Extract from To God be the Glory, by Keith & Pauline Evans. Buy this book from Victory in Christ Ministries in Enfield, North London


My testimony is all about God’s great love, mercy, grace and patience with a lost soul.

Two months later, walking up the church aisle to practice the organ and I heard, “Keith, there is more!” I looked around to see who has spoken – I was alone. God had spoken to me directly by His Holy Spirit. Sadly through 32 years of church life there had been no teaching on, or mention of, the Holy Spirit. Not knowing any better, I said to myself, “How much more can there be, I’m on the P.C.C., the R.D.C., the mission committee and I’m the organist and choirmaster!” (Even writing it years later, I cringe) How arrogant and ignorant was I?

God, over the next two years, kept calling me. Every two months, on my own in church as I walked up the aisle to practice I’d hear, “Keith, there is more” and “Keith, I have more for you.” After the fourth time God reminded me of that arrow prayer, ‘God – there must be more.’ I’d worked out by this time that this was God’s Holy Spirit at work but because of the lack of teaching I was both scared and isolated, so said nothing to anyone.

Over the next 18 months I was to lose my best man to cancer at 37 and my mother in law, also to cancer, at 57. In their last months of life I could see, in their eyes, they had the ‘more’ that God was calling me to. I was determined to seek this for myself. On the first Saturday of November of the second year I had been given an invite to an Anglican Renewal Day, I knew but I knew I had to go for there I would find the ‘more’ God was calling me to, so off I went. It was to be a day of firsts! 

I’d been a churchman for 34 years and I was seeing hands raised in praise and worship for the first time. The songs were all new to me (I’d only been used to hymns Ancient & Modern). I liked what I was hearing, fresh and heart-warming. The leader got up to pray. He asked us to remain standing, close our eyes and hold our hands out to receive – another first. The moment he started to pray I pictured him with a red telephone and a cable going up through the ceiling and clouds, directly to a second red phone in God’s hand. I had been used to prayers read from a book. I had never heard prayers prayed from the heart – yet another first. I thought, “Wow! This guy really knows who he’s talking to.” The prayer continued and became more personal, “Those who have come today and want to know Jesus more fully in their lives, put your hand up.” Well, this was it, this was why I had come. “No turning back now, Evans”, I said to myself and up went my hand. 

A member of the ministry team was immediately at my shoulder (I wondered if I had a big sign over my head – ‘ripe for harvest!’) This was to be a day of firsts. First the raised hands, the new songs, the red telephone, the open hands – now tongues. I knew this was one of the spiritual gifts, and it sounded angelic. As the person prayed over me in tongues – Peace, peace that the world cannot give – this Godly peace flowed in waves through my body from head to feet, wave after wave after wave – then, to my horror sobs and tears. I sobbed for about 20 minutes while wave after wave of God’s peace cleansed and renewed me.

Book by Patricia Gault – I Do, I Do, I Do – Love Always Wins

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A love story with a heartrending thread, Pat’s long marriage has twists and turns, reversals and finally redemption and new beginnings. In sharing what could have been an everyday story of marital betrayals – and taking the reader through the pain and often the joys of reuniting with her husband, it demonstrates what is possible when forgiveness and faith are allowed to play leading roles in a marriage.

Introduction I Do; I Do; I Do falls into the testimony book genre. It is a memoir, a powerful story of love and forgiveness in the midst of betrayal and heartache. It is written primarily from a wife’s perspective. The strength of this book is the story itself of marriage restoration – all the more amazing because it is true. This book is intended for those who find their marriages are in trouble, but who still love their spouses, and wish to find an alternative route to the finality of divorce … also if divorce has already taken place – this book is for you. And this book is to give hope to those who are in despair – whether you are people of great faith, of little faith, or of no faith at all. I DO; I DO; I DO (Love Always Wins) I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD. Be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord. (Ps. 27:13-14) These verses have been marked in my Bible over eleven times within a period of twenty years. God’s promises are worth waiting for, even when His timetable doesn’t match our own expectation or desires. (New International Version Bible study notes; author’s emphasis) Who would have ever thought it? Who could ever have imagined when I first set eyes on James, my charming husband-to-be, that we would be repeating our marriage vows no fewer than three times over the course of 37 years? If someone had said this would be the case, I would have lashed out verbally and accused them of being totally deluded, fanciful – not switched on to reality at all.  

Extract from STAND AND KEEP STANDING by Gail Grimshaw

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Here I am, nine years old, sitting round the table with my family and neighbours, doing the Ouija board. 

We had our own homemade board. I am sure a lot of people that we knew had a set of letters and a glass in their cupboard. My neighbour kept hers in a glass cabinet for all to see, it was a regular thing for our family. I would sometimes come home from school, and there would be about six ladies all sitting round the table asking the glass questions, hoping they were going to reach great Aunt Sally, or Cousin Fred. The thing is, the dangers were not known to us, and then we grew up with it as normal, so yes when the glass did move, and it spelt out something, we believed that someone was there. Yes, something was there, but it was not anyone who had died, it was Satan and his demons trying to convince us that this is good, so let’s do it again and again! Is it any wonder that so many strange things were always happening in my home where I grew up?

