But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the  spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18

 

    This testimony is dedicated to the one who saved me, delivered me, healed me, and anointed me to tell about it, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My prayer is to all that read this testimony, may God touch you and transform you and set you free, just as He has for me. “ Therefore if the son (Jesus) makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Jn. 8:36

 

    Joseph has a lot of deep-rooted emotional problems He is attending mental health counseling at this time. Joseph tends to be very aggressive with those around him especially towards his brothers. Joseph suffers with severe headaches and stomachaches probably due to trauma experienced at home. Joseph was held back last year because of emotional problems. He could not adjust to advancing to a higher grade, crying uncontrollably all day everyday, until he was put back. Joseph has a quiet inward personality.  He doesn’t show his feelings very much, but he does have extremely strong emotions, for example: he either loves you very much or he hates you and can’ t stand you at all. Joseph keeps things to himself the details of his abuse are kept locked up far down inside of him. It is almost impossible to get it out of him until he just blows up. Joseph is not outwardly affectionate. He is aggressive and is not nice to those he is showing aggression to. If he can’ t intimidate you physically he will try emotionally. Joseph has many nightmares and he is terrified of closets and being kidnapped, due to the abuse he experienced. A counselor at school came to talk to him and when she closed the door Joseph became terrified that she was going to physically hurt him. Joseph is very careful about who he makes friends with, refusing to be close to anyone. Joseph can be described as a very conscientious child. He is also very serious. He is a very sensitive child Joseph is very aggressive. Joseph has been abused emotionally and physically, and has been deprived socially for most of his life. The mental instability of his mother and the alcoholic problem of his father have left marks on him that may never heal. It is doubtful that Joseph will ever live normally in society. 

*This evaluation was done by Arkansas state department of social services in 1983.

 

    Living in a condemned house in the middle of an old rice field in Stuttgart Arkansas is not exactly the best environment for three young boys. Having nothing but the worn out clothes on our backs and an occasional pair of shoes that fit. We managed to survive from day to day. Mr. Cash owned a small grocery store in town and would on occasion bring some bread and bologna for us to eat. I remember like it was yesterday when his truck would come driving down that long dirt road towards our place. We would go running out to meet him knowing that he had food for us. I remember from time to time he would bring me a can of tamales as a special treat. I thank God often for Mr. Cash. I don’ t think even he realized the blessing he was to a starving family. My older brother would go out with his pellet gun and shoot blackbirds for us to eat, but normally he would come home empty handed. I remember my mother going out and putting dirt and leaves in a pot and boiling it so we would have something to fill our bellies.

 

   Our father walked out on us when I was three. Every few days or so he would show up in a drunken rage and beat my mother to the point of unconsciousness as we looked on in horror, then he would get back in his old red ford pickup and take off as if nothing had happened. I remember crying beside my mother, praying that she would wake up this time. My mother had lived a life of abuse and neglect. She was not allowed to attend school and never received an education. Her father and her brothers beat her and raped her on a regular basis, and because of this she had severe mental problems She took medication that caused her to have severe hallucinations and at times she would go into fits of rage and beat my older brother unmercifully. I remember times when she would hit him with iron rods and with 2x4s. Many times he would leave and go into town and stay with my father, leaving my younger brother and I to take the abuse I recall times she would put my hands on the hot stove and force me to leave them there until blisters would swell up on my hands. She would strip my brother and I down to our underclothes and push us out into the snow until we couldn’t feel our feet anymore. At night while we were in bed asleep she would jump on top of us and put pillows over our faces until we almost passed out, then she would stop and do it all over again the next night.  I recall an instance when she tied us to the railroad tracks near our home and left us for a train to hit us. We lived in a constant state of torment throughout those years. We were removed from the home several times during that period, but we were always returned, due to the lack of concern by the foster care system.

