Testimony

I was 5yrs old that Sunday night, when my dad came over…My parents were seperated in the midst of getting a divorce. My dad was an alcoholic and also frequently used drugs. He was very abusive to my mother. At one point, my mother took my brother and I to live at a battered women’s shelter with her because my dad, at many times, became physical. That Sunday, my dad asked my mom for another chance, so she agreed to let him come over and talk. My mother was warned by several friends not to take my dad back, she told them “he would never hurt the kids” and so she would try to reconcile with him. That Sunday evening, when my dad came over, he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. My brother and I went off to bed as my parents were arguing. Their argument continued to the bedroom. My dad started to strangle my mother and ended up suffocating her with a pillow on the bed. He then grabbed his .38 and headed to my room. (my brother and I shared a room) He walked up to my brother as he was sleeping and shot him in the head. He turned around and shot me, point blank, in the back of the head. After fulfilling this selfish act, he went to the living room, sat down in the chair, and committed suicide…The next morning, my mother didn’t show up for work so my aunt grew concerned. (they were very close and worked together) My aunt decided to leave work and go to our house, as numerous calls to the house were unsuccessful. She arrived at our house and tried the front door. No answer. Several attempts later she went around to the backyard to see if she could figure anything else out. The curtain to the back door was partially open and my aunt could see into the living room. She flipped out and called the police from the neighbor’s house. The paramedics arrived and cased the scene. They pronounced all of us dead at the scene and started to pack it up. By the grace of God, one of the last paramedics noticed, as he was leaving, that I moved a little closer to the hallway. He immediately rushed to the front door, threw it open, and claimed “we have one alive.” It was now a race against time to save my life. A 5yr old boy, shot point blank in the back of the head, left for over 12hrs before being found, pronounced dead then found alive as the paramedics had already gave up on him…to be continued

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  1. #1 by Mike on September 3, 2010 - 1:50 pm

    I’m not a religious person. In fact, I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in the power of the human spirit. As a father, I can’t understand how anyone would ever hurt a child. Unfathomable … I will pull my daughters closer tonight. I will tell them I love them a few more times than normal, and I will tell them to believe in the “good” that lives within us all. You are an inspiration to everyone that has ever faced pain in life. Thank you.

  2. #2 by Maryland517 on September 3, 2010 - 1:58 pm

    What an awesome testimony… just awesome… I was just sitting here contemplating surrendering my marriage to the enemy who’s been steadly attacking… but after reading your testimony, it just confirms that God can do anything; even giving life to a seemingly dead situation…Thank you.

  3. #3 by Daniel Zappala on September 3, 2010 - 2:00 pm

    You have an amazing story — read it on CNN.com this morning. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  4. #4 by Matt K on September 3, 2010 - 2:38 pm

    Just read your CNN article. I’m so floored by your story, and can’t imagine what you’ve gone through. I hope that you can be a blessing to others who have gone through similar stories and point them towards Christ. God bless.

  5. #5 by Lady Pheonix on September 3, 2010 - 3:04 pm

    omg I don’t think I can cry anymore. You are really a testament of how great God is.

  6. #6 by dzsmom on September 3, 2010 - 3:08 pm

    I read your story on CNN this morning and cried my eyes out. I too grew up in an abusive home with an alcoholic for a stepfather. He frequently beat my mother and threatened her life on a regular basis. I spent half of my childhood hiding all the sharp objects in the house, it seems. Your story is amazing, and I am so glad that you have the courage to tell it. Out of a horrible situation, good has come. Your story can be a testimony and a light to others. There is no way to count the number of lives you will touch throughout your life. God bless you for using your life to light the way for others.

  7. #7 by Teresa on September 3, 2010 - 3:10 pm

    I just read about your story on CNN. God bless you and your family. I too believe God has a plan for you.

    I believe that there is good and there is bad in every person.-Only unfortunately in some people, the bad outweighs the good.

