Pray for Strength
Claire Smith: I just always wanted a quiet life, to be honest. And then as you get older, certain things happen in life and you change your prospect. And I found the Church.
Everybody is just so happy and caring, kind. And sometimes you have to take a step back and go, “Is this real?”
My name is Claire. I was born in [Münster], Germany. I’m 39 but 21 at heart.
I had a really good childhood. I grew up in the country with my parents. Went to Sunday school every time I went up to Scotland [during] summer holidays. When I was 18, I had my son. And [my] marriage broke down. I had Thomas up here because I needed help with my mum because he has autism. So it was nice to have a support for myself, as well as for him.
“I Can’t See Him”
I always kind of had, “Why me?” I’ve been through domestic violence from mental to physical, it’s absolutely terrifying and you feel trapped. You can’t leave. I’ve had problems with my son. If God didn’t think I was strong enough, He wouldn’t have given me my son. And that’s how I’ve always looked at things with him.
Interviewer: ”So can you tell us, growing up, what questions you had about God?”
Claire: I definitely had the, “Well, I can’t see Him. So how am I supposed to believe in Him?” I had that at one point. I had a feeling and I knew some uncertain things were proven to me. If you ask for it and pray enough, you receive it, hopefully.
“I Got Hooked”
Before I was introduced to the Church Of Christ, I was very much too busy. I [did] not have time. And then I met Sister Eva, Brother Eric, Sister Gina, and a few others. And we just got talking and I ended up doing a Bible lesson. [I was] only doing this for history. I just [wanted] to learn about the history. And here we are. A year later… baptized… and loving it.
Two years ago, beginning of lockdown, I found listening to Brother Cromwell helped me a lot and helped me process a lot of things. I found… it very eye-opening, my first lesson. And I kind of got hooked. From hearing the lessons and then attending [worship services], it was a bit weird to start with because, obviously, the men [are seated] to the left, women to the right. And then you learn. And then I found when I came to the Church and listened face-to-face, something just drew me and then I knew that this is where I wanted to be.
Interviewer: ”Was there any, like, specific verses that really stood out to you?”
Claire: John 15:16.
[On-screen verse graphic]
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
[John 15:16 New King James Version]
I heard that verse in the worship service. And the hairs on the back of my neck kind of went and I thought, “Wow, everything makes sense now.” And that was it for me, I knew. So I’d go and I’d attend and then I had my baptism a year later.
“I Found The Church”
I just always wanted a quiet life, to be honest. As you get older, certain things happen in life and you change your prospect. You look at things really differently. And I found the Church.
I kind of felt something was missing. And I came along, I was like, “Find, I’ll give it a go. I’ll see what I think.” My mum always said, “Join a church. It’s good for you. You can get so much.” And then, obviously, when I joined the Church on my own, my mum was quite taken aback by it because again, she’d been trying for a long time to get me to go to church again. And the fact that she’s now joining in, she’s coming along, I love it.
“Is This Real?”
My faith has grown stronger and… it’s made me a stronger person as well. And joining the Church really has…
[On screen text graphic]
Joined the Church Of Christ in 2021
… changed my life in a positive way.
The day after my baptism everything felt that I found my place. You know, I felt I was with a group of people where I belonged, where I could do positive. And it’s just an amazing feeling. It’s wonderful. Everybody is just so happy and caring, kind. And sometimes you have to take a step back and go, “Is this real?” Because you’re not used to it.
I personally believe there’s no fanciness about it. It is read from the Bible. And there [are] no distractions. And I quite like that.
“No Pain Sounds Amazing”
My story of faith probably started around about 10 years ago. I had brethren who were trying to get me into the Church. I wanted to see what it was all about, as well as get my history lesson. It was completely mind-blowing because I thought, “Oh, Filipino church.” And it isn’t. You come in and it’s just relaxed. You pray… you listen and it’s wonderful.
Never say never. If you have your faith, stick with it and let it grow because it is worthwhile. The goal to salvation is knowing that I’ll get to join the rest of my brethren in eternal life. No pain sounds amazing.
“My Life Changed Completely”
I’ve been with the Church nearly a year now… baptized. And it’s, I can’t get my head around how quick that year has gone. And it’s been so enjoyable as well. Everybody else is very helpful and willing to teach as well as willing to learn, which I think is quite nice.
God has my back. And pray and prayers will be answered. My life has changed completely, drastically in a positive way since joining the Church, and it is having a purpose. You get up in the morning, you get up for your kids, but I also now get up for me… for my Church. You can gain confidence, you can help people. I love helping people. And it is just an amazing experience. I would definitely recommend opening your hearts and just listening.
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