Jeff K.

Jeff K.

from KS
Story #306
In 1967 I was newly married and starting my junior year at Nebraska. I received my draft notice telling me to report for duty. Five of my friends and I went into the army under the buddy system and after training was sent to Vietnam. We were separated there when two went one way and four of us went north to the 23 Infantry. Over a period of four months two of my friends were killed and I received a letter from my wife telling me she wanted a divorce she did not want to wait. I became hardhearted, cold, no feelings, just hate, and a desire to payback those who killed my friends. There was no God around. I was in many fire fights and patrols and on one of these my friend Leon and I was told a chopper was in bound and to be on it when it left our time was up. Thirty six hours later we were in Oakland, California processing to go home. We were given new uniforms a hand full medals to wear and a pocket full of cash. We went to the Oakland Airport where people were calling us baby killers. Murders and spitting at us. I went home where I learned my other two friends had been killed. I spent about three weeks with my family but I was angry and no feelings. I was ordered to go to Ft Carson, Colorado to finish my time in the Army. There were many other Vietnam returnees there. I drank to numb the pain and to allow me to sleep. After leaving the Army, I stayed in Colorado where for the next seven years I drank heavy and partied hard.

It was Easter Sunday and my friends and I were at a Bar planning on shooting pool and getting wasted when, as clear as anything, I heard a voice said to me. This is your last chance. I left the bar and called my Dad and said I have to come home. He told me to get there as fast as I could. I went home and tried to stop drinking. I got a job that paid me on salary which was good. I could work long hours to exhaust me so I could sleep and not think. I was transferred to Des Moines as a Manager and met Judy who was the secretary. We spent a lot of time arguing. She was going through a messy divorce. I came to work early one morning and Judy was there. Her ex-husband had beat her up bad. My anger came back and I knew then no one would ever hit her again. We became friends. I was transferred to Sioux City to open and manage a new Gordman’s store. A short time later I looked up and Judy was there to help. She had asked for a transfer. Was not long and we were living together. Dan Gordon loved Judy and took very good care of her but he called me to meet him at his office an hour away. At the meeting he told me he did not want managers living together and I had let him down and sent me back to fire Judy. On the way back I realized I did not want to fire her but to marry her and we were married.

We had several more moves and were having a few marital problems, Judy was struggling with her family being so torn up and the moves had not helped. One night while I was traveling Judy accepted Christ while watching Billy Graham Crusade on T.V. Her life had really started to change and then we got another transfer to San Antonio. This was a hard move for her with no family and being so far away. The day we arrived she said she wanted to go to McDonalds to get something to eat (she hates McDonalds). We drove over to a church and the Pastor and his wife talked to us and invited us to Church Sunday. We went and were blown away by Robert Emmett’s message. We went back the next Sunday and the same thing happened. Robert ask me if I would go to lunch with him. He asked me if I knew Jesus and I told him I have been very mad at God and I was doing fine on my own. The lunch went on a long time and before I left that day I had accepted Christ. Robert told me I need to publicly come forward Sunday. Sunday we both went forward and accepted Christ (since Judy had accepted Christ at home) and we joined the Church. A couple of weeks later Luis Palau was having a Crusade in San Antonio and we both went forward again. Wanted to make sure it took. A couple months later we were baptized in a very cold swimming pool. Our faith was young but under Robert and many other good Christians we grew. I couldn’t get enough Jesus and Judy was the same.

In 1996 we moved back to KC and we needed a church that preached the word. Our realtor found us a Church through a friend that went to LBC. We went that Sunday and loved it. After a few weeks we joined. We saw God was at work and needed workers. We found a Church home. We moved two more times for a short time, but always worked our way back to LBC. We have a home here and are continually growing in Christ and love of Jesus. Jesus saved me, healed me, and taught me how to forgive, love and care for people and to love the Lord with all my being. He showed me he is always in control and without him in my life every second my life will wonder. We are all one step from stupid.

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