Category Archives: Jesus

A black pastor in Japan

Blacks aren’t generally accepted in Japan. Even Japan’s 2015 Miss Universe candidate Ariana Miyamoto, being half black, was widely rejected on social media as not being truly Japanese.

So how does Marcel Jonte Gadsden – and a handful of other black pastors – lead churches and evangelize in Japan?

“No matter what you do, no matter how you treat me, I respond with a deeper love, an unconditional love, agape love,” Marcel says on The Black Experience Japan YouTube channel. “The Bible tells us to love our enemies. How can you love your enemy? You can’t do it. That’s why the L of love is written from the top down. You must receive love vertically from the Father, down to you and then you can give it out.”

Marcel arrived in Japan as a military brat in 1999.

“I thought coming here there’d be samurais everywhere with swords,” he says. “I was scared to come to Japan. I thought we’d be the only black people in Japan. All I knew was Ramen noodles and samurais.”

When he got out among the people, he was smitten with compassion – so many hordes without hope, without Jesus.

“If what I believe is true about God, what is the hope for these people?” Marcel remembers. “The passion began to rise.”

Motivated to reach the people, Marcel threw himself into learning Japanese and when he had memorized some verses, went out as an adolescent to street-preach in Japanese in the Shinjuku neighborhood.

Japan has virtually no context for understanding street preachers. While there are street performers, they make a poor reference point. Some stared at him as if he were crazy, others ignored him.

While the initial response wasn’t exactly warm, Marcel was warmed by the fires of the love of God.

“Some people were listening and others were like who is this guy?” he remembers. “I began to learn about Japanese people and how they’re not expressive like we are.”

He took a job at 7Eleven to immerse himself in the culture and get to know the people. When he started a church in his living room, many of his first visitors had met him at 7Eleven.

“It was a training ground. I learned so much. It turned a lot of heads when they saw me at the counter. To see the reactions in people’s faces, they look and look again like, he works here?”

When Marcel met and married a Japanese girl from church, he had to overcome the resistance of his father-in-law, who shared the typical entrenched racism of Japan. Every day his future father-in-law would drop his girlfriend off at church, he would pop up to the car, open the door for Chiaki and warmly greet her dad.

“I think he had this image of me being a gangster and trying to steal his daughter,” Marcel relates. “He totally ignored me. And this continued until finally one day, he slightly looked like he slightly acknowledged me. He gave an inch of a nod. I was really convinced that love could destroy his prejudice.”

After Marcel and Chiaki were married, the formation of a relationship with his father-in-law began… Read the rest: black pastors in Japan

Avid atheist in drugs returns because of mom’s prayers

Steve Prendergast went from diehard Christian in his youth to a hard-to-kill “avid atheist” who drank, took drugs, and ridiculed his praying mom.

“I pretty much ran out of veins to inject crack cocaine with,” says the former wrestler who crashed a vehicle while drunk and had a leg amputated as a result. “Thank God for a persistent mother. I credit a praying mother who prayed with my Aunt Linda for over 20 years.”

After three motorcycle accidents, a boating accident, five overdoses and two suicide attempts, the boy who started on fire with God finally relented and came back to God.

Steve’s start was in a Christian home with lots of love for the Word of God. But curiosity to see what the world had to offer seduced his heart.

“At age 16, I started to binge drink,” Steven says on 100 Huntley Street video on YouTube. “I wanted to see what life was like on the other side of the fence.”

When his young Christian girlfriend moved away, he blamed God and searched for “hypocrisies” in the church to justify his plunge into temptation.

“I became a very avid atheist,” Steve acknowledges. “I actively mocked people, including my mother, and friends of mine who had faith. It didn’t matter what your religion was, I would still mock you if you believed in any form of a deity. That’s how far I drifted away.”

The bar scenes, the drug and alcohol culture began to fill his boat with water, sinking him ever deeper. He worked full time, and as soon as he got home, his phone rang non-stop; he became a drug dealer as well.

Steve took up wrestling and wanted… Read the rest: Avid atheist saved by mom’s prayers.

4 out of 10 abortions, Christian mothers

Four out of 10 women who received an abortion, according to a 2015 Care Net study, got pregnant out of wedlock and had also been attending church. They said the church had no influence on their decision to terminate a pregnancy.

How could this be when the church is at the heart of the Pro-Life movement?

A new documentary attempts to resolve this dark paradox. “The Matter of Life,” in theaters May 16 and 17 only, suggests that the church needs to work on a secondary message. Without easing off the preaching against abortion, it needs to strengthen its message of extending grace to people who slip up.

“I thought all of them were going to judge me,” one young woman says in the film.

“My expectation was that everyone was going to look at me and not see a ring on my finger,” another says.

“These people are going to look at me and say, ‘Uh oh, somebody messed up,’” still another says.

“The Matter of Life” searches the soul of the church.

“Many American churches – including those considered to be Pro-Life – are not considered to be welcoming places for pregnant single women,” the narrator says.

Lisa Cannon Green, who reported the findings, also said:

  • Two-thirds (65 percent) say church members judge single women who are pregnant.
  • A majority (54 percent) thinks churches oversimplify decisions about pregnancy options.
  • Fewer than half (41 percent) believe churches are prepared to help with decisions about unwanted pregnancies.
  • Only 3 in 10 think churches give accurate advice about pregnancy options. Read the rest: Abortion among Christians

Atheist psychopath smashed father’s head with a hammer

Wanting to “unleash” himself from society’s norms, David Wood decided to flout rules in the biggest and worst way, by murdering someone. Not just anyone. He developed a plan to murder his own father.

“Some people don’t want to live like cattle,” David explains on his Acts 17 Apologetics YouTube channel. “Some people don’t want to follow this pattern that we are all expected to mindlessly follow. Some would rather bash a man’s head in, or shoot up a theater, or walk down their school hallway stabbing people. Why shouldn’t they? Because it’s wrong? Because of your grandma? Or do people have intrinsic value? Human beings were (to me) nothing but machines for propagating DNA.”

From childhood, David had psychopathic tendencies. He was further influenced by an atheistic moral vacuum and the destructive philosophy of nihilism, a poisonous mixture that influenced the monster he became.

As a boy, when his dog died, his mother cried, but he felt nothing.

Crying isn’t going to change the fact that it’s dead so why are you crying? he thought.

Years later, when his friend died, David again felt nothing. When his mother got beaten up by a boyfriend, he felt nothing.

“I don’t remember ever not living with violence in the family,” David says on Premier Christianity. “My mum was habitually with very abusive boyfriends. One of my earliest memories was hearing a lot of screaming and walking into the kitchen and seeing blood everywhere, and my mum saying: ‘It’s ketchup, go back to bed.’”

David became a habitual rules breaker. He broke into homes, ran from police, and trampled people’s gardens. For David, morality was, at best, a “useful fiction.”

“My atheist worldview was throughout the universe or through time, we’re collections of cells,” he says. “You could kill 1,000 people, or you could spend your entire life helping people. It doesn’t make any real difference. You might as well just do whatever you feel like doing with the time you’ve got.

With a nihilist worldview, he adopted the Nietzschean self-concept of an ubermensch. He was mad at society for trying to “brainwash” him with its rules. The right thing to do, he believed, was to throw off all restraint and prove his superiority. He was “Humanity 2.0.”

There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s everyone else who has a problem. I’m the only smart, sane one, he thought.

David started studying how to build bombs but ultimately rejected mass murder because it was so prosaic.

“Anyone can blow up a bunch of random people, you don’t know them,” he says, “If you’re sick of life dangling at the end of society’s puppy strings, the killing has to start much closer to home. My dad was the only relative I had within a few hundred miles and so he obviously needed to die, and I had a ball-peen hammer that would do the trick.”

Later diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, David felt no remorse, no guilt, no sense of right and wrong. His determination to live “unleashed” knew no bounds.

On the night he planned to murder his father, 18-year-old David sat trying to think of one thing wrong his dad had done to him. He couldn’t think of a thing. He attacked him anyway with the hammer. His goal was to kill him, but he failed.

“I underestimated the amount of damage a human head could endure, crushed skulls could apparently be pieced back together by doctors,” he says. “My dad had brain damage, but he survived the attack.”

David was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for malicious wounding under New York’s law.

In jail, he met a Christian named Randy whom he mocked. Randy wouldn’t back down easily. In fact, Randy engaged in a spirited debate with David. Surprisingly, they became friends. To compose arguments to refute Christianity, David began to read… Read the rest David Wood.

She put her arms around the gangbanger who took her son’s life

Melanie Washington hugged the young man who killed her son.

“It’s more important to love and forgive than to hold on to the pain and the hurt,” Melanie says on a Long Beach Post video. “I found myself putting my arm around him. I didn’t feel a murderer that killed my son. I felt my son.”

Today Melanie Washington, based in Long Beach, CA, is helping troubled youth make it out of a destructive culture. She herself came out of a childhood that was “pure hell,” she says.

At age 8, she was molested by her stepfather. When “Fred” got on top of her sister Mary, Melanie told her mother, who kicked out the abuser.

He left but showed up the next day with a gun.

“No, Daddy, no,” Mary pleaded.

He shot and killed Mom. He tried to kill Melanie, but the gun jammed.

Shocked and overcome by grief, Melanie, who didn’t know where to turn, blamed herself for her mother’s death.

“I was the one who told my mother that he was doing this,” Melanie explains. “She put him out, and then he came back and killed her the day after Thanksgiving. I went through a life of never forgiving myself for that. I kept telling my mother, I’m sorry.”

Melanie graduated from high school and, falling in love with a handsome young man, married him. After the second month of marriage, he began to beat her.

Again, Melanie blamed herself.

“I was just wondering … Read the rest: Forgiving her son’s murderer.

He ran behind the screen to fight the centurions

A Daasanach warrior chief named John was outraged that the Roman centurions were killing Jesus on screen in his Ethiopian village, according to a Timothy Initiative Vimeo video.

“I couldn’t believe that while Jesus was being tortured, my people sat idle,” John recalled. “I threw a stone at the soldiers and even ran behind the screen with my knife drawn.”

Some remote people groups who still live out of touch with civilization and technology don’t immediately discern between the acting in the Jesus Film and reality. So John attempted to engage the Roman soldiers to defend “an innocent man.”

Of course, John didn’t find anything behind the screen. He had never seen a movie. When he understood that the film’s action scenes were only on the screen, he took his seat on the ground and watched with horror and anguish as the Romans crucified Jesus.

While John found no one behind the screen that day, he did find Jesus. A member of the team that projected the film led him in a sinner’s prayer and began to disciple him.

Today John is no longer a violent pastoral shepherd with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder, raiding and stealing livestock and defending against… Read the rest: Unreached Daasanach tribe in Ethiopia being won to Jesus.

But is Jordan Peterson Christian?

Like most intelligentsia, Jordan Peterson started as an avowed atheist.

He is no longer an atheist. He leans strongly towards Christianity, which his wife has largely embraced after a brush with cancer.

But Jordan Peterson shies away from outright and unreserved acceptance of Christianity, mainly because he feels the implications are overwhelming in terms of the code of conduct expected.

“Who would have the audacity to claim that they believed in God if they examined the way they lived?” he says on a Pursuit of Meaning YouTube video. “People have asked me if I believe in God. I’ve answered in various ways: ‘No, but I’m afraid he probably exists.’ While I try to act like I believe, I never claim that I manage it.”

A behavioral psychologist and university professor from Canada, Peterson has rocketed to herodom among Christian pundits because, as a cultural icon, he opposed gender confusion and the cancel culture sweeping politics, the media and academia. He doesn’t like the attempts to force people to not think for themselves.

His best-selling 12 Rules for Life affirms traditional masculinity, which current culture calls “toxic,” and offers itself as an antidote to the moral chaos heralded widely now in Western nations. He’s pronounced himself in favor of Biblical morality.

