John’s Testimony

My name is John Heinrich.  I was born on March 26, 1981 in Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.  I’ve been battling depression since I was in 8th Grade and started drinking alcohol heavily when I was 16.  Alcohol was all I cared about.  It was the only thing that made me feel good.  Depression was the main reason why I drank so much.  There were times when my depression was so bad I just wanted to die.  I did not know God in those days.  I’d heard some Bible stuff, but just thought it was all fairy tales.  And, I used to think Christians were just idiots for believing that stuff.  Boy, I was just living in complete darkness in those days.   The past year or two is when I started to notice how strong of a hold alcohol had on me.  I wasn’t able to do stuff without it and I tried breaking the hold but failed badly.  I felt trapped, like I was a slave to alcohol.  I had no hope of being free again.  My depression hit me hard and I thought I’m just going to have to live with alcohol for the rest of my life.  I just felt trapped, and no matter what, I can’t escape.  December 21, 2012 is when I felt I hit rock bottom.  I got arrested for DUI.  Alcohol cost me my job and I ended up in jail and I really wanted to kill myself.  I was so sick of alcohol being a center of my life.  So, when I was in my jail cell, I called out to Jesus.  I said “If you do exist, I’m done.  I can’t live like this anymore.  Please free me from alcohol.  I don’t know what else to do.”  Then what happened was amazing.  I felt this strong loving presence, like he was just standing next to me.  I said then “my God, you do exist”  I know now that after that experience, my life wouldn’t be the same.  The next day, the guard woke me up and told me I was going before the judge, which was weird because I thought they said I wouldn’t see a judge until after the weekend, but I didn’t argue.  I was released shortly after that.  I thought, wow, I am really lucky.  When I was walking home I couldn’t believe it, I ran into Chaplain Ted who oversees the Rescue Mission.  I knew then that it wasn’t luck that got me released, it was the Lord’s doing.  So, when I got to my apartment I just sat and thought and thought.  I had a hard time believing what happened, that the very thing I used to believe was a lie.   A few days later, I came to the Rescue Mission to join the New Life Program.  I quietly came to understand that God had started a work in me and He brought me to the Mission to hear the gospel, how Jesus died for my sins, according to the Scriptures.  How He was buried and raised from the dead, according to the Scriptures, so that I might be born again to a new life in Christ.  John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  Romans 10:9  “That if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  And now I am confessing before you that Jesus is my Lord and I believe He died for me.  I’ve never felt better.  My depression is gone finally, and I feel that alcohol is no longer my master, but Jesus is my Master.  The Lord is who I serve now, and I’ve never felt so free in my life.  I love the Lord now, with all my being.  I just can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for my life.