HUMANS OF SURRENDER
“Nobody cared. I was tossed out like a piece of paper out of a window. But there’s somebody that did care. I didn’t know it at the time, Jesus cared. When I got out of the military I got back on methamphetamines and I killed a man in Wichita over $12,000. I was doing the drug thing, you know. I went and did many years in the penitentiary for it. I got kicked out of my mom and dad’s house when I was thirteen years old, then I had nobody. I never went back. I lost everybody in my family. I boxed for 25 years and only got knocked out once; look at my nose. I was a bad kid. I was a violent kid. I fought all the time. Jesus changed me from my violent ways to love. My advice to people is to stay out of bad crowds, don’t do drugs, don’t drink, and help one another. Make sure you're introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ. He will guide you the rest of the way. My name is Perry and I surrender.”
(Perry, Manhattan, Kansas)
“I was a slave for three years in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. I witnessed my friends being murdered and I was barely fed. When Pol Pot’s soldiers weren’t looking, I would eat whatever I could find; snake, lizard, and wild potatoes. One night I had a dream that I was standing on a muddy clay path in the jungle. At the end of the path was a rusty gate with a large padlock on it. This gate represented freedom and escape from Cambodia. While standing on the muddy path, a large tiger jumped out of the jungle, trying to kill me. At this point the Holy Spirit entered into my body, removing all fear. I grabbed the tiger by the face and broke its jaw. A second tiger leaped at me and I broke its spine with my foot. Slithering towards me was large cobra. When the serpent looked into my eyes, it was afraid and went back into the jungle. After the snake disappeared, the lock on the gate broke and it opened. Later, I found out that I had been randomly selected for a full sponsorship to the United States. Since then, my life has been spiritually transformed by Jesus Christ. I met my husband at church in Texas. Jerone and I built a church in Chuuk, Cambodia, my home village. We spend seven months out of the year in Cambodia spreading the gospel. I realized much later that my dream was described in Psalm 91:10-16. My name is Tien and I surrender."
(Tien, Garland, Texas)
The latest stories from HOS. One story at a time.
Brokenness, the common ground between all people. Become new.
“On a foggy night in December of 2006, I had a head-on collision with a drunk driver. He was driving the wrong way on a freeway; there were lots of serious injuries. One thing I got out of the accident that has dramatically impacted my relationship with God was the traumatic brain injury (TBI). There’s no way to heal that injury, there’s just a way to learn how to manage life despite it. Now, I’m so dependent on the Holy Spirit everyday just to manage work issues, relationships, and social interactions successfully, that it keeps me very close to God. God fills you. He is so sustaining. The ugly moments of our lives are very purposeful; there is purpose in our pain. God will make it good. My name is Jenny and I surrender.”
(Jenny, Manhattan, Kansas)
“In May of 76, God brought me to the brink of death. You can’t describe the emptiness that I experienced. I was hurten so bad. I was doing things that I wouldn’t normally do. I was out of control. I was trying to satisfy a void. I felt all alone. In 8th grade, one of my friends brought a green bible to school. I always wanted to be close to God. I bought that bible. The second semester of my senior year I took a death literature class in English. This class directed me to suicide. I thought about how I would do it and decided I was just gonna go ahead and hang myself. The only reason I’m still here is because my green bible happened to be on the kitchen table. I was broken, miserable, and desperate for answers. I started getting restless again. I was sitting in my bedroom talking to God. I finally decided to pray the prayer, asking Christ to come into my life. I actually felt I was being poured into. I physically felt my heart filling up. I have never experienced that since. That was my surrender moment. I was 17. I’m now 58. My name is Karl and I surrender."
(Karl, Manhattan, Kansas)
“I got my last strike for drugs and was getting ready to go do my 3-year prison time. I dropped out of school in the 9th grade. I don’t have a high school diploma and I have 3 kids. I left all my kids with my mom to raise because their mother is not in their life due to drugs, also. I didn’t have nothing for myself; no future, no good way to support my kids. I felt hopeless when I was sitting in county. I was feeling bad. I just saw the light. I knew I needed to be a father to my kids. I needed to grow up and change. My father wasn’t in my life. God blessed me; I didn’t have to go do my prison time. Instead, I went to recovery treatment programs; Options Adult Services and Oxford House. I have my own place now. I’m sober and have a job. I have one of my kids full time and will have all 3 in May. My name is Ravon and I surrender.”
