A woman who had been Sikh for 50 years has told how she converted to Christianity after praying "in faith" for Jesus to help her with her problems.
The woman, Balbinder, tells her story on a new website - the Great Commission - being launched today by the Evangelical Alliance (EA). The site shares conversion stories from across the UK and encourages Christians to talk about their faith.
Balbinder tells of how, when she was "in despair with my elder son" she was "crying on the phone" to a Christian friend who told her that "If you really want help only one person can help you and that's Jesus". Balbinder's friend told her to pray with faith to Jesus, which she did, and in three days she was given a Bible by the friend before her problems began to make sense through scripture.
She adds: "Because I had been a Sikh for [more than] 50 years, when I turned to Christianity my daughter, she sort of retaliated and she started going to the Gurdwara, which she never did before, just to annoy me. It used to upset me and then God spoke to me that I have to show her love. If I get angry, that's not showing her [love], so I used to say okay, but I continued to pray for her. Secretly she was reading on her phone the Bible and the verse that came to her was about Nicodemus talking to Jesus, and when Jesus said you have to be born again and...she was ready to give her life to Jesus."
Greatcommission.co.uk is designed to inspire greater passion for evangelism and empower churches and individuals to do more about it, the EA said.
Gavin Calver, director of mission, said: "We are passionate about seeing every person in the UK given an opportunity to follow Jesus. That's why we've created the Great Commission website with stories, reflections and resources designed to inspire, equip and empower every individual Christian, and every church to be able to reach out to their community with the good news of Jesus Christ."
Graham Miller, the chief executive of London City Mission, emphasised the site's usefulness in multi-cultural Britain. "The thing about the UK is that we're a multicultural society," he said. "How do we reach all these different kinds of people, how can I be equipped to reach out to the Chinese international students near me, and the elderly, but also the youth and the kids? What a help that is, what a use that is, that the internet instead of just being a distraction can be a help for the Church."
In another case study on the site, Joe shares his story of a life of drug addiction which changed when he prayed to God for help. He says: "Aged about 19 I got involved in substance misuse, and that was my life for about 20 years. In the end I felt like I was a failure, addicted to failure, I was just desperate. I just wanted out of my situation."
He continues: "I just cried out to God, begging him for help; 'If there is a God I need you now'. Within several weeks of calling out to God and God answering my prayers, placing people in my life who were there to support and encourage me, I found I'd detoxed myself within a few weeks, gained the strength quite quickly that I'd never had before."
Joe describes the changes in his life and how he is now evangelising himself. "I thought I was unemployable and I now work within the detox centre that I went through myself," he says. "I'm there sharing my experience, and I share my faith and show that it was a big impact on how I became abstinent from drugs. I'm in the process of becoming a member of an Eden team [of urban missionaries] and I'm running a men's group from my flat and people are coming and getting saved."
Lynn Green, the general secretary for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, added: "We need to equip one another to share our faith and to be witnesses wherever we are...We want to equip every Christian and churches in their witness, increase their confidence and help them."
In another Great Commission weekly story, Shelia talks about how she reaches out to people on the streets of Peterborough. "People do say to me, 'it's okay for you because you find it easy', but I think we can all find it easy if we take that initial step," she says. "I'm not special in any way, just a mum and a grandma and I just have the conviction of my faith."
Andy Frost, director of Share Jesus International, commented: "I meet many Christians who are passionate about sharing their faith but often don't know quite how to do it. So this website is one place they can go to where they can get a whole bunch of different ideas, different resources, able to be used in their context. They can be empowered to make Jesus known."
The administrative bishop of the New Testament Church of God, Donald Bolt, added: "In general the Great Commission excites me in that we have an opportunity as Christians to be co-workers, so to speak, with God in the ministry of reconciliation. Helping to share with humanity that they have a way back to their heavenly Father, their creator and that, that broken relationship can be mended."