Rob’s Testimony

Hi Guys, I remember when I started I said i would share my testimony.

I grew up in the forest of Dean in a little village of about 200 people. My dad was a martial arts instructor and my mom a new Christian. As I grew older my dad gave his life to Christ. In turn I was taken along to church where I developed the usual church kid mentality. I was baptised at 10 years old. Something I felt strongly about doing (mainly cos it was the done thing). My family and I moved to Weston super mare when I was 12. Here I joined a new school and was instantly picked on, this bullying got worse and worse. I began to question why, if God loved me so, He would let me go through such pain. In my mind I had already given up on God. In my eyes He was a liar and only cared for everyone else. When I hit 15 my mom said I didn’t have to go to church anymore but that it would be good if I did. I was out the door in seconds. Now I had an excuse not to be there. In the summer between year 10 and 11. I took up skateboarding and began hanging with a group of 25+ year olds. We would frequent a goth club called Hobbits. My last year of school I spent either drunk or high. Consequently ending up with 1 gcse. I was angry and hurt. I felt God at my heels but continued to kick him away. At hobbits the atmosphere gradually got worse, satanic blood rituals, animal sacrfice, vampirism, grave parties, ouiji. U name it, ive seen it. I never got involved (something I look back at as only being Gods grace working through my circumstance) throughout this period I knew my parents had me massively in their prayers. My old youthleader even prophesied “one day he’ll become a youth leader.” haha At the time I couldn’t have been further from it! It took a night of heavy substance abuse for God to get through, contemplating suicide, I heard a very audible voice tell me “there is more to your life rob, I have more for you than this!” I wasn’t ready for this just yet!
The next weekend I went to an extreme sports festival at the bath and west showground in Shelton mallet. Probably one of the worst weekends ive spent in my life. Drugs, alcohol etc… Try and picture 7 or 8000 people taking part in almost every ungodly activity u can think of and that was my weekend! Well anyway a month later my mom asked me along to soul survivor to help her cook the food for her church youth group. I reluctantly went. Ever the rebellious spirit I snuck away from my duties to listen to the hypocrites in the main tent. 🙂 there, a speaker called Louie giglio talked about the wilderness. How sometimes we find ourselves in the wilderness and Jesus finds us there and redeems us. I gotta tell you. I sat there until everyone had gone and cried it out literally. The rest of the week I walked and I talked and the transformation had begun. On the outside I was angry and hurt and proud. On the inside, God was rescuing me!
When I got home from that week, I joined a relevant church with young people like me in it (well sort of) it’s hard to see the things I’d seen and still feel normal! Gods redeeming and restorative love changed me from the inside out. Within six months I was part of a junior leadership team, getting prayer ministry almost every day and eventually took two years out to work voluntarily for the church. In this time I have been broken to almost the end and I have entered into the best journey I could ever take, one end to the other, I have seen the destructive power of Satan and his deceptions an I have seen first hand Gods redemptive restoring love. I know which one has won! 🙂

Rob Popejoy
Ascension Church Youthworker