(Ravon, Wichita, Kansas)
“He raped me that night. I felt worthless, devalued, and filthy. There wasn’t enough soap in the world to make me feel clean again. I got a My Space message. It was from a stranger. They wrote in a way that was familiar to me. They sounded like a friend, someone I knew. We ended up talking on the phone. We met one time and we met a second time at my trailer. A few weeks later I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I had to hear from God, I had to. I could not survive without Him. I knew that babies are created by God and life is never an accident. I don’t regret for one second choosing life for my daughter. She has made my life so beautiful. It is crazy love. She is a symbol of hope and inspiration and what God can do if you let Him. In scripture where Jesus is hanging on the cross and He says, 'Father forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing' came to mind a lot during the process. This man, he’s a rapist. He’s a sinner. I’m a sinner. How can you not forgive? How am I in a place not to forgive, I’ve sinned. God is bigger and smarter than the enemy and more loving than we can even comprehend.”
“The Judge said 'since you're doing life on the installment plan, here's your next installment of 50 to 60 months'. Hopelessness man, hopelessness. I got another felony in prison while I was waiting to go to prison. I was fighting over somebody’s shampoo. I had to serve another year. I was in a 23hr lockdown for 13 straight months. I had no contact with the outside world. I had no family, no friends that were talking to me. I was scared to death. That was 15 years ago. The Lord met me in a maximum-security prison. When he revealed himself to me, I stayed awake for 3 days reading the bible. I went from being a pissed off 23-year-old kid, to having the love of God poured on me; crazy! I was like, 'what in the world happened?' God just completely wrecked my world. I felt the love and an acceptance in a way that I never in my life had ever seen before. My eyes were completely opened and then I just started seeking Him with all I had. My name is Chad and I surrender.”
(Chad, St. George, Kansas)
“My husband recently had a stroke and now they found an aneurism on his heart. We were married in 2013. Without God, I wouldn’t have the comfort that your supposed to feel. Without God, it’s like this empty place in your heart. You want to curl up under a rock. I have my sanity as long as I read God’s promises. There are times when I cry, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have faith in God. I got saved about 10 years ago. I got to a point where I just got tired. I knew there was more to life. My name is Sheresa and I surrender.”
(Sheresa, Manhattan, Kansas)
“This all happened within a week. The FBI was looking for me. My human trafficker went to prison. I was back on the street. I had been raped and beat up by a drug dealer. The day after that, I went to jail. I almost died that night from an overdose of heroin. I knew I was in a vicious cycle and that I was never going to get out of it. I knew that I had to change. They got us out of jail to go to church. That’s when I started thinking that there has to be another way. You always hear about these stories of God. I started reading and tearing out pages of pamphlets that they were giving us and putting them on the wall. I would read them over and over. When I started thinking about using, I would refer back to one that said to tell the enemy to go to the cross and deal with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I would do that constantly and it worked. It’s pretty amazing. The thoughts would go away and I was able to start sleeping. Family started reaching out to me. That was 3 years ago. I went into the Homestead Ministry program that helped me get my life back. They really influenced my life. God settles my heart, eases my mind, and keeps me at peace. I surrender my life to God. My name is Pepper and I surrender.”
(Pepper, Detroit, Michigan)
“I’m a former Neo-Nazi skin head that learned how to hate. I created a gang called the Vinlander's Social Club. We started spreading like a disease and I was an enforcer. I began to realize that the only thing I had achieved in my life was a bunch of scars, a legal record, and a half way cirrhosis of the liver. That’s it, nothing positive. Not only did God change me physically, He brought love into a world of hate and violence."
“I’m now 71 years old and have recently been baptized, giving the glory back to Jesus Christ. I felt the most broken as a child. My Dad was physically and verbally abusive. I wanted to give up. God clearly spoke to me and told me that there was worth in who I was and to trust that He was guiding and walking with me through my life. As a young child, I knew I had to surrender to God, because without God in my life, life had no purpose. When I was nineteen years old, I married Chuck. He now represented to me all the good in my life and I looked to him to guide me. I took for granted all the good in my life and gave others the credit for creating the good. Since I have surrendered my will over to God my life has been absolutely wonderful. Nothing except my love for God and Jesus Christ consumes my day. I can face worldly things with faith and know that I’m on the right path. My name is Anne and I surrender.”
(Anne, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)
"I witnessed people being decapitated from the time I was 7 to 12 years old. Every Sunday during the cold war in El Salvador, my Grandpa would send me with my cousins to see soccer matches. While riding in the back of a pickup truck going from town to town, I would see dead bodies and gun fights along the way. I saw families and children that had been massacred just hours earlier. My father left when I was around 5 years old and my mother left when I was 7. My mom said she was going to the fair to buy me toys. I told her that I wanted to go with her and she said not to worry, that she would be right back. I felt like something was not quite right. I waited for her for days, she never came back. When I was around 16 I left for the United States; it took 3 years to get my visa. The war ended 2 months later. I started reading the bible around 17 and I gave my life to Jesus at 21. In March and April of this year Jesus revealed the resentment that was hidden deep in my heart and removed it. After 36 years of living with this pain and void, I can finally share my story with people and show them the power of Jesus. I feel free! My name is Manuel and I surrender.”
(Manuel, Mesquite, Texas)
“I wasn’t ready to be on my own, I didn’t know how to be on my own. I moved out of the house when I was 17. That was the most broken that I’ve ever been. I was completely shunned from my family. My parents were totally against their daughter dating someone outside their race. My high school sweetheart was a black guy. I knew about God from my upbringing, but I didn’t have a relationship with God. During those years that I was estranged from my family I was hungry to find something, so I started to read my bible. I found Jesus. I realized that He did understand my plight because he too had been rejected. I related to Him. He understood my pain. I fell in love with Him. I gave my life to him. Six months ago, I was having a hard time. There were sins in my life that I was in bondage too. I was praying and asking God to please show me what it was that I was doing wrong. I felt Jesus come into my room and stand at the foot of the bed. I was in a hotel and outside was a pool. He got into the pool and motioned for me to come and I did. I realized He was going to baptize me. I thought it was strange because I had already been baptized. He put one hand on my chest and one hand on my back and dipped me back underneath the water. After a few seconds, I realized it was time for Him to lift me up and He didn’t. It scared me, I really didn’t understand what He was doing. I was fighting and flailing in the water because I wanted to get up. I looked up through the water and I could see Him and I felt the word die come over me. I knew what it meant, it meant that I needed to die to myself. I needed to die to my will. I needed to die to the parts of me that I wanted to hold onto to. At that moment, I understood. I needed to let go and completely surrender my life in every area and not just the areas that I had given to Him prior in my life. I stopped fighting. I just laid there and He brought me up. I completely surrender my life to God, I didn’t want control. My name is Sheri and I surrender.”
Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
(Sherri, Manhattan, Kansas)
"My Dad passed away a few years ago. It was a strain on all the parts of my life. I was 15 and never had any experience with the church. I had a few friends that were Christians. In media, you kind of hear about what Christians believe and what it represents. I looked at that with a pessimistic curiosity. If Christianity has answers to offer me, maybe I can figure out why God took my dad from me. I went with some friends to a youth conference called Christ in Youth in Durango. Somewhere around the second night, I just got wrecked. Something about the worship and message gave me something to cling onto for the first time ever. What I realized was I wanted this Jesus thing in my life. A couple of weeks after that I decided to get baptized. I still really didn’t know what the Jesus journey was going to look like, but I was ready to surrender and to accept real hope for the first time in my life. My life has changed in a lot of ways since then. I started using my words and actions to love and encourage other people. I have found that life isn't bad, but instead life is something to love and to celebrate.There’s a peace knowing that things are tough now, but we can be comforted by the fact that God is ultimately moving us from bad to good. God is love. My name is Trevor and I surrender."
(Trevor, Phoenix, Arizona)
“In October of 2015 I had emergency surgery, the CAT scan showed cancer. They took about eight inches of my colon and removed my appendix. The doctor came into my room, just like on television, and said you have stage 4 colon cancer. The big “C” word. I never thought that would happen to me, but here we are. In January of 2016 we went to the oncologists in Omaha, Nebraska. The oncologists pulled up a recent CAT scan on her computer and said ‘I don’t see anything.’ I was trusting in God the whole time. I knew I would be alright. My parents were very good Christians, I was raised in it. I have no doubt about anything that has to do with God. I know that He is our protector. I was definitely scared, but I didn’t feel like I was doomed. I would have been a thousand times more scared if I didn’t have God. It’s always about His will not mine. You glorify Him in the good and the bad. I pray a lot. I find comfort in reading the word of God. Let go and let God. We are saved by the grace of God. My name is Kim and I surrender.”
