition he did settle down and it was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. Paul started to come to Church and began to grow in the Lord. Although his drinking continued, he did show a sincere heart to want to know God more. Paul would be picked up from his flat in Moss side every Sunday but we would never know how drunk he would be as he was a heavy white lightening drinker. After some months Paul said he would like to be baptised and to follow Jesus in his life, which we did despite the fact that he had been drinking that morning. We persuaded Paul to go to Teen Challenge, which is a Christian rehab centre. He successfully completed the year and then went with them to Uganda working with people in addiction. After completing another 6 months bible training he then returned to Manchester. Paul has now been free from drink for many years and is the caretaker for his Church. He is in contact with his daughter after over ten years and he has his own flat and is driving again. It was such a joy to see Paul worshipping in Church and then encouraging guys who are in a similar place to where he used to be. The photo is of Steve and Irene with Paul at his graduation service from Teen Challenge.
We met Ernie just before his 70th birthday. He came to our outreach van very depressed and suicidal after an accident with a fire which affected his neighbours outhouse. They tried to take him to court but we found a solicitor who got it all sorted. This was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. As we got to know him we discovered that after the death of his Mum 20 years ago, Ernie became a recluse and a severe hoarder. It took him 45min to get into his house and then he was unable to use any of the facilities. It has taken 7 years of hard work and many ups and downs but we praise God that Ernie can now sleep in his bed, make a cup of tea, sit in his kitchen and although he still has a long way to go, he is beginning to enjoy going home again. Ernie has become a close friend of our family and stays with us regularly. He has committed his life to Jesus and loves to tell others about Him and regularly attends our weekly bible study. Ernie says that his life has started all over again and he feels content once more.