    I’m so sorry for what had happened to you.
    Your story is truely inspirational.

  8. #8 by Jodi Nettleton on September 3, 2010 - 3:11 pm

    I was truly inspired by your story. Though my story doesn’t compare to yours, I do see how going through a horrible past does not have to make your future the same. Change is possible. Thank you!

  9. #9 by Joe Rossino on September 3, 2010 - 3:12 pm

    Hi. I just read your story on CNN. I just wanted you to know that I, a 44 year old grown man, has tears running down his face too. Keep up your good work.

  10. #10 by Eric Lyons on September 3, 2010 - 3:14 pm

    I read your story on cnn.com. I just want you to know you are an inspiration to me. Your story and what has become of your life makes me want to be a better person and father to my young son. Thank you.

  11. #11 by Ana Ballas on September 3, 2010 - 3:18 pm

    Chris, I praised God and Jesus for saving your life. You are the miracle. You are a testimony that glorifies God. The CNN article mentions that you saw the Youth Minister cry. We all cry with you Chris but now it is a joyous cry. Rest assure that you will see your mom and brother again. You will Chris. God and Jesus promise this. I know it is hard to wait and we humans experience time differently, but what a glorious moment it will be for you and billions of people when they get together again!
    I was having a bad morning – problems – that don’t come close to what you went through. I am laughing at them now and my hope has been restored. I thank God for you. Please don’t ever give up. You and all of your family are greatly love. I will keep you in my thoughts for eternity in Jesus. With Christian Love. Ana

  12. #12 by Tamisha on September 3, 2010 - 3:19 pm

    God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Your story gave me chills. I love when the Lord comes through in the clutches…I do believe you are blessed and there was a plan for you….I am happy you have found your calling and hopefully through sharing your pain you may help alleviate some somewhere in someone elses life….Keep letting your light shine on the world….

    Thank you

  13. #13 by Paige on September 3, 2010 - 3:22 pm

    That must have been hard for you to write. I am so proud that you are able to verbalize it. God did have His hand on you that night to fulfill His purpose in you. You are a gift, not only to your wife and child but to yourself. You belong to One who paid a high price for you. You were so worth it. Some of us are destined to live through harder times than others. It is sometimes hard to look at others who have not faced the traumas that we go through and not be envious. But remember that you were chosen because God made you to be able to stand. Be strong for you family, you have no idea who you are raising for God. I look at my son and think, every second, every minute is worth it. I see the plan God has for my 19 yr old and it is amazing. My life was worth living because of the glorifying life my son is living for Christ. We are vessels for His purpose. You can do this. And don’t believe that your son is going to rebel, the world tells you that. Children naturally want to please, not rebel. Give him plenty of reason to please you. Smile every day at him all the time. Touch and hug him. Tell him his mother is wonderful and show him how to be a kind husband and father. You can do this.

  14. #14 by Grandpa Jim on September 3, 2010 - 3:24 pm

    Wow, hard to know what to say. Thanks for your testimony of God’s grace in sparing your life. Continue doing what He has called you to do.

  15. #15 by John on September 3, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    Chris,

    So sorry to hear about your story, and yet I am very proud of you by turning it into something to touch other people.

    I pray God will continue to bless you in this ministry of healing.

    John
    Counselor-in-training
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  16. #16 by Samantha on September 3, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Your story really touches me. You are in my thoughts and prayers – I’m glad you are still here with us!

    Good luck with everything life brings you and your family.

    Sincerely,

    A friend

  17. #17 by ashlea simpson on September 3, 2010 - 3:32 pm

    Chris – I read of your story today. I only wish someone would have told you years ago that there are many very good people in this world who love you, people who don’t even know you, people always willing to help another. When troubled people do evil things and cause such heartbreak and anger it’s easy to not understand that there are also those with an amazing love for others. Don’t ever think you will “end up like your father”. You won’t. You are already a very good and loving man, the man whom God saved you to become.

