I was born and grew up in Poland. My family were Catholic, because almost everyone in Poland is (!) but we were not practicing Catholics. When I was a child I used to go to a mid-week class at the local Catholic church and was confirmed and took my first communion. I knew that God existed but nothing more. It wasn’t personal for me. One day when I was about 11 I argued with the priest, slammed the door and never went back to church.
Around this time my mother and father got divorced. I missed having a father figure in my life. I looked for something to fill the gap and at 15 I became a Nazi pagan skinhead. As a football hooligan, white supremacist, Nazi I had an identity and belonging within my group. I believed what they believed. I hated people of non-white races, especially Jews and felt I was doing good by fighting them. I hated Jesus, because I knew he was a Jewish King.
Justyna and I moved to England 5 years ago because we wanted better salaries. I got a job as a bus driver. I thought that white British people would welcome me as a white Polish guy - instead I met people who had racist attitudes towards me - they were angry against Polish people taking British jobs. It made me think “they are treating me in the same way that I was treating other people.” One day I watched a programme about asylum seekers from Africa. It shocked me that they needed to come to England to escape persecution when I had just come to England for better pay.
One of my hobby was listening to podcasts. One time “coincidently” I downloaded a podcast about God and the Bible, created by a Polish Christian, Martin Lechowicz, who is here today at this service. I started to listen to his podcasts. He spoke in a clear, natural way about the Bible. So I started reading the Bible to prove if it was true or not. I started at the beginning with Genesis but got stuck in Leviticus.
Then God put a fellow countryman, Jacek (Jack) in my path. He’s sitting over there. He came to work for my bus company and told me he was a Christian. He gave me a Polish Gospel of John and I read it. I was really surprised about all that I read about Jesus. I was really keen to read more and read the whole of the New Testament. I realized what I read was true and that I couldn’t disprove the Bible and God. It made sense. I realized what Jesus had done for me and understood what I should do next. So I asked Jesus to forgive me, to change me and I became a Christian. I didn’t want to live the old life that I had lived before.
One day I was reading my Bible on the bus. A lady saw me and asked if I was a Christian. When I said that I was she asked me which church I went to. I told her I didn’t. She said if I was a Christian I needed to be meeting to worship with other Christians. But I didn’t know where to go and I knew from reading Acts and Paul’s letters that I needed to be careful what church to choose. I asked Jack and he said that it would be best to pray that God would help me find the right church. So I did.
A few days later, I was waiting with my bus at the train station. An elderly gentleman got onto the bus and said did I know where Eden Baptist Church was? I didn’t understand the first word he was saying and asked him to write it down on a piece of paper. Then I thought “Well I have been praying to God to show me the right church to go to. I should go to this church to see if it is God’s answer!” The next day was Sunday, and Justyna and our 3 girls went to Eden. And we have been coming to Eden now for 3 months.
Now I am a Christian I can look back and see so many times when God was reaching out to me and helping me to find Him - what we think are coincidences in life are no accidents at all. God is in control of our lives. So today I am being baptized to show that I am born again - I have died to my old life, and am alive in Christ. I am really grateful for all he has done for me.