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Faith encounter began at Norwich rail station

Former UEA student and successful Norwich business man Martin Kentish used to describe himself as a hostile anti-God skeptic. That was before he met his Maker at Norwich train station. Kevin Gotts reports.

MartinKentishLeia480One Friday morning, back in 2007, Martin was waiting on the platform at Norwich railway station when a man came up to him asking if he was a Catholic priest. 
"Ever so sorry, I couldn't be further from holiness, I'm in marketing and don't believe in all that God stuff," Martin replied.
The stranger began to talk about Jesus and before Martin could eye up the train for a quick escape, he was handed a booklet to read. Halfway through reading the cover story he was flooded with an incredible sense of being loved that nearly drove him to tears.
On the following Monday, Mike, the manager of the local coffee shop, put his hand on Martin's shoulder and said: "I know what you are going through right now. That's God's Holy Spirit."  Again Martin felt that same incredible sense of being loved.  This time he gave in, "He had got me and I wanted to know who He was!"
Next day in a car park, he received a call from that gentleman who he met on the train; a chap called John Wright, and gave his life to Christ over the phone. "My exciting, difficult journey to walk as a follower of Christ began."
"I've come to realise just how much God wants to have an authentic, personal relationship with me. The creator of the universe, the heavenly father, the perfector of everything is interested in me? Wow, when the depth of that sinks it, it is incredibly moving and humbling," he continues.
Since then Martin feels he has made many mistakes in his walk with God. "The funny thing is God loves me enough to give me the freedom to mess up, but He is always there as a loving Father to take me back in, battered and bruised from trying to do it my way," said Martin.
His business life has also been affected: "Daily I look around and marvel at God's creation, so I am blessed at seeing so many pointers to Him. I've changed from filling my wallet with cash as being the driver, to honouring Him in whatever I do and how I respond to who I work with," explains Martin.
He now enjoys reaching out to people with the truth and seeing them respond: "What I would say to anyone is first get to know Him and realise just how much He loves you.
Growing trust comes from a greater knowing of how much He loves us. The rollercoaster is just His way of making you more like Jesus."
Martin is a an active member of  Kings Community Church in Norwich, having served with Kings Care for about five years, helping the local homeless community.  He is married with a 15-year-old son and lives in Trowse.
"It's good to know that I am, and always will be, a work in progress and that nobody else has everything sorted either," said Martin.
"This has helped me let go of comparing myself with others, of  deriving my identity from stuff I do or don't do, have or don't have.  What I do have is a personal relationship with God and that is more precious than anything else in the world."
Pictured above is Martin Kentish with his dog Leia.

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