At a recent Parish of Noosa service, congregation members Syd Hugh and Robert Ginnaw shared these testimonies, as they reaffirmed their commitment to Jesus.
Syd Hugh – parishioner, The Parish of Noosa
I was raised in a family with both my parents and grandparents committed Christians. For many years I had thought attending church with them and Sunday School, and becoming familiar with how to be a Christian, even trying to be one, that I was one – that I was a Christian.
However, early in my 17th year I was convinced in my heart that I had not accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I found great peace when, soon afterwards by faith, I asked Jesus to forgive my sin and be my Saviour and Lord.
In the year that I turned 18, I was baptised by immersion and with great joy the church sang a hymn and I joined with them – it was, ‘I will follow Jesus anywhere, everywhere, I will follow Him’.
If anyone had asked me then or sometime later if I would renew my vows, I would have likely replied, “Why should I? Others might all fall away, but not me, I’m full on.” How little I knew that the life of faith Is a marathon, not a sprint. Talk is easy – the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. In one of the ancient churches, though commended for many good things, nevertheless, the Spirit of God asked the question of them – “Where Is your first love?” For me in my faith journey, I’m sure this question has needed to be asked more than once. The Spirit of God called me, encourages me, and corrects and disciplines all because he loves me with everlasting love. He is the faithful God. If I hide my faults, I won’t do well. But when I confess and turn from them, I experience God’s mercy.
Of more recent times, God is showing me that, though older now, he is still at work in my life. Some already know that before Christmas I had a heart problem and the first procedure was unsuccessful. I went to hospital for an operation at New Year with many church friends and family praying. I knew God’s inner peace during this time. Since the operation I have felt better and have had good reports.
In the Alpha Course last year Pixie and I were asked to lead a group – the first for both of us. It was a most encouraging experience, with many blessings and shared experiences as we saw that Jesus is continually changing all our lives for the good.
A couple of years ago, I became involved with Australia for Jesus when the instigator, Tony , Tony McLennan, an Anglican minister, visited Noosa and shared his vision about how the gospel could be taken to people if we would walk the streets and be willing to share the love of God. I’ve not been able to be as regular as some, but on each occasion there have been great connections and again many blessings with people.
After fellowship and prayer for guidance, we go to the street in pairs, engaging with people over the course of two hours. We then return as a group again to share our stories. What we usually find is that some people take literature to consider further. Some say “thanks, but no thanks”, and some express the desire to accept Jesus. Against a backdrop of general negative religious media coverage, this continues to be a growing ministry around Australia.
So today, I don’t count myself not to have arrived, but forgetting what’s behind and renewing the original vow, I press on to the mark of God’s high calling, which is eternal life in Jesus, the son of His love.
Robert Ginnaw – parishioner, The Parish of Noosa
I used to be a very irregular churchgoer. But I started attending St Mary’s, Tewantin in 2019 after my wife died. I found that the congregation were devout believers in Jesus. And I decided I wanted to follow Jesus like they did.
Then I attended an Alpha meeting last year and found the discussions very interesting and could feel the Holy Spirit at the meeting. And I decided to become a Christian. Since then I’ve been reading the Bible with Sydney Hughes. I also attend a Connect group. I’ve found very dedicated Christian people in the group. We read the Bible together, and someone can say something quite profound, but then someone will say something very light-hearted. I’m learning a lot about the Bible, as well as that they serve good cake!
I have been Baptised and Confirmed previously, but today I want to make this re-affirmation of the baptism promises.