How were vampire movies and comic books involved in Darren’s journey to faith in Jesus?
“God first revealed Himself to me when I was ten years old. I was having trouble sleeping after watching a scary vampire movie, so my mother read Psalm 23 to me—’though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil’. I was instantly calmed by these words.
“I lived in a small country town where I spent long days in the rivers and fields with my friends; God was far from my mind, despite being surrounded by His beautiful creation.
“Our family moved to live in a new city during my high school years, and my parents ‘encouraged’ me and my brother to join the Boys’ Brigade at the local church in order to get us out of the house and meet new friends. Needing to earn a Christian Service award, I reluctantly attended church on Sunday mornings with my new best mate, reading comic books in the furthest pew at the back of the building and trying to ignore what was going on.
“But God had other ideas. The faithful Bible teaching and warm encouragement from the pastor started to affect my heart. Eventually I understood my need for Jesus as my Saviour and I gave my life to Him and was baptised when I was 15.
“God continued to reveal Himself to me through His Word and the work of His Spirit in my life, but I didn’t have a lot of encouragement or support from my family or close friends, so by the time I left to go to university I wasn’t living a life worthy of Him.
“I tried hard to ignore God and focused on other things that distracted me; especially my new non-Christian girlfriend. But God didn’t let me go that easily. She became a Christian through the faithful witness of friends. I was compelled to look at my own faith seriously again as the reality of my rejection of God became more evident. I faced a choice: live for myself or live wholeheartedly for God. I chose God.
“I am so grateful for God’s relentless pursuit of me, His loving rescue of me through Jesus and the hope He gives me, both now and into eternity.
“It isn’t easy living for Jesus, but the words of Psalm 23 are as relevant today as they were when I first heard them: The Lord is my Shepherd; He continues to lead and comfort me during the peaks and valleys of life, and one day I can look forward to dwelling with Him forever.”