If you arent sure what your story is yet, or you dont feel like you have the answers yet, we want you to know that you matter, and God has a plan, and our prayer is that one day your story will be one you can share, by the grace of God, that inspires and encourages others. If you are part of our church family and we might be able to include your story here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject our stories submission.
Family tragedy, suicide and drug and alcohol use impacted my childhood, and despite being academically successful, bullying and rejection marred my primary school experience. Within weeks of starting high school I was caught supplying drugs to others and the police and counselors got involved, but it only served to give me a reputation I quickly lived up to.
By the time I was 14 I was addicted, struggling at school, dealing with a series of unhealthy relationships, in trouble with the law and well and truly running with the 'wrong' crowd; but I had found some acceptance. Despite their reputation, those people who protected me and accepted me are my motivation to this day to look past peoples actions and reputations because I know that everyone has value and everyone has something to offer the world.
At about 15 I accepted Jesus as my saviour; but making Him Lord of my life was a long process; as I began to move away from all that I had become tied up in. I thank God for my pastors and leaders who looked past the mess and the issues and started to sow vision and guidance into my life.
My calling to ministry had been an ongoing battle with God as I first said I would never work in church, wanting to reach the lost and the hurting, so I studied secular social work. God has since begun to reveal to me the potential for His church to be the place of hope and healing e intended and I believe this new season of leading the church is the most exciting yet as I have the honour and privilege of not only reaching the lost and broken but equipping and multiplying an ever growing community of like minded believers to do the same.
Hi, My Name is Sharon.
I have been wronged and I have wronged. I have always believed in someone up there even though I didn't always live like it. I believe when I was truly desperate and asked, He answered.
I had an alcoholic father who was violent with my Mum and didn't seem to love us, but God more than made up for it when he gave me my Mum.
I suffered abuse by the husband of a family member at 10 years old and carried that ugliness with me a long time. I have had four lots of cancer over the past 21 years, but have also been given 3 beautiful children. The man i married, however, told me i was a waste of space on a daily basis.
After reaching low point, I asked God to help if he was there, and he answered by giving me my friend Jenny, who showed me what it was like to be loved unconditionally. I still felt something was missing, so when Jen asked me to come to church with her, I agreed, not knowing that walking through these doors, i would feel like I was coming home.
I asked God to give me a new start, fill my heart with His love and lead me to where ever he wants me. I got baptised on the 25th of June, 2017.
I enrolled at Alta-1 while I was in an abusive relationship which mirrored my destructive past which had lead to heavy drug addiction and disconnection from anyone good in my life. At this point I had no hope for the future, in fact I had no vision whatsoever. I remember feeling nothing but sadness, shame and emptiness. I was self-harming daily in multiple ways, I had hit the self-destruct button, although it did not seem all that clear to me at that point. After attending over 16 different schools throughout my life I had never had a stable education, or community to turn to in times of need or to guide me on the right path. My Mother was in bed majority of my childhood, my Dad was in and out of my life, siblings in another city and no other family to turn to, I quickly became depressed. As a little girl I was exposed to sexual and emotional abuse from the people closest to me, I had 5 family members die in a 3 year sequence as well as my Mother attempting suicide and being admitted to a mental hospital, leaving me with next to no family. When I began at Alta I was 15, living in a home my Dad owned, feeding and caring for myself on a minimal income. Alta- 1 taught me the practical skills I needed to endure this time in my life as my Mother and Father lived hours away. I also was blessed with people who looked out for me, who always went the extra mile to talk with me, motivate me and make sure I was ok. The personal recovery program was probably the most beneficial part of the course for me although, it opened the wounds of the past, it began an invigorating journey of self-awareness and recovery that I am still travelling on today. I fell pregnant late 2014 and went on to graduate year 11 but I needed to be in Perth to complete year 12 and had nowhere to live. So a beautiful family from church took my pregnant self in and supported me while I worked towards completing my certificate. After having Amali I still had 180 hours of work experience to finish and a newborn baby added to the mix, the church was amazingly helpful and flexible, offering me to complete these hours in their reception. I went on to graduate year 12 receiving the dux award last year and was accepted into ECU. I now think of Cornerstone as a place of acceptance and trust, a place of God. It took me a long time to accept the kindness and love that was so freely offered because my experience with people in the past was rarely positive. But I can truly say these were the people who were there for me to pick up the pieces when times were especially rough. I believe if I wasn’t directed towards Alta-1 I would not have become the person I am today, who is constantly trying to be the best version of myself, determined to overcome my past experiences and create the most wonderful life possible for my daughter and I. I thank everyone who has helped me through this journey and still do so, it has changed my life in the best way possible.
