JAKE ALDRIDGE TESTIMONY, NOVEMBER 2010
I just want to share a few words that let you know where I’ve come from and where I’m going.
I was born and bred on the council estates of Cheltenham where, basically, we had – street water fights and mixed with local Hells Angels. Then we moved to Poynton which was just a total notch down!
In Poynton, my dad became a local Outreach Worker and mum was also involved in the church
So yeah, I was brought up in a Christian family which has certainly helped.
However I used to hate going to church when I was younger, as I had football commitments and just generally found it extremely boring.
I eventually stopped going to church but I’ve still had contact with an inventive church which was basically games and hotdogs all night followed by a 5 min preach by my dad.
I continued from there, getting involved in the standard teenager activities; knock-a-door-run, and then moving on towards the drinking culture and late night partying.
From the age of 15, I went to Christian camps for a week over in Somerset, where for the first time, I really felt and witnessed God. However I came from an environment where everyone knew and believed in God, back to an area where I was isolated, and so I eventually got back into partying and forgot about what I gathered at Hill House.
From here, every summer, I used to go to this camp and look forward to it as it was the only place I could freely learn and speak about God. And from here it developed. I ended up going to 2 camps the next summer and 3 camps the year after that.
On my return I I would still feel very isolated and constrained by the environment that I was in, and I didn’t really have the knowledge to express or communicate my experience or feelings.
At school I had a lot of friends but also, some people took a disliking to me - my red hair, good looks, witty, intelligent - you know! Jealously hehe! One night I got jumped by a lot of lads in my year and took a right old beating. I hated them - like I really hated them!
One night they came shouting things at my bedroom window at early hours in the morning. And I was wondering what they were doing to do. It wasn’t long before the police decided to go take them to court, at least for the ones we could catch. Later I was confronted by the parents a the place where I worked. The dad was threatening to beat me up and so I took a disliking to that family!
I spoke to a fairly rough guy at the end of the street knowing that he might hopefully dish out a punishment. Fortunately, or unfortunately at the time, he did nothing. However over the years, God has helped me to forgive and I have now started to pray for them and even got to befriend some of them
Now, I couldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for someone telling me that I have to forgive people for doing things to me just like God has forgiven me for the things I’ve done to Him. So it’s the same principle!
So I worked on it, and since then, the ones I have spoken to are on speaking terms with me, and I speak to one lad regularly. We’re on a very friendly basis. And it’s still the same me that wanted to go take revenge!
Cutting time short, I was a hypocrite for many years attending church most Sundays in Manchester and then forgetting what the preacher said on the journey home. I then started to look into was the bible really real? I mean I had questions!
What if it’s all made up?
How can a book from Israel be relevant to English society?
And I started to research, looking into the facts around the authenticity. So I checked it out, being a little sceptic, and I found that for me, the Bible stands strong. So from here I realised I had to get to a local church. I MEAN I HAD TO. So I checked out PCF and ever since I’ve grown in confidence and I love it.
So looking over my life, I’ve gone through 3 major stages:
From a boring church to a living church
From revenge to forgiveness
And from the need for facts to reassurance of the facts.
So I’m getting baptised as a statement to say I’m a real Christian this time and I’m looking forward to life’s challenges. And that Jesus is the boss of my Life.