Urban Report

The Shepherd’s Call

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Christian Berdahl


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000202A

00:01 Stay tuned to meet a man whose journey through hardship
00:03 and abuse will inspire you,
00:04 he is an overcomer and you can be too.
00:07 My name is Yvonne Lewis
00:09 and you're watching Urban Report.
00:34 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:36 My guest today is Christian Berdahl,
00:38 President and Founder of Shepherd's Call Ministry.
00:41 Shepherd's Call Ministry is an Evangelistic,
00:44 Singing, Speaking and Video Production Ministry
00:47 dedicated to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ
00:50 throughout the world, in ways that challenge
00:53 and inspire souls to connect with him.
00:56 Welcome to Urban Report Christian.
00:57 Thank you... thank you for having me...
00:59 it's so good to be here.
01:00 Oh, it's so great to have you,
01:01 you know, I've seen you on 3ABN before,
01:05 I've heard some of your music and I was in the D.C. area
01:10 when you were there with
01:12 Yolanda Palmer and the Ten Commandments...
01:16 what a beautiful project, what an amazing project...
01:20 It was a blessing to be a part of it.
01:22 Yes, yes, yes, yes, and the testimony that you gave
01:26 was mind-boggling...
01:28 I had no idea that you had gone through all of that...
01:31 and I thought, "Wow, I really want to have you on Urban Report
01:35 to talk about your journey. "
01:37 Sure...
01:38 So let's talk about your journey...
01:40 tell us about your family,
01:42 what kind of upbringing did you have?
01:44 were you born into a Christian family?
01:46 No, actually I was born into the absolute opposite,
01:49 my mother was 16 years old,
01:50 my father... when she got pregnant with me,
01:53 my father was 18...
01:55 and my mom just turned 17 when she had me,
01:57 by that time, my father was already a daily drinker at 19,
02:01 he was addicted to prescription drugs...
02:04 that he would steal from his parents and neighbor adults
02:08 and so, the addiction started very early
02:11 and my parents stayed together, had two more children
02:15 and when I was about 7 years old,
02:18 my mother got tired of moving around from place to place...
02:22 by the time I was seven, we had moved 13 different times
02:25 so an average of two times a year we were moving out
02:28 because when you don't pay the rent, you get kicked out
02:30 and so, my dad wasn't coming home,
02:33 he was an alcoholic, a drug addict and unfortunately
02:40 he was not faithful in his vows to my mother
02:42 and finally my mom had had enough and she divorced him.
02:45 And so... the beginning start of our life
02:48 was quite turbulent.
02:51 Yeah, so, your mom and your dad were kids...
02:53 Yes...
02:55 That's really the bottom line
02:56 they had not been developed, they had not...
02:58 they were just kids when they got together
03:01 kind of putting the cart before the horse
03:03 right, and so, they got together
03:05 and they weren't ready to be parents.
03:08 No, I mean, how does a child raise a child?
03:10 Exactly... babies having babies, right?
03:12 So, they were together for awhile...
03:15 but then, your mom just couldn't deal with it anymore
03:18 and she... they divorced.
03:20 What really broke the...
03:22 the straw that broke the camel's back, to use a phrase, was...
03:26 we were at a friend's house for a Sunday cookout and barbeque
03:30 and he got drunk as he always would
03:34 and it was time to go home
03:36 and he wouldn't give my mother the keys
03:37 and he drove all of us home
03:40 and he was just all over the road
03:42 and she was begging and pleading for him to stop...
03:44 and to pull over... and when we got home,
03:49 thank God... she said, "That's it... I'm leaving"
03:53 and she divorced him.
03:55 And they never reconciled, they never...
03:58 No, I mean... you can't reconcile
04:00 when one party doesn't see their issues and doesn't change.
04:03 Hmmm... hmmm...
04:04 And that was the state of mind that my father was in.
04:07 So, was your family like many others
04:10 when the father and mother divorce,
04:12 children are out of the dad's life too
04:15 or did you still have contact with him?
04:17 Well, we did have contact with him,
04:20 my mother was careful that the contact we had
04:23 was supervised and that was Court ordered, in fact,
04:26 because he was a danger to us.