Jeff and I didn't come to know Christ until we were in our mid 40s. We were slow learners. But in hindsight, we could see that He had always been in our lives. I had a bad water skiing accident in 2001 and as a result of my injuries, spent several months in a very dark place. It was only thru a friend of my son sharing the love of Christ with me that I found Christ and was healed.
I was born and raised in Perth, just up the road in Mullaloo. I grew up in a bit of a dysfunctional home. My Dad passed away when I was 10, so my Mum was left to raise me and my 8 year old sister. She tried to make us go to church and eventually youth group, but I never enjoyed it. As soon as I was old enough I decided that I didn’t want to go anymore. I got involved with not a great group of friends during my early high school years. Throughout this time I went to other youth ministries but never enjoyed them. I came to PYRO when I was in year 10 and loved it. I met a few of the guys and was invited to go surfing with them. I continued coming to youth and made heaps of friends and for the first time since I was 10, got some positive male mentors in my life. It was like I’d joined a family. I was encouraged to grow spiritually and started attending church on a Sunday and serving in the youth. Now, I’m 21 years old and 4 years out of high school. I’m at Bible College, and working at the church as youth Pas.
The first time I stepped foot into Cornerstone Church I had an interview with a couple of the staff members from the Alta-1 site that the church houses. Little did I know that the church I had walked into would later become a place where I would invest most of my time and effort. And the people would soon become those I consider family.
At this point the focus of my life was weed. I was a 15 year old who had completely stopped attending school for a variety of different reasons but the main one being that I would much rather stay home from school where I was free to smoke weed all day, drink alcohol, play video games and this literally became what my life was about. In a point of loneliness and emptiness I felt like I was going nowhere and knew I needed to be back at school and Alta-1 became the best option… Thankfully the Joondalup site took me on board, which is really where my story begins. The first few weeks at Alta-1 I met the crew that work for the youth ministry. More than that I hung out with the school chaplain and after my first week of him talking through the decisions I was making in life and the potential that I had to be great, I made a life changing choice to stop smoking weed (and for someone who had been a daily smoker for the last two years this was easier said than done). After two or three days of fighting my addiction; the hot/cold sweats, headaches, sleep deprivation I came to a point of desperation and brokenness where I cried out to God and experienced His grace. I decided to take action, attended the Friday night youth program, got to the Sunday morning service and haven’t looked back since. I’m now studying at Harvest Bible College, working within the youth ministry and loving every moment I spend with the people that God's placed in my life. Josh.
Coming to church was never on my radar, however, November last year, my nephew came into my care full time. Ps Tara and Duncan are blessed to have his younger brothers in their care so it made sense to bring K to church each week to see them and his older siblings who also come.
As i sat there with my 'judgy hat' on and repeating to myself 'im doing this for K', God's word started to make its way into my heart. Ps Tara was up one day and just one thing she said resonated to my core. That day i came to the front to be prayed for and I cried, I cried in church, I cried in the car on the way home and i cried the rest of the day.
I now know that was the day i received the holy spirit and started my journey and changed my life.
I was peaceful. Instead of laying in bed at night worrying about 'stuff', i started handing it over to our Lord and praying and reading His word daily.
God loves me and wants good things for me! I am worthy of that love and we all are.