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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.