In April 2018 Keven came into the GrowTH night shelter. Now in more permanent accommodation and committed to a local church, Keven tells us something of his journey of faith.
“I wanted to go back and couldn’t wait for Sunday to come”
Keven’s journey started one Sunday morning in the night shelter when Naomi invited him to East End Church. “The first thing I thought was ‘Oh not another one, a Bible basher!’ I didn’t take it seriously. I just thought I’d go and show my face and disappear, but it didn’t work out that way.” Keven recalls his initial thoughts as he sat there listening to the talk. “The first few words he spoke kinda got my attention and from that day I decided, yes, I wanted to know more … and I thought, ‘Yeah this is good’. I wanted to go back. I couldn’t wait for Sunday to come”.
A week later Keven watched a movie in the night shelter called ‘Risen’. He said, “This reinforced what Tom [Elder at East End Church] was talking about … everything was interlinked. A lot of times people talk to you about religion and faith and you shut off because you’re in a good place so you don’t really want to know, but when you go in a bad place your mind is like shut off but at the same time when faith comes along and starts, you start seeing things for what it really is and start to think, ‘That makes a lot of sense’.”
One striking element about Keven’s story is how he always felt like something was there but prior to this time he never encountered anyone who simply opened up the Bible with him and explained it all. “I was brought up in Church … I couldn’t stand it … it was like in the army,” Keven told us. When asked how this impacted him he said, “It’s kind of at the back of your mind. You do believe something was there, but it wasn’t explained to you properly … until I started going to East End Church and listened to Tom talk.”
“Everything reinforced and the belief gets stronger and stronger”
Keven’s commitment to East End Church and being part of a loving community has played an important role in his journey. Everything from small conversations and attending the Alpha course, to key people “Naomi, Tom, and Frazer”, have all played significant roles in helping him understand truth. Keven also plays bass in the worship team on Sunday mornings. He told us how this has also had a big impact on his faith. “I bought the bass 4 years ago. I wasn’t playing it that much [but] I found my place in following Jesus … my place is singing these words to Jesus, worshipping,” he said.
“Now I see it in a different light because Jesus did die for us”
In April 2018 Keven had no strong convictions about faith. Now, when asked if he believes Jesus died and rose again for him, he stated emphatically, “Yes, definitely. It makes all the difference to my life …. he done that for us, for some reason went through all that pain for us, without no sin, no hatred, he still forgave them … I can’t begin to explain … it’s amazing!” Keven continued, “I clearly see this is the right path. I’m not saying forget everybody else, but it is about Jesus.”
Reflecting on his journey, Keven said, “This is why he [God] put me through all that I went through to get where I am. That’s why I’m not beat up! I embrace it, to be honest with you, because now I know. It’s amazing where I am right now. Five years ago, if you asked me about that I’d say, ‘Go away, don’t talk to me’. It’s an amazing feeling. I wish I could pass it on to someone else.” Keven is now thinking of taking the next step and getting baptised! We look forward to hearing about what God continues to do in his life!