20 September 2017

Losing Hope – Finding God

Every parent wants the best for their child. But, let’s face it, contemporary parenthood is expensive! At one time, computers, mobile phones and designer label jeans may have been on every youngster’s wish list. But no-one ever really expected to get them. Now, everyone has them. In fact they’re part and parcel of modern youth culture. Yet the fact remains few of us can afford to maintain our kid’s street cred. Even putting food on the table can be a source of parental guilt as we swap ‘organic’ for the less expensive supermarket brands.

But, at the end of the day, would providing our kids with the latest technological wizardry make them any happier? Would a particular label on a pair of jeans or trainers keep young bodies warmer or dryer?

raTwenty-six-year-old Jonny Kane doesn’t think so and with a family Chateau in Bordeaux, ski trips to the Alps and retail therapy on demand, he should know. There’s no doubt that Jonny Kane enjoyed the luxuries most kids can only dream about but they didn’t exempt him from misery. In fact, at fourteen years old Jonny was so unhappy he used his school tie to hang himself. Fortunately, he failed. Two years later, he tried again.

That attempt also failed. So what was missing from his childhood that money couldn’t buy?

“To be honest, the thing I wanted most was simple but priceless. I wanted to feel loved. It wasn’t that my mum didn’t love me. I just didn’t sense it. Her work took her away a lot and my siblings and I spent our time between houses. We had a lot that other kids probably envied. The Chateau and vineyards were no doubt lovely and the skiing holidays great fun yet, I don’t think as a kid, I really valued them. My needs were more basic. Without love, there was no self-esteem and, for me no hope.”’

At eighteen, Jonny was still depressed and suicidal. He’d already started dabbling in drugs and alcohol and couldn’t see a way out of the situation. Thankfully, Jonny’s grandparents had given their grandson an invaluable gift. They may not have taken him on an exotic holiday but they had brought him to the throne of grace in prayer.

“My grandparents used to read me stories from the Bible. They told me how much God loved me but although I listened, they’re words never really took root.”

It didn’t matter that Jonny didn’t pay much attention; God was interested in him. He had heard his grandparent’s prayers and waited for the perfect moment to make Himself known to the young man. The event was to revolutionise Jonny’s life.

“The moment I came face to face with the reality of God’s love is engraved on my heart. Standing at the side of the road beside my smoking, wrecked car was an unlikely venue but it couldn’t have been better. I had just escaped my third suicide attempt after running my car off the road and into a tree. Alone and distraught God spoke to me. He asked me why I wanted to spend an eternity without Him. He told me that I was precious to Him and that if I gave my life to Him, He would give me a future. I accepted Him there and then. From that moment on, my life turned around.”

As well as a new life, God had given the young man a talent. His appreciation and aptitude for music rapidly earned him a reputation, especially as a budding DJ. “Music is my career but more importantly, it’s my service. Over the years as a volunteer DJ at the Youth For Christ centre, ‘the Base’ in Ireland, I’ve had the privilege to tell other young people about Jesus.”

Today, six years later, and now living in Scotland, Jonny aka JonnyK is still using his music to change lives. “As resident DJ at one of Edinburgh’s most famous clubs, I use music to bring a positive note to people’s evenings. Young people recognise the sound of ‘Electro, Funky, House’ for all the right reasons. Unlike some of today’s sounds, there’s nothing dark or sinister in it. My genre is all about light, vibrancy and hope.”

Week-end visitors and tourists who encounter Jonny’s music may be impressed by his understanding of the subject. But for the regulars at Destiny Church where Jonny is a Leader, it’s his passion and love of the Lord that sounds the right note. This year, Jonny has had a hectic schedule including the ‘Hope for Justice Event’ in June. The last word goes to Jonny. “I’ve come a long way since the night God changed my life. He has given me hope, a real sense of worth and an endless supply of love. Now, I can say, I have everything money can’t buy.”

WORDS Lorainne Wylie