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Stephen MacKenzie

Hard times helped me see God at work

"I am the youngest of three children, born in Johannesburg. When I was a baby we moved to Swaziland where my dad pastored a church in Mbabane. From there we went to Empangeni and again my dad pastored a church. In my early teens the family went back to Jo'burg where dad eventually planted a church, starting in our lounge in Roodepoort.

When I was about 6 yrs old I prayed with my parents and gave my life to Jesus. Looking back, I had little understanding of what I was doing but the Lord still worked in my life by keeping me faithful whilst slowly revealing Himself to me as I received teaching in the church and at home. We had hard times when money was tight; my parents were open about this and it enabled me to see God’s provision for my family – we always had enough!

In High School I began to realise who God was, and what He had done for me. I needed to respond and not just carry on as normal. The focus of my life slowly shifted from my desires to a desire to give glory to God, who rescued me from my sin, and this desire is still being deepened. After school I went to Wits to do a BA in English & psychology but My heart wasn’t in it and I was pushing aside my deeper desire to study theology. I lost motivation and the family allowed me to drop the degree. A planned trip to work in the UK fell through because of visa rejection and I felt directionless.

A friend suggested Bible College and I began to consider this seriously. My dad and my granddad are past students of BI so naturally I was drawn there. My first year was great, and I love both the work and the college. I particularly like Church History, watching Gods hand in building His church".

Stephen is now a 2nd-yr student at BI and has been elected onto the Student Representative Council.