Neville Sheen – a life recovered

I was born in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, on March 9, 1951, the youngest
of three children. Mum was a school teacher, dad a welder. Both came from
Christian families.

My great grandfather and grand father on mum’s side of the family, were
both evengelists with the old Methodist church in Australia.Grandfather
used to spend 6 months of the year riding his push bike from his home in
the Gosford area north of Sydney, down into Sydney and back, preaching
in different churches. This was in the days before freeways, highways and
bitumen roads. Most of the traffic was horse and cart and a few cars and
trucks. I have a brother and a sister, both school teachers. When I was
about 4 or 5, a next door neighbor, who was a soldier in the Australian
Army, became my best friend. After many months of associating with him
and enjoying his brotherly love and friendship, he began to rape me almost
every day. This went on for about 5 years, and at times I was gang raped
by this man and his army friends, sometimes up to 6 or 7 of them. I remember
the threats he made against me with either a knife or a gun held at my
throat or head, not to tell anyone. I also clearly remember the pain from
several times when his rape of me included a full penetration.

I was terrified to say anything to my parents, whom I loved very much.
One day I wanted to tell my brother to get his help to stop the rapes,
but was told by him that I was a nuicance to him and to leave him alone,
I was not good enough for him to talk to. Over 35 years later I realised
the mental and emotional trauma this caused me.

I became a rebel, hating the world, my family and all people. I stole
money, got into trouble with the police for petty offences. When I went
to high school, I formed a gang of which I was supreme leader, using emotional
blackmail and violence to keep control. It was at age 13 I was introduced
to alcohol. This was the start of a life of torment.

I was a drunk by age 16, and left school to find work. In every job,
I showed promise of great things, but blew it by either stealing or turning
up drunk all the time. I became a loner, then retreated into myself. Alcohol
was my only friend. By age 18 I had left home and roamed the suburbs of
Sydney, travelled around the state, and finally interstate, all in an attempt
to escape a suffering of which I had no interpretation. I became involved
in the occult, dabbled in satanism, Eastern mysticism. I was a loner, terrified.
Between ages 19 and 24 I had attempted suicide at least 6 times, and spent
much time in mental institutions.

At age 25 I married a woman who showed me great love. I thought this
would change my life. It did for about 4 years. We married and had two
children, both boys. I continued to drink heavily, bashing my wife constantly.
On one occasion, I arrived home after a 20 hour day of driving trucks and
my wife went off to work. There was no alcohol in the house. Our first
son was then about 18 months old. The inner pain I suffered for a drink
was beyond description. Our son was crying for food. I was crying for a
drink. After some time of listening to him cry, I began to scream at him
to shut up. This made his cries louder. I snapped, and began bashing him.
I threw him into the bathtub, against a brick wall in the apartment in
which we lived, even tried to suffocate him under a pillow. I can only
think that even at this point in my life God was caring for both of us.
For some reason I stopped my rage before my son died, and fed him, then
went to sleep myself.

After moving to a country town and about 8 years of marriage, my wife
was forced to leave me because of my violence. We divorced a year later.
The next few years are very misty in my memory. I know I went back to serious
drinking, travelling around Australia, finally ending up in Sydney again
in 1986. I lived in the gutters for a short time, and finally tried to
kill myself once more. God, again was in control, because I ended up in
a drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit run by the Salvation Army in September
1986. Many things happened there. The most important was that I accepted
Jesus as Lord and Saviour. However, I tried to live a Christian life according
to my selfish desires and motives. It was in 1991 when I finally gave in
and recommitted my life, and became a uniformed Soldier in The Salvation
Army.

During this time, I was reunited with my ex-wife and children, and we
became close friends, and still are to this day. I sensed a call upon my
life to serve God full-time, but was thwarted in this, in that the Salvation
Army criteria saw me being too old to enter training college. After about
two years, I was guided by the Holy Spirit into Church of Christ.

