iamRefuge: Ava

my faith had to be my own

When I was little, I grew up knowing about Jesus and the Bible. I grew up going to church and around Christian friends. I didn’t really know what it was like not to be in a Christian environment. When I was four-years-old my Grandma died of cancer and a couple weeks after her death, I started thinking a lot about heaven and Jesus. I decided I wanted to become a Christian. I was so young though, and I didn’t really know what it meant for me to follow Jesus.  

In 2013 my family decided to move all the way to Scotland to plant Refuge Church. I was seven-years-old and that was when I first experienced not being in a Christian environment. I lived happily in Glasgow for nearly four years, but in 2017 we had to leave our home because of family matters. We moved to Atlanta, Georgia and I thought my life would never ever be the same. I began suffering from terrible anxiety, insomnia, fear, anger and many more emotions. I spent most of my days and nights thinking about my future. I thought that I would never have a good friend again and I felt lonely most of the time. 

We started going to a big church while we were in Georgia. My Mum signed my sister and me up for a summer sports camp. I dreaded it for a long time—the thought of being around other kids and doing sports (which I kind of hate!). After a couple days, I found that I kind of enjoyed it. On the last night they shared the gospel and asked all the kids if anyone would like to accept Christ as their Saviour. I decided I was ready. I finally understood that my faith had to be my own. That was the night I decided to follow Jesus and everything began to change. After that I felt like I wasn’t going through my anxiety alone. God helped me feel loved and worry less. Today in 2019, I am not struggling with anxiety as much and I no longer suffer from insomnia. God has helped me in so many ways.

how did you come to be part of Refuge?

I came to be a part of Refuge when my parents helped plant it in 2013.

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

I love how everyone is so open with everyone—it definitely feels like one big family.

How are you involved in life at Refuge?

At Refuge I help pretty much every week with Refuge Kids. We are about to start a Refuge Kids band, which I will help run. I hope to be more involved with Refuge Kids the older I get.

If you could tell anyone Just one thing about Refuge?

I would share about how close everybody is and if you’re looking for good friends and a good community this is the place to go!

I am refuge | series 2

During the run-up to Easter, we are introducing a number of folk from our church family in this IamRefuge series. Ensure that you don’t miss them by liking our Facebook page!

View the original series from last year