With this shift towards Christian values and Christian cultural ideas, the loudest liberals “cast him as a far-right boogeyman riding the wave of a misogynistic backlash,” according to the Los Angeles Times, but in reality, he’s not. He has all kinds of ideas, and he’s unafraid to share them.

Peterson has even presented a series of lectures on the bible. But don’t expect an inspirational devotion like your pastor’s; Peterson legitimizes the bible but examines it through a Jungian psychological optic.

He offers insight as to why God didn’t punish Cain more severely. He explains that skeptics can’t easily shrug off the resurrection with the claim that it’s simply a forged copy of various resurrection myths from different cultures for one simple fact: Jesus was a real historical person while other resurrection myths only portray mythological persons.

“What you have in the figure of Christ is an actual person who actually lived, plus a myth, and, in some sense, Christ is the union of those two things,” he says. “The problem is I probably believe that, but I’m amazed at my own belief and I don’t… Read the rest: Is Jordan Peterson Christian?

Vietnamese wife almost drank insecticide to die and escape abusive marriage

Her husband beat her every time he drank, and Anh become so desperate she was ready to end the hell that was her life, according to a report by Christian Aid Mission (CAM).

When Anh first met her future husband, Ngoc, she saw his charm and swagger and was smitten by love. She didn’t realize that he hung out with buddies who drank, gambled, and smoked opium.

After they married, he often came home inebriated and was physically abusive.

“Every time Ngoc got drunk, he beat his wife.” a local ministry leader told CAM.

One night, she took refuge at a friend’s house. When she returned the next morning, her husband had burned her clothing and her university degree.

In the depths of despair, Ahn fetched a bottle of insecticide was was going to drink it, but her children began tugging at her and crying. For the sake of her children, she didn’t kill herself that day.

Instead, she worked on a plan for someone to care for her kids after she ended her life.

Before she could finish the plan, a Christian missionary knocked on her front door, came in, and presented the Gospel.

Moved by the power of the Word and the Spirit, she surrendered her life to Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.

“Everything was changed and renewed,” the ministry leader reported.

Anh invited her husband to receive Christ, but he rebuffed her. “No, never,” he declared.

However, he began to witness changes in his wife because of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

After pleadings from Anh and the children, Ngoc finally acquiesced and attended church. He was received warmly by the congregation and ended up accepting Jesus.

“The Holy Bible is very good,” Ngoc told his wife later that night. “But I can’t understand it. Can you teach me the Holy Bible?”

For four months he learned the Bible, aided by the patient instruction of the missionary. He even got baptized.

“His life was Read the rest: Vietnamese woman almost drank insecticide

Battled three brain tumors in Iowa

Since a brain tumor had claimed her grandfather’s life, Kaitlin Richardson had a morbid fear of them.

“My worst fear was that they would find a brain tumor,” Kaitlin says on a 700 Club video.

Doctors didn’t find a brain tumor. They found three.

The devastating news was dealt to Kaitlin, then 28, and her husband after she went to the eye doctor for some unexpected blurriness in her vision in November 2019. The eye doctor saw an inflamed optic nerve and referred her for an MRI.

Weeks later she was admitted to the University of Iowa for the complicated operation to extract the tumors. The surgeon hoped the masses were soft and not intertwining with ventricles of the brain, a possibility that could risk permanent brain damage.

“I was scared,” Kaitlin admits. “I didn’t think I’d survive my surgery.”

Kaitlin and husband, Noah, had one son, Jonah. She despaired at the thought of her son growing up without a mom.

“I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see Jonah grow up,” she admits. Read the rest: God healed her of brain tumors in Iowa.

Is Dax a Christian rapper?

As a college basketball player who evidently wouldn’t make it to the NBA, Daniel Nwosu Jr. took a minimum-wage job as a janitor at his college.

It’s a good thing because that’s where he learned to rap.

Today Daniel is known as Dax, a famous rapper who presents the gospel to sinners with a non-traditional voice. His searching – and sometimes profane — “Dear God” has 42.5 million views on YouTube.

“I believe in God,” says Dax on Genius channel on YouTube. “I’m not a Christian rapper, I’m not a mainstream rapper, I’m not a YouTube rapper, I’m not an underground rapper, I’m not a green or a blue rapper. I’m an artist. One day I’m going to rap about how I’m the best. The next day I might rap about my belief in God. The next day I might rap about how I love this girl.”

Born to Nigerian immigrants in Canada, Daniel Nwosu attended a Christian high school. By a miracle, the coach from Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas, saw a video of his play and offered him a scholarship for his senior year.

But he had to attend chapel every day and church on Sunday. Also, he had to observe Sunrise’s strict behavior code, which meant no flirting. Dax literally didn’t even talk to a girl that entire year.

“He poured everything he had into basketball,” says Michael McCrudden on his YouTube channel “Before They Were Famous.” “He had 6:00 a.m. workouts. He would lift weights. And on top of this, he had his own crazy workout routine. From all this, the dude would literally fall asleep in class because he was exhausted.”

Aiming for the NBA, Daniel played at three different colleges to complete his four-year degree. In his senior year, he led his Division 2 conference in scoring.

Academics were not his major focus, but he had an active brain and was drawn by philosophy. He started majoring in psychology, switched to economics and finally got a degree in communications from Newman University in Wichita, Kansas.

It was math class that gave rise to his stage name Dax. He shortened Daniel and added x.

“In math, x is always a variable,” Dax explains. “So I made x a variable for n.”Read the rest: Dax Christian rapper

When TobyMac’s son overdosed…

Three months after his eldest son died of a drug overdose at 21, TobyMac sang a heart-breaking tribute “21 Years” about the doomed destiny, lost promise, and hope of Heaven.

“‘21 Years’ is a song I never wanted to write,” the artist born Kevin Michael McKeehan told People. “I loved (Truett) with all my heart. Writing this song felt like an honest confession of the questions, pain, anger, doubt, mercy and promise that describes the journey I’m probably only beginning.”

“21 Years” is a dirge with Toby’s signature catchy pop, stylized lyrics and rousing uplift.

Is it just across the Jordan

Or a city in the stars?

Are ya singin’ with the angels?

Are you happy where you are?

Well, until this show is over

And you’ve run into my arms

God has you in Heaven

But I have you in my heart.

Truett died in Nashville of a fentanyl and amphetamine overdose in 2019. Truett had just launched his music career, having resisted emerging as a child star under the tutelage of his famous father.

“Until something in life hits you this hard, you never know how you will handle it,” Toby says. “I am thankful that I have been surrounded by love, starting with God’s and extending to a community near and far that have walked with us and carried us every day.”

Starting with DC Talk in the late 1980s and 90s, Toby has been a Christian music kingpin. He has 20 Billboard chart-topping singles. In addition to being a performer, Toby produces music for his label, Gotee Records.

Being celebrity Christians brings a unique pressure on their children, who get frustrated with the outsized expectations upon them. They might want to be just normal kids with normal experiences and normal failings but are expected to conform to the rigorous standards by outsiders. In 2013, Pastor Rick Warren’s son committed suicide.

When personal tragedy becomes a public spectacle, the superstar Christian needs to shed his celebrity status and return to his personal relationship with God.

“Part of my process has always been to write about the things I’m going through, but this went to a whole new level,” Toby explains. “What started out as getting some of my thoughts and feelings about losing my firstborn son down on paper, ended up a song. ’21 Years’ is a song I never wanted to write.” Read the rest: how did TobyMac’s son die?

Science backing same-sex parents flawed, author says

Decades of research have only confirmed that kids suffer when they lose a biological parent, whether it be through divorce, death, adoption, abandonment or third-party reproduction.

Two wedding rings on the fabric colors of the rainbow. Concept same-sex marriage.

“Losing a parent is physically, mentally, and emotionally detrimental for kids,” says Katy Faust in her book Them Before Us. “Sociologists overwhelmingly agree outcomes for children are best when the children are raised by their married mother and father, a consensus backed by decades of research on marriage and family.”

This was well-established science until the Dawn of the Enlightened Era of Marriage Equality. People’s hearts melted with compassion as they listened to the stories of same-sex parents wishing for a child.

All of a sudden, a barrage of studies emerged reputedly demonstrating that kids raised by same-sex parents came out just as well as parents raised by their biological parents, a mother and a father. The only thing that matters, we were told, was the stability of two loving parents.

And just like that, decades of research was suddenly upended overnight.

Because the media hype went into full swing and social scientists pushed the story it was a slogan that caught on quickly and was adopted widely. Even the Supreme Court was swayed by the “science.”

There was only one problem: While we heeded the tearful stories of same-sex parents who wanted to have children, we ignored the tearful stories of children who wanted a dad and mom.

“The pain in my life did not stem from the state not recognizing the relationship between my two moms,” wrote Heather Barwick in a Supreme Court amicus brief. “It stemmed from the turmoil of desperately wanting a father. I love my mom deeply, fiercely, and unconditionally. She is an incredible woman, but I also love my absent father. I ached for a father I knew I would never have.”

Actually, there was another problem. The “science” supporting same-sex parenting was baked. Methodology was flawed: participants were NOT selected randomly, sample sizes were small and NOT representative, reporting methods (such as same-sex parents answering on behalf of their children) were NOT reliable, according to an evaluation by the Heritage Foundation in 2015.

When Mark Regenerus conducted a legit study in 2012 – not perfect, but better than anything conducted previously – he demonstrated what family research has basically pointed out all along: parental loss hurts kids over the long run, even under the new rubric of same-sex parenting.

The equal sign was a cute logo. But the math was not equal.

“On 25 out of 40 outcomes evaluated, there were statistically significant differences between children from intact biological families and those of mothers in lesbian relationships in many areas that are unambiguously suboptimal, such as receiving welfare, need for therapy, infidelity, STIs, sexual victimization, educational attainment, safety of the family of origin, depression, attachments and dependencies, marijuana use, frequency of smoking, and criminal behavior,” the study says.

His conclusions detonated an atomic bomb of politcal fury.

An army of 200 social scientists arose and trumpeted in a signed complaint that Regnerus had doctored his conclusions based on his religious ideology. Leading the charge was UCLA’s demographer Gary Cates. If he accused Regnerus of being a religious ideologue, there were three fingers pointing back at him. Cates is gay.

Regnerus almost got fired from his job as Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

The message was ominous: anyone who dared to break ranks with the current political ideology would be canceled.

As social scientists dug through his study to unearth defects, Regnerus responded in a twofold manner: 1) no study supporting same-sex parenting had been subjected to similar scrutiny, and 2) keep doing studies (but legit ones).

Regnerus weathered the maelstrom.

Two things happened since his 2012 watershed study. More social scientists worked unafraid of the woke mob. And kids started posting the cries of their heart online. They still had a longing for the biological parent that was not present.

Culling from 12,000 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Paul Sullins found and studied 20 randomly selected children growing up in same-sex parent household. They were twice as likely to suffer depression later as adults, along with suicidal thoughts and obesity when compared to peers raised by biological parents.

“These results align with what social science has already established about child development, namely the three essential staples of a child’s socio-emotional diet: mother’s love, father’s love, and stability,” Faust writes. Read the rest: Do same-sex parents do as well as biological parents?

With pregnancy, mom and daughter were dying

A pregnancy is supposed to fill parents with joy, but Laura Johnson’s pregnancy seemed to detonate a cascade of life-threatening conditions for both her and her baby.

“There were times where the doctors would bring me the worst information you could think of and I would forget about my faith,” husband Sean Johnson told CBN. “I have to sit here and days go by, and pray that my wife don’t die any day now.”

The gospel singing duo saw their hopes fade to panic. First, Laura was taken to emergency with intense abdominal pain that was diagnosed as a 4-centimeter hernia that twisted her stomach and pushed much of her intestines into her chest cavity. It required surgery.

Then, what was predicted to be a 5-hour surgery turned into 5-days of straight surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston as doctors opened her up and found things were worse than expected: one lung was compressed, her heart was pushed to the side, and a three-foot section of her intestine was dead.

