Our Outreach Fellowship Dinners returned for 2018 last Monday, 5th February. This month’s guest speaker was Mark Ralston from Motherwell, who pastors “Hope United” in Motherwell. Mark shared his story of becoming a Christian.

He began with telling how he grew up as a very insecure child, always needing approval from people. His insecurities eventually led him to becoming an alcoholic and drug addict.

During his early teens, he worked with a Christian who told him about Jesus and how he  became a Christian. When Mark was 19 years old, life was at such a low for him that he cried out for Jesus to show Himself from the Old Testament. He randomly flipped open the Bible to Isaiah 53, which describes the suffering of Christ for the sins of his people. He immediately experienced the presence of God in his room.

However, due to circumstances which drew him back to his addictive lifestyle, it would be over 10 years later before Mark totally surrendered his life to Christ. Over those years God brought him through many ups and downs. At one point he even had a very successful career, enabling him to travel the world, and have no lack financially. His deep insecurities were still very much a part of his life however.

One night while at an Alcoholics Anonymous retreat, an older woman told him to not leave “until the miracle happened”. Through a series of circumstances at the retreat, Mark gave his life over to Jesus. He threw himself completely into serving God in whatever way he could, studying His word with great passion.

Mark now pastors Hope United in Motherwell, with a thriving congregation and youth ministry, and has recently planted  a church in Dundee.