The Easter Story Transforms Lives

Jesus’ death and resurrection during the first Easter over 2000 years ago transformed human history. Keep The Faith talks to two individuals whose lives were transformed by Jesus’ sacrificial act 

Pastor David Elwin is Senior Pastor of Victory Outreach Church in Hackney, east London. A former drug addict, he shares how meeting Christ changed his life. He is also the director of a recovery home that provides rehabilitation services for men caught up in the cycle of crime, drug addiction and alcoholism. 

Keep The Faith (KTF): What motivated you to become a Christian?
PASTOR DAVID ELWIN (PDE): I have two friends who became Christians in 1999. At that time, I had been hooked on crack cocaine for about 15 years. When I saw their transformation — and the fact that they were telling me it was Jesus who had changed their lives and that He could change my life also — something on the inside of me desired what my friends had experienced. That was the trigger that saw me give my life to Christ two months later.

KTF: What was happening in your life when you made the decision to follow Christ?
PDE: My life, before I accepted Christ, was one of criminality and drug addiction. I was constantly in and out of prison from the age of 17 to the age of 32. I found it hard to be a father to my child at that time. My mental health was at an all-time low, with my doctor suggesting that I be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. 

KTF: What difference has becoming a Christian made in your life?
PDE: Becoming a Christian has enabled me to have a real sense of purpose, dignity and sense of destiny for the future, when once upon a time I felt like there was no hope for the future.

KTF: How has your faith influenced your career/ministry path?
PDE: My faith has influenced my ministry path through my personal relationship with God. Time spent disciplining myself in the Word of God and in prayer; spending quiet time, meditating on God’s Word; listening for God’s direction; and stepping out in faith. I am trusting the voice of the Lord to lead me in His pathways for my life.

KTF: In what ways do you feel you are serving the Lord through your work and/or ministry?
PDE: I feel like I am serving God with the many experiences I have gone through in my former life. It is somewhat ironic that God now uses me in the lives of those experiencing substance misuse and those involved in crime and gangs. It’s a privilege to feel part of a solution rather than part of a problem.

KTF: Easter is one of the leading events in the Christian calendar. What does this time of year mean to you?
PDE: Easter is always a timely reminder for me of the sacrifice and price Jesus paid to save me of my sins, and for Him to have had me in His thoughts and plans to redeem me. This is something I am mindful about daily as I am so grateful for my salvation.

KTF: Lastly, what are your hopes for 2023 where your faith and walk with God are concerned?
PDE: I have many hopes for 2023, however I continue to pray in faith for the reconciliation of my four children and my three grandchildren. I also want to disciple as many unto the Lord as He brings into my life this year.

Muyiwa Olarewaju is Station Director of Premier Gospel, and presents a show on the station. Muyiwa also presents worldwide show Turning Point International and he is an award-winning worship leader.

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): What motivated you to become a Christian? 
MUYIWA OLAREWAJU (MO): My story of giving my life to Christ is a hilarious one. I wasn’t a popular kid, and the subject of people’s jokes. There was a chap I had known as a kid, who told me about a church where he could introduce me to girls. Rev Les Isaac, founder of Street Pastors, was at that time the youth pastor. The young people I met were so vibrant, confident, and loved Jesus madly, and were everything I thought I would like to be. I got involved in the youth group through that. I got to hear the Gospel preached and gave my life to Christ.

KTF: What was happening in your life when you made the decision to follow Christ?
MO: My life was in upheaval. I was experiencing economic hardship, emotional upheaval. I was away from my parents and living in a house with my siblings. It was difficult and really hard. I was 13 and working. My life was turned upside down on an Easter Monday. I had gone with the young people to a conference at the East London branch of the Apostolic church. I sat, listening to the preaching of the Gospel whilst thinking my feet stank!  However, when the preacher invited people to accept Christ, I prayed the prayer and said: “Jesus, if You’re real, come into my life.”  My life changed.

KTF: What difference has being a Christian made in your life?
MO: Being a Christian has been my salvation. I was a young person who was ashamed of being African, because they called me an “effing African” at school and put bananas on my table. Christianity was the avenue where I rediscovered myself, and found family, a sense of identity, direction and completion. Christianity changed my life.

KTF: How has your faith influenced your career/ministry path?
MO: I wanted to be a pop star. I worked for Sony Music with the agenda to do pop music, but as my faith grew, I heard more clearly the destiny I have, which is to be a minister of the Gospel and to share the good news. That has shaped the decisions I made. I chose to work for a Christian broadcaster instead of the BBC or ITV, knowing it wasn’t as well rewarded financially but my focus was different. My faith in Jesus has shaped everything I’ve become.  

KTF: In what ways do you feel you are serving the Lord through your work and/or ministry?
MO:
 I firmly believe I’m serving the Lord, not just because I work for a Christian organisation with the radio or TV show I do. I believe I’m serving the Lord in the choices I make. When there’s the opportunity to do something for clout or for views, I do it to share the Gospel, which is not always terribly popular but I’m glad I have the opportunity to do so.

KTF: Easter is one of the leading events in the Christian calendar. What does this time of year mean to you?
MO: Easter is a time of reflection. There’s also a lot of work because there’s a lot to prepare for broadcast and for doing ministry bookings as well.

KTF: Lastly, what are your hopes for 2023 where your faith and walk with God are concerned?
MO: During 2022, Premier Gospel formed a partnership with Apple. We are in talks with other major platforms, like Amazon, Spotify and Google, to amplify the sound of gospel music in pop culture so we can touch even more lives.   

Visit www.premiergospel.org.uk for more details.

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