(Kim, Genoa, Nebraska)
“I had a defibrillator put in my heart. I have chronic heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure. It’s all because of God that I’m still here. If it had not been for the Lord, I wouldn’t know where I would be right now. God is in the miracle working business. When you trust in God, your trusting in a power beyond your power. God is in full control. I put all my faith in God, For All I Trust Him. I’m a pastor and my Daddy was a minister. I have 2 brothers preaching right now. We used to sing all over the country together, we were Gospel singers. My name is Paul and I surrender."
(Paul, Mesquite, Texas)
“I almost overdosed on bourbon when I was 2 years old. I crawled out of my crib and drank my dad’s drink. My parents were fighting in the other room. I’m an alcoholic. My family believed in Jesus, but didn’t follow Him. I recently realized my entire life has been filled with lies. I’m 45 years old. Like many, I was taught to chase worldly things; money, sex, alcohol, drugs, entertainment, food, family, careers, etc. I always felt like I was chasing the wind, it was just out of reach. I was not taught the greatest commandment of all, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment" Matthew 22:37-38. I was taught to love everything else, but God. It wasn’t until I lost my family, money, and my mind that I realized what a terrible mistake that I had made. Back in 2010, God spoke to me and told me there wasn’t going to be a next time. That was the first time that I realized how truly broken I was. I stopped blaming the world for my problems and surrendered my will over to God’s will, begging Him for forgiveness. Despite my sinful ugliness, God still loved me. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16. My advice to people is to stop putting God second. Try to put God first in everything you do. Make Jesus your role model instead of the world, your life depends on it! My name is Brett and I surrender.”
(Brett, Manhattan, Kansas)
“I am a recovering box maker. I have struggled with putting God in a box and only letting him influence parts of my life. I am tired of giving Him vague prayers. I am sorry, Lord. When we surrender, we surrender a prayerful heart to him. As a 90’s baby I once snuck my Gameboy into mass. My parents got a divorce when I was in the 5th grade. I had a lot of anger in my heart through the years. My step mom’s ex husband died of a heart failure. My Dad started attending her church when they got married. I found Christ at that church going into my high school years. Now I work at a church and get to preach the Gospel to students. God has given me peace in my anger. My name is Adam and I surrender."
(Adam, Manhattan, Kansas)
“On August 2012 I got a call from my daughter: 'Hey mom, Yamari has been holding food in her mouth for 30 minutes and it looks like water. When we talk to her, she’s not responding. She has peed on herself 2 times today.' (Yamari is 5 years old.) About 12 o’clock that night, they did an MRI. We got the results and she had ventriculitis, swelling and bleeding on the center of the brain. They took her to ICU and put her on a breathing machine. They said they were going to treat the symptoms because they had no idea what the illness was. 2 ½ months later, the doctor said, 'Ma’am, I suggest you call your priest, your minister, or whoever it is; she’s not going to make it through the night.' At this point, I looked at the doctor and said, 'If it is her time to go, it’s not your call. God has to be the one to take her.' I told God I was willing to give her to Him, but I needed the strength to get through this. I needed the strength to be able to be a good mom and not lose my mind or my soul to what has happened to my baby. The next day a nurse from Jacksonville Florida came in. My case manager looked at her and asked if there was anything she could do to save this little girl's life. Within 24 hours, we were on a transport to a pediatric rehabilitation center in Jacksonville. By the saving grace of God, within 3 days, this little girl started speaking. Now this is a 9-year-old girl. She is an angel. My name is Danetta and I surrender."
(Danetta, Norman, Oklahoma)
“For 34 years I wasn’t acting like me. Whatever came out of my mouth did not come from God. I couldn’t sit still very well. I had to keep moving all the time. I didn’t like to sit in one spot for more than an hour or I would panic. I suffered from ADHD. God doesn’t want us to focus on all the stuff around us. When you focus on the things around you it’s going to distract you from God. If we keep our focus on Jesus and don’t think about the things of the world, we stay in this perfect peace, this perfect joy. I would say James 4:7-8 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded" are very good scriptures, I’ve had them memorized for 9 years. Whoever keeps the focus on the world is going to backslide and have issues. We need to focus on Him. In 2008 I got saved at the Lakeland Revival in Florida. I was baptized under water with the spirit, as it says in John 3:5 "Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." All Christians are going to get persecuted by the world. We have to love the ones who persecute us. My name is Jeff and I surrender.”
(Jeff, Manhattan, Kansas)