All the while, Laura was pregnant at 22 weeks.

“I’m losing my mind, honestly,” Sean remembers thinking. “Let’s just be truthful. I’m losing my mind.

“I took it back to God,” he adds. “I said, ‘Listen, this is what they told me. So now you gotta figure this out cause I don’t work in this kinda stuff, you work in these kinda ways.’”

Then on day two of surgery, Laura went into labor. She was unconscious when she delivered baby Alora by C-section on Nov. 21, 2018.

You may be hoping for a Disney movie ending, but baby Alora weighed a mere 1 pound and 8 ounces. The tiniest of babies, all of Alora fit into the palm of Sean’s hand.

Alora suffered two brain bleeds, hydrocephalus, and chronic lung disease. She required two brain surgeries, and at one point, doctors called the parents in to say their goodbyes. Alora wouldn’t survive, they said grimly.

Still, Sean and Laura clung to their faith and sang to the Lord.

“You put her in the palm of my hand, that’s how small she was,” says Sean. “I was excited! It’s… Read the rest: Sean and Laura Johnson.

Jesus helps crime rates

When Robert Polaco got saved, crime statistics went down for the City of Las Vegas, NM. So says his former pastor. People knew him and feared him, and soon the word spread around the city that the Door Church is where the former criminal was saved.

Robert Polaco’s mom lived mostly in a mental hospital with schizophrenia. His dad lived primarily in jail. Robert was raised as a ward of the State.

“I was placed in a foster home,” Robert says on the 2021 video produced by the Door Church. “According to the case work, I was being abused.”

Along with his harsh living conditions, Robert also felt like a pariah — as if something was broken within him.

“I grew up with that chip on my shoulder,” Robert continues. “It was as if there was no answer, I felt there was no hope.”

Later on, Robert would dedicate his life and career to martial arts. His role as an instructor became the new identity he would give himself to.

“I decided to open up my own dojo,” Robert says. “That’s where I met my wife- I gave her free lessons because I thought she was pretty.”

Robert and Jacque Polaco would eventually enter a marriage which was immediately plagued by serious relationship problems. Robert’s life quickly fell apart.

Change would eventually come on May 15th, 1981. The young couple was introduced by Door Church’s pastor Harold Warner to a set of popular Biblical prophecy films. Convicted, Robert and his wife surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ.

“When I prayed that prayer on that night, I just felt free.” Robert recounts.

Similarly, Jacque felt as if a massive weight was on her for her entire life. Her prayer for salvation lifted the heavy burdens she carried.

“There was no desire to smoke dope or drink alcohol,” Robert states. “The desire was gone. When I entered the martial arts class on Monday, I shut it all down.”

Robert felt like a brand-new man, a newborn star. It was as if someone had pressed a reset button on him; now Robert found something to live for: Jesus.

“Robert and Jacque proved to be a key couple in the forming of that early church here,” Pastor Ray Rubi of Door Church reminisces.

However, the incredibly small building that represented the Door Church in Las Vegas would eventually be the recipient of God’s miracles in the form of a skilled new pastor, Richard Rubi.

“The city of Las Vegas had about 14,000 people, but everybody knew Robert,” Richard says. “He had a reputation there.” Read the rest: Jesus helps crime rates

Kelly, 36. Patrick, 8. His Jesus dream made no sense…

In a Juvenile Hall Bible study, Kevin Knuckles asked snarkily if all the biblical authors were schizophrenics, and he was promptly kicked out.

“I was hate-filled violent man addicted to drugs,” Kevin admits on his YouTube channel. “I was really against Christ for a lot of my life.”

A derisive arrogance prevailed in Kevin’s heart starting from the moment he discerned his Irish parents’ oppressive Catholic hypocrisy all the way up to the time he told his wife to trash her Bible or say goodbye.

As a member of an international dark-themed rock band, Kevin lived the life of drugs and adultery for most of his adult life. He would lock himself in his room to shoot up heroin but then — looking for a cheap substitute — abused methadone, which is supposed to transition addicts from heroin.

He lived with his lover and neglected his wife and kids, who knew about the betrayal of trust.

“I pushed my family beyond the breaking point,” he says. “I was quite literally dying. I thought I was living my best life. But my condition was so broken.”

Trying to detox after two methadone overdoses, Kevin writhed in emotional turmoil and physical agony for days on end with no rest. He was vomiting and couldn’t sleep.

“I was in the pits of despair and couldn’t take it any further,” Kevin remembers. While he had mocked Christianity for most of his life, he now cried out to God. “I said God, please have mercy on me.”

Nothing happened that night, but the next night he cried out again, this time to Jesus. Then something remarkable transpired.

“I was in a fetal position shaking, sweating, unable to find any peace in my body or my mind,” he recalls. “As soon as I invoked his name (Jesus), I was given complete peace and rest. Even though I had spent most of my life blaspheming him and not believing in him and making fun of people who did, I was so broken and had nowhere else to turn that I just called out to him.”

For the first time in days, Kevin slept that night

“I immediately found peace, my body stopped trembling, my temperature and heart rate regulated,” he recalls.

He dreamed a profound dream that seemed so intensely real that it seemed more of a memory of a real event than a nebulous fabrication of the sandman.

“I couldn’t remember anything from the dream except two things,” he remarks. “One was the dream was about my wife, Kelly, whom I had committed much adultery against and put through much turmoil. And the other was the number 38.”

It was eerie.

Kevin fell asleep and had another dream that again gave him the overwhelming sensation that it was a real event. But again, he couldn’t remember anything about the circumstances — except for two random facts, like the first dream.

“All I could remember was that it was about my son, Patrick, and the number eight,” he says.Read the rest: Jesus dream saves addict.

After his dad died, he turned to crime and drugs in Newcastle England

When Kirk was a drug dealer, a friend committed suicide after he sold him drugs. After Kirk became a Christian, another friend committed suicide. He never told his friend about Jesus.

Now, the Newcastle, England, man feels the urgency to share Jesus with everyone.

Up until his father’s death, Kirk had an ideal childhood. His family had few serious problems; his dad held a good job.

But when a drunk driver killed his father, his tranquil life turned nightmarish. His mom started drinking and hooking up with other men. There was no stability.

Kirk turned to running away from home, committing crimes, and abusing drugs.

“Between 16 and 19 I basically lived in a drug filled haze,” says Kirk. By the age of 24, he was a drug dealer.

One night a friend was in a bad place and came to his house. Kirk did what he had always done, sold him drugs.

“That night someone upset him,” Kirk recounts. “He went home and killed himself.”

As a result of the tragedy, he realized drugs are not an answer.

“Life just got too much,” he says. “My faults were consumed with horrible thoughts. I got really depressed and I just didn’t want to be here.”

One day Kirk met a woman named Dionne who preached about Jesus.

But in his world, there was no such thing as God. If God existed, he couldn’t love someone like himself.

The next day Kirk intentionally overdosed.

“I really just didn’t want to be here,” he remarks. “I didn’t have any strength left, not even the strength to just get up in the morning. In the middle of the overdose the phone rang and woke us up.”

The following day Kirk received a visitor that shared Jesus with him.

When the person left, Kirk got on his knees and prayed for his dad to come down and take him and his family away with him.

Then something remarkable happened.

“All of sudden the room just lit up like a summer’s dayRead the rest: Christianity in Newcastle, England

Chris Singleton forgives the white supremacist who killed his mother

While she was praying at church, Chris Singleton’s mom was shot eight times by white supremacist Dylann Roof in 2015.

Then only 18, Chris Singleton had to assume the role of parent for his younger siblings.

“It was being thrown into the fire for me,” Chris says on a 100 Huntley Street video. “Something like that, I call it the unthinkable because you never think in a million years that something like that will happen to you. It was tough then, it’s tough now. It made me grow up a lot quicker than a lot of people. I had to take care of two teenagers when I wasn’t even 21 yet.”

Incredibly, Chris chose to forgive the racist mass murderer who snuffed out nine lives at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. When Sharonda Coleman-Singleton died, Chris wasn’t exactly strong in his Christian faith.

“I think anybody that loses a loved one, there’s two ways you could go with your faith,” Chris says. “You could say number one, there’s no way God is real. Or you could say, two, God, I don’t know how this happened or why this happened, but I need you to get me through it.”

Chris, who became a minor league baseball player for the Chicago Cubs, drew on his athletics training to develop resilience.

“I didn’t have my mom anymore and I didn’t have my dad, so Jesus became the rock that I would lean on,” he says. “That was comforting for me, it was therapeutic for me.”

Meanwhile, Dylann Roof has been sentenced to nine consecutive life sentences in prison. His hateful website, The Last Rhodesian, showed pictures of him with neo-Nazi symbols. Rhodesia was the white-ruled state that is now Zimbabwe. Read the rest: Chris Singleton forgives the white supremacist who killed his mom.

Christian surfers

Of course, Christian Surfers International calls Jesus the “Original Water Walker.”

Originally, they were just a support group of like-minded surfers who felt a little marginalized by the church, but as they grew, they realized they had a greater responsibility to win the entire surfing world to Christ.

They want to be even more salty while paddling ocean waves and reflect the light of Jesus on sun-drenched beaches.

Today, Christian Surfers International has affiliates in 35 countries with about 175 local missions, each of those acting like a tiny church plant to the surf community, says Casey Cruciano, operations manager of CSI.

They also do community development projects around the world through their organization Groundswell Aid. Some of the best surf breaks also have some of the poorest communities in the world. Hardcore surfers have always traveled to out-of-reach spots for the perfect wave. But CSI surfers don’t just ride the wave; they help alleviate poverty, restore the environment and provide disaster relief.

“We believe in the power of the global surfing community to make powerful, long-term changes to beach communities around the world,” a narrator on a Groundswell video explains. “Using surfing as a platform to connect, Groundswell exists to meet the needs of under-resourced communities and offer tangible hope.”

They even teach Third World youngsters to surf or learn water polo, offering scholarships to those who do well in school and encourage school dropouts to return.

On the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, they help build housing and school facilities for the locals. Read the rest: Christian surfers Intl.

She never thought she’d wind up in a mental institution

Arynn never thought she would end up in a mental institution, but after she became thrilled with cutting herself, that’s where she was taken.

“The minute I saw the blood it was like I was hooked,” Arynn explains to 700 Club Interactive. “It was like this dopamine hit and in a really twisted way I’d almost rewarded myself with self-harming.”

Arynn was turned off by Christians.

“I always thought of Christians as these really emphatic people who wanted you to turn away from anything that was fun,” she says.

So, the minute she turned 18 and was able to go to parties, she began drinking.

“I just had fun with it and then a long pattern of, you know, thinking that I could just keep doing it and it would never catch up to me,” she says.

As a 19-year-old sophomore in a Christian college, she began taking shots of tequila at 8 a.m.

She didn’t realize she had become an alcoholic.

Almost imperceptibly, the “fun” evolved into depression. This led to self-harm.

“As the alcoholism progressed, the urge to self-harm got so much stronger,” Arynn says. “I felt too like even if God loves me he’s not gonna want to associate too much with me because look at where I’ve ended up.”

Death became her daily meditation and cutting became an obsession.

“I remember one night I decided I just have to try at least one time and so I remember taking the razor, slitting my wrist and nothing happened so I just kept going,” she says. “Finally, I’m surrounded by blood, but I’m not bleeding out.”

A friend found her, stopped her, and called the ambulance. Read the rest: She fell into cutting and was taken to a mental institution.

Her parents’ rejection drove Pam further into LGBTQ

Pam’s own mother called her an “abomination” and “scum of the earth” after the 14-year-old admitted she was lesbian in 1970.

“I knew that I was lesbian when I was three. Absolutely,” Pam, now 62, says during an Ariana Armour interview.

By contrast, her grandparents, because they were hairstylists and knew homosexuals — were far more accepting.

“My grandmother showed me true unconditional love. She didn’t care what I said I was. She just handed me to God,” Pam says. “My mom had a wicked, wicked Jezebel spirit.”

Conceived by date rape, Pam was given up for adoption in Florida. Her adopted mom adhered to a legalistic form of Christianity.

Then in the fourth grade, Pam was raped by a neighbor boy. When she wanted to be a drummer, the music instructor molested her at age 11.

“I was like, I’m gonna keep my mouth shut,” she says. “I was afraid to say anything because I would be ostracized.”

Pushing her further toward the LGBT community, a warlock raped her in 1975.

Sadly, her parents’ expression of faith drove her further from God.

“I wrote out a contract in blood to Satan,” she says. It was an effort to get out of going to church and Sunday school.

When her adopted dad found out about the Satanism, “he tried to kill me,” Pam says. “He said he was going to beat Satan out of me. He was beating me but all of a sudden I felt power. I hit him and he flew back and hit my dresser.”

Pam was thrilled with the power, but the devil let her down on another occasion when her dad came back and beat her severely.

“I would have poltergeists come into my room,” she says. Demonic spirits would move objects and make noises. A lamp with a decorative face turned and looked at her.

“If you’re in Satanism, get out of it. It’s not just animal sacrifices,” she says. “They take aborted babies… Read the rest: Parents’ rejection drove her further away from God.

Premarital sex led to breakup. Repentance led to restoration.

For Joe Mack, dating meant “the full buffet.”

“Dating was my license to everything, ice cream with sprinkles on top, sushi on the side,” the New Jersey beats producer says on his YouTube channel. “I was using these types of things as void fillers. That didn’t last long. We began to get convicted.”

The discord arose when his girlfriend, Mags (Margaret), “flowed with” the conviction from a certain “Night of Prayer” they attended, while Joe stubbornly resisted to the point that they broke up.

“I tried to ignore it like everything is all good,” Joe says. “I put on this front. I’m playing 2K (basketball on Xbox) like none of this bothers me. But deep down when I was alone with God, it really did bother me.”

“We had to stop sex, but the mindset I had was such a stronghold. I was not obedient to God. I wanted to hold on to that one thing that I thought was my manhood. That cost us the relationship.”

Joe was “bawling” in the car when she broke off the relationship.

“You would think that I would snap out of it, like, yo, it’s not worth it,” he remembers. “But of course not. When you’re stubborn, you run into a brick wall 300 times thinking the next time it’ll be softer.”

As heartbreaking as the breakup was, it was also “transformational,” Joe says. Mags went to church three times a week, got a Christian mentor and devoured God’s word.

Meanwhile, Joe went through his own soul searching.

“Once we broke up, I was like, yo, how much a part of me was that person? When you have sex with each other, you guys are actually exchanging souls. It’s deeper than just pleasure, boom, boom, boom, we’re out of there and we’re done. Soul ties are real.”

God showed Joe that the holes in his heart needed to be filled by Him, not sex. He needed to make God first and change his group of friends to break free from a worldly mindset.

“I had to be a man,” he says. “Sex was never worth not submitting to God and following His word.” Read the rest: Saved from premarital sex.

Bronze-medal winner Gabby Thomas got her start in track by munch potato chips

The potato chip — that quintessential diet-doomer with its overkill of salt, fat and, yes, sugar — fed medal-winner Gabby Thomas’s running.

Gabby munched chips before getting on the track and burning everybody.

“My first love was soccer,” Gabby says on Humbl Nation. “A lot of my soccer skill was speed-related. My college recruit came to watch my soccer game. I was just doing it to do it. I kind of fell into track. In high school, I was just having fun with it. After my sophomore year, I started to take it more seriously. Then with college, it became an option.”

Gabrielle Thomas won bronze in the women’s 200-meter dash. In addition to track, she’s an academic — a graduate from Harvard University — and a born-again Christian.

Just weeks before the Olympic trials, Gabby got an MRI for a hamstring injury and doctors also spotted a tumor in her liver. It was a cancer scare, but the growth turned out to be benign.

“I remember telling God, ‘If I am healthy, I am going to go out and win trials. I’m going to do everything I can to live my life to the fullest,’” she says on the Today Show.

It was Gabby’s mom, an academic in Massachusetts, who re-directed her into track. “I signed up for softball, and she said, ‘No, you’re doing track.’”

Mom says that Gabby used to eat potato chips — a snack not typically associated… Read the rest: Gabby Thomas Christian

Cleaning up the homeless in Venice, CA?

About once a week, one homeless man or woman dies in Venice, CA.

That’s Michael Ashman’s tally. At least three times a week, Ashman hands out free food, clothes, and Bibles at Muscle Beach, which is often filled with tourists and eclectic street performers.

This area – until recently cleaned up by Sheriff’s deputies – has been thronged with homeless and criminals.

“When people say we have a ‘homeless problem’, that tells me they don’t have a clue; it’s a human problem, not a homelessness problem,” Ashman, 57, told God Reports. “There are all kinds of reasons people are homeless. Then you throw alcohol and drugs into the mix. But Jesus is the answer. He’s the One who’s going to heal their minds and set them free.”

For three years, Michael has ministered to the homeless. Arguably, homeless ministry is prone to burnout because positive results are few and far between, while death and destruction abound. The homeless, he says, have zero self-control and consequently get devastated by addiction, violence and disease.

“Every now and then, someone comes by and says, ‘Do you remember me? You fed me. You helped me,’” Michael says.

One such was Ivan, who once slept on the beach because of Southern California’s year-round temperate climate. One day he arrived cleaned-up and smiling. He had a small place and two jobs. The day he greeted Ashman, he was handing out clothes to his street friends, paying forward the favors.

Native to Southern California, Ashman got to know Jesus at a Billy Graham crusade at age 15. He got off drugs and was attending church but was “too young and not very involved,” he says.

In 1996, he got married and had kids but walked away from church and lost his marriage. He didn’t immediately come back to church because guilt coiled in his heart like a snake.

“I’d gone too far,” he explains. “I looked in the mirror every day and said, ‘God, what am I doing? I’m killing myself.’”

On Valentine’s Day in 2016, Ashman returned to church after “my life pretty much fell apart.”

He sat in the back and wept. He kept going to church “and wept every service for quite a while,” he says. “God was fixing me.”

Eventually, he launched his ministry, a 501c3 titled “You Matter.” He wears “You Matter” T-shirts on outreach, and it’s a good message to people that society has cast aside, fears and finds revolting.

“I just felt like this is what God wanted me to do,” Ashman says. “It was so powerful in me. It was beyond passionate, it was a driving force. I couldn’t not do it. I feel Jesus in me, and He loves people through me.”

For most of his life, Ashman worked as a contractor and a phone and computer communications installer, but as his non-profit has taken off, he’s neglected his business and given himself more and more to ministry.

While politicians promote social theories for dealing with the homeless, Ashman says only Jesus can truly change them.

Recently, the L.A. Sheriff ignited a spat with the mayor’s office by publicly accusing politicians of being incompetent and making an incursion into Venice to get the homeless off the streets. As a result, fewer homeless are coming to Ashman’s ministry. He fears that… Read the rest: homeless in Venice

Fiji’s rugby team celebrate gold with praise to Jesus

Some shed tears. Others dedicate their win to Mom. A few make political statement with clenched fists or whatnot.

Fiji’s seven-man rugby team broke into a song of worship when gold medals were hung around their necks at the Tokyo summer Olympics after they stunned New Zealand 27-12. It was their second, back-to-back gold, and for such a small nation in the South Pacfic, monumental. They sang:

We have overcome
We have overcome
By the blood of the Lamb
And the word of the Lord.

In a time of self-aggrandizing superstars and political propagandists, a showing of sheer joy and spontaneous rejoicing to God is refreshing. The words of their triumphal song come from Revelations 12:11 And they overcame the devil by blood of the Lamb and bthe word of their testimony.

Their victory is also a highlight to Fijians who are currently languishing under strict lockdown, being scourged by Covid.

“Last Olympics we gathered in numbers, tears flowed and bells were rung. Tonight in the middle of a pandemic and (with) Fiji under curfew, pots and pans ring, fireworks go off in yards and the cheers from every house can be heard,” tweeted Fiji Broadcasting Corporation presenter Jaquee Speight.

Due to Covid, Fiji players were called upon to practice 5 months in quarantine. That meant, they couldn’t go home and see their families, and some of the players barely stood the pressure of being away.

Captain Jerry Tuwai, who was part of the team that won five years ago, said his second gold was “more special because… Read the rest: Fiji rugby team praises Jesus at Olympics

Kuwaiti sought to proselytize Christians

Abu Ahmad, a Kuwaiti refugee in Jordan, felt compassion for the Christians who enrolled his son tuition-free in a private school when he was down on his luck.

“Honestly, it is not fair that these people go to Hell,” he told his wife. “They are kind, have good manners and like to help. I must go to them, tell them about Islam and make them Muslims who can go to Al Jannah.”

So Adel — as he is also called — began to share what he thought was the truth about Allah with a school official.

“I started vigorously discussing matters with them,” he remembers on a Strong Tower 27 video. He even thought things might deteriorate into a brawl. “I had my hands ready to box him.”

“Honestly, I saw you were properly dressed and thought you were well-educated, but it turns out you neither know nor understand anything,” he said to the school official.

“I thought he would become angry and hit me, so I had my fist ready to hit him before he did.”

Instead, the school official smiled. He treated Abu with respect and appreciation.

Abu was thrown off. “He was smiling and treated me well. Why? What’s the difference?” he marveled. “If someone talked to me like that, I would kill him.”

Abu Ahmad’s flight to Jordan began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Saddam Hussain quickly overwhelmed the small, oil-rich nation, but an international military coalition purged him from his Persian Gulf neighbor.

Abu and his family were in danger and sought to flee. The road to Saudi Arabia was closed, they heard. So they fled to Iraq, where they hunkered down in Al Basra for four years, not able to return to Kuwait because they were accused of being traitors.

“If they knew I was Kuwaiti and staying there, they would kill us all for sure,” Abu recalls.

Eventually, he found a guide who would smuggle him and his family into neighboring Jordan. He found employment distributing first tea, then gas. Eventually family relations from Kuwait sent him money, and he opened a small shop.

Before in Kuwait, Abu had been a millionaire. But now his fortunes were reduced to scrambling for money.

In the first month of being open, he was able to make rent, 200 dinar.

But in the second month, he scrounged only 150 JOD by the time the landlord came.

“Here’s 150,” Abu told him. “I will give you the other 50 tomorrow.”

“No man,” the landlord retorted. “I want all the rent now.”

Despairing, Abu beckoned people out in front of his shop to come in and buy.

“When people came towards me, they looked like they were coming to buy from me,” he remembers. “But when they approached, they would either go in the shop on the right or the left. It was as if there was a curtain blocking my shop.”

He sat down, frustrated, in front of his shop and tried to think of a solution.

Suddenly he felt a strange urge to look under his chair. To his surprise, he saw and picked up a small wooden cross. He could not imagine how it got there.

Then he remembered the nice people at the Christian school who had selflessly opened the doors to his son. He remembered how he had been disrespectful, and they returned love for ill will. He remembered the one church service he had attended, sitting at the back with his wife.

Then he did something unexpected, he prayed to the God of the Christians.

“Jesus Christ, if You really are God, as they say, then help me now,” he uttered heavenward. “If You help me, I will surrender my life to You.”

Immediately after he prayed, his Egyptian friend from the next shop threw down his broom and said, “Let’s go to my friend.”

“This is Abu Ahmad,” he told the friend when he opened the door. “He needs 50 dinar to pay the rent.”

The Egyptian man went in and brought out a $100 bill.

Abu was aghast. “You are Egyptian,” he objected. “You need to send the money to your family in Egypt. How can you trust me and give me the money when you need it more?”

“If you want to return it, return it,” the man replied. “If you don’t, don’t.”

Abu was both shaken and amazed. Jesus had answered his prayer, and he wasn’t ready to believe it.

“I wanted to prove that what happened was by chance,” he remembers. “I wanted an excuse proving that Christ did not answer. But it became obvious that Christ had answered the prayer.”

In response, he surrendered his life to Jesus and was born again.

Not long after this remarkable answer to prayer, Abu told his wife he was now a Christian.

“Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind?” Laila shrieked. “You went to try to change them, and they changed you.”

She divided their room with a blanket hung from the ceiling.

“You are no longer my husband. You are an infidel,” she said, outraged. “This is your space. “The other is for me and my children. Don’t come near us or interfere in our lives.”

And that is how they lived from then on.

Sometime later, a friend suggested he apply for refugee status through the United Nations. But in a twist of events, the U.N. official sent him to jail.

Abu cried out to God from his cell: “Lord, You said, ‘Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will comfort you.’ There is no heavier burden than the one I am carrying,

“You said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you,’” he said. “Where are You? Why did You leave me alone?”

On the eighth day of praying in his jail cell… Read the rest: Abu Ahmad proselytized Christians, he himself became converted.

Missionary Don Richardson couldn’t bring peace to warring tribes until he threatened to leave

After he rounded the last bend on the river in a dugout canoe, Don Richardson saw 400 Sawi cannibals in remote New Guinea waiting, masked, and in full warpaint — with weapons in hand.

Honestly, he didn’t know if they had a welcoming feast for him or if he, his young wife and baby were the feast.

“Do we look good enough to eat?” he thought. “There was nothing to do but get out of the canoe and walk up on the shore. With Stephen in my arm, leading Carol, I walked and they closed in all around us so tightly, we could hardly move. Their eyes were gleaming with excitement, but they were totally silent as if waiting for a signal.”

Then the “signal” came, a shout: “Asa!”

“They all began leaping in the air, brandishing their weapons and shouting for joy, and they danced around us to the beat of their drums,” he remembers on a 100 Huntley Street video.

That was Don Richardson’s hair-raising introduction in 1962 into missions to unreached tribes. Don didn’t know the language, but apparently “Asa” didn’t mean “Let’s eat.”

Yes, the Sawi were savage headhunters with a taste for human flesh. But they had no intention of dining on the first white men to set foot in their region, the Southern swamplands of New Guinea. They had heard about such missionaries from neighboring tribes and how they brought medicine, steel tools and nylon fish lines to help.

Their jubilation that day was based on the recognition that help had finally come to their tribe. Little did they know that Richardson and his family brought not just tools and medicine; they brought Jesus.

Don had spent months in preparation for the day bringing his wife and child on the 10-hour canoe journey to the Sawi. He had built a home first. The tribesmen were accommodating and helpful.

But when he showed up with his wife and kid, he wondered: “Are these even the same friendly guys who helped me build my little house? Or are these hostile people that have replaced them and have something else in mind?”

The Sawi built “matchbox” structures 40 feet up in the trees, but Don built a small structure on supports in the ground.

“They’d been hearing for a couple of years very positive reports about unusually tall, unusually pale sickly-looking people called ‘Tuans.’ They’d been hoping that a Tuan would choose to come and live among them. They were eagerly welcoming us.”

The first order of business was to learn the language without any book, teacher or translator. He started by pointing at things hoping someone would tell him the word. But every time he pointed at different objects, they always said, “redig.” Eventually, he realized “redig” means “finger.” The Sawi don’t point with fingers; they point by puckering and aiming their lips.

The patient work led to establishing an alphabet and writing a New Testament.

“They didn’t know the language could be put in written form,” he says.

Not only were the Sawi cannibals and headhunters with no concept of law, judges and punishment, they also valued treachery.

“They thought Judas was a good guy,” Don remembers. “‘He’s a master of treachery,’ they said. ‘Don, that man named Judas has done us one better.’”

When he heard their admiration of Judas in the story of betraying Jesus, Don was taken aback.

“I sat among them praying, ‘Lord, help,’” he says. “‘I need a gift of wisdom here.’”

The chance to learn came when war broke out afresh among rival tribes. Arrows flew past his windows. People died outside his door as violence and revenge flared up continuously. To no avail, Don pleaded with the Sawi to make peace. But since they saw treachery as a virtue, no peace talks could be started; no one could trust anybody.

With unending carnage going on around, Don eventually threatened to leave the tribe. He would take his family and all the help he offered.

The tribe was upset. They had grown to love their Tuans and needed the medicines and tools. They thought of losing their prized missionary was too much to bear.

So, a tribal leader made an extraordinary gesture. He gave a “peace child” — his own child — to the enemy tribe. Read the rest: Don Richardson missionary to headhunters and Peace Child

The next great apologist? A 13 year old.

Following in the tradition of C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, and Josh McDowell, another great apologist has arrived, a 13-year-old.

Nahoa Life — his mom is Hawaiian — likes skateboarding, performing Christ hip hop and mastering big books of philosophy and science as it relates to God.

A product of Gen Z, Nahoa recently appeared on the Christian intellectual circuit’s radar when Biola Professor Sean McDowell received an email with questions about his doctoral dissertation.

Sean, the son of Josh McDowell, thought, Are you kidding me? This 12-year-old read my dissertation?

McDowell decided to host Nahoa on his podcast in February.

“I love apologetics,” the 8th-grader from Los Angeles told Sean. “I started doing apologetics about two years ago. I was just kind of bored and I read a book. It was super intriguing. For the first time I realized there’s actual evidence for Christianity.”

Apologetics, a lofty philosophy and usually a course in undergraduate Bible school, is the field of making Christianity palatable to skeptics.

Nahoa happens to be home-schooled, and when his mom saw… Read the rest: 13 year old apologist

Josh Broome: porn actor turns church-goer

Josh Broome didn’t even know her name.

Working as a waiter at a steakhouse in LA, Josh wanted to become a star but the attractive ladies at his table offered him a different kind of acting: “adult” movies.

“I showed up (at the studio) and I was terrified and everyone’s like, ‘Don’t worry about it. Just take this pill, you’ll be able to perform.’ I didn’t have a conversation with the girl. I didn’t know her name. We never even made eye contact. I felt dirty.

“That changed the rest of my life.”

And so the small-town kid fell into the swamp of Hollywood. Josh Broome didn’t have a relationship with his father, so when he started modeling at age 15, he thrived on the praise, the positive reinforcement.

“If I am successful in any type of genre of a film or theater, I would be loved,” he thought at the time. So with $50, he moved to Golden State, California, home to the film industry, maker of stars. His plan, of course, was to do something legitimate.

But as the months dragged into years, when the “provocatively dressed” girls showed up and made him the proposal, he quickly agreed. It seemed cool, and he needed the cash.

The first film was disillusioning.

“It didn’t feel real. I didn’t feel like it truly happened,” he says. “Then some of my friends saw. I was embarrassed, even though they were like, ‘Dude, that’s so cool’”

But if his friends stumbled onto and watched his video, Josh realized that his mom would eventually find out. What would she think?

“I was thinking about embarrassing my mom,” he admits.

At the same time, he rehearsed his rationalization. “I already did one. So, what’s the difference, if I do another one.”

“Then all of a sudden you know I’ve done a few and I’ve made three or four thousand dollars in less than a month,” he adds. “All of a sudden I was doing 20 a month.”

Of course, Mom found out.

“I still didn’t stop. I became this person I didn’t even know,” Josh says. “The more I was willing to care less about myself, the more I was willing to do these movies.”

Josh became a “star,” performing in thousands of films in five years.

“I’m, crying myself to sleep every night,” he remembers. “Every time I worked, I would literally shower, and I couldn’t get clean enough because I couldn’t wash off the hurt.”

The breaking point came from a bank teller. “Josh, is there anything else I can do for you?” the teller asked.

It was the first time he had heard his own name in such a long time.

“I just lost it and I went home and I looked myself in the mirror and I was like, ‘What have I done? What have I done with my life? I haven’t been home in two Christmases. I wasn’t taking care of my mom. I wasn’t taking care of my brother.”

He called his director and quit.

“I ran, I ran for my life. I moved to North Carolina,” he says. “Every night, I would have dreams of the things I did. Even though I wasn’t doing anything anymore, my sin was just tucked away. It wasn’t dealt with.

“The last thing I wanted to do was face what I did, and I had ruined my relationship with my family.”

His mom offered him unconditional love.

“But I knew I embarrassed her,” he confesses.

Next, Josh met Hope. She was pretty and liked Josh.

He worried that his skeletons were too horrifying. Once she found it, she would reject him, he feared. Read the rest: Porn actor becomes church-goer

Black female commercial pilot and Christian

In the world of flying, there aren’t too many female commercial pilots. Even fewer are black female pilots.

According to Nigerian-born Miracle Izuchukwu, only one percent of pilots are female and black, so when she became a commercial pilot candidate, she celebrated by thanking God.

“Whoever it is praying for me, don’t stop, it’s working,” she wrote on social media. “I joined the elite group of 7% of females and 1% of black female pilots in the world. It’s exhilarating yet surreal feeling to introduce myself to the world as a pilot.”

Miracle is now 23. When she grew up, she wasn’t encouraged by her dad to dream big. When she talked to him about soaring the skies, he responded coldly: “If I get on a plane and see a woman as the pilot, I would get off the plane.”

By contrast, Miracle tells girls to not limit their dreams.

“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender?” she wrote. “If it’s truly something you want to do, you need to create it for yourself.

“In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to… Read the rest: Black female Christian pilot Miracle Izuchukwu

Cuban freed from communism needed Jesus to get free from drugs

Without a father, Cuban-born Eddie Ramirez turned to fighting to vent his rage. He also sold drugs to high-net-worth clients.

“I was cheated. I was cheated because I needed a father in my life and he wasn’t there,” Eddie says on a CBN video. “People needed my merchandise, and I was ruthless, so I felt like I was in control.”

He not only sold cocaine, he also snorted it. It destroyed his nose and his life. He was so out of control that he got into a motorcycle accident and was run over by a truck.

Eddie Ramirez was part of the “Freedom Flights” rescuing people from communist Cuba in 1967. When his dad came to America a year later, the youngster hoped to enjoy his family and his new life in America, but it was not to be.

Dad was aggressive and angry, and Eddie never developed a close relationship with him. After a time, his parents divorced.

As an outlet for his resentments, he fought neighborhood kids. Older boys noticed his toughness and took him into their gang. He latched on the masculine approbation and began to thrive in the life of crime.

“I needed somebody to accept me because I was cheated. I needed somebody that was older than me to accept me and embrace me and say, ‘OK, you’re part of this.’”

The hole in his heart wasn’t filled by crime, however, so he sought satisfaction in drug use.

“What is the next thing? Well, let me get some drugs, let me start doing drugs,” he acknowledges.

He worked his way up in drug dealing and landed some high-profile clients. He felt an illusion of power. But he was helpless to stop his own spiraling addiction.

“You’re always chasing that first high,” he says. “It got me to the point of no return. I was like, I can’t stop. There’s no way of me stopping. I had power. I had money; people were looking for me.”

When he was almost killed by a truck it brought a wakeup call. When Eddie recovered, a friend who had become a Christian took him to church.

“Once I was there in church, I was like, ‘What’s here? There’s nothing here for me. I’m not making no money here. I need to go out there and make money.’”

His stubborn heart remained resistant. He didn’t get saved or repent.

After he survived gunshots to the head, he began to reexamine his lifestyle. “I felt disgusted the way that I would just stay up all night and do drugs,” he says. “My nose was like falling apart.”

“Cocaine is a drug that once you start doing it there’s no turning back,” Eddie says. “I was desperate for a way out of this addiction.”

At the urging of his mom, Eddie checked into a rehab facility where he had a life-changing encounter with the Lord.

“I remember one night I’m there in my room and I get a visitation from what I believe was the Lord Jesus,” he says.

In the vision, Jesus imparted to him: You really want to change your life, all you have to do is walk through this door and if you walk through the door, your life will be changed.

Eddie saw a very narrow door, through which shined a bright light. Read the rest: Cuban freed from communism.

Asperger’s son went prodigal

When Graham Cottone was finally diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 10, it was a tremendous relief. Before that, his parents didn’t know what was wrong and they blamed themselves. He was constantly punished, made fun of, and friendless.

“He was hard. He was very, very hard to love,” Lore Cotton, his mother, says on a 700 Club Interactive video. “You love your children. They’re your children. We disciplined out of anger on several occasions. It was scary to think, ‘What are we doing? We’re spanking all the time.”

Graham’s behavior worsened beginning at age 12.

“It just was so overwhelming. I remember just going in my bedroom and being so exasperated,” Lore says. “I just fell down on my bed and just began sobbing.”

Out of her prayer that day, God impressed on her heart: Graham is going to get it.

Despite what Lore felt God impart, she didn’t see any encouraging signs. To the contrary, Graham went downhill fast.

At 13, he began using marijuana. He began cutting himself to relieve anxiety. He started fires in the house. He got into a physical fight with his dad, Lore recounts.

“He ran out and got a rock and he threw it and he hit me in the head,” says Michael Cottone, the father. They called 911, and the police intervened. Graham was arrested and jailed and placed under a restraining order to stay away from home.

“We know you’re going to let him come back,” the cops told the parents at the time. “But we’re not.”

Not long after, Graham experienced some sort of emotional breakdown and broken into a house in Texas.

He grew up in jail and mental hospitals.

“I wanted Graham to have peace and have joy,” Lore says.

Graham moved to Colorado, then hitchhiked to Oregon.

“We were actually on a vacation in Mexico,” Lore says. “Graham called us just half crazed, he was crying and screaming and mad because he had run out of all of his medications and he was at a hospital and they wouldn’t give him any more medications.”

Lore offered to wire him some money but said she couldn’t do much else.

“He got upset. He hung up on me,” Lore remembers. “Right before he hung up on me, he said, ‘I’m, going to hurt somebody.’”

Graham wouldn’t answer his phone and soon lost his phone. There was no way to get ahold of him.

“It felt really bad. It felt like the end,” she says. “All we could do was pray. I just told God, ‘He is yours. He’s always been yours. I want so badly to go rescue him, but I know you brought me here. You took me out of the way. I need to trust and let You do your thing.’”

After the vacation, Lore got a call from her son in Sacramento, California. He had hopped a freight train down from Portland with a group of vagabonds.

“I lost everything,” he said. “I knew I didn’t know anybody for thousands of miles, but I need God.”

“I had this vision of Hell,” Graham says. “It wasn’t a place where people were eternally tortured. It was this place where people just chose to do things their own way.” Read the rest: Asperger’s son went prodigal

Butch Hartman, creator of The Fairly OddParents, a Christian and advocate for marriage

Butch Hartman, the Christian animator who delighted us through our childhood with The Fairly OddParents, has launched an all-Christian cartoon and game website called Noog Network.

“My faith means everything to me and it means everything to my family,” Butch told Jewish News in Phoenix, AZ. “By having faith, I feel that I’m accountable to something else. And in my case, it’s to God. I have to live my life by certain principles because I know I’m going to have to answer for my actions one day.”

Before launching his own production company, Hartman — who calls himself Donald Duck of Nickelodeon because he was second to SpongeBob SquarePants, the Mickey Mouse of the cartoon network — also entertained children with his zany antics in Danny Phantom, T.U.F.F. Puppy and Bunsen Is a Beast.

Butch Hartman’s career launched in the second grade, when his teacher asked students to draw her. Little Butch whipped out her very likeness, and the teacher raved about the talent. From then on, all he wanted to do was draw.

He enrolled in California Institute of the Arts founded by Walt Disney in Valencia, and began working hard in the industry, working for Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network. He worked for Nickelodeon for 20 years. But his end game was to establish his own network.

In the hailed progression to fame, Butch also got saved at Pastor Fred Price’s church in Los Angeles in 1999.

“I went from not wanting to go to church, to being an usher at Crenshaw Christian Center. I was the only white usher at Crenshaw Christian Center,” he told Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships. “It was very easy.” Read the rest: Butch Hartman Christian

First drinking, then heroin, Josh Torbich found identity in substance abuse

Josh Torbich drank in an attempt to mask his insecurities.

“That inferiority complex seemed to slip away. I started to feel confident,” Josh says on a 700 Club video. “I set myself up to see the drink as the solution to fix the way that I felt, because it happened. Man, it was like the most immediate and effective solution that I ever had seen to fix that feeling that I had.”

As a young person growing up in Brunswick, Georgia, excess weight made him self-conscious. When friends introduced him to alcohol at age 13, the euphoria blanked out his feelings of inadequacy and a poor self-image.

“My life circled around, ‘where’s the party at?’” he says. “I started to become the go-to guy for alcohol and I felt like that was somebody that everyone was attracted to, that could quickly move in and out of popularity circles.”.

Because he was big, he could buy alcohol with a fake ID.

But he was living a double life. His parents were Christians who took him to church.

In his junior year of high school, the liquor wasn’t enough. He turned to painkillers, and their potency gave him an additional boost of self-confidence.

Of course, the gateway substance led to even more: during his senior year, he was a full-blown heroin addict.

“The first time that I shot up heroin and the rush came over me, it was like going back to when I was 13 years old,” Josh says. “It was new, it was exciting, and it was something that once again made me feel great.”

After high school, his friends went to jobs and college. Josh stayed at home with Mom and Dad and abused drugs. Read the rest: is there any hope for a drug addict?

Hinduism couldn’t, but Romans could help Satabdi Banerjee

Because she was sickly, little Satabdi Banerjee was consecrated to Kali, the revered Hindu goddess who would bring healing.

But when Satabdi got older, she read the Bible to appease her conscience. All was going well until she hit the Book or Romans, which shattered her view that all religions lead to the same godhead.

“If you read the book of Romans with an open heart, you will see God talking to you,” Satabdi says on her own YouTube channel. “I used to look down on Christian missionaries because I thought they do not understand one very simple concept: All the rivers are ending up in the ocean.”

Satabdi Banerjee was born to a Bengali Brahmin family and took pride from her high caste birth and her family’s devotion to the Ramakrishna brand of Hinduism, the belief that no matter what the religion, they all provide salvation.

Her family members prayed hours every day in a dedicated prayer room at their house. They had lots of Hindu idols, decorated them for holidays and invited relatives over for special meals on those holidays.

They also celebrated Christmas — with gifts in the name of Santa Claus and a birthday cake for Jesus, whom they took to be one of many valuable gurus.

“We used to celebrate everything — Christmas, the birth of Buddha. But at the same time, we thought it was all the same thing,” she says. “We celebrated everything. We used to do carols and cut cake for Jesus.”

Satabdi had a strong desire to please the deity.

“We were so dedicated. I was so dedicated,” she says. “I just had one goal. I wanted to please the gods so that I could meet the gods and be with the gods. I thought I was very close to the gods.”

But she was also painfully aware of the sin in her heart.

“There was this other side of me. I had committed so much sin. Nobody knew my inner heart.”

Satabdi was an avid reader through her childhood. But she refused to read the children’s illustrated Bible because it was Christian, and her mother, who had purchased it at a high price, complained that it alone sat neglected on the bookshelf.

“I did not care about what Christians thought,” Satabdi says.

But the in 11th grade, she met a Catholic girl and flipped through the Bible just to be friendly and to report to her friend that she had read it. There was one problem though: she knew she hadn’t read it. She lied. Read the rest: Satabdi Banerjee couldn’t be helped by Hindusim.

God diet: She dropped 100 pounds

Jackie Halgash lost 100 pounds when she got her comfort from prayer instead of eating.

“I used food for comfort all the time. I used food for when I was happy and when I was sad. I think pretty much any time I felt like eating,” she says on a CBN video. “I got to a point where I couldn’t stand it anymore. I would get up in the morning and before I opened my eyes, my first thought was: what did I do last night? What did I eat? Oh, no! didn’t mean to! I meant to not eat after dinner!”

As a nurse, she knew how obesity jeopardizes health, but the feelings driving compulsive eating overpowered her mental understanding of health. She made rules for herself but always broke them.

Then she found a Christian weight loss program that brought the Lord into her eating.

“It’s a spiritual growth program and that’s the key,” she says. “It gave me the tools that I needed in my faith to be able to stop eating and bring the Lord into my eating.”

As she depended on the Lord, she ate only to being satisfied, not full. When she felt tempted, she called out to the Lord and dedicated that moment as a fast unto the Lord.

“The weight dropped off,” she says.

She dedicated it to the Lord: “Thank You, take this. This is a fast. Take this and I honor You because this is what You’re asking me to do.” Read the rest: God diet to drop 100 pounds

Reading the Bible secretly, Indian Muslim girl questions Islam vs. Christianity

Shahana’s discharge of Islamic obligations was faultless, even to the point to breaking off friendships with Christians who dared to talk to her about Christ.

But when tough times befell her family, she wondered why the “true god” didn’t truly answer. “I had followed Islam for so many years, but my prayers were not answered,” she says on a StrongTower27 video. “I found that my prayers were never accepted. I always used to think, ‘Why is this so?'”

“If you are only going to talk to me about Christ,” she snapped one day, “then it’s better not to speak to me.”

Islam prescribes five prayers scattered throughout the day for its faithful followers, and Shahana never missed.

“But over time as my family went through much suffering and pain, I used to pray,” she says, translated in the video.

But “I found that my prayers were never accepted.”

The lack of response to her prayers was only one unsettling question bothering her brain. She also wondered why Allah seemed unable or unwilling to use any language?

“Why are we told to read Arabic only?” she wondered privately. Muslims must pray in Arabic. Prayers are not accepted in English or Farsi. Muslims must read the Koran in Arabic; the translation is not as good. Allah, it was taught, demands Arabic, the language of the founder of Islam, Muhammad.

Her doubts were growing, but nobody encouraged her to ask. Searching is not permitted in Islam, only submission.

With troubling thoughts brewing in her mind, she relented from the ostracism of her Christian friend. Still, she wouldn’t admit any talk about Christ.

Then, Shahana got the experience that Muslims consider a sublime privilege, a high point in life. For those without many resources, to be able to make pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Islam, is a wild dream.

Shahana visited Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. Her uncle lived there, and she participated in rites of Islam.

She poured out her heart sincerely to Allah: “If you truly exist, show yourself to me,” she prayed.

When she returned to India, she felt a longing to meet her Christian friend to talk. After gabbing about nothing in particular for a while, the Christian friend asked another troubling question about Islam: “Why is it that in Islam a man is allowed to marry up to four wives?”

“This bothered me too,” Shahana dropped her guard. “But we can do nothing about it. It is Allah’s command. Thus, we have to obey.”

“I will say that in the Bible, in my holy book, God gave one Adam only one Eve,” she responded.

Shahana was taken aback. “How can this happen?” she asked. Read the rest: Read Bible secretly to discern which is true, Islam or Christianity.

Rod Carew gave out of his heart, then one of the youths he mentored gave him his heart

Ed Mylett was still smarting from a humiliating performance at the basketball championship game earlier in the day. That evening, he was hitting line drives — his true love – into center field.

He was holding and swinging the bat flat and choppy like his hero, baseball legend Rod Carew, when he heard a voice from behind the backstop. “Who’s the little lefty? I like this kid’s swing.”

Ed glanced back. It was #29 himself, Rod Carew, MLB’s hitting maestro for 19 seasons. Ed was flabbergasted.

“Hey, kid, how would you like me to work with you and train you? Can you make it to my batting cages every Tuesday night?”

Wilting before his hero, Ed struggled to find the words. Yes, yes, yes. He would be there.