04:27 I remember one of those weekends,
04:30 when... he had been doing pretty good...
04:33 he was in the Military, he thought,
04:35 "I'll join the Military... I'll get clean, I'll get sober there"
04:37 he found drugs and alcohol in the Military, unfortunately,
04:40 and so, now, he's just partying with his Commanding Officers
04:44 and he just went deeper into his addiction,
04:47 on one weekend,
04:49 he seemed like he was doing better, so my mom said,
04:51 "You can have the kids over at your mom's house... "
04:53 at my Nana's and unfortunately
04:56 she didn't realize he fell off the bandwagon
04:59 and he was even deeper into his addictions than ever
05:02 and on my tenth birthday on one of those visiting sessions
05:07 his bright idea was to give me my first beer
05:10 and go to the store and rent a couple of pornographic movies
05:15 and we three little boys sat there watching this...
05:18 going... "What is this?"
05:20 and unfortunately, later that night
05:23 my father, just being jacked up on those drugs
05:28 and on that alcohol...
05:29 molested myself and my middle brother Aaron so...
05:33 And this was the first time
05:35 that that had ever happened, he hadn't molested you before?
05:38 It's the first time that I remember
05:39 and I have no reason to believe it happened before.
05:42 Right... man! Christian... I mean that is so...
05:46 that's so painful... it wasn't even your step-dad,
05:49 it was your dad...
05:51 Yeah, and it became a big secret, frankly,
05:54 and my brother and I... we never talked about it..
05:56 even when we were little, we never...
05:58 we just never said anything until we were adults
06:00 and we told my mother
06:02 and, of course, my mom just fell apart.
06:03 Yeah... yeah... so... you saw your dad this time
06:08 and that happened...
06:10 were you put back into his care ever again, did it happen again?
06:14 It was never without my grandparents around...
06:17 and that's just because it naturally happened that way,
06:21 there's a weird thing that happens in a little boy's mind
06:24 when you want your dad...
06:27 and so I was afraid if I told anybody,
06:30 I'd never be able to see him again
06:32 and I just had this deep desire to have my father in my life.
06:37 Sure, well, it's natural... that's your daddy...
06:39 Yeah, that's right...
06:40 And... and the confusion that must ensue
06:43 as a result of that because it's something
06:46 that... it's an intimate act... but you know it's not...
06:50 Christian: No, you know it's not right.
06:52 Yvonne: There's something wrong with it, when it's your dad...
06:54 and you don't want to get him in trouble.
06:55 Right.
06:56 Because you want to see him again
06:58 because that's your dad
06:59 so it's got to give you a lot of confusion.
07:01 Yeah, and it did... for both myself and my brother.
07:04 Hmmm... hmmm... so, what happened after...
07:07 after that happened, did you have any confusion
07:10 when you went to High School
07:12 did you have any kind of confusion... sexual confusion
07:16 when you went to High School?
07:18 Yeah, I didn't have any necessarily...
07:19 I do remember wondering why I never said anything
07:23 and then several other things began to happen
07:27 unfortunately, when my mother divorced,
07:29 when I was seven years old, she put us in daycare
07:33 and I had a babysitter's teenage son...
07:38 when it was time for naptime,
07:39 he was molesting about six of us little boys,
07:41 so this wasn't the first time it happened,
07:43 it happened at seven and then at ten...
07:47 and so, I've got these two massive secrets
07:49 and you do start to wonder,
07:51 "Maybe I didn't tell because I like boys... "
07:54 maybe... so you start wondering about this...
07:58 and indeed there wasn't anything there about that
08:01 but why didn't you say anything, why didn't you tell?
08:04 See the victimization of children
08:07 is so impactful... it's like...
08:11 the child takes it on himself, like, "What did I do?"
08:16 Like... because I've heard this story time after time,
08:21 and to me it bespeaks of the great controversy
08:25 because God... Satan is trying to destroy you.
08:30 He sees the potential that you have
08:33 and he wants to destroy you,
08:34 so he plants that seed in you through that molestation
08:39 and the confusion begins, not...
