Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Gospel according to Agnes.

‘I think of the polo mint when I think of my lowest moments. For several months a few years back I was so poor that some days all I had to eat was a polo mint. This was after my husband had left me. Our marriage had gone wrong, he’d started hitting me, battering me. I remember being on the floor and calling out to him, ‘Please, take your bags and leave us…’
My name is Agnes, by the way, and I have been part of this church since the 1980′s. My husband did leave us but that meant we became very poor. I was raising the children on my own and the money ran out. We were living in this flat, here, high up, looking over Holloway. Two bedrooms. The girls share that room, I sleep with my teenage son in this room. Sometimes my sister would invite us around for a meal. She said I was better off without him but I didn’t tell her we had no food on the table. The children could eat at school, but some days I didn’t eat at all.
I would come to church but I would not tell anyone what was happening because I thought it was going to get better. God had always looked after me, ever since I was a child in Africa at the missionary school. I came to England when I was 19 because my family was approached by another family for me to marry their son who was well off. On the wedding day his Auntie intervened and we  had to postpone the service. I was very upset. He went home and I stayed here. I began to train in catering where I met another man who told me I should marry for love not for money. I fell pregnant with his child. After my baby  was born I became depressed, but  the priest would come and visit me. We would have tea and he would pray for me. That gave me strength.
I was planning on going home to marry the man who thought he was the father of my child, but a school friend came to London. ‘There is  no need to go home,’ he said. ‘Stay here with me.’ He wanted to marry me but first he said we should have a child to make sure we could have a family. We had two children, and we lived in a flat near  the church.  I had to raise the children on my own and with God’s help I have. My eldest daughter finished her degree and  has a good job. My second is doing her degree and my youngest is getting good reports. I myself finished my degree which meant I could get a better job and things have got easier.
When I come to church I see many friends. Whatever the trouble life brings, with God all things are possible, no-one can hurt you or harm you. You know even when I was surviving on a polo mint a day, I never stopped believing in God.’
This is an edited extract from The Gospel According To Everyone available as a book, aniBook and on Kindle (UK)(US). (PS. Agnes is not called Agnes.)

Some lovely little books on iTunes or
Great quiet beautiful little presents for a friend
your soul!