  18. #18 by Brock Hardman on September 3, 2010 - 3:33 pm

    Powerful story bro. I live in Richardson and my wife went to TCU. I read your story on CNN and thought I would say hi. May God continue to bless you so that you may do the same for others.

  19. #19 by Danielle on September 3, 2010 - 3:34 pm

    Chris,

    If this is not a TRUE living testimony of the mercy and grace of God…then, I don’t know what is!!! So many people are “waiting” on a miracle from God, but you, dear, are a living and walking M I R A C L E! I bless God and give Him the highest shout of praise for your story. I am grateful to God on your behalf too. Most importantly, I know now that I will lift you and your family in my prayers from time to time, praying you will reach millions with the hope and love of God through Jesus Christ, so that many more might be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. In that truth, there is liberty…and you were spared to help set the captives free. I am a social worker, and when I tell you, there are thousands of young people in group homes across this country that NEED to hear you speak. They need to know that this is NOT their story…although they feel theirs is the worst ever! WOW. Please continue to press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, and keep sharing with as many hopeless young people as you can possibly reach. I pray your spiritual strength, wisdom and understanding.

    In Christ,
    Danielle

  20. #20 by Lisa Alexander on September 3, 2010 - 3:36 pm

    Hi, I just read your blog and it was such a touching story. you are right , GOD has a place for you and that is to spread the word. i hope and pray you will have peace and happeniness.. GOD Bless you and your family.

    lisa
    Houston Texas

  21. #21 by Brittany on September 3, 2010 - 3:38 pm

    I just read your story on CNN, I want to tell you that your story has touched me and I am so sorry for what you have gone through. I have never experienced anything like what you have, my deepest condolences to you about your mom and little brother. Thank you for being strong, even though in some moments you still feel pain and think of that horrific day. Thank you for making a difference and changing the cycle of something so evil. Your life could have went in so many directions, but you were strong and faithful. Thank you for being a loving father and for really grasping what it is to be a father and have a family. I send love, good energy, and my best wishes and blessings to you and your family. I pray you have a wonderful life and your gorgeous boy grows up to be just as amazing as you have become. He is a lucky lucky little boy to have you. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. May God bless you and your family in every aspect of your life! ❤

  22. #22 by Donna on September 3, 2010 - 3:48 pm

    You have an amazing testimony and thankfully are wonderfully blessed to share it. Thanks for showing other kids out there that someone does care and they are not alone. There are too many kids growing up without a trusted person in their lives. God bless you!

  23. #23 by Janna on September 3, 2010 - 3:50 pm

    I read your story on CNN. I am in the midst of a custody battle with my ex-husband (we’ve been divorced nearly 4 years). I have tried time and again to get the courts and law enforcement to understand the severity of my ex-husband’s drug and alcohol abuse. He is abusive and dangerous, and yet I cannot get anyone to hear me.

    This morning, I yelled at God. I mean, I really let Him have it. I told Him that I had washed my hands of this whole thing and that if He wanted to leave my babies at the mercy of this horribly evil man then it was on Him and not me. I had done everything I could to fight and that I was just flat tired of fighting.

    Your story inspired me. I’m going to take up the battle just one more time. Maybe your misery truly is your ministry. Your story came to me at a very timely moment.

    In any case, please pray for us: Janna, Lisa and Katie. I’ve since remarried to a wonderful Christian man who is doing everything he can to stand by me. It’s just that the blows keep coming and my ex is allowed to get away with just about everything, including abusing me via the legal system.

    Yes. Your ordeal was meaningful. You didn’t just survive; you are alive and making a difference. Thank you. And God bless you.

  24. #24 by Lola Tweet on September 3, 2010 - 3:52 pm

    O my gosh God must have a wonderful plane for you!!! God bless you!!!

  25. #25 by andreas on September 3, 2010 - 3:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    You will never walk alone.

