Gareth & Abigail McKeown – U.K. Board Member

My name is Gareth McKeown. I would like to share with you how the Lord has saved me and kept me.

I grew up just outside Markethill, Co. Armagh and have a younger sister and brother. My parents were very faithful in taking us along to Sunday School and Church each week, but unfortunately I can’t recall as a child being told of my need of a Saviour. Sunday School and Church, at this stage in my life were good things to do, to me they were something families did on a Sunday.

It was only in my early teenage years, when a Summer Mission came to my home town that I heard of my need to be saved. I know the Lord was speaking to me during this time and I knew I was a sinner. This made me very anxious and worried for my soul realising that I was headed for a lost eternity. After one of the meetings, at home I asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins and save me.

As a young Christian, I experienced many ups and downs, times when I was going on for God and times when I let sin take a hold and wasn’t living as a believer should. When I got caught up in sin I felt guilty and knew the Lord wouldn’t be pleased. Even though I have let the Lord down many times, he has always been with me and never failed me or let me down.

I later met my wife Abigail who is also saved. Abigail has been a great influence in my life and has encouraged me in my Christian walk. We have two children, Scarlett who’s ten and Micah who’s six.

Probably the most difficult time I have ever experienced was when our daughter Scarlett was extremely ill as a baby. Scarlett has a kidney problem, which was undiagnosed at birth. In her early days Scarlett appeared very healthy and well, but unfortunately it all started to change and was admitted to hospital at three months old and then again at six months old. Due to her kidney problem we were told Scarlett’s organs were starting to shut down. I can remember both Abigail’s parents and my parents being called to hospital as we were unsure if Scarlett would make it through the night. We had to rely completely on the Lord for his comfort and help during this time. Thankfully Scarlett made a full recovery and was later diagnosed and had an operation to prevent the same thing happening again. Thanks be to God that Scarlett has been well ever since. It’s great to know that we can come to God at any time for his help and I am thankful to God for bringing us through this difficult time in our lives.

The Lord has blessed me in many ways, I know the Lord is in control of my future and I thank him for saving me and for all he has done for me.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’