Millionaire Gary hated his life, Norwich told
By Mike Wiltshire
A Norwich audience recently heard the dramatic story of Gary Flynn, a business man who 'lost everything' after his health and business collapsed.
Gary told how he'd 'been to hell and back' but in an unusual encounter he had found healing and hope after he came to faith in Jesus Christ.
Today, he is a happy man and is now the managing director of a scaffolding business – but all this is very different from his early years when he began drinking at 13 after his dad, Jimmy, was killed by a stray bullet on an Army firing range. Gary married at 18, but it ended in divorce.
But despite the onset of near-suicidal depression, his scaffolding business prospered and he soon had a £1 million house. His grandfather came to visit Gary at his luxury home and said: "You must be very happy to have achieved all this."
After a pause, Gary replied: "Happy? No, I hate my life, I hate me, I hate everything apart from Joanne and my children."
He was working 18 hours a day and began to feel unwell. When doctors diagnosed stomach cancer, Gary pleaded: "Doctor, don't let me die."
Gary went home to tell his family and then in despair went out to drink a bottle of spiced rum in Sainsbury's car park. As business pressures mounted, he experienced panic attacks and began drinking again – up to 20 pints a night.
Because of his illness, his business fell apart. Gary and Joanne lost their house and ended up in a caravan.
One day, while on chemo treatment, he had a visit from an old friend, Geoffrey, a straight-talking street trader. He asked Gary to come to an Alpha course at a local church – "and you don't say no to Geoffrey".
Gary went along to the Alpha discovery course – and was surprised by the friendly welcome at the weekly sessions.
It was the start of an unusual spiritual journey – because Gary says God woke him up in the night and he sensed the healing presence of Jesus. "I said, 'If you are there Lord, please come into my life. Please, Lord, I need you. I need saving.'
"At once, I felt like I was floating, with a wonderful sense of peace and God's love."
Then, a few weeks later, he awoke in the middle of the night.
"A beam of light was coming from the ceiling and entering my tummy." Gary says he felt the presence of Jesus.
From that moment, Gary's life was radically changed. Joanne noticed a dramatic change in Gary's attitude.
"I couldn't get enough of Jesus. I felt as if my life has just begun . . . now I am a changed man, no more swearing, drinking, womanising. Jesus has made me smile again. He can do the same for anyone.