Adventure for life
As he read the Bible for its exciting and adventurous stories, Richard Dewar wanted to have his own adventures with God like his parents did – he just was not sure how to.
Now a football coach and umpire, Richard recalls that for most of his 18 years he had the common misconception that he was a Christian simply because he had Christian parents.
Then, eight years ago, he heard one life-changing sentence.
"Being born to two parents who are doctors does not make you a doctor," he heard a preacher say one Sunday evening.
Then aged 10, Richard felt like this preacher was speaking and pointing at him. Up until this point he had watched his parents set an amazing example for him on what it meant to live as a follower of Jesus Christ: full of kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and a joyful attitude with hope for eternal life with God forever.
As a child, he could see how following the example of Jesus from the Bible had taken his parents on some incredible adventures and he desperately wanted to become "half the people that they are".
"But without the flaws because I had enough of my own," Richard adds with a smile.
That night at home, Richard made the decision he has never regretted.
"I prayed that I understood what being a Christian meant. I told God that I am turning away from my sins and I asked for His forgiveness through Jesus' sacrifice for me on the cross."
After being home-schooled for some years, Richard recalls that his relationship with Jesus was tested in high school.
When he was 14, he admits, "I thought I could do it myself (without God's help), and I aspired to be 'one of the boys'."
He led a double life of church on weekends while ignoring God during the week, until his friends' behaviour worsened.
"In year 11, I had to make a choice. The boys were heading down a different path to what I knew Jesus would like me to be on."
The decision to leave them was eased when, he says, God introduced him to mature Christian men, who would have a profound impact on his life and the adventures he would have with God.
"In my senior years God enabled me to boldly stand up in front of the school, professing His grace and mercy," he says.
Richard admits that he still struggles with this old self-reliant attitude, but after a recent overseas mission trip with his father, he says God is helping him to improve.
"God has recently blessed me with an even bigger passion for Him and His work. He has kept me reading and believing His Word, the Bible, and involved in His work in His spiritual kingdom," he shares thankfully.