The founder of Christian Book Blogger, he gave up his Systems Admin job at the end of August 2011 to pursue his own ventures online. He went full-time building a company, which he started while still at his day job, and provided web development and hosting services, serving local clients and friends.
He discovered that he loves to teach, and found through blogging, he is able to share his knowledge and experience with others, reaching a much larger audience as opposed to a conventional class room.
Regular contributions to a number of sites such as kikolani.com, WebBlogBetter.com and ProBloggingSuccess.com, to name a few, taught him the ins and outs of blogging, starting at the back-end with custom design using HTML and CSS, through to writing engaging content for the world to enjoy.
He is inspired by the outdoors ~ freedom is what he is after for the rest of his life! He takes on everything in his life with the following two quotes in mind:
"There is no such thing as failing. You have only failed once you've given up."
"Dare to dream...dream BIG! But make it happen."
Ruan, when was the first time you heard the Gospel, and what was your initial reaction to that message?
I was a young boy at around 7 years of age (1991). My parents separated when I was six years old, so I spent most of my free time and holidays with either my half-brother or half–sister. My sister has been a reborn Christian since I can remember, and she was indeed the person who introduced me to the Gospel of Christ. We had endless chats about Christ and the stories she told me from the Bible. I used to feel so empowered and inspired each time I left her place. I guess as a young boy who trusts his sister with his whole life, I could easily take in and believe whatever she shared with me. I was very receptive to the message of the Gospel.
Did you grow up with parents who had a relationship with God?
Not at all. My mom used to be a Sunday school teacher in her younger days and grew up in a fairly stable Christian home. Something must have happened somewhere along the line because she grew further and further apart from God and never shared the Gospel with me or read me stories from the Bible at bedtime. My dad, on the other hand, was a Jehovah’s Witness in his early days, and also grew up in a home where they were part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Something also happened later on that resulted in him giving up his commitment to them. He simply refused to talk to me about the Bible altogether. Whenever I asked a question about something I read from the Bible, I always got an answer in the lines of “I do not want to talk religion; ask your sister.” My parents weren’t bad people and always gave me the best they could and loved me very much. They just had no interest in the Gospel at all.
What did your life revolve around the most before you became a Christian?
As a young boy with parents who separated when I was 6, an abusive boyfriend my mom and I moved in with after they separated, and a dad who drowned himself in alcohol each weekend I got to see him, I guess “survival” and “growing up by my own” were all that were on my mind at that time of my life. Even though my own home wasn’t a happy place to be in, it is as if God always made sure I got bits and pieces of the Gospel from somewhere which kept me going all those years.
What did you get your security or happiness from?
At the time, I focused on my schoolwork and when I needed to cut myself off from the bad things happening around me, I either spent as much time as I could with my best friend until this very day (this year we’ll be friends for 27 years) or I listened to music as loud as possible, which was my “safe place” where I felt comfortable.
What were you searching for before coming to know Christ? What were the reasons you felt the need to know Him?
I needed to cope with life and its challenges. My support structure as a small child wasn’t that great like my friends’, for instance. Although I did pretty well at school and most other people would have guessed I had a happy and secure childhood, the times when I didn’t have to keep up that happy front became unbearable at times. I cried myself to sleep most of the time and I felt I didn’t get the comfort from my parents that I needed.
What was the key problem, emotion, situation or attitude you were dealing with?
I have no idea where to even begin. How long do you want this interview to be? *smile* I guess the biggest thing I had to deal with, try to understand and learn to accept, was why my parents were no longer in the same household and loving each other. My dad remarried, but alcohol and his work always felt to be more important to him than spending time with me. My mom had her own things to deal with, an emotionally abusive boyfriend who looked after us so we never had any shortage, but he wasn’t fit to have a family, in my honest opinion.
What caused you to begin considering opening yourself up to God? What prompted you to want to know more about Jesus?
The interesting stories and testimonials my sister used to tell me, the way her life always seemed controlled and set into a specific direction that leads to something better and bigger – that must have been my biggest attraction. I wanted to find out what is was that worked for her and helped her to deal with her pain as a child. Remember that my dad was also married to her and my brother’s mom, which obviously also had an impact on them both when they eventually separated and my dad married my mom.
In Part 2, we will read the rest of Ruan's Faith Story as he continues to tell us about his journey with God.
Find Ruan online at Christian Book Blogger, Puppy Training Classroom and Best Puppy Food Brands.