5p Doesn't Work

Read the testimony of Olesya, one of our church members, which she presented at a recent International Café.

I grew up in Ukraine, having a normal life with its ups and downs. I left school, went to University and used to study really hard for exams. I remember putting a 5-pence coin under the pillow before going to bed for good luck to get good marks for the exam the next day. I used to believe and rely on the 5-pence coin to help me pass. When I finished the exam I felt that the Universe (what I called it) was there and it helped me during the exam to do well.

I left Ukraine very young and was in a long-term relationship. The person I was with made me believe that the end of the world was coming soon and there would be nothing after death. My head was messed up and I got very depressed, depressed to a point that at 23 I was thinking that it was last year of my life. I remember inviting my parents to England and thinking it was the last time I was going to see them.

Despite all that I felt that there was something in charge of my life that got me to move to Kendal and meet my now husband, who brought me to church. When I first came to church I was struggling to understand who God and Jesus are. I went on a Christianity Explored course and started to slowly understand that God had been in charge of my life the whole time and all the pieces of the puzzle in my life were put together by Him. I had heard of God and Jesus only a few times in my childhood from my Grandma. I remember she told me how Jesus was crucified for us and how hard his death was on the cross, so that we were forgiven for our mistakes and sins.

Once I had learned about Jesus I really struggled to understand how I could deserve His sacrifice, with my thoughts, deeds and imperfections. It was beyond my comprehension to imagine how God could give up his only son for our sake when I got my children. But he has given us that sacrifice because he loves us so much, like we love our children, and that sacrifice was the only way to justify us. God forgives us not because we are being good or trying our best but because it is a free gift through Jesus.

I understood that I cannot earn his forgiveness, cannot get good marks by putting a 5-pence coin under the pillow. I am not in charge but God is and my sins are forgiven by simply believing in Jesus. Forgiveness is not the only thing we can get by believing in God and Jesus. We get eternal life. Life where there are no tears, no pain, no depression, no sadness in any form and that is what it says in the Bible:

And God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ (Revelation 21:4)