08:43 you're a victim and you don't even know
08:45 like, how does it happen to me here
08:48 and then here and then here?
08:50 So, oh... my heart just goes out to kids who are victimized
08:58 who, thank God... you grew up
09:01 and the healing power of God has taken over your life, but...
09:03 Amen...
09:04 So, so... how did you deal with that?
09:07 The molestation attempt, were you able to tell
09:10 did you... what did you do?
09:12 I didn't... we never told anybody,
09:14 both my brother and myself
09:15 and so we just kept these secrets
09:17 but you have to understand
09:19 a year after my mother divorced my biological father,
09:22 she married my step-father
09:24 who turned out to be our worst nightmare,
09:27 I mean, he was physically abusive, mentally abusive,
09:31 had emotionally... and he was just...
09:34 he was... just a very evil man,
09:37 I don't know any other way to describe it
09:40 than "he was just an evil man"
09:41 and we learned how to put on this facade
09:46 and act like everything was okay
09:48 when everything was absolutely falling apart
09:51 and a disaster in the privacy of our own home
09:54 or at my step-father's business
09:56 so, I had learned how to basically live a lie...
10:01 Hmmm...
10:02 And so, that was just one more lie
10:04 I had to live that everything was fine,
10:05 and if I told anybody then we'd be in trouble,
10:08 I'd be in trouble, my step-dad held it against us
10:11 and said that if we ever said anything to anybody
10:13 he'd kill our mother
10:15 and if my mother ever said anything,
10:17 he would kill her children and so,
10:19 we were all stuck and we were all trapped
10:21 so, you just don't tell anybody and that was part of that,
10:25 you just don't tell anybody.
10:26 And that's part of the whole survival thing,
10:29 like, "I can't survive... if I tell... "
10:33 or "my mom won't survive if I tell. "
10:35 Right... so you have to do what you have to do.
10:37 Right, right, so how did you negotiate
10:40 through all of that and what was happening to you...
10:44 spiritually... did you realize that there was a need,
10:47 did you not realize it yet?
10:49 No, when you're raised in such an oppressive environment,
10:53 it's like, "Kill or be killed" almost...
10:56 it's like... you have this survival instinct
10:58 and you learn... kind of where the parameters are,
11:01 and how to operate within that and unfortunately,
11:04 as demonic and as inappropriate and unhealthy as it was,
11:08 that's just your "normal. "
11:10 Yes, yes, that's right.
11:12 That's just what it is... you know...
11:14 I would see other people
11:15 who were being affectionate with their children
11:18 and my heart would go out and I'd think,
11:20 "Oh, I just want that too... " and then,
11:22 the next thought would come,
11:24 "I wonder if he's molesting him?"
11:25 you know, so there was this massive...
11:27 like you say, great controversy going on inside of my...
11:29 my mind and in my heart and so,
11:32 I just wanted to be a healthy, obedient son
11:36 and have a great healthy father
11:38 and that just was not what I was dealt.
11:39 Yvonne: Right...
11:41 And how do I negotiate it?
11:42 You just... you just pack it down and you pack it down...
11:45 that's not what I recommend now but that's what I was doing then
11:48 and I didn't feel like I had anybody I could go to...
11:52 that I could trust because I knew they weren't...
11:55 I didn't know these terms... they weren't "equipped,"
11:59 they didn't have the tools in their toolbox to help me.
12:02 Right, right, so at school, there wasn't a Counselor?
12:05 Eventually, at...
12:07 in my Sophomore year of High School,
12:09 so, this is almost ten years now
12:11 that we lived through this tyranny
12:13 and the oppression and...
12:15 I mean... horrible physical abuse,
12:17 for my mother and for us boys, we've been beaten,
12:21 we've been whipped, we've been tied up...
12:24 my mother covered her black-and-blue bruising
12:26 with her clothing and it was just horrible
12:28 you know, so, finally, I went to a Counselor
12:30 and I started talking about my neighbor
12:33 that has these problems and how can we help him,
12:36 what would happen and... I was just sending up
12:38 like a weather balloon and just finding out...
