Boat Name: Blossom.
My name is Lincoln Mansfield, and by God's grace I became a born again Christian in 2018, after being introduced to Banbury Evangelical Free Church in late 2017.
I was baptised in December 2018, and became a member of BEFC, and love God's Word and the fellowship so very much. Since becoming a Christian, my desire to live a more simplistic life, and reducing my in-comings/out-goings has strengthened. So, in 2018, I sold my car, as I walked to my then place of work. I've been working as a care assistant for 10 years. The first eight being in domiciliary care, and the past two at an independent living development.
Prior to this, I was a house-husband to my then wife's triplets, and future daughter. Unfortunately we divorced in 2012, although it was amicable and we've remained friends. The triplets are now 26, and my daughter is 20. The triplets are all working, and my daughter is currently at university.
In June 2021, I finally sold my bricks and mortar home in Banbury and planned to find and purchase a narrowboat to live on full-time. Unfortunately, the pandemic and an illness had other ideas, and the rise in cost of purchasing a narrowboat too. So I spent 10 months lodging with a dear friend. By God's grace, in early February 2022, an email came to me advertising a 1990, 47ft traditional narrowboat called Blossom.
I paid the deposit in February 2022 and took full ownership in March 2022. I moved in on Friday 22 April 2022, and set off on my maiden canal voyage from North Kilworth Marina on Tuesday 26 April 2022, and arrived safely in Banbury on Saturday 30 April 2022. Since then, I've been having an absolutely wonderful time as a continuous cruiser, making so many new friends along the way, many of whom have been so helpful and supportive.
I recently completed a two day Helmsman Course, as had absolutely no previous knowledge or experience of narrowboats or the canal network. Having said that, this project has been two years in the making, so I'd spoken to many boaters on my walks, and read/watched lots of tutorials etc.
I'm not currently in paid employment, as I left the care industry in September 2021 to give me a better chance of purchasing the right narrowboat for me, and to explore and proceed with opening a traditional tea room in Banbury market place. Yet again, the cost of the lease and outgoings have been too high for me to come up with a viable business plan. I'm in prayer about what God's plan is for me...
I'd very much like to share my testimony with you:
My conversion to a born-again Christian started on 3 November 2017 at a social gathering, when I met a member of the Banbury Evangelical Free Church. During the months that followed, I read the Gospel of John, other Bible passages, and listened to sermons by Billy Graham and John MacArthur, along with continued conversations with the BEFC member. I also started attending the BEFC services, and praying at home.
By God's grace, my life changed, and around July 2018 I became aware of sin, my sin, and repentance towards God, and also had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I now pray every day asking for forgiveness for the sin I was born with, and the sins of my body.
I believe the Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross for our sins, and through His resurrection I will be saved from hell and my sins forgiven, giving me salvation and eternal life in heaven.
A few examples of my life change:
A key moment in my conversion was when I became isolated when my friends upped and left me after I'd been rude and judgemental to a man. This happened after I'd just read Matthew Ch1-7. In the past I would have turned away and belittled them. But instead, I thanked God for teaching me a lesson, and I found them and told them my story, and that my sin had got the better of me.
I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me, and God's love, and I've loved God through the Lord Jesus Christ ever since. Amen.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to meeting you all very soon.
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