It isn’t Proud to Believe: Margaret
- Real lives at CCD
Margaret lived in Ghana with her large family until she was twelve years old. Although her family went to church, their church was full of strange practices mingled with the truth of the Bible. Her older sisters became Christians through Christian Unions at school, and they urged their family to attend elsewhere, where Bible truth was clearly taught.
They also tried to explain to Margaret that she needed to believe in Jesus to become a Christian, but Margaret just thought they were proud. She told them that people couldn’t become Christians just by believing, they had to be called by God: through a dream or Him speaking directly to them. For many years, that was what she told anyone who tried to tell her about believing in Jesus. She thought they were all proud and presumptive.
When her father received a position as a general manager in London, the family gradually moved to join him. At first, they were in a rented home, but when they settled in Finchley, her Dad set out to find a church. What he found was an evangelical church, pastored by Philip Eveson.
At school, Margaret had a Christian friend, who often spoke to her about believing in Jesus, which Margaret of course thought was proud. Often there would be Christian crusades around London and once Margaret attended a crusade with her friend. Margaret says she doesn’t remember a word the speaker said and that the crusades weren’t always helpful. She was told that at the end of the service there would be an ‘alter call’ so that anyone wanting to begin following Jesus could come to the front of the meeting to commit to Jesus. Margaret’s friend urged her to go forwards. “What a proud thing to do!” Margaret thought. She watched the crowds of people going forwards, thinking they were deluding themselves that they could follow Jesus by just believing.
But then her friend spoke to her. The essence of what she said was this: “You just have to believe the Bible says that God sent His Son to die to take away your sins. If you believe that, you’re a Christian.”
All the years of arguing fell away. Everything suddenly made sense. It was THAT simple. Even though her siblings and friends had been telling her that same message, that time it ‘clicked’. Margaret KNEW that all she needed was to believe. She felt so relieved, so new.
She didn’t go to the front. She knew she didn’t need to. She knew that God would save her. Quietly there in her seat, she bowed her head and asked God to accept her into his fold, like a lost sheep coming home. “I have never looked back since,” she said. She says she has had doubts and times of discouragement in her faith, but then God just brings her back, reminding her of what He has done for her. “He has never let me go.”
About a year later, Philip Eveson baptised her in their church. Many of Margaret’s school friends came to see her public declaration that she was (and still is!) following Jesus.
– by E.M. Harding