I was born in London in 1942, we had the blitz every night . So my Dad used to lock us all in the Anderson shelter in the garden, because Mum would panic when the bomb's started dropping and she would start screaming and try to get out of the shelter. Dad didnít go away to fight he was in the home guard, because he worked on telephones so he needed to be home. So from a little baby I felt fear . My parent's could not love me, they loved my two brother's, but I was the black sheep of the family. I used to get beaten, I was told I was wicked because I was afraid of the dark. My dad said only the wicked were afraid of the dark. As I grew, I used to get out of the house as much as possible. I was very lonely .
Loneliness is a physical pain. So I used to join different group's to feel normal and get some attention. When I was 12 years old I joined this group called "Young Worrier's" It was a group of Christian's , they were a part of "World Wide Evangelisation Crusade ". C. T. Studd and Norman Grubb started it up . The people that ran it told me I was a sinner, that I needed a saviour. I knew I was wicked. I accepted Jesus as my saviour that day. I felt wonderful, here was someone that loved me enough to die for me. I walked ten feet up in the air going home . I was filled with the holy spirit and speaking in tongue's . I was on fire for God . The next 3 years I spent telling everyone I meet about Jesus. The group I was with had bought a plot of land to build a church, at first we saw money coming in from all directions. As the foundations were dug, then the money stopped coming in, so we had to hand it all over to another group of Pentecostals to finish the work. We were devastated. I used to pray and pray for the church to be finished. The people that ran the group I was in said that God had deserted us. I felt he had turned his back on us. I was 15 and heartbroken. I spent the next 20 years getting married having a son getting divorced, getting married again and having a daughter. I was a bar maid and I drank England dry. I used to wonder if I had dreamt all that God stuff. The Pentecostals had built the church, I used to pass by regularly. One day I was going by and out of the blue I heard God's voice. I knew it was Him. Me and Him had not spoken for 20 year's. He said "Amy dear you used to pray for my church to be built and you have never even been in there". I stared at all the folk's coming out with their bible's in their hand's and their hat's on. I told God "Well if you want me to go in there, you had better give me a sign". I couldn't walk into that church. I knew what I had been like all those years. I went home and tried to forget about it. Two days later my 16 year old son came home and said, he had meet someone handing out tracts and talking about God, and he had invited him to a meeting at the church .
I knew God was giving me a sign. My son went and was born again and filled with the spirit, that night he had to be carried home, he was so drunk in the spirit and speaking in tongues, just like I was years ago. I started going to the church. I got rid of all the booze. God opened my eyes to all I had been doing in the last 20 years. I got a bible and I went through the ten commandments and I had broken them all. I even tried to kill my first husband. I was on my knees devastated. How could I have broken all God's laws, after having been so on fire for Him. I was really scared then, if I could sin like that after knowing God, what hope was there for me. I knew then that I just could not be a Christian. I had no hope, I knew I could not keep God's laws. I wanted to die, why didn't I have any will power to resist temptation like other Christian's ? Then someone gave me a Union Life Magazine, Norman Grubb was writing in it. I remembered him from my "Young worrier " day's. He talked about Galatians 2 : 20. I had been Crucified with Christ so this Amy that I hated so much was dead, the life now in me was Christ WOW .
It was like my eyes were open for the first time. I was never meant to keep the law. God showed me that if I broke just one law, I was guilty of breaking all God's laws. But he showed me that He was the law keeper, and He came to fulfil the law in us. It was so simple. I had to spend 20 years proving to myself that I can of myself do nothing. I asked God why He didn't show me this 20 years ago, He said "Amy dear, you would not have believed me", you had to find out for yourself. Then the doubts started, if Christ was my real self, how come I never felt like Christ, I never looked like Christ, I didn't sound like Christ. God gave me a dream one night. I was at a fair and there was a big tent, and a man standing outside saying, "Come inside and find the answer ." I asked the man for a ticket to go into the tent and find the answer. He said to me "You know the answer ". I said I didn't, so he gave me a ticket, and I went inside. There was just one word in there it was FAITH . When I woke I knew that all this life is faith.
Even though I didn't feel like Christ, by faith I knew it. I started affirming who I really was every day, after a while I knew that for me to live is Christ. I have found why I am on this earth to express the Christ in my form. I am free to love others , now that my eyes are not on me. This really is abundant living .
One day I found myself weeping. I felt like my heart was breaking. I could see all these faces of Christians trying and failing to keep the law, and the pain they were in. This went on every day for months, so when Norman Grubb came to stay with us, I told him about it he said . " Amy my dear these are good tears, they are intercessory tears." I told him I felt like I wanted to change places with those poor souls. Norman said that is Christ's nature coming through my body. We talked about having a place in England where Christians could come to hear, that Gal 2: 20 is for them, that the Son has set us free.
I asked God to show me where this was. Norman had taken us to see Tedworth house. That is the place that C. T. Studd and his brothers were born again on the same day when they were home on leave from University. The army has owned it for many years. One day my husband Fred was working in a village near Tedworth house and came home and said what about that house, for a place for desperate Christians to come to.
C. T. Studd's father Edward had Tedworth house before the army, and he used to go out and bring people there to hear the Gospel. He invited many speakers there. When C. T. became a Christian he gave up all his wealth to go to Africa , as a missionary. Norman married Pauline his daughter . I felt that God was telling us to believe, and stand in faith for Him to use Tedworth house for his purpose. C. T. Studd had given all his wealth to God, and we believe that is all in Heaven waiting to come back to Tedworth. We have been there and thanked God for giving us Tedworth, we know that when the time is right, He will open the gates of heaven, and the finances will all be there. Edward Studd dedicated Tedworth to God, and we believe God will do wonderful thing's there .
AMY DAGNELL - SOUTHAMPTON ENGLAND