Paul Linnell & Alison

Evangelist
Leicestershire and East Midlands

I was converted at the age of six in August 1970. Despite being brought up in a Christian family – with godly parents, and having love for the Lord Jesus from an early age – I became very aware of a great barrier separating myself from God. I knew that something was preventing my knowing Him personally; a feeling of guilt came with this. My father, a Baptist pastor, showed me that my sin was separating me from God and that His Son, Jesus Christ had died and rose again to ‘bridge the gap’ (he drew this for me – it is still a vivid memory) between me in my sin and a holy, loving God. I repented of my sin, put my trust in Christ and was reassured of His forgiveness at this time. I was baptised at the age of twelve.

For 26 years after graduating with a design degree, I held various posts in graphic design, lecturing for the last eleven. When voluntary redundancy was offered by my university employer in 2011, I knew that this was probably the ideal time to leave and seek the Lord on how He wanted me to serve Him more fully. I signed up for a four-year, part-time theological studies course and was able to take on more Sunday and mid-week preaching, on top of my responsibilities as a church elder, but the future was unknown.

Having never even thought about open-air work before, I just turned up one week in October 2011 at the regular Leicester open-air and joined in the tracting. After a few weeks, one of the team asked if he could interview me: I was very nervous at the idea, but as soon as I had started to share my testimony and the gospel in the street, something gripped me and I felt the strong urge to carry on! This seemed the most obvious and natural thing to do, to share the saving truth of the Lord Jesus Christ where people are and to aim to engage ordinary folks who urgently need to hear it. I love the fact that from a human perspective, everything is against this work; from the spiritual, all of the Lord’s promises and resources are, by faith, available for those with a desire to lift up the Lord Jesus in the public place (John 3:14-15; 12:32), knowing that He will draw sinners to Himself for salvation.

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