Alina speaks of her experience of Alpha and how it played a part in her own journey of faith.
I always felt that I had a huge dark cloud, that felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders. I felt I had no direction in life, where I was going, where I would end up or what was to become of my life. I felt alone and quite depressed with everything that surrounded me, I could never find anything to fulfill the happiness or joy I was looking for.
I fell into an abusive relationship that would get worse, day after day, week after week, year after year. Where emotional and physical harm would be caused to me, on a daily basis.
Eventually it came to the point where I had a breakdown. I was lying on the sofa for 3 days where I couldn’t eat and couldn’t sleep. When I looked in the mirror it was almost like a distant memory of the person I wanted to be. I was so ill and frail I didn’t know myself. It was like all the joy and happiness had been sucked out of me and only darkness was there.
I woke up on a Sunday morning and felt this urge, this power, this something to go to church. I didn’t understand why or what it meant but I got in my car and I drove to the church. I parked, walked in and I remember seeing this sea of people looking at me.
There was one older lady at the back of the church who signaled for me to come sit beside her. I sat down and spoke with her. All of a sudden we stood up and everyone started singing. I can remember clearly but it’s so hard to describe in words. This overwhelming feeling of someone or something, giving me a huge hug, and embrace with complete flowing love that was overwhelming and a voice saying “you're safe now.”
Then a couple of weeks passed and I went back to church and the minister invited me to Alpha. I said yes. I was a bit apprehensive but I went along and we all sat and ate dinner together. It was like a family having a meal but I hardly recognized me being part of it. I didn’t think I was worthy to be a part of that. However the people made me feel such a part of it all. They made me feel a part of a loving family, a part of something that I could never have imagined. I felt safe.
After a few weeks of going I stayed behind one evening and I broke down. I told the minister about what was going on in my life. I told him about the situation me and my son were in. I can remember the minister asking if he could pray over me and I said yes. I can remember thinking that it didn’t seem like a long time but I know it was a long time that he prayed over me. From that day the healing began, the start of my new journey began, walking with God, with Jesus, knowing that Jesus loved me for who I was. My life didn’t have to be like this, my son’s life didn’t have to be like this.
At the Alpha weekend I can remember lying in my bed before sleeping, feeling so at peace and safe. All these people around me made me feel like I was part of a family. We played games, we had worship together and encountered Jesus a lot during the weekend. Even having a meal together was wonderful. It was like Jesus was on my side and nothing could harm me anymore. This whole period was changing something in me. Alpha was the beginning of my whole life being changed for the better.
After quite some time of healing and restoration I began to piece my life back together with my son and build myself a new life without any harm. My son and I packed our bags very quickly and escaped to the Safe house where we began rebuilding, healing and making happy memories.
Everything has changed within me and around me and I now feel I have a purpose. I know that Jesus loves me and loves my son and wants the very best for us. My parenting has changed. I now look to encourage my son to be a strong, confident, kind man and through God anything is possible. I now encourage others to encounter Jesus for themselves. Helping them to know that Jesus loves them and wants the very best for them too.