Alpha Youth Leader /Alpha prayer team
(VGK URC SA Gestig Belhar)
I have been part of Alpha for four years now. My wife introduced me to Alpha at her church in 2015 when I was a Christian, however I wasn’t a committed Christian.
At that time in my life I was trying to find myself and trying to make the right decisions. I had questions I needed answered and when they advertised Alpha at our church it seemed the various topics connected with me, I was curious to know more.
During this time my mother and father and two sisters were going through a very rough period. With my father being a drug addict I felt like I had no parents, no one to look up to.
Alpha seemed to be for people looking for answers about life, and this was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass me by. I felt very uncomfortable the first session, I wasn’t ready to open up as I am not that kind of person. As the sessions went on week by week I started opening up and becoming more comfortable sharing. My dad was really sick from the drug abuse and I had to make the choice to support my family at this time as it was near the end for him, or to go on the Alpha weekend.
I had already received most of my answers during the previous weeks’ sessions, but I felt as if I needed to still know more. My family could see the change in me and so they were supportive in letting me go. As I was on my way there I was crying out to God “show me God, show me what I need to know.” As I arrived at the campsite, I received a message from my mom saying my dad had died. What do I do… go back home or stay? I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit saying “ stay in the presence of Me and see what I can show you for the rest of your life.”
This was a decision I needed to make that was going to make me or break me. That was the most important decision I had made in my life. The Alpha weekend was transformational for me.
Being in the presence of believers and the Holy Spirit.
Everything changed drastically, I became a full-on committed Christian. I noticed changes in my mom due to me being a more open and forgiving person. My two sisters were also on drugs previously and as we never had active parents, we had total freedom inside our home. My family noticed that something changed in me. After the weekend I started praying for my family for recovery, for deliverance. Knowing Jesus is with us, wanting to give us a better life and to take care of our burdens. Today my family are changed, transformed, they want to experience what I experience.
I am part of the youth team at our church, the prayer team, outreach and a sports ministry. The impact I have noticed in the youth ministry since we ran Alpha Youth last year is the growth of the youth attending church, our church has confirmation classes for 13 years old to 18 years old of which Alpha is part of the programme. The youth have also advanced from guests on Alpha to hosts and helpers.
I want to encourage all youth leaders that Alpha transforms lives. It is so impactful, right from session one. So many youth are looking for belonging, so many things are happening in SA. The youth are tired of crime and politics and they are looking for a safe haven and encouragement. Alpha helps to give them this. Even if it means that you run Alpha Youth at your house to impact one life, there is a ripple effect of changed lives.