Warcry: Growing stronger
David Hughes found hope after suffering domestic abuse.
I was born and raised in Yorketown on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, the youngest of four sons.
My parents Michael and Amy Hughes were both Christians. Dad was Catholic and mum was Baptist. They were very devoted to each other. Before they got married, dad said to mum, ‘Sit down I want to have a talk to you. We will get married in your church and when we have children they will be brought up Baptist, also’. I was encouraged to go to church, Sunday School and be involved generally.
Growing up I was a very caring person. I enjoyed playing tennis, attending Scouts and dancing.
At the age of 26 I went to Adelaide, trained as a nurse, and worked at the Repatriation Hospital. After 14 years, I felt a passion to care for the aged. I had further training and worked at the Alwyndor Nursing Home and other nursing homes until my retirement in 2010.
In 2007, the year I retired, the first signs that my 39-year marriage was in trouble began to surface. As our retirement money started to dry up, my wife became increasingly abusive to me.
I lost confidence and was unsure of my life in general. I broke down emotionally and questioned my whole input into our marriage.
The complete breakdown of my marriage in 2011 due to the domestic violence made me re-evaluate my life.
Even though I wasn’t going to church, I prayed to God to show me a way of resolving my circumstances and I believe he heard my prayer.
I had been working as a volunteer at the Noarlunga Salvo Store where the manager, Colin Sampson, took great interest in me and supported and helped me through my trials.
The following year after my separation, Colin introduced me to the Noarlunga Salvation Army church. I will never forget the greeting I received; it was one of warmth and sincerity. I have always maintained a first impression is a lasting impression and this was particularly true for me in this situation.
This greeting influenced my decision to stay and get involved, which I did in Cafe Life (a drop-in centre welcoming all members of the community), Celebrate Recovery (a 12-step Christian-based recovery program) and a Men’s Step study group which have assisted me immensely.
I also started attending the Sunday services as I felt I needed something that would give me hope. As my faith grew stronger, I was drawn to make a further commitment to give my life to Jesus and become a member of the church.
On Sunday, 20 October 2013, Major Grattan Savage (corps officer/minister) enrolled me as a senior soldier and I’m now committed to helping others as a member of The Salvation Army. I have always received encouragement and good advice in my walk with God from Majors Grattan and Glenda. I find them very sincere. In addition, I would like to mention my special friend, Kym Morphett, who is the owner of the carpet store next to the Salvo Store. He befriended me and also supported me. We continue to meet on a weekly basis.
I am growing stronger in my faith and no task is too great because I love and believe in God and in him do I trust.
I thank him for surrounding me with his people to help me heal.
Story republished courtesy of WarCry