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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: A matter of Life or Death
By Norma-Anne Hough


I have been associated with home groups for the past twenty years. Each one has been different and challenging. We have always believed that caring and sharing are the number one requirements for a successful group. While it is important to have teaching, there is also a need for people to be able to share freely without pressure.

A good number of years ago I was fighting an alcohol addiction. I knew and loved the Lord yet there was this hold over my life. Our pastor Roy tried everything to help. I went for session after session of prayer, spent a month in rehab, had prayer for deliverance – you name it I had it.

Things would go smoothly for a season, and then bang I was off again. Roy warned me several times that unless I could pull myself together he would have to discipline me. Eventually that is what happened. I was warned in a letter that over a period of 6 months I would have to abstain completely or lose membership!

Wow, pretty hectic especially if your husband is worship leader.
Our home group leader at the time was really wonderful. Ken and Shas his lovely wife did everything they could to help. Others at the group also got very involved with being there for me. Unfortunately I didn’t make the 6 month period and lost membership.

Ken and the group hedged me in with love, support and prayer.
Roy was a broken man as he really had not wanted to go that far but had no choice. Members of the group formed a 24 hour prayer chain, some fasted others just left me really sweet messages and cards. I still attended the church but could not pray out aloud during worship or operate in any of the gift.

Our home group was the only place for a season that I felt at peace. There was no condemnation only acceptance and love.
More than any one thing I yearned to be free, yet just didn’t seem able to do so. It was crazy, I could go for one or two weeks without and then it all would go wrong. Yet I knew deep down God was in control and would deliver me in His time.

My miracle happened three days before Christmas! While
driving with Dave to Port Elizabeth I heard an audible voice asking me to choose between life and death. Thinking it was Dave I asked him what he meant. He turned to me saying “I haven’t said a word.” Again I heard the voice and then I knew it could only have been God. Silently I said “please Father if this is you I want life, but I need to know it’s from you.”

An indescribable peace came upon me. I knew then that I was free. Understandably it took my family some time to trust me. Roy and Elize, Ken, Shas and the home group all continued in prayer and fasting. I requested family and friends when visiting not to bring alcohol into our home. Within 6 months I was taken back into fellowship.

I know that without the support and love of that particular home group I would never have made it. To this day although we have all moved cities, I have maintained my deep friendship with Roy, Elize, Ken and Shas. They are all very special people.

“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy:
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me.”
Micah 7 vs 8

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This article has been read 956 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Dixon12/06/07
I warmed to this personal story. Thanks for sharing.
Anothervoice Sunstar12/10/07
A sensitive reminder that even worship leaders and their family members are "only human". Good transitions from the various scenes. Thanks for sharing.
Beckie Stewart12/10/07
Being married to a man willing to pastor his sheep in this loving manner it was heartwarming to hear that there are some that see the love and with continual love and support they find healing! Praise the Lord! This was good to read. Thank you for sharing.
Yvonne Blake 12/10/07
I can tell this was a life changing incident. I suggest you tell it with more dialogue and descriptions. It will help the reader identify with your feelings.
Kenneth Heath12/13/07
Dear Norma, as I reflect back on those awsome days that we all spent together. Wow! Who would have thought that so many years later,we would be writing about our adventures. It was an extreemly hot baptism of fire for each of us.Many tears were shed through our learning curves,and it was Love that pulled us through.Now through our writings, we can encourage others in their walk. Well done keep those stories comming. Love Ken.