John 15:16 -You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give whatever you ask in my name.

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These are from my “Cardboard Testimony” at         

Kenosha Journey Church in November 2008



Below is something I put together for the youth group several years ago when the youth ministry preached a message about suicide. It is how I came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

                                                      Suicide. My Story

So you have decided on suicide. You’re not alone. It’s time to get honest with yourself. Why? Because there is absolutely no reason not to. You are throwing in the towel and nobody can stop you. These are facts. Here is what I did. I made a list of all the losers whom I was going to take with me that made my life so miserable to the extent that I no longer wanted to live. I looked it over and asked myself, “Do I have it in me to kill them?” Perhaps. Let’s just say if these people were gone off the face of the earth, would I feel my life would be worth living? No, my life would still stink. Scratch that idea. What if somehow I was caught alive in the middle of killing them and had to spend life in jail….still alive!


Just kill myself and be done. It might hurt for a minute but then it’s done. Nothingness. How great would that be! No more pain or suffering. I hope everyone hurts because I’m gone. Let them feel my pain for a change. I won’t have to feel guilty. I won’t be here to see it and be sad for the few that actually did care for me. The pain will then stop……or will it? Will it really stop? Who could tell me what it’s like to be dead? There is nobody that can tell me. Let’s look at all possibilities and see if I can handle them:


Complete nothingness. Perfect. I can handle that.

Reincarnation, I come back as someone else random chance. I can handle that more than this life.

Reincarnation, coming back as someone or something that reflects what I did in this life. I could handle that probably. I’m willing to go for it.

I keep getting reincarnated until I get life right. Could take forever but who cares. I don’t remember things from my past lives, why worry about it.

Could there be something worse than this life after death? It’s possible.

What about heaven and hell? Heaven? Sure could handle that. But hell? If it is as bad as the Bible says it is, it might be worse than this life, hard as that is to imagine.


I can live and die with the first 4 but the last 2 are worse than this life and are realistically possible. Is it worth the gamble? Think of it, worse than this crappy life. What if there was a God and there really was a “judgement day”. Would God be Ok with the fact that he gave me the gift of life and I basically threw it back in his face?


What is it that makes me want to end my life? I can’t figure it out. Let’s try another idea.


Who do I know that isn’t suicidal and actually, sincerely enjoys their life? You know the old saying, “Do what you have always done and you’ll get what you’ve always got.” Maybe I can learn from someone else how to make my life worth living. Make another list. What do these people have in common? Do they all go through rough times? Yes. What makes them keep on keeping on? I don’t know. It’s like they get upset or real mad, then it’s like they just ignore or come to terms with the problem at hand and apparently just forget it as best they can. Who knows? I could always ask them I guess. Let’s try something else.


I could call someone and talk over my problems. Who do I want to call? It would have to be someone not close to me but someone who would really care about me. Who would that be? I wish I had a phone number of someone. It would have to be a person who could keep what we talk about between us. I don’t need everyone knowing that I was seriously considering killing myself if this person and I worked through this and I decided not to do it. It would be real embarrassing and that is the last thing I need.  No one is coming to mind. I am just not going to take the time and effort to look for someone. What about trying something else.


Who are the people or person in the whole world that I would most want to be like? Make another list – 15 or 20 people. What do all these people have in common? Do they ever let me down? Yes, every one of them has let me down at one time or another in some form. Are they all popular? No. Are they all good looking or stylish? No. Are they always happy? No. Do they have high integrity? Hmmm. I think so, yes. They for the most part say what they mean and mean what they say whether others or I like it or not.  Are they fair and honest? Usually to the best of their abilities. Something there, I just can’t grasp what it is. Let’s press on.


Who are the happiest people I know that I really sense are genuinely happy. Those nutty Christian people on TV and the radio came to mind right away. There were a few people in a church I visited that kept hoopin and a hollerin in joy as the preacher was speaking. I thought it was funny but they didn’t care. They were truly happy and excited to hear God’s Word from the Bible. When was I truly happy? Was there a time? Yes. When I was growing up. From 12 years old and before seemed to be pretty awesome in comparison to now being 36. I can’t remember any consistent stretch of time where I had real joy and contentment as I had as a child after the age 12 or so.


So, what changed from the time I was 12 until now? Well, I watched dad gradually became a serious alcoholic and eventually die of liver disease. I did poorly in school because I was stressed about how the family was breaking down and would my dad finally just one day snap? That was the time I began to really question my belief in God. I also started to steal.

Yes, I became an agnostic; maybe God did or didn’t exist. Wait; check my list of which I would most like to be like again. There is something that keeps popping up, Christianity. All the people on my list, were they Christians? Yes they were. At the very least they would acknowledge they believed in the God of the Bible. Maybe God is real after all. Is it possible? I guess so. Even though he seemed to be ignoring me, had I really given him a chance? Being 100% honest with myself I had to admit I hadn’t lived according to God’s will in the Bible at any time in my life, even when I was a child, but he obviously showed me his mercy. 


It’s bargain time. At age 36 I fell to my knees, crying in defeat and looked to the sky and said, “God, I don’t know if you are real or not. If you are, I don’t see any evidence of it in my life. I promise to give you my 100% full effort to live according to your will in the Bible. If you show up in my life I will be yours forever. If not, I can always choose death.”  At that moment I actually felt a peace come over me like never before. It was like God took control over the ship in a stormy sea and calmed the waters. He was there all the time. He was just waiting for me to step aside. Now my life had direction.


I hunted around the house and actually found a Bible and began to read it page by page. I quit listening to the radio stations and watching TV (The majority which is trash) and sought Christian radio stations to see if God would speak to me through them. He did many times and I learned that we live in the New Testament times and that I should primarily be studying that. That was a big relief because the Old Testament was really hard for me to understand.  I began to attend church consistently.


That was 10 (now 20) years ago. God has shown his love for me in so many ways I am no longer able to count. After I gave myself to God I found who would become the wife I had always dreamed of. After that my wife and I moved into our own home. I didn’t realize just how much I wanted the stereotypical life until the first night we spent in our very own home because it was always so out of reach for me.


You will do what you will do.


Choose death and I’ll be saddened but not hurt that you are gone. I will hurt and show comfort for those who will miss you. When Judas killed himself, Peter quoted the book of Psalms, “ ‘May this place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “ ‘May another take his place in leadership.’  Meaning you can’t be replaced but someone will finish the work that was yours.


Choose truth and life, all of heaven and I will rejoice that your name is written in the Lambs Book of Life.

Don’s Story

Phillipians 2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

The Bottom Line

Nesting Doll Story

You have likely seen these before. We know them as nesting dolls but they are more properly called Matryoshka or Babushka Dolls. A Missionary from Ukraine brought a set of these to our church. It got me thinking how they represented generation after generation of Russian people being told there was no God. The vision that occurred to me was what if I were able to “paint” the salvation of Christ to the heart of one doll or person and then preceeding generations would follow suit.

The Calling


  Another missionary (Bob Mckay) speaking in the sanctuary, and for the umpteenth time I hear that familiar voice whispering, “What are you going to do about it?” Naturally the voice was speaking to all those behind or next to me. Suddenly, like a parent grabbing the child by the face and forcing an eye-to-eye, I hear very clearly, “What are YOU going to do about it?” I answered, “I’ll ....go?”

  That evening I told my wife, I think God is calling us to missions.” “Well that’s a confirmation to me!” She had also heard a calling to missions work.

  After several other confirmations, it was clear that we needed to take action. This site is a part of our response.

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