There was often the smell of cigar smoke on the landing upstairs. Once, I saw a hand come around my bedroom door and turn my light off. When I said, “Thank you Dad”, he had told me later that he had not been upstairs. Mirrors would seem to attack us that were leaning against a wall, but nothing was moved in front of it. We would go ghost hunting round graveyards. Is it any wonder I was afraid of my own shadow and afraid of the dark? I always slept with the landing light on as I had a small window in my room, so the light shone through.  I was always looking behind me scared of what I might see. So many more stories, but I am not going to give the enemy any more of my time.

My childhood was not always a happy one. I did not have a close relationship with my Mother. She never showed any emotion to me, no hugs or affection. I was a modern-day Cinderella and did lots of the cooking and housework. I can remember days when I had to wash the lino in the sitting room, wait for it to dry, then on my hands and knees, I would put polish on the floor. All the time I would have to work around my mum, Nan and three neighbours all sitting drinking tea. She did not want to kiss me, if I went to kiss her goodnight; she would turn her face on the side and put her arm up so I would end up kissing her cheek. I don’t know why she was like that, perhaps she did not know herself, but she behaved differently with my two brothers. 

People have since told me it sounds like emotional detachment. We all have emotional needs as we are growing up, especially as little girls. Little girls need to feel loved and special. They need to have that love from their parents before they go looking elsewhere for it. All children need to feel confident in them and encouraged to feel that they are special. I did not feel any self-worth, I was not confident in anything that I did other than cleaning and cooking. My family were very negative people; I was always told the negative things about me, never anything good. Because of this, I ended up with a poor feeling of my reflection, each time I looked in the mirror.

Extract from Chapter 1, Maid for Purpose, by Carol Stanley

Chapter One

Humble Beginnings

Roza heaved a big sigh and shuddered slightly. She had woken up suddenly with an uneasy feeling that something awful was about to happen. In the darkness, she strained her ears for unusual noises, but all was quiet. She was used to the sound of the night insects and an occasional screech owl; cats and dogs were often vocal too. It was footsteps or creaking floorboards that she was hoping not to hear. As she lay there, feeling anxious, her mind wandered back over the events of the last few weeks. Groups of Syrian bandits had been crossing into Israel raiding rural dwellings and destroying crops, also taking livestock. Some shepherds had been killed defending their flocks of sheep and goats. Her parents had forbidden her to wander alone in the fields in case of kidnap.

Roza was thirteen years of age. She was a beautiful girl, the gentle curves of her body beginning to form. Long black hair, deep brown eyes and a smooth olive skin were her main attractions. Clad in her long dresses, with a veil about her head, she was often seen carrying water from the well, feeding the goats and sweeping the courtyard of her house. Her friends envied her slim figure and small features: a curved mouth that always seemed to be smiling; a finely shaped nose; eyes that made many boys hearts melt. She had a quiet manner about her; slightly shy she was always polite but could be quite outspoken if necessary. This sometimes got her into trouble as in her culture females were not encouraged to express opinions, especially in the presence of men. She thought about things a lot and had ideas of what she wanted to do with her life. Once, Roza had spoken out in front of her parents. “Why can’t I do all the things that boys do?” she had complained. One look from her father had silenced her.

“Be content with your life girl,” he had said sternly. “God has made you a woman so be glad and do not moan!”
It would not be long before her father sought out a suitable husband for Roza; a tingling, weird sensation always filled her whenever she thought of this. Marriage was a mystery to her and not openly talked about at home. A lot of whispering and giggling went on among her friends as they often eyed up the local boys passing on their way to the Chief Elders house for lessons. Girls did not go to school; they were kept at home to do the domestic work until they married and had a home of their own. If they had younger brothers or sisters then they helped look after them so that their mother could go and tend the crops in the fields.

The village that Roza lived in was called Thirza. It was just outside Samaria where the prophet Elisha lived. He was known throughout the land as a man of God who did miracles; people had been healed by him and a widow woman even had her son raised from the dead when she asked Elisha for help. Roza had never seen him but her parents talked of him often.

Her house was a simple brick and clay building. It had two upper rooms, an outside staircase onto the flat roof, then on the lower floor a kitchen, a storeroom, and there was a stable at the back of the building for the animals to be kept in at night. There was a courtyard and a brick wall around the house. A separate small annexe built onto the house was where her brothers slept. There were shutters around the windows which were closed and bolted each evening. The sturdy door to the house gave security to those inside. There was a place for making a fire in the courtyard. This was often used for cooking the meals.

Thirza was small but set in lovely surroundings. Lush fields were surrounded by high hills, and a river ran alongside the clusters of houses. There was a large meeting place in the centre of the village where worship and communal gatherings took place. Sheep and goats grazed in the further fields, looked after by shepherds who sometimes took their flocks to the hills for better pasture. The main well was outside the village and the flocks were watered there in the evenings. It was also a meeting place for women and girls who came to get water twice a day. They had to wait for the shepherds to lift the heavy stone off the top of the well, then after the sheep and goats had been watered, it was their tubibrn to fill their urns with water for the family.

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