I had no spiritual background. Occasionally mom would say a prayer once a year at the dinner table just to try and start something new, but never followed though. I just called myself a “Christian,” just because.
I am a sophomore at Eastern Kentucky University, a Criminal Justice Major. I joined Lambda Chi Alpha and one of my [fraternity] brothers, Dean, started inviting me to come out to Cru [Cru ministry on campus]. I came and I really liked it. But I kept playing the role of the first year student: partying. I thought that came with college, that I would put my religious beliefs on a shelf and I’ll get it down after I graduate.
But I wasn’t fulfilled just going out and partying. I felt nothing. And then I started to attend Bible studies, and they just kept drawing me in. I thought college was “party, party, party, go to school.” I never knew that I was going to find God in college.
One day, Dean invited me to the Greek Summit Trip 2011. I was pumped. I got the application, I was ready to go, and then I looked at the bottom of the page and I was shot. It cost $1,500. Well, I got my letter sent out to raise the money, and I got a total of $75 back. By then, I knew I wasn’t going.
I called Dean two days before the trip and said I couldn’t make it. I didn’t hear from him for a day leading up to the trip, so I knew for sure I wasn’t going. Then he called me, and said, “Dalton, pack your bags, we’re going. My church raised the $1,500.”
The trip was great. I was worried that I was going to be an outcast, awkward. But everyone had their own testimony, many people that had the same story as me. I felt very comfortable there.
One night before we went to bed, Dalton asked, “If God was to end the world today or right now, where would you go?”
I had never faced that question before. I said, “Well, I hope I’m going to heaven.” But I’d never been saved. He walked me through [salvation].
The next morning, May 14th, we went running. Dalton told me to think about it while running.
When I got back to the room, I opened my Bible up and started flipping through the pages. I don’t even know what book, chapter, or verse it was, just that the words “repentance,” “forgiveness,” and “acceptance” popped out at me.
I finally said a big prayer. “I accept Jesus as my savior, I want Your blood flowing through mine, just clean me. Bless me.”
Now that I have some background of reading the Bible, I started a Bible study here at McDonald’s where I work. Here at home, my city is dark. Nobody goes to church around my age.
I also went to share the Word with my parents. It was so hard. I was scared I was going to be judged, but they opened up to me, and said, “Maybe we want to go to church with you.” They even bought me a new Bible of my own.
They push me in some ways, to help me see that I can be strong in what I believe in, and never give up.