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Faith & Football, Second Chance House,
Somers Road Bridge, Portsmouth, PO5 4NS

© 2017 Faith & Football

GINA COOKE

Before I asked Jesus into my heart my life was pretty good, I was happy but sometimes I found myself thinking "is this it?" and I actually feared death because I didn't know what would happen to me. I didn't really know what I believed, because I didn't know much about God and Christianity. In my first year of college in my Philosophy lessons we debated the existence of God and I was always on the fence.

The only experience of church I had was church parade, I only went because I had to and I didn't really enjoy it.

 

Last August I went along to the Christian festival 'Momentum' with Naomi and a group of people from City Life Church for the start of my internship with Faith & Football. The first time I came across Faith & Football was in my last year of college. I signed up for their Business Tank programme that they were running at Portsmouth College. When I went along to the launch of the programme Mick and Naomi introduced themselves and explained about the programme. At that moment I immediately thought "my new neighbour is called Naomi!" I hadn't actually met my new neighbour yet and I only knew her name because I had taken a parcel in for her and I looked to see what her name was. Then it turned out that it was the same Naomi that was my neighbour and at Faith & Football. At the time I thought it was a coincidence but I now realise it was all God's plan.

 

At the end of the Business Tank programme Faith & Football offered me a year's internship. For the start of the internship I went to Momentum. It completely changed my view on God and Christianity, I learnt that God is not distant but very much real. I experience a completely different church than I had before. I couldn't deny that God was real because I'd seen with my own eyes how God was working in people. Another thing that really impacted me at Momentum was the group of people from City Life Church that I spent the week with. They were so loving, welcoming and genuine.

 

On the last night they did an altar call and I said to God "I want to go down the front but I'm only going if someone asks me." Then someone who was with our group tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I wanted to go down the front with another girl in our group! I immediately said yes and we both went down the front and asked Jesus into our hearts.

 

Since then I have been completely transformed by God. I have so much joy and feel more confident. God has opened doors to things I never thought I would do and I have completely changed what I want to do as a career. I am plugged into an amazing church where I feel so welcome and at home. It's amazing to look back at how much my life has changed in a year.