History of Hope Church – Story of a Teen

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My story of being involved with Hope Church started when I was 13 years old. I had been going to another church in Luton with my family all my life and was just about to transition from the kids work into the youth. I was excited to go hang out with the ‘big kids’ like my brother had done before me. However the midweek youth club was unfortunately closed and there was temporarily no youth leader to take this forward. A little frustrated I was also coming to the age where several of the friends I had grown up with in church were no longer attending regularly. My hunger to continue to learn about and serve God was there, but with this situation I was beginning to think why should I bother.

We saw an article in the local newspaper in September 2002 with information about a Newfrontiers church being planted in the area. We found out about the youth group they were starting, I went along and met Wayne Parsons and Linda Geevanathan who were leading it, as well as some of the youth including David May and Jen Williams. (For those of you who know Linda she was taller than me back then.)

After about a year of making friends and really enjoying the youth programme of activities I decided to make Hope Church my home. This was one of the best decisions I could have made for my Christian walk. 13 years later I have seen God use me and I have experienced so much within the church family as people have come, gone and stayed.

Hope Church and its leaders have been so releasing and encouraging which is part of the reason it is the church it is today. I’ve done things I’d never thought God would do with me and met people from varying walks of life, which is what is so great about a church family. Some particular highlights have included the floods of Newday in 2004, where heavy rain brought us together to form close friendships and encountering God in it. Getting baptised in a large tank. Watch night worship evenings, where dreams, tongues and spiritual gifts were released. Helping to launch and build our student and 20s work in 2011 named Breakout. The celebrations and worship times through the years especially at Christmas and many others. Ask me about them some time, but what I am most looking forward to is the future of Hope and what comes next, as we continue to be people obedient to God and living as family with our Hope in him.

Written by Luke Middleton

Luke Middleton

History of Hope Church – Just a Normal Family…

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Over the last few weeks we have heard testimony of the ups and downs of Church planting in Luton.  I just want to give testimony to what it means for a family to hear, trust and follow God. Through the years our family have discovered the faithfulness and steadfast love of God through the many and varied situations we have found ourselves in.  God has shown that He is faithful in all of His ways. From the provision of money to ensure the house we brought had safe lighting and hot water, schooling and the provision of accessible and affordable music services to ensure that our children were able to develop and grow beyond what we could ask or imagine.

When God asks you to do something he does provide the resources and abilities for you to complete what he initiates. We took a risk with God as we moved from a quiet Cambridge village with excellent schooling and a fantastic network of friends.  Our children (triplet boys aged 10 and a daughter six) were catapulted into the centre of Luton, they had to be educated in the problems of prejudice, poverty, foster care and drugs. They wanted to be able to walk to school and have their own bedrooms, God granted their desires.  He put us next to a park, so they could play.  We had an open home and many children found fun, food and shelter within its walls.

Creatively and musically they flourished.  Far from ’nothing good comes out of Luton’ Luton blessed us.  They had opportunities that we could never have imagined. Through the highs and lows (including muggers who gave things back!!) as a family we looked to God and he never let us down.

All four of our children are now involved in Churches in London, Southampton and Wales.  They help and inspire others in worship, youth work and support church planting. They did not see many of their friends become Christians (The boys married the girls that did!), but their friends still value their relationships and knowing our family.  The seeds continue to grow.

‘Train your children in the ways that they should go’ As parents we made loads of mistakes but we endeavoured to keep our eyes and ears on God and follow him. Our children are trying to do the same and we are thankful that we followed His call.

Written by Jane Reynolds

Jane

History of Hope Church – An Invitation

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Here is my story from 2005/6, when I was a member of Hope Church for 9 months. This is where I met Jesus and was baptised on the 10th September 2006.

When I met Yvette, the beautiful British lady, as I always saw her, at Central Baptist Church, I tried to refuse her invitation to Hope Church and convinced her (myself…), that I was a catholic and happy with that. However, I felt that I really needed to go to Hope Church, to a living church, where people talk to each other. (In Hungary I attended church, but no one ever talked to me). So, finally I accepted Yvette’s invitation.

Liz picked us up at the chaplaincy and on our way to Hope Church she asked me if I read the Bible every day and I said I did not. On the following Monday I went to a book shop and I bought a Bible (I often had no money for food, but still, I WANTED a Bible!). In my university hall room I had been reading my Bible for months… when one day I told God that He could come and do whatever He wanted to do in my life. He did so. I started to go to Ben’s cell group and my faith grew. In those days I had been in a relationship, used dirty words, had low self-esteem, and struggled with insomnia. By the time I moved back to Hungary, God healed and changed me from these problems and sins.

3 months later I went back to Luton, where pastor Tony baptised me in Simon’s outdoor pool. A Hungarian girl attended the ceremony and said that this experience convinced her that she needed to be baptised too (she was catholic as well), so she did so in Hungary.

Your examples, deeds and hard work for Christ at Hope Church echoes forever, I am the living example for that.

Written by Kalla Tímea

kalla-timea

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