Abigail Sumption

18th February 2015

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The thing I love about Christianity is that it’s for imperfect people…which works for me. Also, although it may come across this way, we don’t pretend to be perfect either.

My life hasn’t had a single life-altering experience but perhaps rather, many small signposts which have steered me away from the wrong path, and instead pointed me in God’s direction.

Church on Sunday was normal, but God, and Jesus, had little meaning for me on other days of the week. In Rome we began to help lead and host an English-speaking house-church which I looked forward to all week as it meant my Sundays were spent with my friends singing to the guitar, doing crafts, playing 40-40-in and snacking on the home-made international food people brought. I knew lots of the stories about Jesus but he was still nothing more than the bearded man in the blue robe from my illustrated Children’s Bible.

However, in Year 7 I had to have major operation on my kidney which resulted in missing most of my academic year due to hospital stays. My mum’s faith was my constant support then, and verses like Philippians 4:13 (“Do not be anxious about anything, pray about everything”) are still the encouragement now that they were to me in those times of despair. The surgery was successful and my scars are healing beautifully, and through it all, I know God was my protector and my comforter, my hope and my peace.

In Sixth Form my faith began to grow and gain ground. I met regularly with an older Christian mentor for social events and bible studies with a few girls my age which really deepened my understanding of who God was, and gradually instilled in me a desire to know and seek and serve Him more. I wanted God to be a part of my life. I chose to be baptised in June 2013 in a lake in the north of Rome and to take a gap year in 2014 to live for God. I was about to set sail on another momentous God-adventure. As a Spring Step team with Latin Link, our team of 7 journeyed to the shanty-towns of deepest, darkest Peru to bless the communities with the gift of our time and energy and experiences.

Excited and equipped for 5 months of what I assumed would be children’s work, I was utterly unprepared for the two manual building projects which awaited us. In Peru we worked 9-5 most days for several weeks shovelling multiple tonnes of sand and rocks and gravel, lifting bricks, making cements and sawing wood. The work was arduous and exhausting, and we returned covered in grey dust, showing more sand than skin, bruised and aching but somehow blissfully happy. We were doing something which wasn’t for us, but was completely serving God and blessing the Peruvian community.

What I find beautiful about the God I believe in is that we can come to Him, in imperfection, in weakness and in failure, and still he wants to use us. I was available, not able, and yet God used me and my team to build an entire church.