In the following months, Rod altruistically gave of himself and mentored 8th-grader Ed Mylett, as he did selflessly with hundreds of other talented young people throughout Southern California. Not only did he provide technical expertise, but he also spoke words of confidence into the kids’ lives.

Rod is a born-again Christian. His generosity eventually proved the Bible’s admonition, “Give, and it will be given you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be put into your lap.” (Luke 6:38)

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One of those hundreds of kids saved Rod’s life, Ed says on his Aug. 24, 2017 Elite Training Library video.

In September 2015, Rod suffered a massive heart attack on a golf course. Golfing by himself, he was on the first hole at the time. He drove his golf cart to the clubhouse and someone called paramedics. Read how the kid he mentored blessed Rod Carew with a heart.

Belinda Lee, stardom didn’t lead her to the Star of Bethlehem

By participating in a talent contest sponsored by MTV, Belinda Lee of Singapore thought she might win a shopping spree or a 3-day vacation in Bali. She never fathomed that by winning she would wind up with a full-time job hosting a show and interviewing celebrities.

“The entire media of Singapore came and started interviewing me: ‘How does it feel to be an MTV VJ?’” she says on a Salt and Light Singapore video. “I was thrown into the limelight and I had to mingle with big international stars and regional stars all the time, so I flew all over the world.

“I wasn’t a Christian, so I was living a godless life…a life of no purpose, a life of no meaning. It was just party after party, but deep down, I was always searching for something more.”

Belinda found “something more” when her mother contracted cancer and, in a crisis-induced search for meaning, found Christ.

“Many people were most deeply moved by Mom’s unwavering belief in God,” Belinda says. “It was Mom’s faith that strengthened my faith.”

In 2013, Belinda accepted Jesus and began attending New Life Community Church in Singapore with her mother.

“She wanted to sign up for Bible study the first day she visited the church. The next week she started Bible study and the following week, she started cooking for the members. She told me that since she can’t do much for the church since she didn’t study, but one thing she can do very well is to cook, so she cooks for the members.”

From the moment she found Christ, Mom emanated joy Read the rest: Belinda Lee Singapore.

After cancer diagnosis, Jewish woman remembers vision of Jesus

After Shiri Joshua was told she had a rare, virulent form of breast cancer (already at stage 3) she faced a stark choice one Friday afternoon. Would she start chemo or undergo a mastectomy on the following Monday?

“I honestly didn’t even comprehend those words,” Shiri says on a 100 Huntley Street video.

An Israel-born Jew, she moved to Toronto at 19, but her family continued to speak Hebrew at home. She always had an inquisitiveness about spiritually. Due to her upbringing, she thought she could only be either orthodox or a secular Jew.

But after she moved to Canada, she fell under the spell of the New Age movement.

“I really did not feel that my traditional Jewish upbringing would satisfy what I wanted,” she says. “I knew there was a God, I just did not know Him.”

Two years prior to her diagnosis, she had a vision. She had heard about Jesus but felt she needed to avoid Jesus because of her Jewish background. But in her search for spirituality one day, she asked God if Jesus was real.

“I was in my bedroom not sleeping and I saw Him. I had an open-eye vision of the Jewish Jesus. He looked very Jewish to me,” Shiri recalls. “God in his brilliant way of doing things appeared to me in a way that I would not find threatening. He appeared to me with a talit, a prayer shawl.

“And he said, ‘Come to me.’ His eyes were just love. It must have been a split second, but it felt like eternity.”

So, in the cancer clinic in British Columbia, after the doctor left the room, she fell to her knees and prayed to Jesus.

“Lord I’m tired of fighting You. If I die, I die, but I want to come to You,” she said. “But if you let me live, I will live for You.

She gave her life to Yeshua/Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, and was born again. “A wave of peace came upon me. I wanted Him so much but I was so afraid because I was Jewish.”

Without delay, she underwent the mastectomy and started chemotherapy. She moved back to Toronto to be with her family. A friend brought a pastor to visit her and she received Jesus into her heart. Six rounds of chemotherapy took six months.

She moved in with her parents and was a secret believer for a while. Read the rest: a vision of Jesus helped heal cancer

The Christian Church in Turkey: how one man started the first church in Antalya

A Muslim extremist tried to kill Ramazan Arkan in Antalya Evangelical Church, the only Christian church in Turkey’s fifth largest city.

“One nationalist guy, he came to our church service to assassinate me and he was planning to kill me, but we had police protection during that time,” Ramazan says in a Stefanus video. “Police realized that guy was there and they arrested him and they put him in jail.

“After that, police thought that behind this guy there is some group that wants me to be dead. When I was single, I didn’t care very much. But now I am married; I have two kids. When you face persecution and when you know that there are people that want to kill you, that is scary. Sometimes I feel scared and sometimes I feel worried.”

There’s a price to pay for converting to Christianity from a Muslim background in Turkey. Sometimes your family disowns you. Sometimes you can’t find a job because of religious discrimination. When the church first opened, Muslims threw stones at it, Ramazan says.

But the 200 Christians who attend Antalya Evangelical Church remain undaunted.

The only thing Ramazan knew about Christianity was what the Muslim propagandists had told him, for example, the Bible was corrupted and unreliable.

So, when a co-worker came out as Christian, Ramazan was curious to ask for himself.

“I was a member of one of the conservative Islamic groups,” he says. “I practiced my faith five times in a day, and I was a very serious, devout Muslim. I never met any Christians until that time, and then we start to talk about Christianity, he told me a lot of things about Christianity. I was shocked by what he told me because what I had learned all those years from my society about Christianity, everything was wrong.”

At the time, there wasn’t a single church in Antalya, a city of 2 million and a resort destination on the Turkish Riviera. So Ramazan started one in the year 2000.

“Jesus changed my mind and he changed my life,” Ramazan says “Now my goal is to serve Him. I’m pastoring this church, I’m teaching and preaching. But most of my time is more like spending time with people, and there are a lot of visitors that they are coming and visiting our church during the weekdays and I usually sit with them and talk to them hours and hours, because Turkish people are very much interested in spiritual stuff.”

Order up a Turkish coffee and while away the time with Christian apologetics.

Alper Gursu was one of the Turks who engaged in long conversations with Pastor Ramazan about spirituality. Today, he is one of the leaders of the church.

“I had dozens of questions, like is the Bible real? Because I heard that’s changed,” Alper says. “So he started explaining that starting from the third century and the Nicene council he explained to me all the history. He gave me this circle of evidence. All my questions were being answered.”

Pastor Ramazan gave Alper a Bible, and he started reading and ended up getting saved.

Melis Samur is now one of the worship leaders. She got into God because she liked architecture and studied churches. When she found one in her city, she begged her parents to let her go.

“It was a really peaceful, really really beautiful place,” Melissa says. “They got really upset at me. They were like, ‘Why do you need another religion?’”

Eventually, her insistence ,,, Read the rest: Christian church in Turkey.

Gospel in Indonesia: a boy gets saved through Superbook cartoon

Bima, 9, received free tutoring after school in a poor Indonesian village.

Part of the Christian sponsored program, Orphan’s Promise, showed kids cartoons of Bible stories. That’s where Bima heard about David and Goliath.

“Goliath said to David that he would cut David to pieces,” Bima says on a 700 Club video. “But David said to Goliath, ‘You came to me with a sword and a spear, but I will fight you with the mighty name of God.’”

And Bima got saved.

“Lord Jesus,” he prayed. “I want you to be my Savior.”

Immediately, he prayed for the salvation of his family, composed of nominal Muslims.

Bima started behaving better at home and read his Bible at home. This piqued the curiosity of his mother. Read the rest: Gospel in Indonesia: Boy gets saved watching Superbook cartoon

‘America’s most self-loathing homosexual’

He’s been called “America’s most self-loathing homosexual,” but Doug Mainwaring, who struggled with same-sex attraction, was just trying to do the best thing for his kids and for the nation.

“I was living as a gay man at the time and I began to write about the need to maintain the definition of marriage,” Mainwaring says on a Ruth Institute video. “President Obama had just come out that he had evolved on the issue. It was suddenly becoming front and center in the national debate.”

His 2012 piece, “The Myth of the Same-Sex Marriage Mandate,” caused a commotion.

While he was sounding the alarm, writing and speaking on major media platforms about his concerns for his family and America, he was dating men.

Recently divorced and resentful about the dissolution, Mainwaring was indulging a same-sex attraction he had felt but never acted upon. But as he wrote, he began to see that he needed to fix more than just the nation. He needed to fix himself!

He was married in 1985 and adopted two boys. He told his fiancé of his attractions to men, but had never acted on the attraction.

In the late 1990s, his marriage fell apart.

“It remains the saddest moment of my life,” he says. “I knew I was same-sex attracted going into our marriage. I had been aware of that since I was a boy. I can understand when people say they were born that way because I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t same-sex attracted.”

His marriage had been a dream: kids, home, picket fence, dogs. When the dream ended like a nightmare, he decided to indulge his homosexual tendencies.

“I thought, ‘Dang it, I’m going to go check this out,’” he says. “I was just being selfish. And in a sense it was retaliatory.”

He answered ads, which is what you did in the late ‘90s. “I went and started meeting guys. I didn’t do anything. We just met for coffee or lunch. Eventually I did have a few relationships.”

Mainwaring was apolitical. But then Obama publicly affirmed his support for letting abortion survivors die on the operating table.

“That was a riveting moment for me,” he says. “That was when I got radicalized to a degree, especially since our children are adopted, I was well aware they could have been aborted.”

When the Tea Party movement launched with conservatives on the East Coast, he got on board. As he saw the media only slander the Tea Party, he began writing to dispel the media’s attempt to demonize it. He captured attention and was offered a chance to write for the Washington Examiner.

“But I quickly realized that our problem wasn’t fiscal in nature, but it was society,” he says. “As I began to write about social issues, I began to start looking at my own life. I couldn’t write about the importance of family life without doing something about my own family.”

He had been separated for more than a decade.

“I realized I’d better try to do something to put my marriage back together,” he says. “The evidence was everywhere screaming at me, ‘Doug, you need to put your life together.’”

His youngest son was beginning to act up at school. He was biting other kids and falling into disproportionately huge rages. He sat with his ex-wife to discuss how to respond.

“One day I realized, he’s not to blame. We’re to blame,” he narrates. “We took away his happy home and placed on him our stress on his shoulders and this was the result of it.” Read the rest: Homosexual opposes gay marriage

40 Vicodins a day for the doctor

Dr. Lou Ortenzio derived satisfaction from serving his patients in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Maybe, he got too much satisfaction because he was working 16-hour days.

“I felt like I had to perform at such a high level, be 10 feet tall, bulletproof and faster than a speeding locomotive and trying to make your patients happy,” he says on a CBN video. “I did take good care of people, I really cared about them and they knew that I cared.”

Ironically, caring for others made him neglect his family and himself.

“My wife certainly never saw me. The children hardly knew who I was,” he says.

What drove him to unreasonable exertions?

“At my core I didn’t love myself,” he says. “I needed everyone else to love me to make me feel adequate.”

Inevitably, the life he built in the idyllic mountain town from 1982 onward began to crumble under the strain.

His wife took the kids, separated from him and moved to Pittsburgh. It was supposed to provoke a change in him and bring about a reconciliation. Instead, they divorced.

Lou didn’t know what to do, so he did the only thing he had ever done. He kept working beyond overtime.

One night working late hours, he felt an excruciating headache. Over the counter meds did nothing to alleviate the pain, so he reached for something stronger: Vicodin. Read the rest: God set him free from opioid addiction.

Pimped by mom, woman found freedom from guilt in baptism

To pay bills, Mom prostituted BJ Garrett until she turned 15.

“I had no healthy concept of love,” BJ says on a 700 Club video. “Love was very sexual to me. I just remember feeling very ugly, very alone, very unwanted.”

BJ’s journey through the moral sewers of America started with abuse from her own father.

“My dad did things that no dad is supposed to do to his little girl,” she says.

