I can remember going to the local bar that I would normally drink in. A friend of mine asked me, "Have you ever tried cocaine?" I hadn't. He said to me, "Would you like to?" It was as simple as that. He just said, "Would you like to?" I said, "Yeah, why not?"
It did what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to start ruining my life, and it did the minute I tried it. I asked my friend for the drug dealer's number and I called that number nearly every day for nine years.
I started to lose the will to live, I started to not think straight. My construction company started to lose customers, started to lose business. All of a sudden, I realised that I had developed a cocaine habit that my company, my business, couldn't sustain. Then I started to have night terrors, these really bad dreams, and my life just spiraled out of control.
I started to owe drug dealers money and I got kidnapped. They kidnapped me but they didn't torture me. They didn't physically abuse me or beat me up, but it did something to me mentally. I became afraid. I became afraid of the world, and I almost became afraid of who I was.
So my life just spiraled out of control. I had a friend who was not a drinker, but he was a gambler. He was a great friend of mine and he just disappeared off the scene.
In this world people die. Drug addicts die, they're dying quite regularly. So I just presumed because he was a gambler and a drug taker, maybe something really bad had happened to him.
What transpired was that he had moved into a Christian rehab centre, and I met him four months later. I saw my friend who was once covered in psoriasis, who once looked so anxious and stressed and worried that it looked like he could drop dead in a moment, and now he looked brand new.
His mother knocked at my house with a phone number for me to move into the rehab. So I moved in, in January, 2010.
I'd never heard the gospel, I'd never heard that Jesus loved me. There was a man in this Christian rehab that said to me, "Someone in here wants to give their life to Jesus now," and I knew it was me. I knew it was me. It sounds so strange, I didn't even know that Jesus existed.
So I said, "Jesus, if you're real," If you're real! The audacity! And I just heard the Lord say, "Come to me." I said, "Jesus, if you're real, save me." And he saved me in a moment.
I felt the hands of God touch me. He baptised me in the Holy Ghost and in fire. He removed nine years of addictions out of my body. Instantly my liver, my kidneys, my lungs, all healed in a moment.
Over a two-year period, the scars of my body have all disappeared except one. I don't know why this one hasn't, but I was suicidal and I plunged a knife into my chest and lost a couple of pints of blood. It's the only scar I have left. I'm not too sure why that is, but I know the Lord removed well in excess of 80 scars off my body.
I'm now a married man and I own my own home. God has just transformed me as a man. I was full of darkness, sleeping in doorways, sleeping in woodlands, sleeping under cars in winter to stay warm off the engine.
God has taken me, filled me with His resurrection power and truth, and sent me on a new journey.
So now I'm a follower of Christ. I'm not saying the life is easy, but life is fruitful. When we step out, God steps in.
One of the things I say to people who don't believe that Jesus exists is, "What do you think about Jesus?" And they say, "Oh, I don't believe he exists." And I say, "But you didn't know I existed until 30 seconds ago."
Well, I'm telling you now that the person of Jesus who you may not have met does exist, and you can meet him right now if you call on His name. I want to encourage anyone who's reading this, it happened to me, it can happen to you.
I know of thousands of people who this has happened to. You may or may not know that God exists. You may or may not have a walk with the Lord or even great faith in Him. Or even any faith.
The moment I called on His name, He came into my life and changed it. So I want to encourage everyone to do the same.