Coming in from the cold

Roger, one of our members, was a wandering star whose life was marred by sickness, accident, aggression and antagonism that led to strife at home and the failure of his two marriages. Larger and stronger than his two brothers, he felt aggrieved that he always got the blame when there was discord at home. There was an occasion during which his father struck his younger brother, leading to what seemed likely to be a permanent breakdown in family life. Little wonder, then, that he found it difficult to make friends and always preferred his own company. His first wife, whom he married in 1987 left him to take up with another man. When discussing wedding plans for his second marriage at another church the vicar of asked him an odd question: ‘Do you really want to marry this woman?’ But he went ahead, and they were joined in 2003. Later, Mark and Carol, a couple at Kingdom Life, told him that she was a witch.

During their honeymoon on the south coast he fell ill, so much so that he was taken by ambulance to Basingstoke hospital where, with IV drips in both arms, he lay unconscious for several days. It was during this time that he had an ‘out of body’ experience. He found himself in the air, looking down at his body lying in the hospital bed, and then he seemed to be in a cavern in which everything appeared in a sinister red colour, which seemed to reflect his own sinful life. Then, in the distance, he saw a bright, white light, which appeared to retreat as he went towards it. He realized that this was God, attracting his attention. A voice spoke to him. ‘Son, do you want to come home, or go back to earth?’ With the thought of leaving his wife of only five weeks, he chose to remain ‘in the body’, and at that moment woke up to find himself once again back in bed. But from that time on he began regularly reading and studying the Bible, and his health began to improve.

Roger was also assailed by an accident in which his right leg was injured by an out of control car. As a result, he spent for three or four months in Poole General Hospital with a infection and at one time it appeared that his leg might have to be amputated above the knee, but in the event it was saved. During this time, unable to keep up mortgage payments, he lost his house. During that time, unable to work, he defaulted on his mortgage, but was rescued from that financial burden by the Kingdom Life pastors Duncan and Dawn, and for some time he found sanctuary in the home of another couple in the church, Mark and Carol.

Roger came to know Jesus in 1994 at a Christian fellowship meeting. During his first visit the minister announced that there was someone in the meeting who was needing assistance. Though Roger knew it was him, he did not go forward. But at a second meeting he had hands laid on him, after which his attitude towards others began to soften. He accepted salvation, and the new birth was followed by full-immersion baptism a year later, resulting, as he says, in a much clearer mind about himself. He started coming to church, but then his car was wrecked, depriving him of transport for some time. Eventually a replacement appeared and he has been able to resume Christian fellowship . Living in local accommodation, his aim now is to move through the divorce sought by his second wife, and to that end the church has been in prayer and practical aid for him. Kingdom Life’s co-leader, Dawn, has supported him at solicitor’s hearings during the divorce proceedings.

He queried God why his two marriage had failed. Back came the answer: ‘Because I didn’t choose them!’ Did he have any over-riding thoughts about his life at 63? ‘I wish I hadn’t been so arrogant at an earlier age’. But there was a precious reconciliation with his father. During a time out on the south coast, friends drove him to his father’s house, dropped him off, and then drove away. Had they made a prior arrangement? Or was this a word of knowledge on their part? He doesn’t know. Apprehensively, he knocked at the door, and was greeted joyfully by his father. In the happy reunion all was forgiven and forgotten, and his father asked Roger to help restore and rebuild the family, so damaged all those years ago.

Roger is now saved to salvation, is active in the church, and the bruising—body, soul and spirit—is now being healed during our Sunday and other meetings.

 

Roger, with Mike.