Testimony from down under... (Australia)
From: Paul J.

I had grown up in a Christian family with a Anglican minister for a Grand pop.

When l was five years old the wheels of my parents marriage and that me on a roller coster for the next 20 years. I new about God and Jesus, but as the only child who parents were divorced in my whole school l was more interested in fitting in that God. l had to fight and l felt that l had to prove that l was every much a man as any other boy in that school ... What a mistake that was to be and how dearly it has cost me.

So l did everything l did to fit in, l smoked tobacco, as from as early as 10 years and drank beer when I could. We all grew up listening to Bon Scott and it seemed to scream at me to drink hard, smoke, play up, and l did. It wasn't long before l was off to high school and l soon made friends with the rough boys, we smoked, drank and shot our way through high school. When l say shot, we were bush kids and we spent as much time as we could shooting. The men in our lives were tough men, who were horsemen, timber men and had very lose morals, far different from what my Dad would have me do.

Before l had left school, two mates had died. This went on for years and the booze bought violence and bad woman into my life. We all worked hard and drank hard, l got engaged to a girl who was as lost as l was. This led to more trouble than ever, and more drinking and immoral behavior. In fact l was worse now than ever before. l thought l knew best. God knew best l was living as a devils child and it was killing me.

One night l nearly killed all my mates in a wild driving episode in outback Australia. In another episode a mate at the time loaded a .338 rifle and was ready to shoot all on comers, we all had high powered rifles and shotguns, we drove around with them like cowboys, we were wild really wild.

At one time in my life l feared for my life, l had bitten off more that l could chew and l had some real bad blokes after me. This led to more guns and more threats, l slept with a loaded gun under the bed for a long time. At this time in my life l was engaged again to a girl deep into drugs, she had a child and saw the true person l was as l watched this child struggle with having a drug addict as a mum. l was a loser, no two ways about it.

l turned my back on all my drinking buddies and started going to church, but they hated it, the woman and child, and we broke up as her drug use continued. Very lonely living out in the bush, l started back on the grog again it didn't take long to get back into it again.

A long time friend was to bring me back into line. He was a Vietnam Vet and one drunken morning l pushed things to far. See l used to wait until l was drunk to do things, l would do anything, anything at all. l was like most of us l was only cool in my own drunken stupor. This mate of mine he gave it to me, how stupid l was. This bloke had risked his life so we could have freedom, he had lost mates.

When l woke the next day l felt stupid, totally stupid, l had let myself down and my mate. l vowed off grog for good and l started back at church again but l was to wild for the people. l don't think they knew what to say to me. I stayed off the grog for a while but it didn't last, l was so lonely, the churches didn't really want a boy from the bush especially a wild one like me, l didn't know Jesus.

So it was rum and smokes again, my old mates and guns. I always found wild, lost girls to hang around with, and things always went bad. I slipped in and out of church for a while, thinking of smoking and drinking while in church. l couldn't get out of there quick enough to go and get stuck into them again.

I was so lost, but l stuck the course, besides their was nothing where l lived, in the middle of now where, except the bottle shop. l didn't really care if l drank with some one or on my own l just drank off the night.

I always worked hard and had become successful in some ways in my work. I had slipped lower into the depths and the devil had me right where he wanted me. l was now going with a girl into some type of witch craft, my life was spiralling right our of control, l wanted to die. l had no strength, l had one foot in hell and the other on a knife cliffs edge.

I called the Pastor of the local church, we sat and talked for hours he prayed for me and l asked Jesus for help. ln the days to follow l smoked, nothing seemed to change, but then it just happened. l didn't want to smoke anymore and l didn't ... l didn't ever get drunk again either, ever ... I have one drink now and then but l never get drunk. That was years ago now.

I have since married a lovely Christian lass. We have our hard days and have had to really work very hard but we are happy. We love God, we live a clean and happy life. We commit everything we do to God and we pray every day about our lives.

This is not the half of my story ... But I know Jesus is real. Through him you can overcome all hurdles.

Paul J.

You might have gone through hard times like, Paul. Do not ever give up because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world ... 2jesus