In today’s world, young males do not have fathers around to instruct and guide them in the correct way to go. Some fathers are absent even when physically present, while others are gone altogether. A young male needs his fathers guidance. If young males today had the influence of godly fathers or men in their life, just imagine the difference it would make. Think of the impact that this difference would cause in marriages, in families, and even in our societies.
I have spent the past few years focusing mainly on men’s ministry and I have done this for two reasons:
- I know how vital it is for us to surrender to God so that we may find our true worth. So that we may open our hearts to heal, our eyes to see, and our minds to understand. So that we may become what God calls a man.
- Growing up without a father, I know the importance of this guidance to prevent a son from losing his way.
So if anyone ask me if God impacts our life, or if God has impacted my life, I say, YES, He does and He has touched lives.
I have recently spoken to these men, and I asked them if they would be willing to share how God has impacted their lives. Here are their own testimonies of how God has brought them from the wilderness to His Kingdom, and how He has not only pulled them out of the darkness, but how He is continually changing and blessing their life:
Gerald writes an occasional column in a small newspaper in Michigan.
SM: What was your life like as a child?
GERALD: “Up until the age of 15 I was your every day brat from a broken family.”
SM: Do you recall when you first come to know the Lord?
GERALD: “I was attending a United Methodist Church in Dearborn Heights Michigan. Our Pastor decided to take us (the M.Y.F.) down to Willmore Kentucky to the college he did his seminary at. We were to do a special presentation at his first church… When it got to my part in the presentation I found that looking out over the congregation I could not do what I was supposed to do. The people there did not fit the the things I was supposed to say… as I remember I looked out and told them that there was something different about them and that I could not say the things we had come up with because there was something very special in this congregation that I didn’t understand, the Holy Spirit was allowing me to see the light of Christ in their faces. When we were back on the road to go back to the college I began to cry my eyes out. Once at the college I needed to compose myself so I went for a walk and ended up sitting on a bench overlooking the football field, still crying the rain started to fall. One of the college students was walking by and stopped and sat down next to me and asked what was wrong that I was crying. I told him what had transpired and he said he understood and that if I would give my heart to Jesus things would turn around for me, He led me through the sinners prayer and when we were done it was like a weight had been taken off of me, as we sat there in the pouring rain we were looking out across the football field at a cross on the campus water tower that was starting to blink and light up… as it was starting to stay on the student that had led me to Christ raised his hand and started to praise God! He was very excited, he explained that the cross we were looking at had not lit up for about 9 years. We were praising God!”
SM: Wow! To experience the presence of God in such a way as a young teenager is amazing. Can you tell us what happened from there?
GERALD: “Well like some christians I know, we got back into town and for a while things were fine. I was starting to grow as a Christian, and I even had vision that I would become a preacher, but, like many christians it was not long before I started to slip back into my old ways. I attribute it to lack of proper mentoring. My parents didn’t know how to handle an On Fire for Christ Born Again 15 year old, in fact the entire Church did not know or understand what had happened to all of us kids down there in Kentucky, so I back slid. Sex, Drugs of every kind, alcohol, and women, I did it all. I was in a Rock Band as the lead singer for 5 years then on to other bands for another 7 years. All along the way I knew that Christ was still there. He had saved me from myself several times when I was drugging, three wives and four children latter I found myself once again crying before the cross.”
“My youngest daughter was born with a very rare condition that was one hundred percent fatal, for a month I pleaded with God to heal my child. I spent a month in the chapel at Motts hospital in Ann Arbor, as she was getting worse, she died, and still I wouldn’t listen to my Savior. Two more children, an affair out of looking for someone that could ease my pain, my wife Davena stayed in the marriage but with the death of our child, her father, and mother all within one year she finely snapped and our marriage ended with her having an affair with a younger man, 20 years, all gone.”
SM: Can you share with our readers how you were able to get through such devastation and trials going on within your life?
GERALD: “It was then, that I finely came back to the cross, it was then, that the small still voice once again spoke to me and said you will become my servant, you will Pastor a church. That small still voice told me that all that I had been trough was going to come to bear, that because I had done the drugs and drank myself stupid, I would use it for His good purpose.”
SM: Gerald you mind telling our readers about your present life with Christ as your lead?
GERALD: “Today, I am a Pastor of a Church in Turner Michigan, the armpit of Michigan. My Ministry has started to become crystal clear to me, and my wife Brenda and I are renaming it. It used to be “Campground Church Ministries”, but that was a stop over on the way to my new Church. We have changed it to “Broken Pieces Ministry”, as all who have been sent into that Church are broken. They are the ones other churches have let slip through the cracks. I am not worthy of the position my Savior my God has put me in, but I will do the best I can!”
