Russell - What happened next?

Russ is a Nottingham uni graduate and provided some extra manpower for Fruitful Oaks in the Autumn of 2007. He left Fruitful Oaks to pursue a career in politics - starting with working as a lobbyist!

Russ famously described his first day working for Fruitful Oaks as "the hardest day's work I've ever done in my life!"

Russ' story, in his own words:

I was not raised in a Christian home, neither of my parents went to church. I was read Bible stories as a child, so I always had a knowledge of God, but I thought he was a fictional character. Even if he was real he was far too big and busy to care about me. As I grew up I was struggling to find my identity, so tried to fit in with peers, which led me to a slippery slope. I found myself living a double life, being nice and respectful to my family and at work, but indulging in sex, alcohol and violence at weekends. This continued until I came to university, and I found myself having to keep going to new depths to find my buzz.

Around this time I started talking to a friend I lived with about his faith, and he in turned introduced me to his friend, who led a small group in our hall of residence. Getting to know him I saw something different; unlike my other mates he didn't drink or sleep around, and seemed to get his satisfaction from his relationship with Jesus. This gave me a new insight to who God was, and how close he was, but by this time I thought I was too bad for him to want to know me. I went home for the summer trying to forget about it, but was invited to a baptism service and went along out of politeness. Whilst I there the minister said that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, no matter what they were, and that God wanted a relationship with me. I found this foolish but couldn't get it out of my mind, so that night I got to my knees and begged God to come and give me the peace that I needed. There and then I felt God draw near to me, and I had a new buzz that nothing had ever given me.

Since that day I have learnt more about God, and the more I learn the more I love him. Life isn't always easy, but I know that in the tough times that God is with me. He has my life finally going in the right direction.