 

    On New Year’s Eve of 1980 my mother awoke in the night while my younger brother and I were asleep and she set fire to our house in an effort to end our lives as well as her own. Before the fire could rage out of control she realized what she was doing and she grabbed us up and got us out. I remember like it was yesterday watching the house burn from a distance, not even realizing it was my own house It was determined that the cause of the fire was intentional. Again my brother and I were put into protective custody. Then sometime later we were returned to my mother, because she had completed her required therapy. We moved with my mother to Little Rock to a battered woman’s shelter. Things continued about the same. It was at this time that God would allow me to have the first of several divine visitations. I was sitting on the side of the bed of our second story room. The convenient store below our window had just been robbed and the clerk had been shot. As a young boy I was very frightened. At that moment a very tall, muscular man appeared in front of me. His face and body glowed; I could not make out any details other than this being was a man He spoke to me in a gentle voice.  He said,” Joseph don’t be afraid, I’ve been sent to protect you and watch over you wherever you are.” At that point even as a child I knew God would take care of me. 

 

    A few days later my mother was caught in the act of stealing from some of the residence at the shelter and we were asked to leave. My mother took us back to Stuttgart.  My mother went to the Church of God in Stuttgart and asked for help. They gave us a temporary place to stay, and we became close to Pastor Davis and his wife. In December of 1981 my mother entered the department of social services and stated that she could no longer care for us. She signed an agreement giving physical custody to Pastor Davis and his wife Marie. Because Pastor and Marie Davis had four children of there own, they placed my brothers and I in the home of Marie’s sister and brother-in-law in February of 1982.

 

     Kevin and Johna Williamson was a couple that had longed for children of there own but could never have any. When my brothers and I came to live with them there was an instant bond. They began to take us to church and show us the kind of love that we had been longing for our whole lives. It wasn’ t long after that, our mother signed a waiver to put us up for adoption. Kevin and Johna knew for sure that they wanted to adopt us and make us their children for good. It seemed as though everything was working out wonderfully. One afternoon while Kevin and Johna went shopping, they left my younger brother John and I with our oldest brother James. During the time they were gone my brother James locked John in the bedroom and he forcefully molested me in the bathroom. Then He locked me in the bedroom and molested John as well. When He was finished He took a knife out of the kitchen held it to my throat and told us that if we ever told anyone that he would kill us as well as Kevin and Johna. This abuse continued for about a year unknown to   anyone. My younger brother decided one day that he couldn’t take it anymore and finally revealed this horrible secret. We were glad the sexual abuse had come to an end, but it had already taken its toll on our minds. We learned later that our older brother was only following the pattern that had been set by our father. He had experienced many years of sexual abuse and thought that it was a normal way of life. Throughout the next year we attended weekly counseling sessions as well as several staffing sessions to check our well-being and to update us on the adoption proceedings. In 1985 our adoption was finalized. Kevin decided to accept a job offer at Edwards AFB in California. In the summer of 1985 we arrived in Lancaster, Ca. ready to start a new life. We immediately found a local church called Glad Tidings where we began to attend regularly. Kevin and Johna began working in the church and it seemed as though we could finally live a normal life. I had turned 10 years old, I was involved with the youth group, I had recently asked the Lord to come in to my heart and I was baptized in water. Everything was just as it should be for the first time in my life, or so it seemed on the surface.  What I didn’ t know is that my new family that I felt so secure in was about to be ripped apart.

 

    I loved Kevin and Johna so very much for rescuing me out of the pit that I was in and showing me the unconditional love I so desperately longed for. As far as I was concerned they were my Mom and Dad and nothing was going to tear us apart. I did not realize that they were having trouble in there marriage. They did well at hiding it from us. They did not want us to lose our sense of security. After a split in the church we were attending took place we began to attend the First Assembly in Lancaster. By this time Kevin and Johna’s marital problems had escalated and they sought counseling from the Pastor of the First Assembly. Unfortunately the problem became worse and my dreams of a happy loving family unit were shattered when Johna filed for divorce in 1986. After a short period of weekend visitations Kevin remarried and moved to Alaska. Once again my brother and I were without a father. Johna did the best she could to raise us alone, but the strain on a single parent is unbearable at times, especially when you are raising emotionally unstable children. She continued to instill godly values in us, which I will always be grateful for, but by this time I was beginning to question if God even cared anymore. My grades began to drop in school; I began to isolate myself from the people I normally spent time with. I was beginning to wrestle with the pain of my past that I had buried deep inside. One night I spent the night at a friend’s house. His parents were never home much and he was allowed to do pretty much anything he wanted. I was only 11 years old at that time. He had some teenage friends that had gotten a hold of some beer and cigarettes. We went out to the desert that night and I drank a couple of beers and I realized that for a moment all those tormenting memories had stopped. After that I was willing to do anything to experience that temporary relief that I longed for. I never dreamed it would lead me to a lifestyle of alcohol and drug abuse.  Heb. 11:25 says, “ The pleasures of sin are for a season.”  For the next several years things only got worse. I went from getting drunk on beer on the weekends to drinking Jack Daniels. That led to smoking marijuana.  The marijuana led to snorting speed. Then I began committing crimes. It started as small things like vandalism. Then it led to shoplifting and robbery. In 1989 Johna remarried a man by the name of Roger. He tried very hard to regain control of my situation. By that time a spirit of rebellion had already taken over my life and as hard as he tried he could not take control. I hated life and I hated myself I slipped into depression, nothing was killing my pain anymore. I decided life was not worth living. James 1:15 says, “ Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.”  One morning I tried to overdose on prescription drugs. I was rushed to the hospital where I was treated by the doctors. They admitted me to the Palmdale mental hospital, where I was then transferred to the chemical dependency unit. I celebrated my 16th birthday in the hospital. All the time I was there, I had acquaintances sneaking speed in to me almost daily. After I was released, I spent a few months at home. I did not want to live by the rules that Johna and Roger had set up. One night I crawled out of the window, jumped into my buddy’s car that was waiting for me and I never went back home. From that point I dropped out of school completely and continued to do drugs and live a reckless life. I had given up on God and I was meddling in mild forms of Satanism. The Bible says, “Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.” 1 Pet. 5:8.  I was a lost wounded child and the enemy came in for the kill. I had given up on the Lord, and I thought that He had given up on me. I did not realize the promise of Deut. 4:31 which says, “ For the Lord your God is a merciful God, He will not forsake you, nor destroy you.” I had let God down time and time again, but He never broke the promise that He gave to me as a young boy. He told me He would protect me and watch over me wherever I was and He kept His word.

 

    In October of 1991 my condition had not improved, I was searching for ways to survive from day to day. One night I was out on the street smoking a cigarette. I noticed a party going on a few houses away. I noticed a couple on the street in an argument.  When the guy drove away, the girl sat on the curb crying. Some of her female friends came out to console her. It wasn’t long until they noticed me watching them and they came over and introduced themselves. From that day on I became close to one of the girls by the name of Terri Gray. She had an older brother by the name of Dean who I found a friend in. I was introduced to their parents, Russ and Lynne. There was something about this family that drew me to them in a profound way. Little did I know God would use this family to bring direction and guidance to my misguided life. I soon became a familiar face around the Gray home, coming and going as if it were my own house. In 1992 the Grays gave me an offer that would change the course of my life. They asked me to move into their home during a time in my life when I had nowhere else to go. I gladly accepted. The only requirement I had to meet was to attend church with them on Sunday mornings. The Gray family was aware of the troubled life that I led, and I was amazed that they would welcome me into there home with open arms and treat me as one of their own sons. It wasn’ t long before the Godly love they had shown me begin to have an affect on my life. I began to care for the first time in years about the lifestyle I was leading. I quit drinking and smoking I gave up my drug abuse, and I began to ask question regarding life, and the Word of God. The Grays never failed to answer my questions with Godly wisdom. They continued to love me as one of their own. 1 Cor. 13:7 says, “ Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”  I can look back now and say without a doubt that love did for me what nothing else could do.  I enrolled back into school and got my GED. I became involved in cell groups at the church and began to read my bible on a regular basis. Dean and I became inseparable and my life began to have new meaning because of the grace of God that I found through the love of the Gray Family.

 

    In late 1992 I was introduced by my girlfriend Terri to a friend of hers by the name of Crystal Moran. Terri and Crystal had met through a prayer group at school and had quickly become good friends. Crystal and Terri spent a lot of time together and I became friends with Crystal as well. In 1993 Terri made the decision to move back to Boston to live with her mother, we both knew our relationship could not handle the miles between us, so we agreed to just be friends. One night I decided to call Crystal just to see how she was doing. She was not home so I left a message with her father, asking if she would return my call. I did not expect her to return my call, but to my surprise she called just a couple of hours later. We talked for a little while, and then Crystal invited me to a birthday party at her house. I accepted her invitation. From that day on I spent much of my time at the Moran house. They were a Godly family with high moral values and I saw the same love in them that I saw in the Gray family. From that point I began to attend church at the Church of God in Rosamond along with the Moran Family. The relationship between Crystal and I was changing rapidly. I began to feel a love towards her stronger than anything I could comprehend. She was someone I could confide in as well as someone I could trust with the dark secrets in my life. I became very involved with the church in Rosamond and had rededicated my life back to Christ. The pain of my childhood was still overwhelming to me at times and I still fought with periods of depression. There was still an overwhelming feeling of hatred towards my mother and father and my older brother because of the abuse I suffered from them. In 1994 our church was holding revival services. The evangelist was an awesome woman of faith by the name of Paulette Blaylock. I remember the anointed message she preached that night about the Sower and the soils from the book of Luke chapter 8. It was a message that hit me hard and fast that night. During the altar call the evangelist called me out of the pew I was sitting in. She proceeded to tell me about instances in my life that she could not have possibly known about. Then she said that God had called me as a child, but through circumstances in my life my heart had become hard. She said bitterness and resentment had taken my once tender heart and turned it to a heart of stone. As she laid hands on me she began to curse those things that had taken root in my heart. When she was done, she said the Lord has shown me great things about you. I did not feel a release of the pain immediately in my life. I can say now without a doubt, God began a healing work in me that night that has just recently been completed. On July 10th 1994 I was baptized in the Holy Ghost and for the first time I left the lukewarm life I was leading and began to serve God whole heartedly. Friend, listen to me, you can never expect God to show up in your life and change you until you get off of the fence your straddling and make Him Lord of your life. I can hear the word of the Lord to you today from Rev. 3:15,16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”  Friend, God is sick by our casual Christian lifestyles. We served the world wholeheartedly now it’s time to serve the Lord. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.”Matt.6:24. You need to choose this day who you will serve!!! 

 

    By 1995 Crystal and I had become inseparable and deeply in love On September 2nd I asked Crystal to be my wife. She quickly accepted. It was one of the most wonderful days of my life. Crystal and I became deeply involved in the Youth ministry at the church. The closer I walked to the Lord, the more he set my heart and mind free from the pain of my past. We began to spend all our time with brothers and sisters in the church. We became very close to a couple named Brent and Julia Haskins.  We saw a commitment to Christ in them that we had rarely seen in anyone else. Brent quickly became a role model for me in the ministry. He showed me that it is possible to walk in holiness before the Lord. He also taught me through his lifestyle that You must live the same life outside of church that you profess to live inside of church. These simple yet profound truths have changed my life in many ways. I did not realize that this deep respect that I carried for Brent and Julia would be vital to events that would take place in my future. Crystal and I continued to serve in the youth ministry and grow together in our walk with the Lord. I had a peace in my life that I had never experienced. I had truly met the God of peace.

 

     On September 28th 1996 Crystal became my wife and made me the happiest man on earth We were both working and trying to build a life for ourselves We began to save some money and in March of 1997 the Lord blessed us with a beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bath house which we still live in today. On January 2nd 1998 Crystal gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, that we named Kymberlee Dawn. After the birth of Kymberlee, something began to happen in my life that I never expected I began to feel an emptiness inside of me. I had experienced this emptiness many times before, but this time it felt different. I began to realize that I had no pleasant childhood memories that I could share with my daughter. I would never be able to share my baby pictures with her. I would never be able to tell her about her family history. At that moment that old spirit of despair began to raise its ugly head again. I was not going to allow the enemy to regain control of my mind, so I began to think of the wonderful gifts the Lord had given me. Phil 4:8,9 says, “ Finally brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. The enemy had tried to set another trap for me, but once again the God of peace protected me.  Praise the Lord for His unfailing mercy; He is a good, good God.

 

    A few months later our church hosted another revival service. This time the evangelist was an anointed man by the name of Josiah Drawhorn. His ministry focused on spiritual warfare. During the altar service one night, He asked Crystal and I to come to the front.  He told us that the Lord had a mighty work for us to do but in order for us to do it He needed to break the generational curses off of our lives.  He broke the curse of alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression. Then Bro. Drawhorn read Ephesians 6:10-18 which says, “ Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waste with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.   That night the Lord began another work in me. Every desire that I had to go back to my old fleshly habits was totally destroyed. I was free from the curse that had plagued my family for generations. Bro Drawhorn also said that the Lord was about to give Crystal and I an unexpected miracle He said the enemy was going to try to stop it, but the spirit of the Lord would triumph in the end. Two weeks later we found out that Crystal was pregnant with our second child We were both so excited to be having another baby. The day we found out I immediately asked the Lord for a boy. I knew without a doubt that the Lord would answer my prayer Crystal and I chose the name Timothy Joseph. From the very beginning, there was no doubt as to what we would name him. 

 

    Crystal’s first pregnancy went pretty well. There were no major complications, only the usual problems that occur with pregnancies. Her pregnancy with Timothy however, would prove to be much more complicated. The first trimester was really hard for Crystal trying to care for a 9 month old while being constantly sick and weak. She handled it like a true mother and wife, never complaining just doing what had to be done. As she became further along things got increasingly worse.  Her blood work was beginning to come back abnormal and the doctor thought it would be best if she had an ultrasound. I will never forget that morning. The ultrasound itself seemed to be completely routine, except for the fact that it was taking so long. All at once the ultrasound tech got a really concerned look on her face, Crystal and I both noticed it and we just began to pray as we held one another’s hands. When the nurse was finished she asked us to wait in the waiting room. After a few minutes passed the nurse came running through the waiting room as if something was wrong. A few minutes later she returned and asked us to go straight home and wait for a call from the doctors office. By the time the doctor’s office called we knew something was wrong. The nurse explained to us that the ultrasound showed a baby in Crystal’s right fallopian tube, and there was also a baby in her uterus, neither of which had a heartbeat. They told us to meet the doctor at the hospital immediately. When we arrived at the hospital the doctor advised us that she believed the baby in the right tube to be deceased and she recommended us to terminate the pregnancy, so that Crystal’s health would not be at risk. She said that the baby in the uterus was showing no signs of a heartbeat, but she could not be sure if it were alive or not. We were faced with the toughest decision of our lives. Crystal and I agreed to pray about it over the weekend and see what God had to say. A couple of weeks previous to this day, the Lord had given Crystal a scripture. She knew that there was great significance in this word, but until this day she did not realize what it was. The scripture the Lord had given her was Psalms 37:4,5 which says, “ Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass”.  Crystal held on to the word the Lord had given her. She knew that having this baby was the desire of our heart’s and if we would trust God He would bring it to pass. A few days later we went back to see the doctor She did an ultrasound and was amazed at what she discovered. The baby that had been lodged in the tube was gone, and the baby in the uterus had a strong heart rate. Glory be to God!!! Once again God made good on His promise. The rest of Crystal’s pregnancy was difficult at times, but she continued to hold on to the Word of God. On July 6th 1999 Timothy Joseph was born. It was obvious from the first time we saw him that the enemy was up to no good. Timothy was only 4 lbs. His fingers and toes were almost black in color; he was very pale and lethargic. He did not seem to respond to anything around him. The doctors did the routine physical and blood work. That night a nurse entered the room and informed us that Timothy had been moved to intensive care. She said the doctor was waiting for us to meet him there. When we arrived at the ICU the doctor informed us that Timothy had a severe infection in his blood, and that he had been started on antibiotics. He also said that it was necessary that they perform a spinal tap on Timothy, because there were signs that the infection had affected his brain as well. The doctor believed that he could have meningitis, and he needed our permission to continue with the procedures. He informed us that based on Timothy’s condition there was a chance that he would not live through the night. They allowed us to hold him for a short while before they began the procedure. I remember holding Timothy’s limp little body, as we prayed for the Lord’s protection over him. When we returned to the room, Crystal immediately called Brent and Julia and told them what the doctor had said. Brent came to the hospital and prayed with us. Crystal said that when he laid hands on her, a peace that she could not explain came over her and she knew at that moment that everything would work out fine. The next morning the doctor told us that Timothy’s spinal tap came back normal. There was no brain damage and that there was already an improvement in his blood infection. They wanted to keep him in ICU for another week just to continue the antibiotics.

 

    During that week Crystal was having severe headaches and vomiting uncontrollably I took her to the hospital and they found a hole in her spinal cord due to complications from her epidural. The doctor said that she was loosing spinal fluid and if I would have waited any longer to bring her in she could have experienced permanent brain damage. The doctor did a procedure called a blood patch and from that night on Crystal began to feel better. A few days later Timothy was released from the hospital with no more complications from his illness. We remembered the word of the Lord to us through the evangelist. The enemy tried to stop our miracle, but because we were equipped with the whole armor of God and the shield of faith, we were able to quench those fiery darts of the enemy. I sense in my spirit that someone reading this testimony may be experiencing an attack from the enemy. Remember that you are not wrestling against flesh and blood even though it may come in that form.  When you are fighting a spiritual battle your weapons of warfare must also be spiritual.  You cannot win a spiritual battle with natural weapons. Your intellect will not prevail; neither will your worldly wisdom. Your charm and craftiness will not help you sneak out of this battle. You don’ t have enough worldly possessions to buy off this enemy. Friend there is only one defense to the battle your facing and that is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Use it and you will never fail, Lose it and you will never prevail. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul,   “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (fleshly) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” 2 Cor 10:3-6 . Praise be to the Lord for he has given us a battle plan that can never fail.

 

    During the time that Timothy was ill the doctor needed as much information about our families medical history as possible. Of course I was unable to give them any helpful information because I knew nothing of my family history except for those things that I did  not want to remember. In the summer of 2000 I received an unexpected phone call.  My older brother James had some how found my number and called me. It had been about ten years since I had heard from him. The last time I had seen my brother I tried to push him through a window in my house. I told him that I hated him and I did not care whether he lived or died, at the time I meant it with all my heart. By now the Lord had so transformed my life that all that hatred was gone. My brother proceeded to tell me that He had just been released from prison for attempted murder He had been out of prison for about two years now. During those two years he had met a girl, fallen in love and gotten married. He told me that while he was in prison, he had a chance to look back on his life, and he realized that what he had done to John and I was unforgivable. But he vowed to himself that he would try and make it right. For about a year he searched for me until he was able to find my location. He told me that he was deeply sorry for the pain he had caused in my life, he knew there was nothing he could do or say to erase the pain I had endured over the years, but he needed to ask for my forgiveness. There was silence on my end for a few seconds as all the scenes of my life replayed themselves in my mind.  Instead of the hatred that had gripped my heart for so many years, I was overwhelmed by a sense of supernatural love and compassion towards my brother that I had never known. I began to tell him about the work that the Lord had done in my life and that because the Lord had forgiven me for so much, I had no choice but to forgive him as well. My brother began to weep on the telephone as he thanked me for releasing him from all the years of guilt that he had carried. My brother informed me that shortly after we were put up for adoption, My father in another drunken rage shot and killed his nephew. He had been placed in the Arkansas state penitentiary. In 1997 he was released from prison and died of cancer shortly thereafter. My brother said that he died all-alone in his home. My heart was filled with a sense of loss to realize that my father probably died in his sin and opened his eyes in unimaginable torture. “  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off, it is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” Mark 9:43,44. Please, believe me friend, there is a hell. It is a place reserved for those who reject the salvation that Jesus died to give us. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my father being in that horrible place. I haven’t heard from my brother since that day I pray for him often. It was through that experience that I realized that God had completely healed me from the pain of my past.

 

     In March of 2001, Brent and Julia Haskins opened a church. Crystal and I knew that God had called us to stand behind them, and serve them in any capacity necessary. The respect and admiration that I had grown to have for Brent and Julia, would now be a key element to serving them in the ministry. In March of 2002 Crystal and I were shocked (and I mean shocked) to find out we were expecting our third baby. It did not take me long to get adjusted to the idea of another child even though it was so unexpected. Crystal on the other hand was experiencing a lot of different emotions. Because of the complications she had endured with Timothy a spirit of fear came over her. She was afraid that this child would have the same problems that Timothy had. She carried this fear inside of her for several months I was the only one that knew about it besides her. The evangelist Paulette Blaylock that had prophesied over me eight years before in 1994, was now the pastor of a church in Porterville Ca. Pastor Brent had asked her to come and speak for our churches 1 year anniversary. We had a glorious time in the Lord that night. While the Spirit was moving Crystal went up to be prayed for. When Sis Paulette laid hands on Crystal the Lord gave her a word. She said a spirit of fear has gripped your heart and the Lord said fear not for I am with thee. She gave her a passage of scripture that the Lord said to hold on to. It was Nahum 1:9 which says, “What do you imagine against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it Affliction will not rise up a second time”.  From that night on Crystal was totally released from her fear. She knew that God would do just what He said. He would not allow the affliction that Timothy endured to come near this child. On Oct. 27th 2002 Crystal gave birth to a perfect little boy. We named him Jacob Samuel. Not long after the birth of Jacob that empty feeling began to show up again in my heart. There were so many things that I wanted to share with my family, many things that I had no knowledge of. Things like my birth weight, and my birth certificate, and my footprints, and baby pictures. I also knew how valuable it would be in the future to have the medical history of my family. After I had spent some time in prayer, I talked to Crystal and we decided to call the Arkansas State Department of Social Services to see if we could find some information.  They instructed us to contact a lady by the name of Judy Ford. She was the director of the Adoption Services in Arkansas. They said she may have the information we were looking for. We contacted her immediately, she stated that she did have my adoption records and those records would include my medical history, and any records obtained during the time that I was in state custody. She did explain however that any identifying information such as birth records, and the personal information of those involved would be withheld. We decided to go through with the extensive procedure of receiving the records. During that time I began to wonder about the well being of my mother or if she was even alive. That supernatural compassion that I had felt for my brother a couple of years before, now overwhelmed me again At that moment I knew I had to find my mother. I prayed to the Lord that if it was His will for me to find her that He would make it easy. We began our search and after a few months we had exhausted every resource that we had to find her and came up empty handed. At that time I decided maybe it was not God’s timing I prayed again, “Lord, when it is Your time, open the door”.

 

     We kept in touch with Judy Ford over the next few months about my adoption records Finally about 14 months later we received my records in the mail. It was a large binder; it had hundreds of pages all about my horrible past. Even I was amazed to read some of the things in it. It verified so many things that I had memories of, but could never prove. I began to realize for the first time, that the things my mother had done, she had no control of. When she gave us up it was because she knew she could not care for us. She loved us so much that she was willing to lose us to give us a better life. I see now that she made the greatest sacrifice that a mother could ever make. As I looked through the binder of my life story I began to see information that was not suppose to be included in the records. I discovered my mother’s maiden name, her last known address, and her social security number. These were records that could not be included due to the law in the state of Arkansas I believe it was the hand of God that allowed these things to be included. We decided to send the information to my friend Dean because he has access to personal records through his job. Dean was able to verify that my mother was still alive He was also able to find a phone number to her last known address. It was a nursing home in Hope Arkansas called Horizons of Hope. I didn’t think she would still be there but I thought they may have more current information that they could share with us. I asked Crystal to call because I was too nervous to dial the phone.  When they answered Crystal asked if there was a resident there by the name of Georgia Taylor. They put us on hold for a moment; it felt like 20 minutes to me.  When they finally came back to the phone, Crystal asked again. Is there a resident there by the name of Georgia Taylor? To my total amazement his answer was yes.  Crystal explained to him who we were and that we wanted to send my mother some roses, however, we did not want to send them if she was happy with the way things were. All the man on the other line would say was, “Send the roses” We contacted a florist in Hope and had the roses delivered to her along with a note that said, “ Dear Mom, I love you with all of my heart and I miss you. Love, your son Joseph Samuel, your daughter- in- law Crystal, and your three grandbabies Kymberlee, Timothy, and Jacob.

  

     We anxiously awaited a response from my mother. Many things went through my mind as to what she might be feeling about us finding her. One day when I got home from work, Crystal was waiting for me in the driveway. She said that my mother’s caseworker, Pam Stout had called and told us that my mother had received the roses. Crystal asked what her response was. Pam said that she was sitting in her office, and all of the sudden she heard my mother scream at the top of her lungs. Everyone went running to see what was wrong. When they found my mother she was clutching her roses crying, “My baby, my baby! He found me, and he loves me!”  Pam proceeded to tell Crystal that she has known my mother for about 13 years, and not a day has gone by that she hasn’t mentioned us. She said they searched for us many times, but it always led to a dead end. As soon as Crystal told me all of this I grabbed the phone and called my mother. When she answered the phone, I said, “Mom, I love you.” She said,  “I love you too baby.” We both began to cry. I shared with her how wonderful my life had turned out and that Jesus had blessed me with a beautiful wife and three gorgeous children. I told her that Jesus had healed me from the pain of my childhood and that I forgave her for everything that took place. I let her know that I realized that she wasn’ t well and that she gave us up so we could have all the things that she could not give us. As she cried she told me of the guilt she had carried all those years and how it had affected every area of her life. I began to tell her about the goodness of the Lord and how He could heal her broken heart just like He did mine.  It was a glorious gift to speak to my mother after 21 years of not knowing where or how she was. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” Isa.55: 8,9. God had a perfect time in mind set aside for the reunion of my mother and I. We had searched for each other, but did not find each other until God was ready. His timing is always perfect.

 

    The Lord blessed us with the opportunity to go and see my mother for Christmas 2003. It was such a blessing to see the look on her face when she met Crystal and she held her grandbabies for the first time I shared with my mother personally what God had done in my life, and that he could heal her wounds just as he had healed mine. On December 29th 2003 it was my honor to lead my mother to the Lord.  God has never given me a more special gift than the one I received on that day when the gift of eternal life was given to my mother. I talk to my mother on a regular basis and I can see how God is transforming her life one day at a time. Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness!!!

 

       For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jn. 3:16. The most awesome thing about the God I serve, is that He isn’ t concerned about what you have done or where you have been. It doesn’t matter how many you have helped or how many you have hurt. The question that God wants an answer to is, Where are you now? Are you serving Him with your life? Or are you giving Him what you have leftover? Have you turned your back on Him after He gave you a reason to live? Have you ever really known Him at all? Please friend consider your answer to these questions. It will be the most important question of your life.  Rom.3: 23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Friend, you and I are not exempt from this scripture. If a man has unforgiven sin in his life he will not make it into heaven.  1Jn 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God is a God of second chances.  There is no sin you have committed that He won’ t forgive. There is no problem in your life so big that He can’t change. Rom. 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” This is the greatest news that I could ever give to you. God can do for you everything that He has done for me. All He is waiting for is for you to ask Him. Please don’t wait ask Him now.  2 Cor.6:2 Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 

 

    Today I am serving as the worship leader and youth leader under the authority of my Pastors, Brent and Julia Haskins. On May 28th 2002 I became an ordained minister under the covering of Pastor Paulette Blaylock the same Woman of God that was used to began my healing in 1994. God has given me the opportunity to record an album as another tool to share His love and grace. There is a great outpouring of Gods Spirit taking place in our lives and the closer we get to His return it will only increase. Thank You for allowing me to share some of the wonderful things God has done for me. My testimony is far from complete. I know that God is not finished with me yet. God Bless You!

 

“And they overcame him (Satan) by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Rev. 12:11

   

                If you have comments or suggestions email me at  jcktjhaskins@msn.com

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