Rev Oli tells his own story of how the Alpha course helped him to understand that God was real. Please be in touch with either Dave or Oli if you would be interested in joining Alpha beginning on 2nd October.
After leaving school I ended up studying Psychology in Edinburgh. I had no particular interest in religion or church, I was perfectly happy being an atheist. I met loads of very nice people and some of my friends were Christians and they invited me to lots of Christian things and since they were SO nice I went along.
So I ended up going along to Alpha and the people were very friendly and the food wasn’t too bad (but it was free and I was a student) the videos were ok but the thing that impressed me was the genuine care and friendship I found there. About halfway through my first Alpha I decided I had enough of the whole video and discussion, I would just turn up, eat the food and then leave, the people running it were so nice they didn’t say anything! A few months later the Christians were still being friendly, and they asked if I would help with Alpha so I ended up in the kitchen doing the washing up while everyone else listened to the Alpha talks. But I found that to get tea and coffee ready I needed to leave the door open so I could hear when the talk was ending so one evening I was washing up and half listening to the talk and I thought to myself that what the guy was saying made sense. That was quite a huge revelation for me because I had never before really listened to what Christians said about God because I was convinced they were all deluded.
With hindsight this group of Christians had been praying for me for months and I know that the Holy Spirit was at work in my heart and mind breaking down my prejudices against Christianity and the church. And a few weeks after that revelation on Alpha I decided to pray a prayer asking God if he was real (I didn’t actually believe he was) to come into my life and give me faith to believe. The crazy thing was that God did, I suddenly began to understand and believe and I knew that God loved and saved me and forgave me for the first time EVER! I rushed out to a bookshop to buy a Bible. The Holy Spirit came and changed my mind and my heart overnight and I wanted to go to church every Sunday and I wanted to tell others that actually this was true God was real and that changes everything.