Former teacher and now FGB Director for Ireland
Arrested by God in School
My name is Harold Magee better known as Harry to my friends. I was a high School teacher for 38 years teaching 11 to 18 year old boys and girls in grammar and secondary schools in Northern Ireland. I have been Married for 47 years with three beautiful daughters and three grandchildren.
On Thursday 06/03/2003, I was standing In morning assembly supervising my Year group of 150 boys and girls, not thinking about the Baptist preacher or God when I had a amazing encounter. The preacher was speaking about a free gift and said “if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you will have eternal life !” a thought I could not get out of my head. Then I had another thought “that’s an amazing offer how can any one refuse it”. At that moment I felt as if someone had poured a bucket of electricity over my head and I could feel pins and needles flowing throughout my body. I turned to my teaching colleague Liz standing beside me and I explained what was happening to me ,asking was itsomething to do with her ?( She ran the Scripture Union club and was a Christian). She said “No that’s the Holy Spirit !” Which confused me even more as I hadn’t read my bible since I was a boy . I believed there was a god and thought I was a “christian” but in name only.
Strange things began to happen that morning until I met my good friend Tom at lunch time who was Head of the RE (religious education) department and he explained that this had happened to his children and it was like God wrapping His arms around me. He told me I had to make a personal decision so he gave me a VHS video tape and told me to go watch it and make my own decision about God.
I had a free period after lunch so I put the tape into my VHS player. It was about sin, repentance and that Jesus died on the cross to forgive all our sins. As I watched I invited Jesus into my heart and asked Him to help me to be a better person. When I did this I felt a remarkable peace come over me. I always believed there was a God and as history teacher I knew Jesus was a real person.There was
evidence from a range of differing sources to prove His existence but I didn’t know I needed to ask Him into my life or to have a personal relationship with Him. A few minutes after I invited Jesus into my life my classroom door was knocked by a sixth form pupil called Ruth. She said” how are you sir ?” I told her about asking Jesus into my heart to which she yelled ‘YES !!!” When I asked her why she was so excited she said “I will get a nights sleep now!” I was still confused and again said “why?” She said “ The Lord would not let me sleep until I prayed for you and I prayed for you each night for the last three weeks and now you have made your commitment to Him I can get a night’s sleep ! “ I had not known she was a Pastor’s daughter who helped run the RE club in school. So by the power of her prayers and a few others I became a born again Christian, a child of God!!
I have had such an exciting journey as a Christian seeing Jesus through his Holy Spirit do many signs and wonders in school. The scripture union in school grew from twenty to over one hundred. We met on Friday lunch time to worship and share stories of how Jesus worked in our lives. God revived our school as some staff and pupils prayed ,worshiped and told stories of his goodness and love. Many pupils and staff were touched by His healing power . God gave me a group of youngsters aged eleven to fourteen who met in my classroom, giving up their morning break time to talk about God.I saw children give their lives to the lord and healing prayers answered. As they were learning how to hear from the Holy Spirit and see Him work, so was I. Often I let them tell their stories or even take the meeting. One young man of thirteen who knew more of the bible than I did then, when I was late started the meeting for me. He is now 28 and is a solid Christian belonging to one of the largest churches in Belfast. My boss, the head teacher was a friend of mine and a born again Christian and he gave me permission to have meetings in my free time providing it did not interfere with my teaching. What
favour God provided.
I joined a local Elim church where Ruth’s father was the pastor. Here I met an elderly Christian lady who invited me to come and tell my story at the FGB fellowship. I brought a group of my pupils with me to tell their stories .I decided to join this Belfast chapter over ten years ago and have been encouraging younger men and women to join and take the message of the gospel in cafes, hotels and even onto the streets. We are not a church but an outreach arm for Gods kingdom, reaching people in the market place and encouraging people who meet Jesus to join bible based, Holy Spirit led churches. You do not have to leave your local church to be a member of FGB. We have members from all denominations who are hungry for more of God. Recently we had two of our younger members do missions in USA and Vietnam along with John Tolo’s group from the FGB USA. In Vietnam they have been teaching the youth of that land to experience the joy of salvation and minister in the spiritual gifts that goes along the gospel of Jesus Christ. Another young man is finishing his course at Charis Bible college Colorado Springs and he got there because God told him to go and he did by it by faith. My latest adventure has been at the Dock Cafe,in the heart of Belfast Titanic Quarter. It is an honesty cafe which has been running for the last nine years on donations with two paid employees and fifty plus volunteers .This cafe is a Christian charity totally non denominational. My daughter Andrea who was home from Austin Texas for a holiday encouraged me to go down and then got the shopping bug and left me alone to venture in. The first person I met was the Chaplin, a tall America Vietnam veteran who had been saved during the Jesus people.We had a coffee and he revealed to me that the first Christ literature he ever read as a new Christian were, twenty Voice magazines!! 0n that afternoon I met three leaders of the cafe. Another divine appointment. Since then I have volunteered two half days a week and have set up a monthly FGB breakfast meeting where we have seen God move mightily over the last three years .The meeting is based on Demos vision for souls.Simply a time ,a place,a meal and testimony. An Ulster fry(breakfast),exciting worship and real life stories emphasising the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Recently we have had young men and women wanting to join our Belfast chapter from a variety of different backgrounds.
A much needed event in our chapter considering our ageing membership. Hallelujah! We must be mentors of the youth to prepare them as future leaders of this great worldwide Fellowship, both young men and women.