Over the last 18 months Josh Jacques' life has changed dramatically. Josh used to be your typical party boy, and got particularly wild and out of control after his aunt passed away.
"I did many things I regret," Josh shares about this low period in his life.
Besides getting drunk and experimenting with drugs and sex, he also suffered from low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
This lifestyle was very at odds with Josh's Christian upbringing. Despite giving his life to Jesus at the age of seven and attending church regularly, Josh often felt like he had never truly known God's presence.
"I always knew there was a God, His reality was a strong influence in my life but I never really felt His presence for myself," Josh shares.
Just before year 12, Josh became a school prefect and attended a leader's camp where he shared how the death of his aunt had been a 'watershed moment' in his life. Afterwards he and his friend Kaleb walked around the campsite talking and then Kaleb asked if he could pray for him.
"As soon as Kaleb started praying I started to weep," Josh remembers. "When he had finished I started to pray. I asked God to forgive me of my sins and the second I said the word amen, a wave of peace just came over me and it was there that I felt the true love of Christ."
Since then Josh has noticed changes in his attitudes towards things like church attendance and the idea of being baptised (immersed in water as a sign of his inward commitment), and in his habits. "God helps me to pray daily and read his Word," he says. Although he still goes through difficult times, he knows he has the strength, through God, to cope.
Josh feels he is also changing into a more loving, caring and faithful young man, who is willing and able to help people who are hurting.
He recently went on a mission trip to South Africa where he gladly shared his story with others.
"God has blessed me to see that, the rough patch in my life was all a part of His plan to help me come to know Him. I am no longer afraid of sharing my testimony for fear of judgement but am proud to say how my 'rough patch' has brought me to Christ," he declares happily.•