If you arent sure what your story is yet, or you dont feel like you have the answers yet, we want you to know that you matter, and God has a plan, and our prayer is that one day your story will be one you can share, by the grace of God, that inspires and encourages others. If you are part of our church family and we might be able to include your story here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject our stories submission.
Family tragedy, suicide and drug and alcohol use impacted my childhood, and despite being academically successful, bullying and rejection marred my primary school experience. Within weeks of starting high school I was caught supplying drugs to others and the police and counselors got involved, but it only served to give me a reputation I quickly lived up to.
By the time I was 14 I was addicted, struggling at school, dealing with a series of unhealthy relationships, in trouble with the law and well and truly running with the 'wrong' crowd; but I had found some acceptance. Despite their reputation, those people who protected me and accepted me are my motivation to this day to look past peoples actions and reputations because I know that everyone has value and everyone has something to offer the world.
At about 15 I accepted Jesus as my saviour; but making Him Lord of my life was a long process; as I began to move away from all that I had become tied up in. I thank God for my pastors and leaders who looked past the mess and the issues and started to sow vision and guidance into my life.
My calling to ministry had been an ongoing battle with God as I first said I would never work in church, wanting to reach the lost and the hurting, so I studied secular social work. God has since begun to reveal to me the potential for His church to be the place of hope and healing e intended and I believe this new season of leading the church is the most exciting yet as I have the honour and privilege of not only reaching the lost and broken but equipping and multiplying an ever growing community of like minded believers to do the same.
Hi, My Name is Sharon.
I have been wronged and I have wronged. I have always believed in someone up there even though I didn't always live like it. I believe when I was truly desperate and asked, He answered.
I had an alcoholic father who was violent with my Mum and didn't seem to love us, but God more than made up for it when he gave me my Mum.
I suffered abuse by the husband of a family member at 10 years old and carried that ugliness with me a long time. I have had four lots of cancer over the past 21 years, but have also been given 3 beautiful children. The man i married, however, told me i was a waste of space on a daily basis.
After reaching low point, I asked God to help if he was there, and he answered by giving me my friend Jenny, who showed me what it was like to be loved unconditionally. I still felt something was missing, so when Jen asked me to come to church with her, I agreed, not knowing that walking through these doors, i would feel like I was coming home.
I asked God to give me a new start, fill my heart with His love and lead me to where ever he wants me. I got baptised on the 25th of June, 2017.
When I was growing up I’d constantly be back and forward between living with my mum back to my dad and so on. Eventually me and my siblings were sent to live with my dad permanently. My brother soon moved out and my dad became physically and verbally abusive towards me. Growing up was difficult. The person who was supposed to protect me and love me the most was causing me so much pain. The world I saw around me changed. From having the innocence and dreams of childhood to seeing everyday thinking I didn’t want to live anymore. Showing up to school to lie about why I had bruises around my face. My dad often got lost in his anger and drinking, he taught me emotion was weakness and that I should step over anyone to get what I wanted. One day I went to school and they saw the bruises on my face and contacted child protection.
When I moved back with my mum I thought things would get better. The truth was it was the most difficult part yet. I didn’t know who I was or how to act. I grew up on south park and no parenting. Drinking was a part of my life before i even got to high school. My mum seemed to feel she couldn't tell me off because of the experiences i had with my Dad's anger.
Going into year 11 my life was a mess. I was depressed and I didn’t want any of life anymore. Then I met a girl at school who went to PYRO, Cornerstone's youth program. I told her about my life and how i felt. While she didn’t have answers, she did invite me to her youth program.
When I visited PYRO It felt like home. I wasn’t perfect and no one expected me to be. I found this place where I could be myself and I truly felt loved by the people who were there. As I attended more often I started to become ashamed of the limited clothes and money I had because of my situation. Without me saying anything the then-youth pastor took me to the outlet shops and spent hundreds of dollars on clothes and shoes for me. They invited me to join their basketball team and soon I had a network for more than just church but my life. Every area of my life started improving... besides my home life. The church then provided me the option to join the house program where I would live with people from our church. I had improved my school attendance from under 20% to over 85%, completed school and went to bible college for my diploma. The year after that I started volunteering full time and became the youth pastor at the start of 2018.
