Eighteen year-old Jamie Bennett is quite sure what appeals to him most in life.
“I love football! I am a supporter of Manchester United, who have dominated the premier league for the past 25 years.”
He has started a project called ‘Shape up for 2012’ which takes him into schools to discuss social issues and sports with, as he describes it, ‘a godly point’. His long-term hopes are to start an academy in America and see lives changed for God.
But things could have been very different.
“I was brought up in a Christian home and went to church every Sunday. I knew the love of God at an early age, and there were moments when I could tell ‘that was God’ because of things that happened. I struggled at school until the age of 15 with a speech problem which decreased communication and I felt so lonely.”
In the kindness of God, though, Jamie was able to overcome his impediment sufficiently to make good use of his skills and experience.
He testifies that he never expected to achieve all that he has achieved. “Working for Youth for Christ is a great privilege to be able to share the talent God has given me with children and young people. It is such a blessing and I can’t thank God enough!”
Jamie is not oblivious to the pressures upon him as he continues to follow the Lord. “The talk in the dressing-rooms is not exactly Christian, so that is hard!”
At the same time, he is quick to affirm his confidence in a particular Bible verse: ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength’ (Philippians 4, 13).
P.S. CAN IT REALLY BE two full years since Street Pastors was launched in Eastbourne? Yes, definitely. Without doubt, these extraordinary people have made their mark, their presence alongside the police appreciated in and around the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights.