Ryan Hofman


   An overseas adventure brought a surprising conclusion for Ryan Hofman. I am a chartered civil engineer, husband and father.

   I grew up on the coast of Queensland, Australia, the youngest of four children in a very loving home.    We lived only two minutes from the beach. As a teenager, I'd be up at 6am, go surfing in the Coral Sea before school, and then back on the beach after classes.

    On Sundays, my family usually attended church, but frankly God was not in the least real to me. I admit I said prayers on occasion, but they were just empty words — I felt nothing, even to the point of thinking, "What's wrong with me? Am I stupid?"

   However, I found a degree of acceptance among my surfing mates. Some of them encouraged me to drink, to try 'weed' (marijuana) and ecstasy pills. This led me into a life of utter hopelessness, going nowhere.

   So, at the age of nineteen, I decided I needed to get away from my friends and crazy lifestyle. I felt I needed to travel, to be alone, maybe discover what life was all about. My Dad, Peter, was disturbed. "That's crazy," he said. "It's not like you."

I saved up for a year and then set off for Singapore, travelling west. I was drinking, taking `happy' pills, and wondering if I could ever like myself. I was always trying to win acceptance — to feel loved. Drink and drugs anaesthetized the pain of my emptiness.

   After a year of travelling I was in Canada one night, wearing a T-shirt in freezing weather, and so drunk that I could not stand up. I had to be pulled along the street, legless, by some friends.

   Then one night, I had a moment of clarity in a car park. Staring up into the clear night sky, I resolved: "If this is all life has to offer, I don't want it. There has to be more to life than this."

   This thought perhaps an answer to an unspoken prayer. I was able to stop drinking - and decided to go back to Australia. When I arrived in Brisbane, (with long hair), my Dad gave me a hug and for the first time I saw him cry. "I'm so glad you're back ... you look different."

   Later, some old friends invited me to church. I had very mixed feelings about that, but decided to go anyway. I tried to hide at the hack, but the speaker asked for a response to the message that 'Jesus had come to set the captives free'. My hand went up in the air! It was then that I asked in my heart: "God, can I know you? Not as the God of my friends, but God for myself?"

   Amazingly, I felt that God did accept me, despite my past reckless life-style. He seemed to whisper, "I want you to be uniquely you. I am changing your heart."

   At last I realized that God was real, and that I could hear his voice within me. I experienced the promise of Jesus, in the Bible: "Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."

   Later God gave rue a wonderful wife, Hayley, and a beautiful daughter, Miya, now five. We set up home in the UK in 2011 and I now practice as a Chartered Civil Engineer.

   As a new Christian, there was a longing to know more of Jesus' power in my life. Hadn't Jesus promised that His followers would do the things that He did? But first they needed the gift of the Holy Spirit as their Helper. Then one morning I was sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee, when I felt an inner prompting. "Get on your knees," as if royalty was in the room. Suddenly, I sensed the very presence of Jesus standing before me! I cannot describe the intensity of His love. In tears, I whispered: "Jesus, I have done so much wrong," but He replied, "Have you not seen my hands?"

   Overwhelmed by the glory of His presence, I heard Him speak words into my heart. "Ryan, I have made you to be so much more than you are now, but you must change the way you live."

   I knew the Holy Spirit was filling my life with a new sense of God's enabling power, just as he promised. This incredible, tearful encounter seemed like 30 seconds but in fact I was laying flat on the ground for an hour.

   Today, I can say that I am a new man. My life has been revolutionized through faith in Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. He has set me free from so many things that had been taking me on the road to ruin. It has been a great deliverance!

   Now my longing is to see hope restored to those who are in a lost generation and who feel there is no way back. I want them to know that Jesus is the answer!


Ryan and Hayley 

Ryan Hofman Hearing His Voice Testimony

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