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Director of Equip & Empower Ministries since 1989
Hillsong Network Co-Pastor (with husband Nick), Hillsong Church, Sydney, AU
Featured conference speaker, has spoken in over 30 countries & at several Joyce Meyer crusades
BA, English & Economic History, Sydney University
DESPERATE TO OVERCOME
When Christine was a youth pastor at the Hillsong Church, she attended a workshop on abuse to get ideas about how to help people. The speaker began to define abuse as “something that endangers a child physically or psychologically through neglect or emotional, physical or sexual mistreatment.” Christine ran out of the room sobbing. Finally someone had put into words what had happened to her as a little girl. Christine says that she has amazing parents and brothers but the people they trusted violated that trust. “That day at the workshop, things I had forgotten and denied began to flood my mind,” says Christine. “After so many years of downplaying the impact it had on my life, it suddenly became very clear to me.” Christine decided to allow God to begin the process of healing and restoration. She was so desperate to overcome the pain that Christine read every book she could on the subject, and even began seeing a counselor. She consumed the Word of God and prayed like she never prayed before. “I started to understand that even though my spirit was born again, my soul was scarred by the past,” she says. Christine believes that in order to experience the abundant life God promised her, she would need to allow her wounded soul to be healed.
As hard as it was, Christine had to choose to press through the pain of her past every day in order to have freedom. Because trust had been violated through the abuse, Christine found herself having to live in a way that insured she was always in control. “A vital step in the healing process was admitting I couldn’t control everything,” says Christine. “I had to consciously allow God to start steering my life.” She also had to forgive those who abused her. “It took all the courage I could muster,” says Christine. Nothing in her wanted to forgive her abusers. “I didn’t think they deserved it,” says Christine. But deep down, she knew that unforgiveness would harden her heart and if left unresolved, would jeopardize her future. One night during a prayer counseling session, she fell to her knees sobbing and stayed there for hours. It was there on the floor that something broke in Christine. At that moment, her past no longer had power over her future. The instant she uttered, “I forgive them,” Christine experienced a deep sense of release from the burden she carried for 20 years.
“I’M ADOPTED, TOO?”
God knew that Christine would need to settle the issues related to her abuse in order to tackle the issues she would have to deal with as an adult. When she was 33 years old, Christine received a call from her 35-year old brother, George, and he was crying. George had just received a letter from the Department of Community Services notifying him that he had been adopted at birth. With the family together, their mother cried as she told them the truth. Though stunned by their mother’s disclosure, Christine was glad it was out in the open. Then her mother turned to her and asked, “Christine, since we’re telling the truth, do you want to know the whole truth?” Christine was totally confused. She was adopted, too! In one moment, everything she had believed about her life was untrue. “I didn’t know anything about the circumstances surrounding my conception – whether I was the result of an adulterous affair, rape or one-night stand,” says Christine. As she tried to process this new reality, the words of Psalm 139 came to her, “For you did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb….” Christine says thought she may not have known facts surrounding her conception, she knew the Truth of God’s Word. “He knew me before time began, and He intentionally created me. No facts can alter that Truth.”
Christine was raised Greek Orthodox but gave her life to the Lord after walking into the Hillsong Church.
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