“When I read John 12:25 “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” I just started praising God because I can tell you with 100% certainty that I hated my life up to that point and I was so eager to receive what God had planned my life”.

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When we moved to Coffs Harbour my family bought a fish and chip shop. We befriended some people who turned out to drink a lot and smoked pot. That opened the door and I stepped into that life.

Christians often think anyone immersed in drug culture is automatically a bad person, that is not the case.

I can assure you that some of the kindest, most beautiful and selfless people I have ever met are a part of that community and believe me, God uses them.

We come to church to seek healing, whereas these people look to the pub for theirs – because they haven’t yet met Jesus.

My life became so bleak, I was looking for something that I could not find; drugs, alcohol, women and nightclubs. Nothing could fix it, I was miserable.

When I accepted Jesus I became totally addicted to the Bible. I finally understood myself and realised that wasn’t the life God had designed me for. I was constantly having eureka moments as I read scripture. In the end, I could finally make sense of my own suffering and start my journey toward healing.

I still go through trials and tribulations, but I now have that powerful hope. I don’t get into the deep dark places that I used to drop into and I praise God for that.

I love my life now, I have a family, a place to call home and I love my church family here at Hinkler.

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Matthew is a Deacon in our church, Husband to Casey and Father to Destynee, Anastasia, Myiesha and Micah

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