God put Birmingham on my heart
I became a Christian several months after a life-threatening stroke in 2008. I was in a stroke rehab for monitoring and physiotherapy while in a wheelchair. I had my laptop and felt drawn to read the book of Revelation online.
It was the only book of the Bible I knew, as for many years I had an interest in various end-time prophecies. Anyway, I read it but somehow it seemed different from before, not just a book of doom and gloom but a message of hope. I also became very aware that I certainly was in no position to class myself as one of the ‘redeemed’, or ‘saved’ or anything else. I had been living all my life for myself and had walked over a lot of people.
There was a link on the website to a ‘love letter’ from God. It consisted of Bible verses and a ‘prayer for salvation’. I prayed it with all my heart and knew instantly I was forgiven. Basically God found me, not the other way round…
God put Birmingham on my heart nearly 4 years ago. I knew it was God because I hated Birmingham. I had developed in recent years a heart for the homeless. I tried to get here to work and live almost immediately, out of obedience, but I didn’t particularly involve God with my search, so it proved fruitless. Anyway, I left the idea behind until God started putting it on my heart again. I really didn’t know what to do apart from pray. After a really pleading prayer one morning, I stumbled upon the vacancy online on my lunch break. It was the day before the closing date. Everything from that moment has been effortless in relation to getting here. God had everything planned!
The high points of the job so far are working for such an amazing organisation, working with great people of faith, and I just love working in the shop and making a small difference in some way.
The low point of the move was after about a week; I felt overwhelmed by the fact that I knew nobody and felt very homesick. But that has passed now: I’ve found a great church and feel really at home here.
Mark Ellis, Kingstanding Charity Shop Manager