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I Believed the Christian Faith Was Irrational
Coming from an atheistic background, he was shocked some people actually believed in God. An Alpha course and one year later, he counted himself among them.

I am 20 years old and grew up in an atheist household. My neighbourhood and school were as un-Christian and un-religious as one could imagine. The only time I had visited a church was when I went to Europe.

I Believed the Christian Faith Was Irrational
Galvin Clancey

None of my friends were Christians, and I was shocked to find out that several people in my school believed in God. The concept seemed so foreign to me. I knew the basics of Bible stories from TV shows or bedtime stories, but to me they were just stories, like the kind parents read to their kids from Dr. Seuss—fanciful creations designed for entertainment; and that's exactly how I treated them.

After my second year at the University of British Columbia I started an internship across the country, far from home. The idea of going to a strange place, not knowing anybody, was intimidating. But with the encouragement of my family and friends I made it out here to Kingston, Ontario.

One of the girls that I worked with was a very strong Christian. She prompted me to examine more closely what the world was all about. Naturally I came with a fair degree of scepticism, but I couldn't ignore the fact that someone I deeply respected felt so strongly about something so irrational.

She told me about a thing at her church called the "Alpha Course" that was a very open, entertaining way to learn about Christianity. I checked out the Alpha Canada website, found a course running at a nearby house and gave the leader, Marrilyn Barber a call.

I had called a mere hour before the class was to begin—just enough time to organize a ride. When I arrived at the course I was greeted by a room full of university students all chatting happily and hanging out, with Merrilyn and her husband Neil smiling anxiously at the new group that had come through their front door.

Since that first moment at the Barber's house I have never regretted starting the Alpha course. There isn't a single thing I'd rather be doing on a Sunday night. The videos and discussions have contributed so much to helping me come to my own conclusions about things, and I've had so much fun with everyone in the course. The Alpha retreat specifically was just amazing! It was over that weekend that I first felt the Holy Spirit move through me, and I made a sincere commitment to Christ in my heart.

I've never been happier in my entire life! My overall mood has improved and I'm more compassionate now. I have found a very warm, friendly church that I eagerly attend every week. Every day I thank God for everything that He's done for me, and I tell Him that I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for Him.

Looking back on the last year, I can see how so many small things stacked up and led me to where I am now. I can't see how all these things can be mere coincidence. They're just too precise. I know that God has been guiding me and taking me where He wants me to go. I'm eagerly waiting to see what awesome things God has in store for my life. I don't worry myself so much about things I can't control, because I know that God is there for me. I just have to believe.

Galvin Clancey is based in Kingston, Ontario.

Originally published in Alpha News, Summer 2005.




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