Will’s story

God had other plans

My journey to Christ is a little different from many others. I first discovered that God was real when I found myself angry with him.

I grew up in a standard family – a mum, a dad and an older brother. There was a Christian foundation in our family values. We attended church, and my brother and I went to a Lutheran high school. We knew the information, but there was no pressure to follow a faith.

In 2007, I was 15 years old, and my father was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night after suffering a heart attack. After many tests, he was cleared from hospital and told to take things easy. However, although his heart was okay, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, to which the doctors said he had only six months to live.

Three months later, after a steady decline, I came home from school to hear the news that my father had passed away. At this moment, I was angry at God for taking my dad away from me.

I kept thinking of all the things in my life and the future my dad would miss. He’d never see me drive a car, graduate school, get married or have kids. Why would God do this to me and take someone so important away from me?

But it was during this time I realised I couldn’t be angry at something that wasn’t real … If I didn’t believe in God, why was I mad at him?

From this event, I started to seek more information. I began to build a relationship with Christ. I understood that I was not in control and that God had a plan for me.

Over the past 10 years, I have been working with youth in various different capacities. In 2018, I completed a Bachelor of Education to begin a teaching career.

Earlier this year, God and Graham had other plans for me. I visited the new head office of Teen Challenge SA and Cornerstone Housing to meet with a mate for coffee when Graham chased me down the street.

After a brief catch-up on how things were going in my life, Graham asked me to come back to his office to chat about Teen Challenge SA.

Graham wasn’t too descriptive about what my role was going to be. I initially thought maybe I would just be mowing lawns and taking out the rubbish. But after taking a tour and meeting the team, I was thrown into working closely with the students, teaching classes and doing case management.

I’ve loved my first few months here, seeing God working through me – and the other staff – to influence these men to make positive changes to their lives. I am looking forward to learning and growing in Christ and seeing the gifts that God will shine in me to impact Teen Challenge SA.