Mark Pimperton

Asking Him

I was brought up going to church; I had a loving family; I believed in God; I even read the Bible (all the way through!) and prayed. But I never understood what the preachers meant by Jesus being our “saviour” or similar stuff.

I came to Loughborough University in 1981. I was very happy in the first term but for some reason the shine seemed to wear off in the second term and I became pretty unhappy. Early that term the Christian Union ran a “mission week” and a girl in hall invited me first of all to a rock concert (always a good idea) and then an evangelistic talk. The speaker at the talk said everyone has a Jesus-shaped hole in their lives. I didn’t respond to the appeal to come forward but afterwards went back to my room and asked Jesus to fill that hole in my life. That was me asking Jesus to be my saviour!

Living on campus was a great environment to start learning about being a Christian. I was encouraged to read & memorise Bible verses, take part in a Christian group and go to church. Other students prayed for me, talked to me when I was worried and even took me to task when I was being stupid! It was an exciting time – discovering that God was real and that He wants everyone to learn what life is for and how to live it.

Asking her

That first year at university was also when I met my future wife, Fiona. We both went out with other people in the first term but after Christmas we both became Christians and were engaged less than two months later. Quite a life-changing time, and the two best decisions I ever made.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean you have no problems. In my second year at uni I suddenly felt everything was awful and wanted to quit my course. I guess you’d call it depression. A friend helped me through that and my outlook changed. Although I’ve never suffered serious depression I’ve experienced “being down” many times since and have learned to look to God for help and to trust that things will eventually improve.

Fiona and I were originally due to marry after she finished her course but after an already-long engagement decided we really didn’t want to wait that long. Instead, we wanted to marry after I finished my course – a whole year earlier. One weekend we were in different parts of the country and both read the Bible verse that says, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”. The thing is, the story appears in two different places (the books of 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles) and we each saw it in different places! When we spoke on the phone we decided God was telling us it was OK to plan an earlier wedding!

That was over 25 years ago. Today we have two brilliant grown-up children and have been through many of the same challenges and joys faced by married couples and parents the world over. Lack of sleep; the kids being ill; us being sick and still having to look after them; the ever-changing demands as they grow up. I would hate to have done it without Christ in our lives.

Asking you

It’s almost 30 years since I asked Jesus to forgive me and make me right with God. I know that being saved from hell is only half the story, because God rescued me to serve Him in the world – not just potter along until I die and go to heaven. I’m supposed to help get as many more people to heaven and serving Christ as possible! It’s not easy learning to put yourself last for the sake of others. To be honest, I could show you other Christians who’ve made more difference in 3 years than I have in 30. Fortunately God doesn’t love me any the less and is still working on me to bring out all the potential He sees.

I hope that reading my story makes you think about your own life – what it’s for, where it’s going – and especially, what happens when it ends. I believe with a passion that a life without Jesus Christ is wasted – but the Bible also tells me that God isn’t willing for a single person to waste their life and to perish at the end of it. Even if you don’t think my story’s that impressive, ask God to show you the truth about life. I guarantee that anyone who genuinely asks that of Him will be answered!

Thanks for reading.

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