If she wasn’t prepared to play on Sundays she ‘might as well give up now!
My Christian life began at the age of six. It was at a children’s Holiday Bible Club, while I was on holiday in Charmouth that my heart was first opened to the message of the gospel. A leader asked for anyone who wanted to trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour to go to the front and take a copy of John’s Gospel. I did so without hesitation. My brother’s first words to my parents that evening were, ‘You’re never gonna guess what Hannah’s gone and done? She’s gone and become a Christian!’ At this time, my brother did not show any interest in the gospel. It was then that I felt sure something had changed in my own heart.
While I was reading the Gospel, I came across a verse which left me stunned. From John chapter 14, I read these words: ‘Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.’ These words struck me like nothing I’d ever read before. The thought of dying, although far off in my mind, was a thought that scared me greatly. These words, implying that the King of kings, the One I had asked into my life, had actually prepared a place for me personally, were, to me, overwhelming.
Owing to my young age, I was asked to wait a few years before being baptised to make certain that I was sure of my faith. At the age of eight I went through the waters of baptism.
Having Christ in my life is the greatest thing conceivable. Since my conversion, I have made it my aim that in everything I do in life I should do it to the glory of God and to the fullest of my ability—and this obviously applies greatly to my chess playing.
My love for chess has led me to play regularly and at a high level of competitiveness. However, chess as a Christian does not come without its difficulties. I was once told bluntly by a leading chess player and coach that if I wasn’t prepared to play on Sundays I ‘might as well give up now’. They often say that when people put you down, it gives you all the more determination to prove them wrong. A good friend also quoted to me the Bible passage, ‘Those who honour me, I will honour.’ I have since trusted that, in whatever the situation, if I have faith in Christ’s word, he will strengthen and provide for me. It is with God’s sovereign help that I have been able to overcome many trials, especially in my chess playing.
The UK Chess Challenge
The first major conflict with the Lord’s Day was a competition known as the UK Chess Challenge. This is the largest chess tournament for children in the world, where about 80,000 children compete to work their way through to the Finals. Each year I had participated at a local level, but, although qualifying for the National Finals, I had never had the opportunity to play in them, since they were always held on a Sunday. However, answer to prayer came when I was ten years old and the large number of competitors meant the age sections had to be held over two separate days; my section was on a Saturday! For the first time ever, I was able to compete in the National Finals. Unexpectedly, I went on to win the National Finals and qualify for the Finals! I have nothing to say other than this: God is a God who does answer prayer!
Read more on the following website: http://www.lordsday.co.uk/hannah's_testimony.htm