My story is not my own. It is a story of pain and death—of redemption and life. It is the story of sin and drugs and human failure, and also the story of God doing the impossible in my family, ministries, and the world’s mission fields. It is the story of a boy, turned man, turning boy again, who—only by the hand of grace—is alive today to point to the Christ whose redemption has given me second life.

Growing up in a split family I encountered the Lord and the church from a young age. I also encountered the brokenness we all experience in life; a brokenness that runs wild even in the church. Inevitably, addiction and emotional desperation wreaked havoc in every corner of my life.

As a young man I lost my father—my hero—to a heroin needle. I’d soon fall down the same hole, and in a moment of utter despair the hand of love reached out to me with the offer of life. Through a series of miraculous moments, and hearing the audible voice of the Lord speak, I was delivered from drug dealing, partying, and the sin that tried to drag me to my father. But the Holy Spirit had plans to release me from darkness and set me running hard after Jesus.

Salvation was just the beginning. It wasn’t long before I was a young “Christian” married man and father aspiring to be a church professional. I was bent on becoming a great man of ministry and a leader in whatever sphere of influence I could work myself into. I was the prodigal son becoming the older brother. I was a hypocrite trying to prove and compare my way into the grace granted to those who walk poor in spirit before the Lord.

Today, Jesus has bridged a great gap between that righteously ambitious man, and me. Over years of ministry and life, of failing and being picked up, I have one testimony: Jesus Christ is everything the Word of God declares Him to be. The Father is everything Jesus declares Him to be. And by the Holy Spirit’s life, I am still on the journey of being everything they have declared me to be.

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Other than God’s grace I count my greatest boast the gift He gave to me in Nikki, my beautiful wife of thirteen years at the time of writing this. My single greatest achievement in this life is found in my wonderful children: Angelina, Nikki, Giuseppe, and Eliana.

Over more than a decade, I have served the Lord as a youth pastor, stood with my family as a missionary in Tanzania, and traveled the world declaring the Gospel. Whether on crusade platforms, or in dirty tents, I have walked in places where men far greater than I have plowed the road. The one amazing thing I constantly encounter is God touching a broken life through the redemption of Christ. My prayer is that in all I do one legacy will remain; Jesus Christ lifted up in my place and the hearts of men and women won for the love of their Father through me.

If you want to learn more about our global missions to unreached, unchurched, and persecuted peoples around the world, visit www.TouchingNationsToday.org. Visit the DONATE NOW button to partner with that ministry, and follow the page instructions to use code 3068, or “GARRETT” to specify partnership with my family in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of the world in love and power!