12:41 what... the last thing I needed was,
12:43 her to call my step-dad and say,
12:44 "Hey, Christian's telling us some stories here... "
12:46 Exactly...
12:48 And then I knew we'd really be in trouble
12:51 so, basically, we came up with a plan
12:54 and I sat my parents down...
12:56 they do it a lot differently today but, you know,
12:58 30-something years... 35 years ago...
13:02 and I sat them both down and I told them,
13:04 "I've been talking to a Counselor at school
13:06 and I have a phone number
13:09 and if you touch any hair on any of our heads again...
13:13 there will be investigations
13:15 and there'll be convictions... there'll be jail time. "
13:18 Now, I didn't say it like I was so amazing and strong,
13:21 that type of thing, I mean, I was...
13:23 I was just a teenager.
13:25 Yvonne: I'd be scared to death.
13:26 I was absolutely scared... I am meeting
13:29 and I'm looking at the man that held us captive
13:32 for all those years and finally saying,
13:34 not what he wants to hear...
13:36 he lights up like a... like a missile,
13:38 he goes back to the back of the house
13:40 just yelling and screaming expletives...
13:42 that was our normal way of life...
13:44 and my mother... I'm sitting here thinking,
13:46 "I did it... I did it... " and I was like...
13:49 "Oh... " inside I'm still shaking...
13:51 I'm sick to my stomach and I look at my mom
13:54 and I'm like... I know... my mom... and...
13:56 and then... she gets up and I'm thinking,
13:58 she's going to come over and go, "Okay... "
14:00 and she goes after him... and she... I mean...
14:03 she went after him... and a couple of moments later,
14:06 she comes out and she's like, all crying and all upset...
14:09 he had just flipped her little brain again,
14:11 and she comes out and says,
14:14 "Why are you doing this to us?
14:16 I spank you too, I'll be in trouble too... "
14:19 and the reality was, my mother didn't beat us...
14:22 she didn't use torture... she...
14:25 the things he would do was...
14:27 it's things you would see in a bad movie,
14:30 you know, and... and... fortunately though
14:34 it finally started a process where she began to wake up
14:37 and she... it was at a class at her job
14:40 and at this point, she was involved in
14:44 Human Resources at her Bank
14:45 and they invited a guest speaker to come in
14:49 and they asked a question, "What's important in your life?"
14:53 Yvonne: Hmmm...
14:54 And my mom had to stop and think...
14:56 which I don't think she had done for almost ten years,
14:59 "my children... " was the one...
15:03 and then number two... "my children... "
15:06 and number three as she just broke down,
15:09 she wrote, "my children... "
15:11 and she realized we were no...
15:13 we were not in a safe place again
15:15 and she had put us there... again,
15:17 she woke up... and she went to the Police Department
15:22 and said, "I'm living with a dangerous man,
15:25 how do we get out because we have guns
15:28 and rifles and shot guns in the house... "
15:32 we were hunters... and they said,
15:36 "You need to get all the ammunition out of the guns
15:39 and when do you want to do this?"
15:41 She said, "Let's do it on Saturday... "
15:43 and she had arranged for her family
15:45 to come with moving trucks to move us out,
15:47 the police were there, and she told him...
15:50 and the police said, "You need to go... "
15:53 Yvonne: She told him while the police were still there?
15:55 Christian: Oh yeah, yeah,
15:57 we weren't going to take any chances,
15:59 he just didn't have everything together
16:01 emotionally and mentally and so,
16:06 we escaped... we were free...
16:10 Yes... yes... you know... the whole mentality
16:14 of the "battered woman" people will say,
16:16 "Why didn't she just leave, why did...?"
16:19 it's not that simple.
16:21 Christian: It's not that simple.
16:22 Yvonne: It's so complicated.
16:23 Christian: Because I asked my mom that for years,
16:25 "Why did you stay so long,
16:27 didn't you see what we were going through?"
16:29 And she knew it... and many times she would step in
16:32 and take the brunt... when we were younger
16:34 but as we got older... it landed all on us
16:37 and so she... she...
