Below is the story of H, who is part of the Genesis project with the marginalised based at Good Shepherd Mission in Whitechapel. Every year we celebrate and honour members for personal achievements. We have a number of awards we present, one of which is the ‘Game Changer Award’, for those who turn their backs on destructive or unproductive ways of living to something that is better for both them and those around them. One of this year’s winners was H, we thank God for his transformation!
“Football has played a big part in H’s life. Growing up in the East End of London he would sometimes play 4 matches per week! H wanted to play for as many years as he could and dreamed of coaching one day. A life of disadvantage and difficult circumstances has often been a barrier between him and his dreams. H’ was put into care as a baby and suffered years of abuse leaving him angry and disillusioned with society. Football brought H’ a lot of fun and positivity but fell a long way short of answering the problems he faced. It couldn’t save a failing marriage, broken relationships or even keep him from sleeping on the streets. But it did provide a connection to a true hope through a football club he once joined. The club was run by a church and players in the team began inviting him along on Sundays where he met more people that weren’t perfect but were putting their trust in a God who was. Soon after H’ felt God was leading him back to East London.
Since arriving back in London and joining a church he continues to follow Jesus and believes he has found a new purpose and hope. H says ’’Looking back, I now see how God has always been with me. The difference now is when I face difficult situations and unhealthy habits from the past try to drag me down I know that with God’s help I can overcome them and change for the better….. It’s been a huge help to have a church and Ambassadors supporting me. I love Genesis football, I feel myself getting fitter, I’ve made loads of new friends and have benefitted from the bible studies we have.’’ H’ has begun to pursue his dream of coaching football volunteering at a football school this summer and in the last few weeks passed his FA level 1 coaching course. H’ now only has one main passion which he made very clear when he was baptised a month ago.”