Young people touching their world

Keep The Faith profiles three young people impacting their communities, and hears how their faith in Jesus influences their lives, their goals, and their desire to make a difference in the world.

Michael ‘Faith Child’ Ayo, aged 24, is a MOBO-nominated recording artist, TV producer, and presenter of OH TV’s urban music programme, Uprise. He is a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God De-Vine Sanctuary in Croydon.

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): How long have you been a Christian, and what inspired you to follow Jesus?
FAITH CHILD (FC): I have been a Christian for as long as I can recall: the testimony behind my birth, my being, and God intervening, just moments before my mother was due to abort me. This gave me tunnel vision as to why my life was spared, and that was to serve Him. My story of how God can give purpose to a ‘mistake’ is one too big not to share. That’s all the inspiration one needs to follow Christ.

KTF: How does your faith in Jesus impact your life and the things that you do?
FC: It impacts my life majorly, and I have taken Christian living seriously from a very young age, which has resulted in me still being a virgin at the age of 24! Many a time, people look at me weirdly for not fitting in with the ‘norm’, but hey, I guess I’m not from this world.

KTF: What’s your greatest achievement to date?
FC: Amongst the awards and tours, I would probably say seeing over 230 young people make a decision to live for God on my tour last year in Europe. The message of my music is that of hope and love, and when you see the greater message – of getting to know Christ – come to pass before your eyes, it’s a great feeling and one to celebrate.

KTF: What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
FC: Opening doors for UK Gospel, making a difference, and taking good music to the masses in the UK and overseas. Now this will be in the form of releasing music, touring, using my influence to effect change, and standing as an ambassador for positivity and all things good.

KTF: How do you want your life to influence your fellow young people?
FC: I want my life to reflect that it is cool to live for God and to stand for positivity and all things good. I came from a single parent household, with a domestic violence background, and I want my life to show that, regardless of your story, God can make something great out of it and out of you.

Visit www.faithchildmusic.com for more details

Nicola Witter (also known as Ni-Cola), 31, serves as Director of Manchester Community Spirit, a Christian arts charity that works with young people. She is also a MOBO-nominated gospel artist, and currently attends Jubilee Church in Manchester.

Witter

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): How long have you been a Christian, and what inspired you to follow Jesus?
NICOLA WITTER (NW): I made a commitment to Christ when I was 14/15 years old. I chose to follow Christ, not only to avoid hell, but I had a real sense as a teenager that God is totally real, and wanted to live a life that God would be pleased with.

KTF: How does your faith in Jesus impact your life and the things that you do?
NW: I guess the reality is it’s His faith in me, the fact that He would trust me to do His work of reaching His people with the Good News. Being a Christian makes you compassionate; it makes you want to be a problem solver, an answer to prayer, and to show the world just how much God loves us all. It definitely influences me in my job also. I see it as a direct response to God wanting to reach young people, who often times feel very lost, forgotten, unheard and even unloved. I want to show people that, regardless, God cares.

KTF: What’s your greatest achievement?
NW: Now, that’s a difficult one; there has been so much that God has done. A recent achievement was the setting up of my Christian arts charity, back in November 2012. I had dreamed of this for years, and now, to be in our own premises, working with amazing young people, truly is a dream come true. Praise Jesus!

KTF: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
NW: I see myself managing a Christian Arts Academy for young people across the UK. Also settled down with a family, and using my life to win millions of souls for Jesus.

KTF: How do you want your life to influence young people?
NW: I want young people to see that Christ is worth living for, and that, when all hope is gone, He’s right there in the midst of it all. I want to see the young people I have mentored and worked with over the years become strong in their faith, following Jesus, owning businesses, making an impact, and influencing their generation. I want young people – especially the ones from the Black community – to believe in themselves, to want to be educated, and to revive the positive attitude within our culture.

Visit www.manchestercs.org.uk or www.ni-cola.com for more details

Shekinah Griffith, 26, is a Communications Assistant & Marketing Administrator, and also runs her own company, Dynamik Lifestyles. She also works with children and young people, and attends the New Testament Church of God, based in Nottingham. Shekinah was a recipient of the Exceptional Young Woman’s Award at the 2013 Wise Women Awards.

Shekinah

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): How long have you been a Christian, and what inspired you to follow Jesus?
SG: I became a Christian at the age of 9, during a family devotion, at the time of the Dunblane School shooting. My mum explained that God gave humans free will, the ability to choose what we do with our lives. She said that the most important choice we have to make is whether or not we serve God or reject Him. I chose to serve Him and to do good not bad.

KTF: How does your faith in Jesus impact your life and the things that you do?
SG: From a young age, I was aware that the choices I made would impact my life and the lives of those around me. As I grew and learned more about God and His Word, I understood that God wanted me to have a full life and, through Him, anything was possible. That faith gave me the confidence to dream, step out into new areas, and try new things.

KTF: What’s your greatest achievement to date?
SG: Whilst at Camp America, God allowed me to share elements of my faith with the young people I worked with, and to be a light in their lives. Recently on Facebook, I’ve been able to reconnect with some of the kids from camp, several of whom are now Christians, graduating university, and going on to do some great things. Hearing how something I said or did eight years ago helped them is real blessing to me.

KTF: What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
SG: In ten years, I’d love to be involved in a youth initiative that is changing the way young people engage with the Gospel and with God; something that equips and enables young people to achieve their full potential, regardless of what background they come from. My hope is that God will allow me to create something dynamic that achieves that goal, through my company, Dynamik Lifestyles, and through the work I do with other organisations.

KTF: How do you want your life to influence your fellow young people?
SG: I want them to see past their physical circumstances, take God at His Word, and trust Him to make a way for them. I grew up on free school dinners, without the means to have the latest clothes or gadgets. Because of my circumstances, I was told I’d never see my dreams come true. God made a way for me, despite my circumstances, and He can do the same for anyone who dares to take Him at His Word.

Visit www.dklifestyles.co.uk for more details

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