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Newcastle, NSW

Something worth living for...

When you think of your 20s, you imagine precious short years of freedom where you can choose to do anything at all. Want to study? Sure. Want to take a gap year and travel? No problem. Want to stay up and party as late as you want? You certainly have the energy. These are the years when you have licence to do anything, try anything (within reason) and society will pretty much give you a free pass. However, there are some young adults that think a little more seriously about how they want to spend their precious 20s.

We’ve encountered youngins who have spent six months of their lives doing something unusual: introducing people to the Bible. Hana is 25 years old, she studied special education and has decided to share the Bible with people full-time as part of a 6-month volunteer program called Arise for Life. We asked Hana why she isn’t travelling the world or working on her career?

Michael, 23. Hana, 25. Georgia, 19.

“I used to do all these things before,” she says. “I have travelled around 15 countries. I used to party twice a week when I was studying in Iceland. But then, my heart was wanting something more.” After experiencing God in her own life, she enrolled in the 6-month program to share God with people that want a different life.

“The Gospel has real power to change people’s lives. No matter who you are, when you accept Jesus, He totally changes your life,” Hana explains. Most people would agree that talking about God and the Bible is not popular or easy. Hana says, “Most people are not interested, and some people can be rude. But when I find people who are keen to study the Bible, it gives me joy. Studying the Bible with people who want to know God is the best experience that I can ever have! I can actually see that God can transform people’s lives.”

Georgie is 19 years old and has worked alongside Hana and 24 other volunteers sharing in universities and suburbs in Newcastle. “Towards the end of 2017, I experienced the unexpected loss of a close family member. This woke me up. It made me realise how quickly things can change.”

Georgie wants to study nursing, but she decided to postpone her studies to share the Bible with strangers. “The best part of sharing Jesus with people has been seeing him working on their lives in such a real way. I’ve seen many people wanting to leave their old life behind, wanting to find peace, freedom from guilt, and ultimately, meaning in life. Nothing in this world seems to satisfy, but the Gospel does.”

These young people have experienced something in their own lives, and they are convinced it needs to be shared. 23-year-old Michael has volunteered in troubled neighbourhoods with addicts, inmates and criminals. “One thing no one can take from me is what I’ve seen with my own eyes,” Michael says. “I’ve seen the Gospel appeal to drug addicts, alcoholics and fully patched gang members. I know a gang member who was heavily addicted to ice, who left his gang at the risk of death to follow Jesus, and today he remains alive, and his addictions are broken.”

Whether the Bible is true, relevant or powerful - that’s a matter of personal belief and conviction. For these young adults, God is very real and an important part of their lives.

Maddy Voinea

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