Here is a testimony we received from a man who searched for meaning and fullness through success, money, possessions, and travel, as well as through various world religions. But it was a green college Testament distributed through The Gideons International that brought him to a truly personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. And through that, his marriage was restored and he finally was able to find fulfillment that lasts.
I was born in a Christian home. I knew about Christ, but I didn’t know Christ. To me, Christianity was a bunch of do’s and don’ts and an overwhelming guilt trip.
Soon after I entered college, I joined a fraternity. I noticed a few of my fraternity brothers going around telling everyone about Jesus Christ, even though they were ridiculed unmercifully.
Finally, I asked one of them what he knew. He shared the Gospel. That night, I made the biggest mistake of my life. I said, “Lord, I will believe in You if You will come into my life, but not change anything.” I launched into being a “do-it-yourself Christian.”
I met a girl named Jane and we married. Soon after, we decided to throw out the do’s and don’ts and guilt that were Christianity as we knew it. After ten years of “doing our own thing” we found out what happens when two people go their own way—they inevitably go in opposite directions. We split up.
After a couple of years of psychotherapy and Eastern religion, I thought I had it all together. So I tried to get back with Jane. What I did not know is that she had become a Christian in the meantime. She realized I had not changed and refused to have anything to do with me.
I had lost the thing that meant the most to me—Jane’s love. So I set sail around the world to find a new reason to live.
I had tried everything else that was supposed to bring happiness–career, success, money, relationships–yet nothing worked. There was only one hope left—finding God.
I sailed south from Hawaii with two friends on a tiny 25-ft sailboat. As we sailed, I pored over books on Hinduism, Buddhism, ancient Egyptian religions, and Eastern and Western philosophies. Finally, I got to the bottom of the pile of books. It was a little green College Testament that had been given to me in Hawaii.
I began to read about Jesus Christ. He didn’t just talk peace and love and joy like the rest. Here was a man Who loved those who hated Him, forgave those who abused Him and died that I might have life.
I said, “Lord, if you will come and take over this mess, I will follow You anywhere”—and He did. The emptiness that I felt inside suddenly felt full and complete. The life that had been falling apart began to come back together.
On each island where we stopped, I met just the right people to answer my questions and guide me in my Christian walk. Finally, I spent three months in an evangelical Bible college in New Zealand.
While there, Jan and I began to write one another. Gradually, God brought us back together. He has since blessed us with children and a love relationship far happier than any we had ever imagined.
I am thankful to the Gideons for the part they played in bringing the Word of God to me.