I will begin at the very beginning. I was privileged to be born into a Christian home with a Mum and Dad (Scott and Colleen Phillips) who loved each other, their children and, most importantly, the Lord. We attended Waterfall Assembly and it really was like an extension of our family. We had many Brothers, Sisters and Aunties and Uncles in Christ. From a young age I learned, by example, to love others and the Body of Christ. That in order to serve God we need to be willing to serve others, which is often hard and inconvenient, and sometimes people are difficult to love, but we need to love them as Christ loved us!
There were always lots of people and love in our home, and a suitable amount of sibling rivalry that helped to smooth off our rough edges. (Thanks Grenville and Kim!).
I gave my heart to the Lord at an Outreach Meeting held in Mid-Illovo, where my uncle, Malcolm Harris, had been asked to minister. I had known about Jesus, and even loved Him, but it was the first time my heart pounded in my chest, and I knew that the God of all Creation was speaking directly to me; I understood that I was a sinner and needed to repent and accept Jesus as my Personal Saviour!
I can truly say that, looking back through the years, I have seen God’s hand in my life. When I was disobedient and full of myself, He has gently corrected me through trials and His Word, and has been so merciful and kind in every way!
As a teenager I was asked to help with Sunday school and Youth, and I am so thankful to my Parents and the Brothers and Sisters at Waterfall who encouraged me to do this. As a young person I felt valued and needed as a member of the Body, and experienced first-hand that it is more blessed to give than receive. God also provided an awesome group of young people for me to share those years with; special friends that pointed me towards Christ. Youth Camps also played a major role in helping me keep my eyes on Jesus.
I remember my Gran and Grandpa, Joy and Ken Harris, telling me often that they pray for me every day. I often wonder how different my life and decisions may have been during those formative years if it hadn’t been for these Prayer Warriors along with those in my Fellowship interceding on my behalf.
The Lord truly blessed me when I met my husband, Garth Hawyes. In 2000 I started my Teaching Career and in June that year we were married. My husband is generous and kind, and has a wonderful sense of humour. He puts Christ first and leads our home with honour and integrity, and I have loved serving the Lord beside him. We have been blessed with 3 wonderful children, Donovan, Olivia and Shauna, and they bring so much joy into our lives! It is such a blessing to watch them grow and starting to establish their own relationships with the Lord.
I started with the Scripture that if you delight yourself in the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart. I have found this to be so true. As I have delighted myself in Him, and He is so easy to delight in, He has changed my selfish heart and, slowly but surely, my desires are aligning with His plans for my life – to bring souls to Glory and make Disciples of all Nations.
God has opened doors for us, and Garth and I are living our dream! We live on a farm and run Youth Camps for a living! We also run the Ablaze Discipleship Year and are so excited to see what God is going to do next. He is establishing us in our small, but on fire, Family Fellowship! We are just loving going along for the ride! Our prayer: Father we are Yours! Use us!