    Andreas

  26. #26 by Chris on September 3, 2010 - 3:55 pm

    I just read your story on CNN which lead me to your blog site. As a fellow believer, I’m immensely inspired by your unwavering faith and will to overcome such a devastating experience. As difficult as it is to understand why God allows such terrible things to happen, I do believe he has a master plan and has used you to reach others in so many ways. A pastor once told me that we should ask ourselves, “why not me”, instead of always, “why me?”. Your beautiful family is a testament to all that one can emerge from such a devastating tragedy and find hope & goodness in this world. God bless!

  27. #27 by Lu on September 3, 2010 - 3:58 pm

    Found your story through a link on facebook.
    All I can say is, you’re a miracle, not only you have people that care about you, but now you have one more person (me) that admires you!

  28. #28 by Coral Garza on September 3, 2010 - 4:03 pm

    I just want to say congratulations on how far you have made it from that day. It takes a lot of inner strength and determination to overcome such a thing. Your story is truley an insperational one. Thank you for helping all those of us out there to understand that we have the power to decide of our own level of happiness.

  29. #29 by Barbara Pugh on September 3, 2010 - 4:04 pm

    My nephews (10 & 3) just lost a mother and sister by their father who shot them in front of the boys. He was later caught with the 3 yr old that night). THis just happened this year and the father is in jail awaiting trial. THE 10 & 3 yr now reside with my brother and his wife. (their grandfather and grandmother). Is there a book or site that Piero could read and maybe relate to.

  30. #30 by Lori Hannah on September 3, 2010 - 4:06 pm

    What an inspiration you are. Keep writing and talking and get the word out. There are a lot of folks who need to hear your story. Very interesting ministry you have.

  31. #31 by David on September 3, 2010 - 4:06 pm

    amazing story. If you would like to write me I’ll send you a copy of our recording, COMING HOME.

  32. #32 by Marilyn Coppola on September 3, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    You are an inspiration to all… God Bless you and the work you’re doing. Keep the faith, life is good !!!!

  33. #33 by Kurt Sokolski on September 3, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    i just read your story on cnn.com and got teary eyed.

    It is very clear that God has certainly given you a second chance. Keep doing what you are doing(sharing your testimony, speaking to kids, etc.) because it will definitely help others who are struggling and it will also help prevent future tragedies.
    Thanks for having the courage to share your story with the world. I will praise the Lord for sending the right people into your life when you were a teen to help you overcome the past. Your suffering as a child is now producing a Godly harvest. You have been blessed with a beautiful family and powerful ministry opportunities.

    I will pray that God will continue to bless you & your family and continue to use you in a mighty way to bring to glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. May love, joy, peace and abundant blessings abide in your home Chris.

    Jeremiah 29:11

    Kurt Sokolski

  34. #34 by Will Austin on September 3, 2010 - 4:20 pm

    Chris, I can’t begin to know what it’s like to endure what you’ve endured.

    I read your story on CNN and it both broke my heart and gave me inspiration that my trials in this life pale in comparison.

    I had to stop for a moment to pray for your continued strength and comfort.

    I’m so very, very sorry for what you’ve been through. I know it’s not my place to do so, but I just want to say for what it’s worth, that I’m proud of you, and your Mom and brother are proud of you as well.

    You have a very beautiful family.

    2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
    Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

    Keep up the fabulous work, my brother in Christ. You are a true testament to us all.

  35. #35 by Tracie on September 3, 2010 - 4:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you, even more, for sharing your faith. God bless you and yours, Chris.

  36. #36 by Alex Varghese on September 3, 2010 - 4:36 pm

    Chris,
    Amazing testimony! Sometimes we cannot comprehend the ways of God. You are now blessed with a truly beautiful family. Saw on the CNN report that you were sometimes worried that you will become like your dad – you don’t have to be because if any man is in Christ he is a new creature.

