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Relying on God to open up doors

Dylan joined the Antioch Network as a Church Planter in the Rochdale Diverse Plant at the end of last year.

He had been going to church since an early age and started attended Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) camps since around 5 years old. By the time he was 11, he put his trust in Jesus. Id been hearing about Jesus and how he had died for me and I wanted to be like him.

He describes his mother as a person of faith and someone with a passion for Jesus. Unfortunately, there were lots of issues around my father, including alcoholism, so it was also difficult at that age.

But then when I was around thirteen / fourteen I started falling. I was drinking and smoking and doing all kinds of things. I was attending a Catholic convent secondary school and I had to leave because I was getting in to all kinds of trouble.

By the time Dylan was fifteen, he stopped going to church. He left school at 17. I didnt have a clue what I wanted to do. I just wanted to have a drink, be with the lads and play football anddo my own thing. He always wanted to be a professional football and despite the challenges he experienced he successfully completed courses as a football coach and gym instructor.

But in 2016, a chance encounter with Helen, a CEF worker, helped him on his journey back to God. She asked Dylan if he would like to come back and be a leader with one of the Summer camps. He was delighted to be given this opportunity.

Dylan started to go back to church and things began to change. After the CEF camp, I attended a Christian event and I had such a strong encounter with God. We were singing and the words really affected me. I just started crying. I just knew how much God loved me and how much He wanted to have a relationship with me. And then my lifestyle and my desires started to change.

However, it wasnt easy. His old lifestyle was still there and he was still struggling. It took 18 months to find himself.

And I remember I just wanted to know God, to be in a relationship with God to and to walk with God, and to serve Him and to tell people about Him. By 2018 my prayer life was growing and I was reading the Word and I felt a call to ministry, to serve God and to evangelise. Ive been relying on God to open up doors and the last 18 months have been the best in my life.

Alongside his work with Antioch, Dylan has been studying for BA in Theology with the Wilson Carlile Centre in Sheffield and so his life is rich.

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