16:40 I have a DVD Series that we did on the whole story,
16:44 a three-hour documentary on this story
16:46 and I interviewed my mother and I said,
16:49 "Why did you stay so long?"
16:50 I asked her the question again, and she... you see her eyes...
16:53 she was like... "I thought I was going to die"
16:55 and you can just see it in her eyes...
16:58 that is what she believed to her core
17:00 and she was protecting us...
17:02 this is... a strange way of thinking...
17:04 she was protecting us by staying...
17:06 because she was afraid of our lives
17:09 being in danger as well
17:10 and he had said that that would happen.
17:12 Yes, I... it's to me...
17:15 when you're involved in that whole chaotic thing...
17:18 you can't... sometimes you can't think clearly...
17:22 and praise God that... that Speaker came to the job that day
17:26 Christian: Absolutely.
17:28 And something triggered in her brain and she realized
17:31 she had put her children in jeopardy...
17:34 well, what an amazing story and how can people get that...
17:37 how can people... because this documentary sounds amazing.
17:40 It is truly amazing...
17:42 I believe God really put His fingerprint on it
17:45 and we go over the story but not only that...
17:48 but learning points...
17:49 what should children do if they have been touched
17:52 and those things are happening
17:54 because I don't want to just talk about my story
17:56 if we don't give them some tools
17:57 so, it's entitled, "Broken to Breakthrough"
17:59 and it's a journey of faith, hope and forgiveness.
18:04 Yvonne: Hmmm...
18:05 And it's available at our website: shepherdscall. com
18:09 and our goal, frankly, is to... to use this
18:14 and have people use this in their churches...
18:19 in Christian Schools... to where they can create
18:24 an environment of safety and trust
18:26 that perhaps a young person could say,
18:28 "Perhaps I really need to talk to somebody. "
18:31 Oh, that's so good because people need to know
18:33 that there is a way out.
18:35 And there is... amen... there is...
18:38 There is a way out, how did you find the Lord?
18:41 That's an amazing story, it really is,
18:43 it started out with my...
18:48 actually I would like to say this first, if you don't mind.
18:49 Yvonne: Yeah... yeah.
18:51 Christian: My brothers went from
18:52 us escaping... and following in my father's footsteps,
18:57 they got involved in drugs and alcohol,
19:00 drug manufacturing, jail, prison... you name it...
19:03 and I went a different way, I just... I decided...
19:06 I made a choice and there's a lot of power in a choice
19:09 and I made this choice to put the past behind me...
19:13 I didn't do it healthfully in the sense of...
19:14 I learned how to deal with this and how to give it to God
19:17 and let God start to fix my heart and my life
19:20 but I got involved in Theatre
19:22 and I got involved in singing, dancing and acting,
19:26 and that was my way of escape...
19:28 my brothers' way of escape
19:30 was through the drugs and alcohol.
19:31 Fast forward a long time...
19:33 I'm in TV Production
19:37 and I had started Companies with some friends
19:41 and we were wildly successful and then one of my Partners
19:44 had just destroyed the Companies financially,
19:47 embezzling from the Company and I lost everything
19:49 so I got my foot back into TV Production
19:52 and I let every Producer I knew out there,
19:55 "I'm going to work as a freelance Director...
19:57 I'm good to go... "
19:59 I had already done professional sports, Nickelodeon, PBS, ESPN,
20:03 so, I was ready to go... I...
20:04 Yvonne: Right, you had a résumé.
20:06 Yeah, and I'm comfortable at the Switcher frankly,
20:08 I'm much more comfortable back there than up here
20:10 and so, I was hired by a Producer
20:14 to go and shoot a Camping Meeting...
20:17 and so, I said, "Okay, great, what's it about?"
20:20 he goes, "I don't know Camping... "
20:22 so, I went to Lodi Grape Festival Grounds
20:25 there in California looking for a man named Danny Vierra...
20:29 who is a health teacher in the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
20:32 I didn't know all this... but little did I know
20:35 that I was going to be shooting four days of religious material
20:38 and I was just hating my life, I thought,
20:41 "How much lower can my Production career get?"
