"I had a very checkered past with my mother and father going through a bitter divorce in the 1970’s when I was aged 9 to 11. It was bitter because back then, divorcees had to prove their spouse's infidelity and moral failings in order to be granted an annulment of the marriage. As a result they were engaged in spiteful slanging matches and condemned one another in and out of court. As a child I felt responsible and to blame from their break up and especially after I was sent to a Catholic boarding school aged 11. Their bitterness continued for as long as I can remember and even from my father after my mother had died!
As a result of this unstable home life, I had an embarrassing stutter and severe self- consciousness. I was shy around people and unsure of myself generally. I desperately craved acceptance and affirmation from adults and peers. Boarding school was brutal and did not help alleviate my pain. I was very insecure and I buried a lot of hurt – especially from rejection and sexual abuse from my childhood which had been ignored and even denied by the perpetrators. Needless to say, this hurt was driven deeper at boarding school where bullying ruled.
I internalised the hurt and put up walls of protection making me a very guarded and fearful individual. I learnt to expect bad things to happen because I was ‘conditioned’ for rejection. I did not hold up much hope to see life differently or to overcome insecurities. I did not have mentors, teachers, family or friends who could show me how to accept and love myself, others or God. But thankfully God is bigger than my past. I went to church searching for a new family or a friend who would take me under their wing.
I became a Christian whilst studying at university to become a teacher of English and History which was great. However, the church I was baptised in was all about being saved and going to heaven and did not help me to walk in victory in different areas of my life. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually I was suffering and church ended up making it worse. Life without the Holy Spirit even at a Christian church is like hell. This particular Church’s doctrine believed in ‘cessation theology’, meaning that we are to make our own way in life without help of the Holy Spirit. We were taught that God only helped us if we were being ‘spiritual’ by doing good works. Their management system was very frustrating as it taught that we are sinners and must manage this in order to get closer to God. This put me on a performance treadmill with the objective being perfection -which was very frustrating. As you would expect many new Christians and even some of my friends fell away after encountering this legalism.
I found healing from the Father helped me find a Pentecostal church which operates in all the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. The love and presence of God is clearly evident in the life of the people at my new church. I am confident of walking a life of victory in all areas of my life as God continues to provides healing in body, mind and spirit with miracles, signs and wonders.
What I have learnt form VMTC:
I have learnt to be more of an authentic Christian by ‘unlearning’ false doctrine through the thorough teaching of VMTC- especially the teaching notes I received from the Ministry School. It has a sound doctrine teaching that, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
I have learnt that God accepts me and even approves of me as I am. I am learning to become more of a friend; family and community leader with the help of the Holy Spirit. I have learnt to be more confident in my own Godly self. I just follow God’s promptings so I can say, “It’s not my business what others think of me”.
I am a lot more outgoing and positive now that I have the confidence that God is working through me. I have learnt to be more like Jesus and carry on in face of opposition and I am not so hard on myself. I have learnt to hear from the Spirit in my daily life. I let the Spirit rule my mind and body so that I can become more like Jesus was with God in the natural and supernatural at the same time.
I learnt that everything He did and said came from the Spirit of the Father who was in him and in heaven at the same time. He said he would not do or say anything unless he saw the father doing it. John 5.19 A bit like being on spiritual autopilot! I found that prayer ministry of VMTC has freed me up to have this moment by moment experience of God. Now I have been delivered from loneliness and depression to find acceptance and love- whether from God or others- I thank God for these inspiring relationships.
I learnt that some things and especially other’s reactions are out of my control. All I can do is ‘manage’ the situation with God’s help. I put myself in a position where the Lord can work in my life and cleanse me as I go along. Then God’s Holy Spirit in me lives through me and goes outwards towards God and other people. Since my first ministry school in September 2015, my work, and relational circumstances have changed thanks to some guidance from God and mentors including leadership from VMTC. In the last year, I have had another couple of ministry sessions that focused on my accepting that life is not fair and to take responsibility for my own actions and reactions. I have been able to be an ‘intercessor observer’ helping to minister to others and I have just 'booked in' my second ministry school.
After my first school, I had a massive breakthrough with victory over fear. It was really inspiring but it did not ‘sink in’ as I had hoped. I got back after the weekend ‘on top of the world’ but within the first week, one my best friends from High School died; then I had major conflict with work colleagues which I felt was grossly unfair and I did not handle it all very well.
My future with VMTC: Thank God, now a year down the track God has cleared up my circumstances at work and my relationships have changed for the better. I can soak up all the teaching and ministry at the September ministry school and then return to a more favourable home and work environment. I believe that most if not all the positive changes that I experience through VMTC will be more permanent. I look forward to it happily."