There are many different ways to start this story of my life. I could start with the tale of an orphan child being left on a street in South Korea. The tale of his adoption and his journey through childhood and adolescence. The devastation of multiple decisions that ultimately sent that young boy to a farm that specialized in piecing together the broken. However I begin this story with the first day I came to Heartland.
I was fourteen and my parents at this point in my life were unable to help me overcome my multiple issues. I had already been to several psychologists and had been prescribed medication and diets to try to correct my dysfunctions. They hoped for change but instead saw me destroying myself and our family. Out of love they brought me to their last hope, Heartland. At that time I remember having come to a place in life that I didn’t want to live and had no desire for those I hated to live either (several days before coming to Heartland I had written out a hit list, placing myself at the end of the list). For several months after arriving to Heartland my sole mission was to live life the way I wanted to. My goal was to push everyone as far away from me as possible.
After several months of rebellion and anger being my way of life, I realized that not only was I sick of living this life I had been living, but my hope of pushing everyone away didn’t seem to be working either. Up to that point I had pushed everyone away in my life as far as possible. My biological parents hadn’t wanted me and at this point I also felt that my adoptive parents had come to regret their decision of adopting me. I felt that it was only a matter of time until the staff in Heartland would do the same. However, what happened instead was an outpouring of love. Every time I turned around someone would be there with a word of encouragement or some demonstration of love.
During a service in April of 1998, I remember listening to a sermon by Pastor Charlie on the love of Jesus. In the past I had always dismissed the love of Jesus as something not tangible; something that wasn’t real. Yet in that moment I remember finally understanding that this love that was being shared with me by the staff of Heartland was the tangible love of Jesus. I could no longer dismiss the idea that Jesus’ love was unreal. Here it was alive and vibrant in the faces and hands of the people that served Him on a daily basis. When Pastor gave the altar call I knew in that moment that I wanted that tangible love of Jesus. I wanted to experience that love for the rest of my life and for eternity. As Pastor led me through the sinner’s prayer I knew that this love of Jesus was worth more than the pain of my past. It was worth more than the desire for sin or to sin. In that moment I repented of all my sin and gave my heart to Jesus. He faithfully showed up and transformed a broken child into a son of God.
Since that moment it hasn’t been easy and I haven’t always faithfully lived in that love of Christ. I have made my fair share of mistakes. Yet Jesus has faithfully loved me from the day I was created. He brought every blessing I could have ever thought of that moment I gave my heart to Him.
In June of 2005 I was married to my beautiful wife Jennie. We have been blessed with three children. We have also been blessed with being part of the Heartland Academy Community Church Youth Group, ID318. We are blessed to help lead and disciple over 50 youth between the ages of 12 and 18. Our hope each day is to share the tangible love of Christ to everyone we come in contact with. Most of all we desire to see a nation of young people come to know the love of Christ that seeks to make those who are broken whole again.