David, when was the first time you heard the Gospel, and what was your initial reaction to that message?
I grew up in the church and gave my heart to Jesus as a child one year in Vacation Bible School, but I don’t know that it ever really went deeper than that. I was a generally good kid, didn’t cause my parents much grief. I just didn’t see a need for God to intervene in my life.
What changed all that?
When I was in Ranger School, I kept seeing one of my leaders flipping through these cards. I finally asked him what they were, and he told me they were Bible verse cards he’d received from the Navigators. He’d said he’d never considered memorizing much Scripture before he deployed, but during his first tour to Iraq he realized how unprepared he was for war. He and I talked two or three times about God, and it made me wonder if maybe I was missing out.
Then I got stationed at Ft. Bragg and we started going to the military ministry at RockFish Church. The leaders of the men’s group really dug into the Bible and were showing me things I hadn’t thought about before. It really created a hunger in me, and for the first time in my life, I began to read the Bible on my own.
Did that continue after you deployed?
It did, which ended up being what held me together. One of the leaders of the group at RockFish traded emails with me so we could still talk while I was gone. I don’t know what I would have done without his support when the Red Cross let me know Cole was sick.
What about after you got home?
It was a tough time. One of my best friends from high school called and helped a lot. We’d drifted apart after we graduated, but his wife and mine worked together for awhile. So when Cole was sick, Melody reached out to them. He’d also gotten serious about God in recent months, so his support meant everything. I don’t know for sure what all God had in mind with all we went though, but I do know that God used this to draw Melody and I closer to Him and to each other.
Do you have a favorite verse or Bible passage which is important in explaining your Faith Story?
2 Corinthians 1:9 really helped me then, and even now when I look back on those months, it helps to re-center my focus back on Christ and what God wants me to accomplish while I’m here.
“We felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”