20:44 I mean seriously... I was... I was like,
20:48 "Whatever... I guess my whole life is ending now... "
20:51 but the reality is... as I was sitting there
20:55 learning more and more, I was realizing...
20:58 at first I'm switching... "okay, ready one... take one...
21:01 one... you're live... two... go... "
21:03 but you know... I'm doing all the stuff that I would do
21:05 and then I'm starting to get drawn in as I'm listening
21:08 and I'm like, "Wow! I never knew that...
21:11 now, I never knew that... "
21:12 and so, that was the beginning
21:14 but it would be a process of a number of years,
21:19 Danny befriended me and my fiancé and myself...
21:24 we had moved away... I was going to go to Film School
21:27 to become a Hollywood Film Director,
21:28 is really what I wanted to do and I got her pregnant,
21:32 kind of following in the tracks of my parents,
21:35 I was much older but nonetheless I was not prepared and ready
21:39 long story short... we lose the baby at 4 and 1/2 months,
21:42 it's a trying time,
21:44 life's spiraling out of control
21:47 we moved to Arizona to be where her parents were,
21:49 I couldn't find a job in Production
21:51 which had never happened before,
21:52 but God said, "Okay Angels... watch this... "
21:56 Yvonne: Yes, yes, yes, come on... come on...
21:58 Christian: Yes, amen, So all of a sudden,
22:00 I'm sitting here and I have this overwhelming desire
22:03 to go see my friend, Danny,
22:04 well, my whole life is falling apart
22:06 and as I'm sitting there telling him what's going on,
22:08 he's like... "This is great... "
22:09 and I was like, "This is not great,
22:12 I'm no longer intimate with my girlfriend... "
22:13 because God had impressed me not to be...
22:16 I was already a healthy guy because I was...
22:20 I embraced his health laws that he taught,
22:23 because I was a pretty sick guy and so,
22:26 it was a lot of things, I can't say, "It happened here"
22:29 it took me like... three solid years to finally go,
22:33 "I give up Uncle... "
22:35 Yvonne: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it's interesting to me that
22:39 you had begun this journey like,
22:43 people in the world are not thinking about abstinence,
22:47 Christian: No... not at all.
22:48 Yvonne: They're not... some are thinking about...
22:50 Christian: And that was nowhere in my mind either.
22:52 Yvonne: Yeah, but the fact that the Lord impressed you
22:54 with that... even when you were out there... that's amazing.
22:59 Christian: That is amazing... yeah.
23:00 Yvonne: And then... He had brought you to Danny...
23:03 Danny Vierra and of course, Danny is saying, "This is great"
23:06 you're like, "What? Like, how could this be great?"
23:09 Because he saw what God was doing in your life.
23:12 Christian: He saw it because spiritual things
23:14 are spiritually discerned. Yvonne: Yes.
23:15 Christian: And so I went on this journey with Danny
23:18 and we started studying and before you know it,
23:19 I said to him, "Is everything you believe
23:22 that clear in the Bible?"
23:24 When we studied about the Sabbath truth.
23:25 And he was like, "Everything... "
23:27 and I went, "I'll probably become
23:30 a Seventh-day Adventist, huh... "
23:32 he goes, "You will... " seriously...
23:34 and here's what I discovered was... if you study the Bible
23:38 and the Bible alone... let the Bible interpret itself
23:40 and you start to see prophecy and you can tell that God knew
23:43 the end from the beginning
23:45 and He tells you all these things that are going to happen,
23:47 I didn't even know that there was such a thing
23:48 as prophecy in the Bible,
23:50 and I'm sitting here... learning...
23:51 and if you let the Bible interpret itself...
23:52 not tradition, not what you think,
23:54 not your preconceived ideas
23:55 but let the Bible be your teacher,
23:57 with the Holy Spirit teaching you,
23:59 I think the most logical thing to become
24:01 is Seventh-day Adventist... I honestly... I do.
24:03 Yvonne: Well, I agree.
24:05 Christian: Yeah, at least if you're an honest skeptic.
24:07 Yvonne: And if it weren't... what are we doing here?
24:09 Christian: Yeah, what's this all about?