    God bless,
    Alex

  37. #37 by Sandra on September 3, 2010 - 4:38 pm

    Truly inspirational. I am 31yrs old married for 1 yr and trying to deal everyday with issues about my abusive father whom drinks and uses drugs. Its very hard living and trying to stay strong for the family I want to now have with my husband. When you said you look at your son and think to yourself how could your father have done that, is the same thing I think to myself. I also have fear of becoming like my dad. I go to therapy every week and Im on anti-depressants and still its hard at times. I have a lot of anger and have no self confidence. I feel weak a lot of times. Reading your blog helps me to know I can get through this like you have. You help me and please stay strong. God be with you and your family. I will work on finding faith

  38. #38 by Leeanne on September 3, 2010 - 4:41 pm

    You’re story is awe inspiring. I applaude you for your strength.

  39. #39 by Eve on September 3, 2010 - 4:50 pm

    Hi Chris,

    You are one brave guy. You are an inspiration to anyone who wants to grieve and move on with his life. God Bless you and your family. I am sure that your Mother and Brother are looking after you and they are probably very proud of you. You are one amazing person who survived to help other people.
    Best of luck for the rest of your life. I am sure that your son is very loved by you.

    Que Dios los Bendiga!

  40. #40 by Lisa on September 3, 2010 - 4:56 pm

    Read your story on CNN.com.. You are truly an inspiration. God bless you and your family.

  41. #41 by Sheila on September 3, 2010 - 5:48 pm

    Your story touched me. I have many similar experiences, but none as terriable. But probably very similar damage.

    My parents were alcholic. My father abused everyone but me: My mother – hospitalizing her and breaking her ribs; brother 11 years older; brother 2 years older. I think I was left alone because I was a girl. I now grapple with rage and guilt. The rage of feeling helpless and learned rage from him, and the guilt of being left alone.

    When I was 6 we lived in England. My father had been especially abusive and my mother feared he would turn his abuse on me. She made me drink some of his blood pressure medicaitons disolved in water and when I wouldn’t, told me to put my lips to only the glass, then. Then she was able to call the police and (honestly) say she had given me poisen and to come and get me. She said years later it was to get me out of the house because my dad was on his way home from the pub and she feared he would hurt me. After being hospitalized and her going to jail, I was back at school where a school mate said, “my mummy read in the paper that your mummy tried to kill you.” Those words have resonated with me all my life. She killed herself 14 years later when I was twenty. That was 25 years ago. More survivor’s guilt. My brother died of a drug over dose. More survivor’s guilt. Dad eventually died sober. I was able to forgive him. He let me rip into him a few times, and it helped.

    His father was an alcholic that beat him. I ahve recently found his family in Scotland and have learned that this cycle has gone on for generations.

    Stopping the cycle has got to be the greatest of feats, and you seem to have done htat.

    It helps me to know my dad actually had a neat person inside of him. I was able to see that because he got sober. And it was able to sink in because took responsiblity for his actions. I think it was the damage to all of us that killed him in the end, he died young, after mom and my one brother died too young both under sad conditions.

    He was screwed up to start with, then with the addition of alcohol, he was not capable of being decent.

    The ironies are this: Although it was dad’s acts that ruined our family, it is the feeling of hate to my mom I can’t shake, even tho I know she held out as long as she could, and she was his biggest victim. He lived to see and feel the pain he caused – helpless to stop what he put into motion. Watching his x-wife kill herself, then his son die of an overdose killed him.

    I just try to remember they were weak and beaten down themselves. The pain they caused did, at sometime or another, eat them up on a very deep level. I must honor them is someway, as they were my parents. So if it can only be with sympathy, and only be after they have gone – so be it.

    Breaking the cycle is key.

  42. #42 by sara on September 3, 2010 - 6:14 pm

    wow.

  43. #43 by Stephanie on September 3, 2010 - 6:51 pm

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you for sharing your stoyr. Just reading what you went through has left me speechless and overwhelmed with emotions. I can’t even begin to imagine how you’ve managed to cope- but you have. You’re right, you are here for a reason and never forget that.

