Derek Stephens – The local businessman

For years, Derek and his wife Christine ran many businesses, most notably fish and chip shops, with the last one being on Standard street in Crickhowell.

There was always something about Christianity in the back of my mind, even as far back as Sunday School and singing in the choir. But, like many others, things seemed to get in the way.

A few years ago, I asked the children to arrange for me to have a word with Lyndon Britton. I wanted to meet with him, for him to explain to me what the Evangelical Church was all about. I

I suppose I was getting a little older and started to think more about what life was about, but it wasn’t anything to do with being registered blind in my fifties. I’d ask myself, “Just why are we here?” There had to be more to life than what I’d seen so far. Something in me wanted to pursue this further.

On going to Crickhowell Evangelical Church, I found I had a thirst and hunger for more. The more I heard the Bible explained, the more it made me want to act on it. In fact, since thinking about this again, I realise its meaning is totally different to what I’d originally thought.   

I attended ‘Christianity Explored’ and later, ‘The God Who is There’ course. I found these very informative, and the questions and contributions from within the group helped things drop into place.

It was on Ascension Day 2014, that I became a Christian. It wasn’t a snap decision, but the end of a long process. I knew that I was a sinner, and understood that Jesus was crucified on the cross to take the punishment for my sin on his shoulders. He did this, so that I could be free of my sin, and go to heaven one day. I needed to repent of my sin and trust in him and in what he had done for me. It was hard to believe that someone had that much love, to do that, for me. For this, I am very grateful.

It is very hard to admit there is anything wrong with you; to admit I was a sinner was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I don’t think anybody wants to, but we all need to come to the point where you realise it for yourself.

Becoming a Christian has made me think and act differently. With God’s help, I’m trying to live my life in line with what the Bible says. My attitude to life has changed; I find it easier to talk to people about my faith, and pray for people as well. 

Even though I still sin, I know that my prayers are heard and that God has forgiven me my sin. I didn’t know anything about this 8 years ago, so I am truly grateful to Jesus.  Having this faith in Jesus is what I now hope and pray for others.