Our Stories: Olivia Brown
Hi there, I’m Olivia
I grew up with my parents in a wonderful Christian home in a family who were fully reliant upon God. My grandparents also encouraged me in my relationship with God but it took a while for me to develop my own faith and relationship with the Lord. I attended church with my parents until around the age of 13 (up until this point I was just going with the flow). However around year 9 I began to question this faith having never experiencing anything for myself and becoming bored due to never fully understanding what it meant to follow God, and subsequently I stopped coming to church. In the summer between year 11 and sixth form my youth group were heading out to Romania to see a charity they support out there and due to my grandparents position in the church, and having friends who still went to church, I was invited along. This trip changed my life completely.
At the start of the 2 weeks I hadn’t thought of God for a long time and went with zero expectations. However, I left having given my life to the lord after witnessing his love, joy and peace within the community we were serving and the members of my youth group. To see young people worshiping and talking about God in the way they did massively changed my perception on what it meant to be a christian, especially a teenage christian.
I took a gap year between finishing my A-Levels and starting University where I spent 6 months in Uganda serving at a church and primary school. This was another opportunity where God showed me that he has more mercy and love than I previously thought possible, so I came to uni on such a massive God high and finding a church along with a christian community became my number one priority. I decided City would be my home at the end of September due to the authenticity of the preaching and worship and the huge community feel I was craving. After being at uni for a few months now (and being totally honest with you guys) my faith does waver, my gap year God high has worn off and there are definitely times when I feel distant from God however he is constantly showing and teaching me through different people and situations to keep relying on him and pressing into him. While my faith isn’t always on top form I am confident that God is totally in control and the people he has placed around me are so precious.
‘Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.’ John 15:4
God has been so good to me over the years and I am excited to see how he will use me over my time at university, in my relationships and course.
About the Author
Olivia is a first year student at the Christchurch University where she studies Primary Education.