Her mother stopped pimping her when she got pregnant as an adolescent by her boyfriend. Having a baby represented the first ray of hope in her life. Finally, there was someone who would give her pure love, and to whom she could give pure love.

“I wanted to be wanted and having a baby fulfilled that — she was going to be perfect and lovely and love me unconditionally,” she says.

Her boyfriend abandoned her, however, and later she found herself pregnant with another teenage boyfriend, but that relationship also soured because the young man was not ready for the responsibility of fatherhood.

“All he said was, ‘I don’t want to be a dad,’” she remembers. “And I just thought there’s no way I will ever let my child feel even for a moment the way I felt my whole life.”

The answer was abortion.

“I really thought I was doing the very best thing for my baby by having an abortion,” BJ says.

Her ill-conceived decision brought guilt and self-loathing.

“It was like just a little section of my heart was to never beat again,” she recounts, grappling with her unexpected emotions. “I was the dirty, ugly, gross, vile human being that now just put this ugly cherry on top by ending my own baby’s life.”

At 19, BJ had a second child, and paying bills became her chief concern. Sadly, she turned to an income source that was available for someone with no education or training – she entered the adult entertainment business and became a sex worker on the side.

“I was mom by day and and stripper and prostitute by night,” she says. “My body had been used my whole life to pay for things, but it was always forced upon me. Now I was in control.”

But “being in control” didn’t mean she was happy.

“With every song, every dollar, every set, I just got more cold-hearted,” she says. Read the rest: Sex worker from childhood.

Why Jason Castro disappeared from the secular music scene

Jason Castro, with his dreadlocks and effervescent smile, won America’s hearts even though he didn’t win the American Idol contest in 2008. He launched billboard hits and then disappeared from the secular music scene, leaving fans confused.

“I just felt so detached from a church community,” Jason told CBN. “I just struggled to stay connected to God on the road through the exhaustion, and I wanted more God in my life.”

After dropping a Christian album, Only a Mountain, in 2103, Castro today is married with four kids and selling real estate in Texas, where he lives. His main desire is to be with his kids and God. Of course, he’s still dropping music.

After initial success, Jason Castro went dark on the secular music scene. But more than fame and money, Jason wanted a family.

“Music has that power to calm or to move, the power to give emotions of any kind,” he says on an I am Second video. “What’s the heart behind it? I’ve given my heart to Christ, and that comes through. People are drawn to that even though they don’t always know what it is.”

Jason Rene Castro was raised in Rowlett, Texas, where he was a wing-back on the high school soccer team. The son of Columbian immigrants studied construction science at Texas A&M University and tried out for American Idol. He was the first contestant to play a ukulele as he sang “Over the Rainbow.” Read the rest: Jason Castro disappeared from the music scene.

Jeff Levitan on teaching orphans in the developing world the principles of wealth

Jeff Levitan had made millions by age 30, so he did what was expected: he retired to his beautiful home and a life of luxury funded by investments that would continue to churn out income for the rest of his life.

Two months later, he came out of retirement, finding himself bored.

Jeff realized that he needed something better than money and its trappings. He needed to find a higher purpose to animate his life.

Today, he’s back at financial advising and making money. The difference now is that he launched the All For One Foundation, which establishes orphanages around the world.

These are not your typical orphanages. He refers to them as “prosperity centers.”

If that name gave you pause, it does for a lot of people. They’re teaching the lessons of capitalism to poor little kids in countries with weak economies. Are the principles of wealth creation and wealth management the exclusive domain of developed countries? Or do they apply to the rest of the world also?

Jeff’s initiative is going to find out.

While the United Nations throws money at the world’s problems, the All For One Foundation is teaching some of the poorest orphans in the worlds how to break the cycle of poverty for future generations.

“All For One is doing more than just giving children of the world hope,” says a promotional video. “All For One is actively working towards building the systems needed not just to survive but to thrive. We’ve seen firsthand the lasting impact our projects have had around the world.”

For 20 years, these orphanages and schools in Sierra Leone, Nicaragua and 27 other nations, offer 25,000 kids (and sometimes their moms) shelter, food, health care, clothing and education — both regular academic classes and special financial courses.

Financial education – the stuff of Warren Buffett – in the developing world. Wrap your head around that.

Jeff Levitan is undaunted by the quixotic nature of his dream. Read the rest: Jeff Levitan’s ‘prosperity centers’ orphanages with All For One Foundation.

Tithing inspired them to get debt free

Newlyweds Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog didn’t worry too much about their $114,000 in combined debt since they both had good jobs. He worked for a New York-based IT firm and she was a licensed mental health counselor.

“I felt like we’ll pay it off whenever we pay it off,” Jhanilka says on a CBN video. “There’s no rush, just kind of like everybody else does, you have car payments, you have student loan payments, this is just part of life.

But as they attended church, they were challenged to think about giving more to help others in need and to think about creating generational wealth, what they hoped to pass along to their children one day.

“I’m going to church now. I want to be a part of it. I want to support,” Anthony says. “The same way we were budgeting for our food and for our clothes, we were budgeting for our tithing as well.”

By budgeting, they reigned in their expenses. The couple took another step; they supplemented their income with side hustles. Anthony signed up his new car for peer-to-peer rental. Jhanilka started a dog sitting business. Anthony worked at a gym on weekends. The industrious couple also started a cleaning business.

Within two years, they had paid off their student loans and credit card debt.

“As we were raising our income, we were tithing,” Anthony confides. “The money we were tithing was never ‘felt’ because we were always getting it back.” Read the rest: Get debt free in God.

Transgender transformed

Over and over again, Michaela Lanning came to sleep on Grandma’s couch, amid the piles of hoarded rubbish, toxic mold and asbestos on the ripped carpet.

“Dad was very disconnected, very sociopathic, very narcissistic, very addictive personality,” she says in a video testimony on her YouTube channel.

Without support, Mom kept getting evicted, which led to all sorts of confusion for the children and instability.

In the fifth grade, Michaela got bullied because she wasn’t doing the girlish things of other girls. She was just trying to deal with her mom’s anxiety attacks and make meals of popcorn.

“I would have to put Mom to bed, and I was terrified that she was gonna die,” Michaela remembers. “Like I would tuck her in every night, because I thought that would save her from dying.”

Her mom recovered from the breakdown, but Michaela broke down and began cutting herself as a coping mechanism in the sixth grade.

In the seventh grade, she developed dissociative disorder.

“I thought I was either dead or I was watching a movie,” she says. “I thought I was sleeping and it was a dream I was in. I genuinely was not coherent. I was not aware of anything going on around me and it was terrifying.”

Every day she was in the school nurse’s office and invented reasons to be sent home, usually because of a stomachache or headache.

In the eighth grade, she took classes online because leaving the house gave her panic attacks.

“Things were getting really bad with my parents,” she says. “One time my dad was watching my sister and I, and he chased us down the hall with a knife. Yeah, we moved back in with my grandma.

“My sister and I were sleeping in the living room on two couches, which were probably from the 80s. They were covered in dog pee. They were filthy; they had holes in them. That’s what we slept on for four more years. No bed, no bedroom, no dad, nothing.”

Looking for validation in high school, she “came out” as bisexual and later as lesbian. It was an artsy high school, not a football high school, and that’s where she thought she could find support and sort out the chaos in her mind.

As the founder of the Gay-Straight Alliance, she hung out with transgenders and related to all their confusion and was being heavily influenced to change her thinking.

“I felt all of those things and I, in my brokenness and my self-harm and my eating disorder and my anxiety, all of it was coming together, and I said yeah that sounds right: I’m transgender,” she recalls. She came out as a transgender man, told everyone she wanted to be called a different name, and started seeing a gender therapist

“But in my core I knew I wasn’t transgender the whole time. What I needed was a savior. It’s just I did not know that at the time.”

When she had a nervous breakdown, Michaela dropped out of school and dropped the transgender ploy.

Michaela is currently studying at Moody Bible Institute.
In her sophomore year, she attended an “alternative high school,” where the druggies and pregnant teens are sent.

“I did not meet a single kid there that did not do drugs, or at least vape,” she says. She started smoking marijuana and met a friend who persuaded her to get pregnant so they could be teen moms together.

“She was the kind of person that goes out every single weekend and hooks up with guys and does things for money,” Michaela remembers. “I was just chasing anything that would fill my heart and make me feel better. I was like, ‘That makes so much sense. I should do that. I would love to have a baby.’”

The “sperm donor” was found and the site they chose for her impregnation was a tent on the high school football field… Read the rest: Michaela Lanning and the question of influences.

‘Untouchable’ touched by God

How dare Kumar Swamy, born an “untouchable” in India, carelessly bump into a Brahmin playing cricket on the street one day in his village in India? It was only an accident, but the upper caste boy was incensed.

“You dirty Dalit (untouchable) dog!” he says on a 100Huntley video. “I became very mad. I had the cricket bat in my hand. It’s like your baseball bat, thick and hard. I took it and gave him a whack.”

According to Hinduism, the Dalit must be careful to never “contaminate” an upper caste. Immediately, people started to gather and formed an angry mob of about 100. Stirred and restive, the people ultimately forced Kumar’s family to leave the village forever.

“My mom was constantly telling us we were untouchables,” he says. “Oftentimes she would use the words, ‘we are sub-humans’ — not really human beings. You can imagine how I would feel like a child, constantly hearing it from my parents, my mom, telling me that we are not real human beings.”

The ‘untouchables’ or dalit are born in the bottom of society and can never leave. Frequently, the untouchables perform the most menial of jobs, such as cleaning sewers, for a pittance. But Kumar’s dad made good money as a witch doctor. He talked to spirits, cast and broke spells and was highly sought after because of the dark arts.

“You could imagine how totally my family was under the clutches of the evil spirits,” he says. “It was an oppressive, grim, gloomy reality of my childhood.”

Kumar was 11 years old when he struck the Brahmin boy with a cricket bat. Usually, he played only with other untouchables, but sometimes they played with others.

“He was hurt, he was bleeding and there was a big commotion in the village,” he says. “Nearly 100 of his relatives came from nowhere within no time and they just held me guilty.”

It was probably a good thing that they didn’t kill Kumar. Instead, they exiled him.

“We packed what little stuff we had and just left the village to another village, where the Dalits were predominantly gathering,” he says. “That left a very deep wound in my heart.”

With the move, his father lost work and they suffered scarcity. Kumar asked himself many searching questions.

“Why did God create me as a Dalit, as untouchable, as a sub-human?” he said. “We were praying to all these millions of Hindu gods — and no answer. So, as you can imagine, I was left a very depressed, disillusioned, young man seeking for hope in my life, seeking for reality.” Read the rest: Untouchable touched by Jesus.

Good Sam got blessed 3 years later by the very person he helped

After dropping his family off at church, Chris Wright circled back to pick up a lady walking down the side of the road with a gas can that he had seen on his way to Sunday morning service.

“She was down on her luck,” Chris said on the Today Show. “She had only $ 5 in a purse and was worried about feeding her child. I filled her gas can and drove the woman back to her car. As I started to leave, I felt a nudge to give her what I had in my wallet $40.”

The act of kindness toward TunDe Hector came at her neediest moment, and tears welled up in her eyes.

Three years later, Chris’s mom suffered a life-threatening disease and was hospitalized. After days, she was released but needed a nurse’s aide to monitor her at home.

The nurse’s aide turned out to be the same woman he helped at the side of the road – TunDe. At first, Chris didn’t recognize her and TunDe didn’t recognize Chris because the day he popped by he was wearing sweatpants and a cap on backwards.

But they did get to talking, and TunDe found out that Chris attended Cornerstone Church in Athens, Georgia. That’s when she brightened and recounted the story of how “a young man” from that church had performed an act of kindness to her three years earlier.

“My jaw dropped,” Chris says.” I couldn’t believe it. I saw myself three years earlier being tugged to help a stranger.” Read the rest: What it means to be Christian?