After a difficult childhood, Damien shares his experience of God's healing and transformative love, and the power his story has had on others.

Damien’s story was produced by the Evangelical Alliance with the support of

I went through a long period of life wanting to be anyone and anything other than myself.
Whereas now I'm quite happy being me.
My name's Damien and this is my story.
My childhood was difficult.
I come from a large family, so I'm one of nine children.
My dad was in and out of my childhood and sort of completely disappeared and went into prison when I was eight, so life without a father figure is difficult.
When I was 12 my parents put me into care, so having your family say we don't want you is incredibly hard to accept and so, I found myself in children's homes.
You're living with the most lost, most vulnerable young people and I myself was a lost, vulnerable young person at the time.
There was a lot of me that just didn't want to accept that actually anyone could love me because I'd spent pretty much 14 years of my life being told that actually I was worthless, that I had no value.
God was this person who people would say loves you and cares for you but I could never really put that side by side with this idea that if God is meant to love you, then why does He let abuse happen, why does He let people hurt you.
A loving God wouldn't let that happen to a child.
And when I was 16, I had a sort of earthquake moment with God and that I would say was the turning point of me going not just yes, there's a God but actually I've got to start talking to this God and actually start having a bit more of a conversation and understanding who and what he is.
And so, that led me to actually start going to a large, independent church and that was probably the making of my faith.
People would genuinely talk to me and want to know who I was above just that kid in care and I'd say they showed me God more than they talked to me about God.
So, I had a journey when I was 18/19 where I sort had to walk through a period of forgiveness to those who had hurt me as a child and really try forgiving people who had done stuff to me that I would never want to forgive.
God is a God of transformation.
Yeah, I still have bad days every so often but most of the time it's not who I am, I'm a lot more than the baggage I carry behind me and I think that's entirely because of God.
God has quite often put me in contact with people who would never walk into a church and I think because of the life I've lived that actually people are far more likely to listen, to someone can say I've been there, I know what that feels like.
God has used me the most through my testimony and through talking to people who would never open their hearts to a church but will actually listen to someone's story and that starts them on a journey.
Before God, I was unlovable, whereas now I am loved and I have a value that money can't buy.