SM: What words of encouragement would you have for our readers for other men that may be struggling with things in their life?
GERALD: “Don’t ever believe the lie that Satan tells you, that you can not turn around and change the direction you are going. He will try to tell you that you can not overcome your drug addictions, or your alcohol addictions, or your sex addictions. THAT IS A LIE!!! told by him that would keep you from your inheritance.”
SM: Would you share with us a little about your childhood?
JASON: “When I was a child, my parents would tell us to go to a Baptist church on a bus that would drive every Sunday down the street I grew up on. The church bus would bribe kids to go to church by offering gifts, if the children would go, such as McDonalds or toys. I thought to myself people should go to worship God. I grew up in a very poor area where there was a lot of crime. I was physically and mentally abused by my parents.”
SM: That had to be very difficult for a young child to go through. How were you able to handle it?
JASON: “At the age of 15, I divorced my mother and stepfather in court and my father’s mother was granted custody of me.”
SM: What happened from there?
JASON: “I attended a few churches on my own and most of them told me that rock and roll was devil music, and that my grandfather was not allowed at church because
he worked as a bartender.”
SM: How did you react to those statements?
JASON: “I thought to myself God loves everyone. I really did not like the view of the different churches and I did not know if God existed or not.”
SM: So what happened as a result of this conflict going on within the mind of a young male?
JASON: “I stopped attending church and fell to using drugs and alcohol to cope with the suppressed feelings of abuse. I felt I was an agnostic.”
SM: How long did you continue in this lifestyle and belief?
JASON: “In my early 20’s, I met a friend that was a Christian and had a really strong belief, as well as his wife, in God. For many months the husband and I argued over God. I wanted evidence and proof that God existed. Every point he would make I would argue back. I told him many of days I was sick of hearing him talk about God.”
SM: Can you share with us what happened in your life that brought you to believe again?
JASON: “One day I was in a car accident and recieved whiplash. I was in fear of losing my job,my apartment, and being homeless. I called my father and asked if I could walk to his house a mile away and (if) he could spare some food. As I was walking, I saw a man pull up in a car next to an apartment complex. He walked up to me and asked if he could pray for me.”
SM: Claiming at the time to be agnostic and not believe did you allow him to pray?
JASON: “At this point I had a choice, I could say yes or no. I had remembered being told to see God I would have to surrender my will and my will was really stubborn but at this moment of weakness. I allowed the man to pray and I wanted so badly in my heart to believe there was a God. I even prayed before if there was a God to show me, at this point I felt something overcome my body.”
SM: Do you recall what happened after that or how you felt afterwards?
JASON: “I felt something I had never felt before. I knew God existed and never doubted since.”
SM: Do you recall what happened after that revelation?
JASON: “I walked to my father’s and before getting to the door, my friend came up to me and said I looked white as a ghost. He said come in my dad’s, which I did and my father had recieved an email from his exwife saying someone was coming to the lord and it was me.”
SM: Can you share what your life has been like since that day?
JASON: “From that point I went on with my life and starting serving others selflessly. But many of times I have had ups and downs and fell off the path of God.”
SM: Would you care to share any of that with us?
JASON: “Recently I have had been faced with some stressors in life that aren’t the normal stressors like paying bills or finding steady work. I am drug free, alcohol free and pill free. I never was an alcoholic but had used alcohol to cope, I used marijuana to deal with open nerves in my mouth, and was tricked that, without them, I would not be able to cope with pain. Today I still have the open nerves and still have many stressors such as the mother of my child has a complex disorder, manic depression disorder, anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. I have a two year old son that I been supporting since he was born yet do not have dna since she may had been unfaithful and I did not sign birth certificate. She has used my son against me. She has a pill addiction and even lied and gave the second child up for adoption without my knowledge. I asked for help from dcfs, daycare, I reached out to everyone I know and no one believed me nor had an answer
to help me.”
SM: That is a lot for a person to go through. With no help from outside resources how have you been able to cope with these things?
JASON: “I felt hopeless, frustrated, and depressed. I didn’t give up hope and prayed for God to help me and what an answer God gave. The bible says to cast all worries upon God, and when I did God took over. I prayed for God to take over my eyes, which were deceived with sin. I prayed for God to show me my will compared to God’s and begged God to use me to do God’s will and God took over. I started serving others by giving rides, listening, and reading the bible and praying to God to help me with analogies to help Atheists question their own beliefs and come to God.”
