INTRODUCING is a blog series introducing you to some of the members of Redeemer. You will meet some of them through their fact file, their life story, or their faith journey.
Hi I’m Alex. I’m a 21-year-old Essex University graduate I’ve been following Jesus since June 2016 at the end of my first year at Essex. I am delighted to have been placed in the vibrant and caring community at Redeemer Church Colchester. I’ll be unpacking my journey to faith, how I got stuck into Redeemer, and what I’m up to now.
How did I get saved?
There were a number of formative events in my first year at university where God revealed Himself to me. The first was when my mum took me to a church in the middle of that year. I felt a deep and beautiful warmth in my soul that I couldn’t explain. After that church service I recall typing “God is real” to a friend in a Facebook message. The second was a dream in which I experienced this same presence of God in a cathedral with rows of angelic choirs singing to God. It baffled me and made me hunger for the truth of God’s identity. This dream was also a key part in my acceptance of the reality of God. The third was another spiritual experience after my exams that God used to reveal my need of Him, and my own emptiness without Him.
With these experiences, retrospectively it’s clear that God had been preparing me to meet Him throughout my whole life. With childhood visits to an old stone church tucked away in a little English village, and a bible that my headmaster handed to me as I left my Church of England school when I was 16. It was this church that gave me some kind of awareness of God from a young age, and it was this bible that I picked up years later.
I sat in my room after my first year exams had ended and found a prayer of repentance at the back of this bible. I was searching for God’s presence and for freedom. I was amazed at God’s heart to forgive through Jesus, and at God’s acceptance of all people no matter how dark or messy their lives may be. Making a decision in that moment, I admitted my need for God and believed that Jesus could set me free. I believed that only God was able to break me out of the place I was in- the one who died so I could be set free. In that moment freedom arrived and I was full of life, I felt an extremely tangible deliverance from my internal mess and a very real flood of joy in my heart. That joyful presence of God I felt in my dream had revealed itself in my heart as I repented and believed!
How did I end up at Redeemer?
Going back to university after summer, I had no idea what to expect but was blessed with a life changing crowd almost as soon as I arrived. I found the campus’ Christian Union and was immediately brought into a fellowship of students. I also started to visit a number of churches as I remained without a real ‘home’ church. I began to ask God to help me, and to find me a strong leader who could speak into my life. That prayer was answered. The night before my first visit to Redeemer I had a vision of a man’s face that I couldn’t interpret clearly. The next day, the preacher stood up and it was the same man that I saw in my vision. The sermon that day was extremely powerful and I deeply felt the presence of God in that congregation. With that experience, and a community of welcoming and truly joyful people with a heart to share Jesus, I knew that Redeemer was home for me.
I’m currently working with Redeemer on an internship programme called ‘Intentional Discipleship.’ With many smiles I graduated from Essex in July with a degree in Law. In my third and final year of studying I felt a call from God to spend a year working with the church after my degree, and so here I am! This year I’ll be focusing on reaching out to students and passing on the message I have heard, as well as church admin, and theological study. Let’s go!
P.S. I’m also fundraising to survive the internship year, so if you’d like to invest in what God is up to with my place at Redeemer, it would mean a great deal! Fund the internship at https://www.give.net/20252399