24:11 Right, right, yeah, so, how old were you
24:13 when you decided to surrender your life to Christ?
24:16 Yeah, I finally surrendered when I was about 26 years old.
24:18 Yvonne: Okay...
24:20 And I went on that studying quest,
24:21 I couldn't get enough, before you know it,
24:23 I'm asking Danny, "I want to give my heart to Jesus Christ"
24:26 and here's the key for me,
24:27 when my picture got big enough of Jesus Christ,
24:33 when I really saw who He was and what He wanted for me
24:36 and God the Father...
24:38 you see, I never trusted a father before.
24:41 Hmmm...
24:42 I never trusted a father before...
24:44 and now I have God the Father and... and I...
24:47 my picture of Him is big enough to where I saw
24:50 He could help me with my big problems.
24:53 Hmmm...
24:54 And He began to help me and I began to break,
24:58 and I began to weep like I had never wept before
25:01 and it's like this... it was like this purging
25:05 that began to happen in me
25:06 and then God gave me these gifts eventually, over the years,
25:09 it didn't happen quickly but where I started to see my...
25:12 my parents through God's eyes,
25:14 as sinners and as His children
25:16 who had been not treated with and dealt with properly
25:18 when they were young
25:20 and all these things and God gave me this new perspective
25:23 where I could say, "Wow! I hate what happened to me
25:27 it doesn't excuse it but it explained why things happened"
25:31 and eventually what began to well up in my heart was
25:34 this amazing thing called forgiveness.
25:37 I was going to ask you that.
25:39 And even empathy...
25:40 You were able to forgive your dad and your step-father.
25:43 Yeah, absolutely, the hardest things for me
25:45 were to forgive my mother and my biological father,
25:48 it was even easier to forgive my step-dad
25:50 on all the evil things that he did... than those two
25:52 because my mother kept us there and every time she'd apologize,
25:57 I'm like, "Okay, how many times do you have to apologize,
26:00 five, ten, twenty and then finally... you believe it?"
26:03 What I didn't realize was
26:05 the apology doesn't fix anything in the past,
26:07 it creates an opportunity
26:09 to perhaps go forward in the future.
26:11 Hmmm...
26:12 And my mom had repented and said she was sorry
26:15 and so we built this beautiful relationship,
26:17 she is a Christian... she now ministers to...
26:21 to ladies that are abused with their children.
26:23 Hmmm...
26:24 My brothers got clean and they've been clean...
26:27 my youngest brother for eight years,
26:29 my brother... my middle brother that was abused with me,
26:34 he's been clean five years,
26:36 they both have ministries of their own now.
26:37 Oh... praise God.
26:39 And so, God gave us all forgiveness in our hearts
26:42 and it's something that only comes from heaven
26:44 because I can literally, honestly say today,
26:47 "If my evil step-father were to be in heaven as my neighbor,
26:53 I'd be okay with that. "
26:55 And my biological father found Christ...
26:57 in fact, through a 3ABN Program and I wish I could tell you that
27:01 but we're running out of time.
27:02 I can't believe this!
27:04 It's amazing... it's absolutely amazing...
27:05 and he's now a Christian and our relationship has been healed
27:10 so everybody in my family are now Christians,
27:12 we're all healed, and there is hope,
27:15 no question, there's hope.
27:16 Praise God, what a beautiful ending, even though,
27:20 your life is still evolving, so to speak,
27:23 but what a beautiful ending to such a tragic beginning!
27:27 Yeah, and you know what? I wouldn't change it
27:29 because it gave me some tools that I have
27:32 resilience... and in God's work you need to have that,
27:34 and just stick-to-itivness... and all those types of things.
27:36 Yes...
27:38 And so, I change it
27:39 but I wouldn't wish it on anybody either.
27:40 Exactly, exactly, I know... I know what you're saying
27:43 you... you... yeah... it's been a journey
27:46 but you're thankful that God brought you through
27:49 and we're thankful for you.
27:51 Thank you so much for being with us.
27:53 Well, we've reached the end of another Program,
27:55 join us next time because you know what?
27:57 It just wouldn't be the same... without you.


Revised 2016-10-26