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I have nothing to fear any more

I have nothing to fear any more

I have nothing to fear any more

Keith Nicholls with Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd on the day of his enrolment at Burnie Corps on 12 August.

By Keith Nicholls

Before I approached the Salvos I didn’t want anything to do with God or Christianity. I didn’t like Christians. I didn’t think that The Salvation Army was a church until I came along to the Burnie Corps Red Shield Appeal Sleep Out in May 2017.

I was drawn there out of my passion for social justice. I discovered that the Salvos are actually a church, and I wanted to explore the link between faith and social justice opportunities.

I was in a very difficult situation, struggling with depression, drug use and crime. But I kept coming along. It was like a home – a big family at the church.

They gave me responsibilities to organise events like the Summer Carnival and I hosted “Burnie’s Got Talent”. The responsibility was something I really enjoyed because I consider myself a leader and I’ve been able to foster that as well.

It didn’t click until I went to Summer Carnival 2018 and I realised that, up until that point, I just kind of agreed with the social justice side of Christianity. I thought Jesus was a top bloke.

At Summer Carnival I had a much deeper realisation that I needed a Saviour. That Jesus is actually for me. That God is for me too.

And I realised that without God it could all amount to nothing in the end. I was learning all about Bible stories leading up to Summer Carnival and I believed Christianity was a faith.

I respected it. But it wasn’t until this event that I listened to some amazing testimonies and was moved. At the end of one night, they silenced the music and said, “If anyone wants to give their heart to Jesus, come forward now.” I didn’t hesitate.

I remember distinctly being the first person to come to the front. I was crying. Some of the people from the Burnie Corps were supporting me at the time in a prayer session.

Now fear is gone. I don’t really have anything to fear any more. Before I had a hope that things would always work out fine, but I now know that no matter what happens, no matter what I do, Jesus really loves me.

The story of the prodigal son really moves me. He goes away for so long and is welcomed back and they have a party. It gives me reassurance. I feel almost a victim to that change.

I became a senior soldier on 12 August. It’s been a pretty rapid change from that first Red Shield Appeal ... and one year later I was coordinating the very event I first went along to!

Today I’m the youth ministry coordinator at Burnie Corps. I live, love and fight alongside others – especially kids at the corps. We really show the love of God.

I want people to know the power and transformation that Jesus has to offer ... that they, too, can be transformed.

There is an answer to every one of their questions, their struggles and their doubts ... and God holds that answer. 

As told to Jessica Morris


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