Testimonies

Having turned thirty-five this year, I am now the age that my parents were when they became Christians. I was a baby and we lived in Australia. My father, a university lecturer, had been asking deep questions about purpose and meaning for a while when God dramatically broke into his life. Up late one night, marking some of his students’ papers, he had an overwhelming vision in which he saw his own life, including all of his regrets, from the perspective of Jesus. At the end of this, he saw Christ on the cross and found himself on his knees. Having been raised by an atheist father, he did not know much about the Bible. The only phrase he could remember was “Lord I believe, help my unbelief,” and so after saying this, he got up off the floor a changed man. My mother made her own decision to follow Christ six months later after a lot of questioning and searching. My sister and I were now members of a Christian family.

A couple of years later we moved back to the UK for my father to study theology and prepare for church leadership. He is a gifted and passionate evangelist. Some of my earliest childhood memories are around people discovering Christ for themselves in our home. I still frequently meet people who came to know the Lord through my parents. Sharing what we had discovered as such good news was a completely natural part of our lives. It was something that happened in the course of mundane tasks and daily friendships. It wasn’t something I saw anybody worrying about.

When I started school, I remember meeting children and asking them if they wanted to become Christians. Through a couple of them, their whole families ended up coming to know the Lord and we are still in touch on Facebook now! It wasn’t until secondary school that I really thought about being an evangelist myself. I remember feeling very nervous on my first day at this new school; I didn’t know anyone in my class and I prayed with my family for a Christian friend. On the bus on the way home, I chatted to a friend I had made that day and we started talking about God. She was very open and the next day at school she announced that she was now a Christian. This girl became my closest friend over the next years; God had answered my prayer.

As the teenage years kicked in, I became involved with a ministry of YWAM, which was called Kings Kids. We went all over the world doing performing arts and evangelism in the summer holidays. The leaders were absolutely phenomenal Christians who believed that children and young people could minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. In 1991, shortly after the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, a team of us went to the Czech Republic. Thousands were on the streets of Prague and we were performing on Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square. As a fifteen-year-old I was given the opportunity to share testimonies and preach the gospel in the open air to these crowds. The leaders seemed to think this was absolutely natural and normal; age was no barrier to seeing the Kingdom of God come. Amazing miracles happened on that trip; we saw God at work first hand. In 1994 a team of us were in Uzbekistan and the national television crew came to film what we are doing. I was to preach in this closed country, God again opening such an amazing door.

Kings Kids laid a foundation of mission in my life and at university quite a few of my friends became Christians. It was at Oxford that I discovered the need for apologetics in evangelism. I remember spending eight hours one day talking to a Jewish friend about the Christian faith. He was terrifyingly intelligent and kept on asking me questions; he had only popped around to my room to borrow something but as we fell into conversation, I faced a barrage of questions and objections with no let up. Another friend had grown up in a Christian family but was now studying biology and had become a born-again atheist under the influence of his hero Richard Dawkins. After many late-night conversations, he confided his despair at the prospect of a godless, hopeless universe but I was unable to convince him otherwise. The need for equipping in apologetics was very real to me. Meanwhile, forty of my friends came to hear Michael Green preach at a mission event and one of the most hardened anti-Christians of the lot secretly signed up for the follow-up course. “Don’t tell anyone—but will you come with me?” was the message slid under my door. What an incredible joy to pray with her only three weeks later.

Discovering a passion for evangelism and preaching was a slow process for me; there wasn’t really a moment when I suddenly knew this was what I was called to be. But from childhood into my teens and then at university, many encouraged me and gave me opportunities to share the gospel I had so grown to love. For all of those people—and for the power of Christ to change lives—I am incredibly thankful.

An Evangelist’s Journey
Amy Orr-Ewing is director of programs for the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and UK director for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Oxford, England.

My first King’s Kids outreach was with my family in Australia when I was 11 years old. I think the memory that stands out most to me from that outreach is that was the first time I really experienced the Holy Spirit. Even now, I can still go right back to that very moment. At the time I didn’t really understand what it was all about, but I believe that on that outreach God set something into motion in my life.

Fast forward a few years to being a teenager and becoming involved with King’s Kids New Zealand. Almost every school vacation I was in Auckland on the King’s Kids center, I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved the dancing, but now that I look back, I can see what I learned and how God was already preparing me for the future. I learned how to be a leader, and what it meant to be a role model and example for younger kids. I found a new family, I felt like I belonged. But most of all I learned how to hear God’s voice.

I remember one time we went through the steps of intercession before going to do a “performance” and I got a picture of a boy in a blue T-shirt who had some kind of handicap. We went to this kids’ program and he was there! I went to talk to him, and he thought it was really weird, but I knew for sure that God had spoken to me.

But I think the biggest impact that King’s Kids had on my life was when I was a part of a evangelism tour in 2001. It was my first year out of high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, but I did know that I wanted to do this outreach. In those three months, as we went to different countries and experienced different cultures, my eyes were opened to the fact that this world needs Jesus. I learned a lot of lessons on that outreach: leadership, conflict resolution, spiritual warfare. But the biggest moment came in Kazakhstan. We visited an orphanage and I spent some time with one little girl. She didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Russian, but when it comes to God’s love, sometimes you don’t need words. She put her hand in mine and did not want to let go for the whole afternoon. I don’t know exactly how to express what happened in my heart, but I knew for sure that God was calling me to children’s ministry. I didn’t know where or in what context, but I knew that children and their families was it.

After outreach I went to Bible College in New Zealand, was involved in dance, school ministry, Sunday School and community outreach, but in 2006 I went as an intern to Metro Ministries in New York City, and I have been there ever since.

Now, almost 10 years after that outreach, what God put in my heart in Kazakhstan is still as real as ever. I am fully committed to reaching children and their families in the inner city of New York. And all those things I learned in King’s Kids: being a role model, leadership, the sense of family, working in a team, spiritual warfare – I am still using these principles today.

I loved being a part of King’s Kids, and now that I reflect on my times on outreach, I see what a huge influence it had on me. I had leaders who spoke life into me, who encouraged me, and who pushed me even when I didn’t want to be pushed! Now as a leader, I can have that same influence, I can pass on what I have learned.

How KKI Prepared Me For Ministry
Bronwyn Bevan

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