SM: Jason can you share with us how God has impacted you life?
JASON: “Everyday I do not plan my day, I believe God leads it, and while I serve others God has taken care of all my needs. I do not hunger or thirst and I love serving God. The most priceless gifts God gives are to see joy in others. I pray for someone to receive healing’ money to pay their bills, and for understanding to help others with mental disabilities. My attitude has completely changed. God is using my words to help others that have been faithful to God for many years get closer to God and even question and change their lives to live for Jesus. The miracles I have seen are awesome, everything from God is loving, and the gifts never stop. I have repaired relationships I never believed were possible to regain. God has used me to help others around the world with many resources. God can even cure the incurable. The path to God is simple, knock,ask, and receive. It is that simple.”
SM: Jason, is there anything that you would like, for those that struggle with things in their own life, to know? Things that you would like to help shine some light on from your own experiences?
JASON: “If any of you out there question your faith or wonder if God exists, just pray to God and God will answer. I learned God will answer in His own way, will and time. So be patient and do not demand of God. God is our father and willing to teach us, we are God’s children. God loves everyone even if you are a sinner. But allow me to say the devil doesn’t like God and anytime we share God’s glory to others the devil will try to attack, but know all the answers are in the bible and you can ask God anytime and anywhere. Do not just take people’s word for they may be a false preacher so question everything. We have the bible which today is 99.9% accurate to the oldest translations there are. We also have the promise God will never leave us. The path may be hard at times but there are so many blessings God gives. When I ask God I ask for things for God’s glory not for my own personal wants. The more selfless we are the more God will give. Share the love as there is already alot of hate. Remember a small light can overcome all the darkness on this earth. Everything in the bible is true and is coming true plus will come true.Ask and receive that simple. So if you feel like giving up or not sure if God exists just ask God through prayer and when God answers be ready to be overwhelmed by all the blessings and know with God all things are possible, even the incurable things.”
SM: Would you be willing to tell us your name and a little about yourself?
BRIAN: “My name is Brian. I grew up in Uganda, South Africa in a not so pleasant lifestyle.”
SM: Would you care to share a little about your life?
BRIAN: “When I sit down and I tell of my life, tears come from my eyes because its not a good story. It touches my heart because it is more than what some one could think of. Living in the slum of the streets, eating what I could, and sleeping on the road side.”
SM: What way did you use to adjust for this type of life?
BRIAN: “Here…internet cafe is a largely used way.”
SM: What was life like and how did you cope with being on the street?
BRIAN: “People here do not acknowledge those that are on the street, no one would even say hello or help me out. For a long time, I blamed God for the conditions of my life. But now I am believing it was his plan for me to sleep in there.”
SM: So you are no longer living on the street?
BRIAN: “No, I now am a guy who has shelter, but it is something that is still hard at times to understand.”
SM: Why do you say it is hard to understand?
BRIAN: “Sometimes I ask God, who am I to be like this, most of my friends are dead but you are still thinking of me. How He give me more than what I could have imagined.”
SM: So the Lord has blessed you with a home? That is awesome.
BRIAN: “Yes, I was the person that was lacking much in parental Love. But now I get it in a high degree. I thank God because of my father and mother who came as a gift to me from heaven. They have changed my life.”
SM: What do you mean that they have changed your life?
BRIAN: “I thank God, because of my father and mother who came as a gift for me from heaven. They have changed my life.”
Readers, we here in the United States do not see what it is like other countries unless go on mission trips to that place. Nor do we know what a person was truly like before they found the Lord. These testimonies that you have just read are from men that have allowed God to impact their life, by surrendering themselves to Him and submitting to His lead for their life. I would encourage you all to meditate on your own life, and ask the Lord to examine your heart, and show you what He would have for you.
Gerald is a Pastor in the upper part of Michigan. He is involved with three different churches and a motorcycle ministry. He is a strong man of faith and very sincere in His beliefs.
Jason works as a contractor in Illinois, and lives a life devoted to doing Gods work. Brian is no longer on the streets of Uganda. He has been adopted by a church family here in the United States, and is attending school in Uganda to be a soccer coach, and living in an apartment. He also works with the street kids of Uganda helping and caring for them. He has a desire and a plan to help train them for computers and other jobs. All that Brian receives, he shares with the street kids of Uganda. He opens the training center this November.