#iamRefuge: Fiona

friendship with Jesus

I became a Christian aged 5 after my church holiday club. I didn’t understand all the complicated stuff (I probably still don’t!!) but I did know that I had done stuff wrong and that it was Jesus who could forgive me. I knew that Jesus loved me. I knew that I wanted a friendship with Jesus. Like all friendships there have been times when I’ve drifted from Jesus and then gotten closer again, but on the whole it’s been consistent. I’m very thankful that I grew up with Christian parents who showed me what it meant to follow Jesus. My family went to church every Sunday, where I was surrounded by a great bunch of Christian friends. They were particularly important to me as a teenager, were a huge influence on my faith, and probably kept me at church.

God has been so good to me and blessed my life with more than I could imagine.  There have obviously been challenging times but God has always brought me out the other side. Things take control in my life without me noticing: a desire for stuff, a controlling nature, selfishness or pride; but God is gracious and each time I slip into one of these old habits he forgives me and helps me start again. Since having my own children I have realised how selfish and impatient I can be, and I am all the more overwhelmed by how good God is and how patient He is with me. I am so thankful to have a loving and patient heavenly Father.

how did you come to be part of Refuge?

A mutual friend connected my husband and me with the Pastor who started Refuge, and we became good friends with him and his wife. We quickly caught onto their vision of the church they wanted to start. When my husband left his job as a church youth worker in Easterhouse we were looking for a new church family to be part of, and so, one Sunday evening myself, my husband and two other couples met to pray and study the Bible together. That was the beginning of what is now Refuge Church!

What are some of the things you think are really great about Refuge?

People! It’s people who make up Refuge and they are all pretty great! It’s been such a privilege to start a church from nothing to see it grow into something, and to meet all the people God has brought along on the journey. We are a family who love Jesus and each other. This is so beautifully demonstrated when people serve one another, especially in times of need: cars break down and people do a whip round to help pay for repairs; jobs are lost and people help pay rent; babies are born and parents are fed! What a blessing! The love and compassion for one another stems from a real love of Christ.

How are you involved in life at Refuge?

I am part of the leadership team, and I specifically help with the church’s finance. I also organise the church weekend away, which I enjoy doing and which uses my organisational gifts.

My favourite part of life in Refuge is hosting and leading one of our community groups in our home. Each week we get to share life together with the others in our group. We have dinner together, read the Bible, share what God has been teaching us and pray for each other. 

what about Refuge encourages your faith?

I’m encouraged to read my Bible! I guess that’s an obvious answer, but it’s something I’ve struggled with throughout my whole Christian life. I find reading hard anyway due to being dyslexic, so reading a book that has a lot of complex stuff in it which I still don’t understand can be a challenge! I’ve always loved reading the gospels and could easily have ignored the rest of the Bible; however, being part of our community group (also known to us as our Bible read-through) has helped me read through the whole Bible. The more I read, the more I learn about Jesus and His amazing story, and the more it changes me. It’s still often a daily battle to get into the Bible, but being accountable to others in our group encourages me to keep going!

If you could tell anyone Just one thing about Refuge?

Refuge is more than just a Sunday morning. It’s a group of people who want to share their lives together and serve Jesus together.