Home / TBL China / But God: A Personal Testimony – Part 1 (Chinese/English)

But God: A Personal Testimony – Part 1 (Chinese/English)

My Testimony – Keith Hobkirk
我的见证 – 基思·霍布科克

“But God”… a story of Amazing Grace
然而神”…… 一个奇异恩典的故事

Ephesians 2:1-10-And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

以弗所书第2章:1 -10 –你们死在过犯罪恶之中,他叫你们活过来。那时,你们在其中行事为人,随从今世的风俗,顺服空中掌权者的首领,就是现今在悖逆之子心中运行的邪灵。我们从前也都在他们中间,放纵肉体的私欲,随着肉体和心中所喜好的去行,本为可怒之子,和别人一样。然而 神既有丰富的怜悯,因他爱我们的大爱,当我们死在过犯中的时候,便叫我们与基督一同活过来(你们得救是本乎恩)。他又叫我们与基督耶稣一同复活,一同坐在天上,要将他极丰富的恩典,就是他在基督耶稣里向我们所施的恩慈,显明给后来的世代看。你们得救是本乎恩,也因着信;这并不是出于自己,乃是 神所赐的;也不是出于行为,免得有人自夸。我们原是他的工作,在基督耶稣里造成的,为要叫我们行善,就是 神所预备叫我们行的。

I pray that my testimony touches your heart! My name is Keith, but everyone knows me as KK. The first thing to say is that I am just an ordinary person; I am not a pastor; I have no special gifts or abilities: I am what I am because God has showered His grace upon me.

Well, I had better start at the beginning. I was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, U.K., and then lived most of my life in Morecambe, a beautiful seaside town on the Lancashire coast. My childhood was difficult. My parents were great, but they were consumed with work and as I spent much time on my own, I gained a very rebellious and angry streak from an early age. I was a very troubled and restless child… I craved attention. My parents tried everything, I had serious issues relating to a childhood stammer, which led to bullying. I was in and out of speech therapy/relaxation classes.

(I was) Sent to Sunday school, I listened to the stories of Jesus and thought that they were just stories. My favourite hymn was “There was a Green Hill Far Away”. This hymn said that He died to save us all. “Great,” I thought, “Jesus died – I can live as I want.”
(我)被送去上主日学。我听过耶稣的故事,但觉得那只是故事。我最喜欢的圣诗是《远处有座青翠的小山》。这首圣诗说他为了拯救我们而死。我心想:“太好了,耶稣死了 – 我可以随心所欲地生活。”

I was in the church; I even did the collection for upstairs at the church. Sad to say, I was a Judas-not just from the church, but from my parents. By the age of 14, I was placed in the lowest class at school. I was a very nasty and angry person; a sinner who had all the appearance of a good person but was a devil on the inside-in all my churchgoing- I have never heard the true Gospel that Jesus saves personally.


At school, I was known as trouble; teachers thought I had no hope, but my parents didn’t give up, they fought for me to be placed in a higher class. They finally got their wish, and I was placed in Class 4S, along with two very special people, both who are close friends today, David and Andrew, the person whom God used to bring me to faith.


As I said, I was trouble at school, if there was trouble in class, it usually revolved around me. Keith had said or done something to upset them. Well, I created havoc in class, tormenting virtually everyone: I was a mixture of Dennis the Menace and Homer Simpson, loveable and dumb but just a pain in the bum well, except for Andrew.


Everything I tried to do to him, it didn’t upset him at all! What is it with this guy? Why is he so calm? OK, he’s a Christian; well, so am I! I go to church, so what’s the big deal? Also, we had R.E. (Religious Education) in our school, led by Mr. Curnow. I just sat in the back of the class and mocked him. He said at the end of the class, “Jesus loves you and is the Answer!” “What?” I thought, “Why doesn’t he tell it to us through all the class, if Jesus is so good?” Many years later I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife, who was my French teacher; also, my history teacher, Mr. Waterhouse, who were all Believers, the ones I had mocked were Christians.


Andrew was getting under my skin; he invited me to these meetings, and on a Saturday night! “What, you go to these Bible meetings on a Saturday? You are a fanatic, man!” One day he invited me, and to be honest, just to stop him asking me, I said “OK, but look, I have to be home by 10, the football is on.”


So, on Saturday, the 15th of February, I set out to Moorlands Gospel Hall in Lancaster. Meeting me at the bus station, we made our way to the meeting. It was different to everything I had ever been to. This was lively, hymns were sung truly and powerfully, people stood up and told how Jesus had changed their lives, and finally Victor Jack (an evangelist) stood up and preached. He said “If Jesus came tonight, where would you spend eternity? You are a guilty sinner, condemned by your sin; but Jesus has provided salvation through the Cross.”

For the first time I had heard the true Gospel. Victor said he was going into a side room, anyone who would like to talk with him, please do so. I remember closing my eyes- the curtain was raised- the light went on! I turned to Andrew, “I want to go into that room!”

I got there first, just before someone else, this was something I just had to do. Victor took me through “Journey into Life” (tract by Norman Warren). I said the prayer, and trusted Christ. My prayer was sincere. Something happened that night,something life changing! Thanks, Andrew and Victor!


I remember going home, I shouted out in glee, “I’ve become a Christian!” My parents weren’t impressed. “It will wear off,” they said.

My form teacher had said to Andrew, “Keith will never get saved.” Things did change. I went to church and got baptized, but still had many problems. But I knew something had happened. I had new affections and new interests. I loved reading the Bible and praying.


For the first 10 years of my Faith walk I went up and down, but I still made progress. But I was now to enter the “wilderness years”. For nearly 15 years from 1986-2001, I went off the rails completely. Not terrible sin, but just rebellion and disobedience. No prayer, no church, living in the world; yet through all that time God Who had saved me, held me.


He was drawing me back to himself.


During my wilderness years, I saw many things and met many people, I wish I hadn’t. My life was apart from God, I was out of work, depressed and very alone. During that time, I thought about suicide and was on anti-depressants, Ciprail 15mg. Eventually I was able to stop taking them, but it took time and prayer.


I was and am a modern-day prodigal, one more thing I saw.


On the 11th of May 1985, I sat in the stand at my hometown football ground (Bradford City), a fire broke out in the stand where I was sitting (right behind me). Five minutes earlier, something had stopped me going to the toilet at the back of the stand, it was God preventing me, if I had gone, then I would have been trapped by the fire, again it was the hand of God on my life.


I do not tell you these things to make you think, “look at Keith,” but to let you know that Christ is everything, He is faithful, despite me, despite my failings. He is and always will be, MY LORD, AND MY GOD!



About Keith H

Hello everyone, my name is Keith or kk. I am a christian writer and teacher living in Nanjing China Teaching both online and in person, Have several students. Am married to a wonderful chinese lady called Helen with a beautiful 27 year old daughter called sherry, she is a ba in fine arts from brandon university in Canada

Check Also

Confessing Jesus (Chinese/English)

Matthew 10:32-33-Whosoever, therefore, shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My ...


  1. Keith,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony with us – your heart for the LORD and your words are very touching, and powerfully executed.
    God Bless~

  2. It is people who come to know the Lord who are willing to be open and honest about our past. He convicts us of our transgressions so we are invited to come to Him and agree with Him about our great need for His forgiveness and cleansing power through His blood sacrifice on the cross.
    As a result we want to proclaim His love and mercy upon each one of us that was lost and heading for an eternity in hell. This is a witness to His power and grace for anyone who hears or reads your testimony.
    Thank you for sharing. Praying the Lord will be glorified by this article.

  3. thanks so much

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *