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Testimony - Luke Marsden

Picture of Luke

When I was growing up, I was always brought to church and went to Sunday school as a child, but I never really understood what it all meant. I would go to school and say that I was a Christian, but I didn’t know what it meant to be a Christian. It was going to Keswick convention that brought me closer to God. I remember being in the big tent when Stuart Townend was singing, and I would stand on top of the chair so I could see the screen. The sound of the music and everyone singing around me introduced me to my love of worship.

However, when I moved to secondary school, I was the kid who everyone liked to pick on for their entertainment. They would ask me multiple questions about my faith every day that weren’t genuine questions but just ways to cut me down and make me feel useless. They would also play this game where they would see how long it would take to make me cry. I was broken and alone and didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone because I was one of the only Christians in my school. In year 8 I got into a fight because I had had enough with the bullying, but I was just beaten up as I was a lot weaker and smaller than the other guy. It got worse and worse until covid hit and I was relieved that I didn’t have to go into school and see any of the bullies.

I had joined a youth and we had zoom meetings every week where I learnt more and more about Jesus. At the end of the lockdown, I was doing a fundraiser with my youth where we were running, cycling and swimming numerous miles so I was cycling to school every day. One day when I was cycling to school, I crashed my bike and ended up breaking my leg. I had to stay in a cast for 6 months and I got very bored very quick as I did lots of sports. I felt useless and depressed.

When it came to Keswick convention, I wasn’t looking forward to it because I was confined to a wheelchair and I couldn’t go anywhere other than to the tent and back to the apartment. But while I was in the youth tent, the worship hit me because I knew that everyone else was here to worship God and that I wasn’t alone.

But when I went back to school in year 10 the persecution of my faith started again. Some of the things people were asking me were so shocking that I couldn’t even try to answer. But I could feel God with me guiding me through the year. Keswick 2022 was the week that I realised what Jesus had done for us and the beauty of God’s grace. There was a sermon on the last day that really stuck out to me. It was where there is a gap between me and heaven and I must get across it if I want to go to heaven, but it’s impossible to jump because it’s too far. Jesus put an invisible bridge in that gap and all he asks is that we believe so we can cross that bridge into heaven. One of my friends offered me to go to the youth group that they had been going to and I went and a couple weeks later went on a weekend away with them. At that weekend away I was drawn closer and closer to God. Then we sang a song called hymn of heaven by Phil Wickham. The lyrics stood out to me and hit me with joy, and I was overwhelmed to the point I was bawling my eyes out, but I kept on singing the lyrics because I believe in God. I believe that Jesus died to take away my sins and I have a place in heaven because of him.

How I long to breathe the air of Heaven,
where pain is gone, and mercy fills the streets.
To look upon the One who bled to save me,
and walk with Him for all eternity.
There will be a day when all will bow before Him,
there will be a day when death will be no more,
Standing face to face with He who died and rose again,
Holy, holy is the Lord.

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