He is Such a part of me

NEVER TOO OLD: Barbara was 66 when she was baptised

How strange that I needed someone to knock on my door to invite me to church.

Not long after my second husband died, a man named Geoff rang the doorbell and said, "Have you ever thought of going to church?" I hadn't.

I'd been to weddings, and I used to go to Sunday school when I was a girl growing up in Battersea.

I met my husband when I was 19 – I was working in a dry cleaner's and he was a customer – and we got married. He wasn't religious, so we never pursued faith.

But he was a violent man. I left him (he later died in an accident), and remarried. My second husband died of cancer.

So when Geoff came to the door, I thought: why not? Why don't I go to church?

In February 2003 I went along for the first time since childhood, and that was the day I became a Christian.

They were such nice, kind people at the church, and I loved being in their company. Geoff started coming to my home for Bible studies. There were so many things I didn't know! I have learnt so much from Geoff. I also started attending a care group at the church. It was a bit daunting at first. I used to sit at the back, but eventually I moved to the middle and that's where I sit now.

I was 66 when Geoff and my pastor, Brian, baptised me. I didn't have any family there. Although they don't criticise, my family don't want to talk about me going to church.

I have grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, and some of them used to come with me until they moved away. They say, "I miss going to church, Nanna!" I keep praying for them. I feel I let my own children down by not taking them to church.

These days I help out at a group for children under five. I asked God and I'm sure He took me there, because they were so busy and I'm so happy to help.

I keep in touch with Geoff, even though he's retired now. He still leads services and our care group. I shall always be grateful to Geoff for knocking on my door that time. I just needed someone to suggest to me that I go to church. I often think how brave you have to be to go door-to-door: I don't think I could do it. Geoff's been my inspiration, and encourages me just by the way he acts. He's so kind.

I'm 75 now, and live with my cat. How sad it would be if I didn't have God in my life. I talk to Him all day long. He's part of me.?

Used with permission of London City Mission

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