People Stories Real stories of God at work in people’s lives
Life Stories – Nigel: Faith Journey through Cancer
Nigel, born in Chelmsford in the early sixties, always knew deep down that God was working under the surface for him.
In 2012, Nigel truly felt Gods presence during a tough point in his life. Having recently been divorced, he was enduring a career in sales for which he had no passion. It gave a poor working environment and set unachievable targets. He thought that: “there’s got to be a better way to earn a living but there’s also got to be a more satisfying way to make a life”.
Only a few months earlier Nigel had started attending the Countess Free Church, and had decided to let Jesus into his life. After talking to a gardener, a seed was sewn in Nigel’s mind and he decided to begin working for himself in the gardening business. Through the newfound peace that the gardening bought, Nigel felt his faith really coming alive and knew that this was God’s plan for him all along.
However, not long after this, Nigel discovered that he was unwell. After a visit to the hospital he found out that there was a cancerous tumour in his bladder. Despite all of this, Nigel kept his faith with God strong and trusted that Jesus had a purpose even in the difficulty. He was not nervous and after the tumour was removed, Nigel took regular medications and felt his life return to a peaceful state once again.
He was incredibly thankful to God that he could remain business minded and develop his faith through the Countess Church small groups and Bible studies. In 2015 he was married to Paula, and they were both baptised in that same year.
Unfortunately, in January 2019, Nigel realised that something was not right. The bladder cancer had returned. Upon hearing this news Nigel said, “I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me.” But still, he trusted in God and was grateful that the tumour had been caught early. Nigel felt God’s presence through various cancer support groups and was blown away by the openness of the members. He truly felt as if these people had been selected by God to make this hard time far easier.
In October 2019, Nigel decided to have an operation to have his bladder removed. It was a decision heavily influenced by God’s word telling him ‘I’ve got things I want to do with you, I’m not finished with you yet’.
Then, on November 11th, 2019, with full faith in God, Nigel had his operation. He went in with an amazing feeling of peace after praying with Paula. Thankfully, he could not have asked for a better recovery or more helpful staff in the hospital for the next 6 days. Despite the operation having similar effects to being in a major car crash for the body, Nigel still managed to enjoy his Christmas dinner 6 weeks later.
Nowadays, Nigel enjoys the tranquillity of gardening and is not limited by the operation. He also regularly helps people out by giving advice in cancer support groups in order to give back to Addenbrookes hospital.
Nigel would advise people to ‘enjoy the now’ as God is always working. He describes life as something that ‘interlocks perfectly, like a jigsaw, but we never see the final picture. We just have to trust in Him’.
Nigel with his wife Paula are members of the Countess Free Church.
Story authored by Tom Hawksley.
Life Stories – Douglas: The Leap of Faith
Douglas Maclure grew up in a loving Christian family in India before moving to Dubai in 1989. In Dubai he joined Emirates airline as an HR Assistant and met his wife, Dawn. They moved to England shortly after the birth of their daughter Abbey.
Douglas climbed the ladder at the high pressure role in London, working up from HR Officer to senior HR Manager for Europe. After the birth of their son Caleb, Douglas was juggling travelling abroad and long hours in the office with spending time with his family. Douglas said: “I knew the role didn’t feel right for a long time, but I always had fears about finances and providing for my family.”
After 25 years the demands of the job along with a five-hour daily commute from Ely to London had taken its toll. In April 2017, Douglas suffered a heart attack and underwent emergency surgery at Papworth hospital.
A long and difficult recovery followed and as Douglas returned to work he knew he could not simply continue as before. He searched for what to do next, but struggled to find the answers. Finally one year on, while Douglas was spending time in prayer he felt a powerful sense of God telling him to make the leap and leave Emirates, trusting God to provide the next step. Douglas said: “God provided me with a vision of a bright path ahead of me, really bright, but I couldn’t see anything else on the path.”
“I felt God say – you don’t have to be here. You can stay in your comfort zone where you are, or you can choose to take my path, despite not being able to see what’s ahead”. The sense was that God knew the plans He had for Douglas and would give him the courage to make the leap of faith.
He resigned in January and, supported in prayer by Dawn and members of the Countess Free Church, he felt called to set up his own HR consultancy. Douglas added: “It will take a long time to find clients and build a foundation and I still don’t know for sure whether the consultancy is the right path, or what God has in store for me.”
“But as I read His word and trust in God, He reaffirms the message in different ways. In the meantime, through the church and having fellowship with different people – God is using me now.”
Douglas with his wife Dawn are together members of the Countess Free Church.
Story authored by Abbey Maclure.
Life Stories: Yogina – Discovering Peace & Happiness
My name is Yogina. I was born in India to a Hindu family and was brought up with all the Hindu culture and beliefs. Throughout my life I prayed to the Hindu gods and yet I never felt peace or happiness in my heart. I felt like I was in a fight as to whether my prayers were even being heard.→Read More …
Life Stories – Louise: A Childhood Calling
Louise was born 28th May 1974 in Thatcham, Berkshire and her earliest faith-related memories are of Sunday school – sitting in a freezing room on tiny wooden chairs and doing lots of colouring in!→Read More …