By this time, I had been dating for some months, and the woman involved
gave her life to Jesus whilst I was in the Salvation Army. We went to a
Church of Christ service in a northern suburb of Sydney, and at our first
visit, were introduced to a man who was then a trainee pastor. As he walked
away from us, he turned and came back and said “God has told me you must
apply to go to College to train for ministry!” This rekindled the challenges
of Genesis 12:1-9 which had haunted me for nearly 2 years. I gave in and
applied. During this time I took Coralie, my then girl friend, to meet
my parents. While we were there, Coralie said she was going to sell her
home in Sydney so we could move to and live in Wingham, over 3 hours north
of Sydney. This caused confusion because of my application for college.
When we returned to Sydney, we discovered the college had a campus in Taree,
15 minutes from Wingham. During the following 3 months the following happened:

1. we sold Coralie’s home in Sydney

2. moved to Wingham and found a home to buy, all in 3 days

3. I was accepted by the college as a student

4. Coralie and I were married

5. I started college.

Since then, life has been tough! God used my time in training to reveal
all the stuff within me that He wanted dealt with and removed and healed.
This was a process of three years.

After moving to Wingham, my dad and I got to know each other as father
and son for the first time. We were never close, because of my life style.
Now we were growing so close we were more than father and son – we were
mates!

In 1997, dad revealed he was dying from Melanoma, which had been diagnosed
in August 1985! At that time he was given only about 5 to 10 years to live.
God used this time to soften my heart. I had been told by my mentor that
I had a heart harder than Pharoah’s, because of my past. I prayed to have
it soften. The next week, dad told me this news! During the next few months,
my life was turned around, torn apart, healed and renewed. I also was told
mum was suffering Alzheimer’s Disease. On Anzac Day 1997, dad had an operation
to remove a bleeding melanoma near his bial duct. That afternoon the doctor
phoned and told me he was unable to help dad, because he filled with bleeding
melanomas, and that dad had only a matter of days to live.

I visited dad daily, watching him deteriorate and die slowly. That was
in April. At 9.15 pm on June 4, 1997, a phone call from the hospital had
me get my mum and rush to the hospital – dad was in his final hours of
life. A pastor from our church joined us. We stayed with dad, praying.
At about midnight I asked the pastor to pray, because I was too choked
to do so. I asked the prayer to be for dad’s suffering end quickly. The
pastor prayed, and before the end of the prayer, in a darkened room in
which we were watching life come to an end, I saw a bright yet soft light
appear at the other side of dad’s bed. It was a human shape without facial
feature.There was intense peace. Whilst there was no audible voice, the
presence said very clearly, “The time is not right. Soon, he will be in
glory with the Father.” The presence remained a few moments, then left.Soon
after, the pastor left.

At 1.50am the next morning, I went outside to get some fresh air. Dad
was lying on his side, his eyes almost closed, his breath but a dying man’s
pant. He was grey and cold. At a minute or so before 2am, I sensed I had
to return to the room. As I got to the door, dad was lying more on his
side, his eyes open, looking directly at the door. He smiled when I looked
at him. I went, placed a hand on his shoulder and mum, and prayed, “Father
God, into your hands I commit my father’s spirit.” Instantly, dad was dead.
Strangely, I felt peace and joy, mixed with grief. My life took another
turn.

Today, 1999, I am more on fire for Jesus than ever before. My wife and
I experienced a separation of our marriage just before Christmas 1999,
but reunited on January 11, 1999. Now we are receiving blessings and challenges
we have never know. Our direction in Jesus is away from the organised traditional
church.

One last thing. When Coralie and I decided to start a family, Coralie
had to have some tests done to see if she could conceive children. This
was because of a trauma in her life in a previous marriage which left her
widow. We were told it was impossible for her to fall pregnant. We have
a beautiful daughter, born naturally in March 1996. Coralie was born with
an genetic hip disorder, which sees her with no hip on one side. Keturah
Jemima, our daughter, was born with the same disease, in both hips. The
doctor who cared for her said he could do nothing until she was about 2
years old, when she would have to undergo many operations to form hips
for her. Then he asked, “Do you, a Christian, believe in the same God and
his powers of healing I, a Jew, believe in?” We answered “Yes!” “Then pray
for healing” he advised us. One year later, Keturah, without any medical
treatment at all, was diagnosed as having 2 very normal hips!

God has performed enormous healing in my own life as well, from the
effects of child sexual assault, a teenage life lived int he occult, a
life of violent addiction. Today I am a man with the most beautiful wife
and daughter in the world, and the most exciting future in Christ. I am
devoted to the ministry God has given me, both on and off the InterNet.
What you read in the pages of this Homepage describes where God has brought
me. I give Him all the glory and praise for every moment of my life, both
before I met Him, and since, all the great times, and the tough times.

Without Him as my Father, I would not have the pleasure of the gift
of life today!

That’s me, in brief!

Yours in Christ

Neville Sheen.


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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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