I was converted, it was a Damascus Road experience, just like when Saul was converted when he was on the way to persecute followers of Christ
A rapper and former drug smuggler who was deaf in one ear, found God after being healed by a preacher in a ‘Damascus Road experience.’
Transformed character Mark Edwards has now set up a Friday night youth club in Sutton.
The born-again Christian got sucked into the wrong crowd after being kicked out of school, and by the age of 19 was smuggling huge stashes of cannabis into the country from Amsterdam.
Mr Edwards says the emotional strain of his parents splitting up caused his life to spiral out of control, and at 17 he was venting his anger by rapping on the illegal rave circuit.
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The performer eventually lost all hearing in his left ear after standing too close to the speakers, only for evangelist Ram Babu to return it to him years later as hundreds of worshippers looked on.
The rapper said: “I haven’t always been a Christian. One of my friends invited me to an event at the Church of the Christ and the King in Brighton.
“I was an atheist and really reluctant to go.
“There must have been about a thousand people there. This guy called Ram Babu was a guest speaker and he started praying and prophesising.
“I thought he was mental, but then he pointed at me. He knew I was deaf in my left ear, and said- ‘God wants to heal you.’
“There was no way he could have known I was deaf. I used to keep it a secret, so the people I was with didn’t even know.
“He told me to come down. Then he told me ‘God loves you.’
“All I remember after that is blacking out, and when I came back round I could hear clearly out of both ears for the first time in years.
“I was converted, it was a Damascus Road experience, just like when Saul was converted when he was on the way to persecute followers of Christ.”
The musician now makes Christian rap music, with song titles such as Awesome God and Heart of Worship, and says he aims to provoke people and encourage them to think for themselves.
He continued: “I was a rapper first, religion came later. When I found my faith, Christian messages naturally followed in my music.
“I don’t think religion is about being told what we have to do. People seem to think religion is all about rules, but really it is just about having a healthy relationship with Jesus.”
Mr Edwards is now on the leadership team at the Sutton Christian Centre, and has recently launched a new Friday night youth club called Legacy.
Its runs from 8pm-10pm at the group’s centre at 25 Tate Road in Sutton, with up to 40 children from different backgrounds attending each week.
The session are open to 11 to 17 year olds.
Mr Edwards said: “We have had a great response to Legacy. We do it on a Friday night to keep them out of trouble.
“I know when I was that age what I got up to wasn’t pretty.”