[Testimony] How a pre-schoolers program helped me come to Christ
When my first baby was born my life changed dramatically. I was one of the first of my peers to have a child and I often felt out of the loop.
My husband regularly travelled for work, and we lived above shops next door to a noisy pub. The noise was loud and, when I rang my Mum in tears about it, she offered us room so that we could move in with her. We packed our things and moved – and then I found myself isolated.
We moved in with my Mum and I found myself isolated
I was part of an online mums group on Facebook and when I expressed my frustration one of the Mums invited me to come to MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers). Even though it was an hour’s drive for me, I went because I was desperate.
This is my story about how Cranebrook MOPS has helped me come to know Christ. Even though I grew up in a loving home and I considered myself a non-practising Christian, in hindsight I can see that I didn’t know God.
On October 26, 2012, I attended my first MOPS group at St Thomas’s, Cranebrook. I remember feeling so welcomed! But Maddison – who was almost two – had a tantrum. She didn’t want to stay in MOPS Kids; she wanted to stay with her Mummy.
"I went because I was desperate"
I didn’t know what to do. Then Sam, the mentor at my table, said she could stay with me and brought out a few toys for her. I felt so relaxed and decided we would continue to come.
The following year I was on Sam’s table again and she said, “I’ve been praying for you and Maddison. Why don’t you try her in MOPS Kids today and if she is distressed the carers can call you?”
I will never forget Sam saying this to me – I was in shock that someone cared enough about me and my child to pray for us. That week Maddison loved MOPS Kids and was asking if she could come again.
When Maddison was 2½ I fell pregnant with my second daughter and then my family went through another hard time: my pregnancy was complicated, my husband lost his job and my parents sold their house.
Our next move was to a house that was an hour and a half away from Cranebrook! I was without local friends once again, and now I had a baby and a toddler.
Bec, the MOPS co-ordinator, kindly offered to get in touch with a MOPS group that was closer to me. However, within days of her doing this, everything changed: my husband got a full-time job and we moved house again – but this time much closer to Cranebrook.
"I was in shock that someone cared enough about me and my children to pray for us"
We came back to MOPS and Maddison started asking questions about God and if we could go to church. It took a little push but I signed up to do a Christianity Explained course run by two of the MOPS leaders, Nicola and Michelle. They made it so welcoming – no question I asked was brushed off.
It was at this time Nicola gave me my first ever Bible. I felt so touched. She also got my girls a kids’ Bible which they loved and wanted to read all the time. At the end of the course, I decided I wanted to know more about God and be in relationship with him.
My family and I started going to church every week
My girls and I started going to church every week (my husband works on weekends and comes when he can). In August 2016, I got confirmed with the loving support of the MOPS team.
I remember thinking what a wonderful ministry these ladies are doing and how one day I hope the Lord can use me to encourage others. I started being more involved in the church: I joined a Bible study, I started attending church events that I could make it to, I went to church on Sunday and I went to MOPS, which I always looked forward to. I remember thinking, “I’m going to have to have more children because I never want to leave MOPS”.
'I hope the Lord can use me to encourage others"
In November last year my home life was looking very different to a few years earlier. Our biggest change was we now had the Lord in our lives. Life was full and busy, with our eldest in school I was working evenings and studying, driving my husband to and from work, caring for a toddler, and normal mum life.
It was at this time Bec approached me and said, “I know you have a lot going on at the moment – and take time to think about it if you like – but I was wondering if you would like to join the MOPS team?”
Without even a second thought I said, “Yes” and now I am part of this amazing team ministering to other mums!
To find out how to start a MOPS group in your church visit mops.org.au