I had a good mother and father. I was brought up to respect them and other people. They weren’t rich, but they had a friendliness towards everyone and would share what little they had. This way was taught to me: when you do something for someone, do it with a good heart.

There was rosary beads and other ‘religious’ things around the trailer, but no Bible. My thoughts about God were: be as alright as you can with people and carry on through life on your own understanding.

I got married, and six weeks after I lost my father. This sent me down the road of bitterness and cold tears. This stayed with me until the birth of my first child. I had six more children and thought I could raise them as I had been raised. And to my own understanding, everything was going ok, until they became teenagers. Then they all started to live by their own understanding. I felt like a ton of rubbish had been dropped on me. Pride made me carry this burden alone. I felt I let my family down. Being the kind of person I was, I wasn’t going to give in easy.

I was alright until it came to the police and courts getting involved. I couldn’t cope with other people having more of a say in my children’s lives than me. I could put a ‘mask’ on for other people, but inside I was dying slowly, day by day.

Taking two of my boys to court one day, I was praying that the judge would be in a good mood and be lenient with them. In that moment a thought crossed my mind: “Lord, do what you think’s best, because I don’t know what to pray for anymore.”

They got off. But a couple of months after, one of them got locked up again. And it was then that he came to trust the Lord. While he was in prison he did a study on the book of John, and he sent a Bible home to me. When I arrived I started to read it. But some things were hard for me to understand.

Then an Our Daily Bread arrived too, so I started to read it. It helped me understand God’s Word. In fact I did more than that; it put in me a hunger and desire for God. It was like there was a missing piece of a jigsaw that could never be complete until He dwelled within me.

That same son is now a pastor of his church, doing outreach in England and Ireland. When I travel up and down the country amongst the gypsy communities, I pass old Our Daily Breads to those who have no understanding of the Bible. Because my husband isn’t saved, it isn’t an easy walk. But God is so real to me in my life that I truly feel like I’m walking beside Him.

In one of the Our Daily Bread pages was written: “Sweet company is the presence of the Lord!” And that is the first thing I put in any Bible I get; or if anyone asks me to write something in their Bible.

There have been a lot of things that have happened to me and my family. And if I didn’t have the Lord, I wouldn’t be around by now. The Lord is doing so much in my family and amongst the gypsy people, and I feel blessed to be around to see it.