Ever since Paul described what happened to him on the road to Damascus, Christian testimony has had a powerful effect. In this book, John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, has selected 20 stories of individuals known to him whose faith has made a massive difference to their lives and who have found hope where hope was lacking. Each section is prefaced by a relevant Bible passage and a comment from the archbishop, and then the person featured tells their own story (written up by Carmel Thomason).
I found it extremely moving to read tales of drug addicts, alcoholics and criminals who, through finding faith, have been able to turn their lives around. Some accounts are less dramatic but equally full of hope; they tell of moving on from serious illness or marriage difficulties, for example.
Each piece is short and can be read in a few minutes, making this an ideal book to dip in and out of, or to lend to someone who is not a keen reader but could be encouraged by the experiences of those featured. The archbishop’s comments that preface each account are always encouraging and challenging in themselves. Care has been taken to select a cross section of people from both genders and a range of backgrounds, and although the stories follow a similar format, I did not find them in any way repetitive.
Reading this book certainly had the effect of making me feel more hopeful, and grateful for the way God is working in so many lives today.
CAROLINE NEWBOLD is chaplain of Lady Margaret School and associate minister of St Stephen’s Church, Ealing