If you met Pastor David 10 years ago, you’d have struggled to recognise him.
He shares: ‘I used to be a gang member. In fact, I used drugs in the past, too. But Jesus changed me in the rehab centre. So, in the future I want to serve in a rehab centre too.’
In 2000, a mix of peer pressure and curiosity led David to take amphetamines for the first time. He didn’t know what that one decision would lead to. Drug abuse brought a downward spiral of violence and addiction. David hung out in casinos and dodgy karaoke spots, but rather being entertained, he lived in fear.
He looked tough, but felt lonely and ashamed. He ended up suffering from schizophrenia, depression, and delusions, believing he was being persecuted. Even other gang members distanced themselves from him at this point. His wife had worked hard at keeping their marriage together, but after three years of turmoil, she got a divorce.
A major road accident turned out to be a blessing in disguise. David fractured his spine and only just survived. But to aid his recovery his father sent him to a Christian rehabilitation centre. There David heard the gospel for the first time He realised it was the only way out. He received the good news, learnt to rely on God’s power to overcome his addiction and decided to live the rest of his life for God.
The first thing David wanted to do was to restore his relationship with his ex-wife and daughter. But the wounds were very deep and rebuilding trust would take time.
David tried for three years, but his ex-wife would not change her mind. David thought, ‘Perhaps I need to let this go.’ He told her, ‘I can see you’re not moved by my effort. Let’s just be friends. As for me, I’m going to enrol in a seminary.’ It was painful to let her go.
But David’s changed attitude made her curious. A few weeks later, she called him, ‘I think we can start going out again.’ David was ecstatic and they started rebuilding their relationship. In 2015, they exchanged their wedding vows for the second time in front of over 200 family and friends. The pastor leading the service remarked, ‘I’ve never held a wedding ceremony like this one – everyone is crying.’ After five years apart God’s love has guided them home.
Pastor David graduated from seminary a few years ago and was appointed to a church in a village near us. We have been serving alongside him in the same ministry area and our relationship has grown over time.
David says, ‘My goal now is to be ordained. After that, I will be free to serve in other places. But I am still struggling. If I stay in my denomination, the retirement package gives me security. If I serve in a rehabilitation centre, there is none of that. I believe that God provides. Please pray that the Lord guides my future.’
God’s love guides the lost home. David found him, and is now walking in the way of Jesus. Anyone who was lost like David can find a home in the Lord.
Will you pray for Taiwan?
- Praise God for David’s testimony to his grace. Pray that the Lord would continue to lead and guide David.
- Pray for those at rehabilitation centres. Pray that they too would receive the good news that can set them free.
- Pray for God to lead those who are lost like David to find a home in him.