Originally from Lebanon, Virginia, Randy did not grow up in a Christian home, but rather, was dropped off at Sunday School and picked up immediately thereafter. Even with this early exposure to the Gospel, Randy grew up considering himself an atheist. His basic belief in life was simple, "You're born, you live, you die. All you've got is the dash in between."
Regardless of his personal goal to the contrary, Randy stumbled head-on into a 19-year history with alcoholism. The early loss of both his parents brought a bitterness and anger towards God. He wanted no part of God. Especially a God who others said might actually care about him. In turn, this growing bitterness and anger fueled his addictions. Randy turned to alcohol.
But on December 16, 1999, God used the unusual circumstance of a meeting with an ex-wife, daughter, and family counselor to discuss custody, to break through to Randy in a tremendous way. Through a simple, honest prayer to a God he wasn't sure was there, Randy opened his heart enough to ask, "I don't know if You are real up there or not, but if You are, could You please soften this woman's heart?" More than anything, Randy just wanted to take his daughter home with him.
And as is so often the case, God heard Randy's cry of desperation, proving Himself real and merciful in Randy's life. Not only did Randy take home his daughter that day, he took home Jesus as his Savior, as well. And then, in confessing his own weakness, he heard God's proclamation, "No, on your own, you can't quit. But I can take the alcohol from you!"
My testimony starts out a little different than Randy's. I was raised in a great Christian home. We were in church every time the doors were open, or at least it felt like it. I got saved at church camp in Edinboro, PA when I was 12 and was baptized in the Allegheny River.
I got married for the first time at 18, had my daughter, Stacy at 20. By the time she was about a year old, I had gotten my first divorce. We lived alone till she was around 8. Then I met my second husband. We met in May, got married in Sept. It started out a little crazy, I went out partying a lot with him. He was a great stepfather to Stacy but after about 4 years married he got into some trouble with the law. Served some jail time etc.
This is where I would always go back to my faith. I used God like a spare tire for many years. When I was having troublrle, feeling broken, I could and would call on God. Once things seemed to be okay again, I would put Him back on the shelf.
We moved to SC in 1994 and by 1995 my second husband left me for someone else. Well I kind of went off the deep end and found a,bar down the road from the house and started hanging out and partying there every weekend. I let my 15 year old daughter sit at the house and wonder if I was okay. One night in that bar, Randy walked through the door. I went over and started talking to him and we have been together since, 20 years in Dec 2015. Randy was an alcoholic too, as my 2 previous husbands had been. But he was also an atheist. My Dad and Mom faithfully began to pray for his salvation. Well their prayers were answered in Dec 1999, when Randy accepted Christ.
Since Randy became a Christian, I realized how important God needed to be in my life every day, not just when things were going wrong or everything was just all out chaos. We have a beautiful family of 2 daughters, Stacy and Trista, a son Brandon, and son in law Brandon. We have been blessed with 3 grandchildren Emily, Teaghan, and Brandon Jr. God has taken my 3 marriages to alcoholics and made everything for His glory. In this ministry, I know what it's like to be on the other side of addiction.
God is good.