I had rejected Christianity when I was a teenager as being a crutch for weak people. To me, I had thought that people were just avoiding responsibility for their own lives. When I was 18 my mother died an alcoholic. It was a shock to me. One that I couldn't express very well--especially to my own family. They had wanted the city of New York to bury her. One of those mass graves--something like that. I insisted and we paid for a grave site. The rest of my family wasn't too sentimental since my mother had been very violent and caused years of grief to our family. But I had been the youngest and didn't see a lot of the troubles.
I decided to drop out of High School and work or join the Army. Anything to escape High School. I had usually skipped all that I could get away with. Suicide was on my mind but I usually found escape through Science Fiction, music or chess. When I turned 19 I entered a Community College and made Dean's List. After a year there I transferred to Miami University of Ohio. It was too lonely for me and I dropped out.
When I got back home I got a job as a slag grinder making $7/hr. I had started to meet new people and those new people introduced me to different drugs. After a year working, taking drugs and a few affairs I was almost wasted. I got into Eastern religions and Timothy Leary type enlightenment.
I was searching VERY hard for an answer so I could stop the pain I was in. I decided to quit work and join some friends westward to live communal-style. The bus they acquired broke down not far from the starting point and my girlfriend at that time went with me in her car to Washington state from Northern Ohio in Jan. of '78.
After a few weeks in Washington State, Tamara and I decided to hitch-hike to Los Angeles to visit her uncles. I had a different plan than the one I let Tamara in on. I wanted to visit a famous Zen monastery in San Francisco and leave Tamara with her uncles in Los Angeles since we had been fighting to an intolerable degree.
The trip was exhilarating as we saw the Cascade mountains dwarf us. We did not find getting a ride to be easy. Many were short rides. That day we made it down to mid-Oregon and camped out the night in a pup-tent I carried. In the morning we left our site and saw a car with California plates parked at the rest stop. We asked the driver, a Vietnamese person, for a ride which he allowed. His English wasn't too good but beggars can't be choosers. He told us he was going as far as southern Sacramento but when he pulled the car off the highway north of Sacramento I became worried. I asked him where he was going and he told me to a free phone to call his girl. What he said made no sense so I had him take us to a motel. Tamara and I went to a Greyhound bus stop the next day--a little pessimistic with hitch-hiking.
At the bus stop we met some 'nice' people. They invited us to a dinner in Berkley. I was tired and free food sounded good. Tamara thought so too so we had dinner there. There were a lot of people there and they invited us to their farm for the night. Again it sounded interesting so we went with them in their bus to a farm outside Booneville. They told us at the farm that we couldn't sleep together which annoyed Tamara but I didn't mind. I slept on a wooden floor in a barn with a bunch of others spread about. The next day Tamara wanted to leave but I was interested in the goings on at the farm. Nonetheless, we left and arrived in Los Angeles later that day.
Tamara's uncles were interesting but they had a lifestyle that made me feel uncomfortable. They gave me drugs I'd never tried before which messed me up. I decided to get away from them and go back to Boonville to figure out why those people were so 'nice'. I went to San Francisco and notified the 'nice' people that I was there. They told me to come over the next day. I did but I had mononucleosis and didn't know it except that I was extremely tired.
When I got to their house in Berkley I looked for a place to rest. I wandered through their house for a place to lay down and ended up in the basement. There I accidentally discovered pictures of Rev. Sung Yung Moon and his family reverently displayed. I realized I was with the infamous 'moonies'. Some of the moonies found me looking through the books so I played stupid and they let me go outside. I waited for the bus to their farm.
When I got to the farm they paired us with 'buddies'. The buddies rarely left us alone. The more I was there the more I felt something wrong with the whole place. I finally cornered my buddy into a lie. I asked him for his real name and he changed it on the spot. The whole place took on a different meaning to me. One of evil. I had placed my trust in Buddhism and its reassuring doctrine of "good and evil" as being illusions and at that time my whole 'mind set' was blown away. All of a sudden I knew there was evil and I knew there was good. I also believed there was a God and I started praying. The moonies loaded me into a bus the next day. I had spent the night praying and I was reduced to a praying vegetable. But I believed and all I could do was praise God for the things He made. I didn't even remember Jesus' name. I prayed, "Father". They were driving me away and I didn't care where to. I was praying. In my mind I said something to God about getting off the bus and heading for a mountain. As soon as I thought that there were two large claps, the bus went off to the side of the highway and stopped. I left the bus and wandered around. I went inside a church and saw a picture of Jesus and stared knowing that was Him--Jesus! The pastor of the church contacted some friends. They were born-again Christians in Novato. They led me to pray to God the Son--Jesus Christ.
A number of years have passed since then--march of '78. My life didn't change into what it is today overnight. Jesus taught me, and teaches me, to trust ONLY in Him. Today I am a graduate of two colleges and have a beautiful family. I owe it all to Jesus.
I condensed a lot of this testimony for brevity. But you, too, can know Jesus because He died for you--in your place that you may know His truth and His love. Ask Him now to forgive you of your sins and be the Lord of your life.
- This is my testimony of how I came to know Jesus Christ.