A MAN who was beaten at home and abused in care ended up dealing drugs – until a girl he liked invited him to a Christian event.
“I’ll never forget the day my dad had me over a chair with his hands around my neck,” said Wayne Hudson. “I wriggled free and told him, ‘If you ever lay your hands on me again, I’ll kill you’.”
Life hadn’t always been that way. Wayne had grown up in a stable home. But, wracked with guilt over an affair, his dad was losing control.
“I was punched, kicked,” said Wayne. “I had perforated eardrums – when I went swimming I could blow bubbles out of my ears.”
Eventually, Wayne and his sister were sent to separate homes and things got worse.
“The son in my new home abused me. I never told anybody, but I was broken.”
Wayne lost interest in school and started smoking cannabis. It was the mid-90s, the era of acid house and warehouse parties around Manchester.
But things changed for Wayne when he met a girl. He was torn. He was desperate to go out with her, but he was wary – she was a Christian. “I was selling amphetamines, but Christians used to turn up and tell stories about drug deaths when we were dealing and that was bad for business.”
But the teen was so taken with his now-wife Lucy, he accepted an invitation to a Christian comedy show. Horrified, he listened as it ended with a gospel message.
“Afterwards I was off like a shot with a copy of Luke’s gospel I’d been given. I was livid. I’d wasted an evening listening to this nonsense.
“Then I heard a voice in my head say, ‘Just read the book’. I didn’t want to. I tried TV, music, anything to distract myself.”
Eventually, Wayne began to read. He was stunned to find himself believing what he read.
He said: “I heard myself praying, ‘God if you’re real. I need to change. Can you do something?’
“In that moment I began to feel love, acceptance, restoration. I could feel the poison inside me washing out.”
Wayne told Lucy, who invited her pastor to pray with him.
Wayne said his life was transformed the moment he found faith.
“I’m living a life that’s got purpose and I forgave the people who did bad things to me.”
From there, he set out on a lifelong mission to share his faith.
Trained as an evangelist with Mission24, last year he set up his own charity, Go and Tell Ministries, which offers preaching, training and shares the Christian faith.
“God’s doing amazingly wonderful things today and I know this is just the beginning.”
Wayne and Lucy recently celebrated 25 years together. They have two children.