I thought nothing would come of my life and I was okay with that. The church wasn’t just a place where I met and understood who Jesus is and what he means to me, I certainly experienced that. It became a place where it took me from brokenness to wholeness. It took me from empty and helped me see how life could be full. It gave me friends, a home, clothes, food, pushed me towards education. I met Jesus and my family and it didn’t just change me but how I see the world. The change that I have experienced in me I want to see happen in the world. My church changed my life, it is so evident they’re motivation is Jesus and I love the heart of this place.
They didn’t just tell me how Jesus could change my life…They showed me.
Jeff and I didn't come to know Christ until we were in our mid 40s. We were slow learners. But in hindsight, we could see that He had always been in our lives. I had a bad water skiing accident in 2001 and as a result of my injuries, spent several months in a very dark place. It was only thru a friend of my son sharing the love of Christ with me that I found Christ and was healed.
I was born and raised in Perth, just up the road in Mullaloo. I grew up in a bit of a dysfunctional home. My Dad passed away when I was 10, so my Mum was left to raise me and my 8 year old sister. She tried to make us go to church and eventually youth group, but I never enjoyed it. As soon as I was old enough I decided that I didn’t want to go anymore. I got involved with not a great group of friends during my early high school years. Throughout this time I went to other youth ministries but never enjoyed them. I came to PYRO when I was in year 10 and loved it. I met a few of the guys and was invited to go surfing with them. I continued coming to youth and made heaps of friends and for the first time since I was 10, got some positive male mentors in my life. It was like I’d joined a family.
The first time I stepped foot into Cornerstone Church I had an interview with a couple of the staff members from the Alta-1 site that the church houses. Little did I know that the church I had walked into would later become a place where I would invest most of my time and effort. And the people would soon become those I consider family.
At this point the focus of my life was weed. I was a 15 year old who had completely stopped attending school for a variety of different reasons but the main one being that I would much rather stay home from school where I was free to smoke weed all day, drink alcohol, play video games and this literally became what my life was about. In a point of loneliness and emptiness I felt like I was going nowhere and knew I needed to be back at school and Alta-1 became the best option… Thankfully the Joondalup site took me on board, which is really where my story begins. The first few weeks at Alta-1 I met the crew that work for the youth ministry. More than that I hung out with the school chaplain and after my first week of him talking through the decisions I was making in life and the potential that I had to be great, I made a life changing choice to stop smoking weed (and for someone who had been a daily smoker for the last two years this was easier said than done). After two or three days of fighting my addiction; the hot/cold sweats, headaches, sleep deprivation I came to a point of desperation and brokenness where I cried out to God and experienced His grace. I decided to take action, attended the Friday night youth program, got to the Sunday morning service and haven’t looked back since. I’m now studying at Harvest Bible College, working within the youth ministry and loving every moment I spend with the people that God's placed in my life. Josh.
Coming to church was never on my radar, however, November last year, my nephew came into my care full time. Ps Tara and Duncan are blessed to have his younger brothers in their care so it made sense to bring K to church each week to see them and his older siblings who also come.
As i sat there with my 'judgy hat' on and repeating to myself 'im doing this for K', God's word started to make its way into my heart. Ps Tara was up one day and just one thing she said resonated to my core. That day i came to the front to be prayed for and I cried, I cried in church, I cried in the car on the way home and i cried the rest of the day.
I now know that was the day i received the holy spirit and started my journey and changed my life.
I was peaceful. Instead of laying in bed at night worrying about 'stuff', i started handing it over to our Lord and praying and reading His word daily.
God loves me and wants good things for me! I am worthy of that love and we all are.