    Chris , you give me hope.

  44. #44 by Tiffany on September 3, 2010 - 6:59 pm

    I wonder every day if that is what would have happened to my children and I if I hadn’t found the strength to leave and hadn’t also found the opportunity. It’s a scary thing to live with someone like that and I pray that my children don’t end up anything like their father. God bless you and your family 🙂

  45. #45 by Peter Bohrer on September 3, 2010 - 8:13 pm

    God has big plans for you Chris. As Jeremiah 29:11-13 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come to pray to me and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. We don’t know the whys but God has it all planned out. Thank you for sharing your story and cherish each day you have with your family. God Loves you.

  46. #46 by LV Eeman on September 3, 2010 - 8:16 pm

    I can relate to your sad story because my dad tried to kill my mom, my brother, and/or himself numerous times over several decades also here in Tulsa. The cause was severe schizophrenia. In the mid-1970s, when I was about 12-years-old and super-powered with adrenalin, I was able to scream at and fight my dad enough to break him away from choking and killing my mom in the bathroom. Another time my mom was able to stop my dad from choking and killing my brother. My mom, my brother, and I stopped my dad several times from committing suicide. I dealt with these types of scenes for over 40 years until my dad finally passed on in 2008.

  47. #47 by Stone on September 3, 2010 - 8:26 pm

    Chris, My greatest condolences for your losses. To me, it illustrates the dangers of getting involved in using substances that are so toxic to our bodies altering our thoughts to a point that no one could cope. Thankfully, now, there are better programs and prescriptions that can help people get through difficult emotional times, whether induced or naturally occuring. I am just so sorry that it is too late for your dad and family. If people knew what they were getting into when they were trying drugs, I don’t believe that most people would ever consider using.

  48. #48 by jim on September 3, 2010 - 9:34 pm

    Strong story. You were meant to do something wonderful. I am a father, and my kids are my world. It is sad your father was too messed up to realize what he had.

  49. #49 by Diamond on September 3, 2010 - 10:03 pm

    I just read your story and I too, know how it feels to grow up with an alcoholic father who was abusive to us 5 kids and our mom. It is horrible. We have had friends and relatives say they don’t know how we survived. We did survive but not without scars that will never heal; scars that only lessen in pain with years that go by. When I had my own children I could not imagine anyone hurting them like my dad did us. Now that I am a grandparent I am horrified at the things that people do to their children.
    Your strength gives me, an older abuse victim, hope. Keep doing what you are doing and believing in the goodness and graciousness of our Lord. You are and will be a true inspiration to abuse victims everywhere.
    God Bless you and your family always.

  50. #50 by Marc on September 3, 2010 - 10:38 pm

    Wow God is god all the time… Your testimony has brought my heart closer to God and restore my faith. You are an example of the existence of God.. May God continue to bless you!

  51. #51 by Amy Rangel on September 3, 2010 - 11:07 pm

    Chris,

    What an amazing story. I have to say though, on behalf of your Mom, I know what it is like to live with an alcoholic/ drug abuser. I too separated from my husband when I was 31 yrs old. He drank/ used drugs and became physical and living with him in those conditions were miserable. It took me a long time to leave (we got married when I was 17- him 21 and had our first child then). I know now that he was mentally ill and using alcohol and drugs to self- medicate. You said several things that struck a chord with me. You mentioned you were angry at your Mom for going back to him. Please know that if she would of had any idea that he would hurt you or your brother, she would have done everything she possibly could to keep that from happening. I’m very lucky that my husband didn’t kill me or the kids- I believe based on things that took place leading up to his death by suicide that he was considering that. But at the time I would have sworn to God that he would never kill me/ the kids or himself for that matter. Just like you mentioned once a person betrays you in this manner, how are you supposed to ever trust someone again? Before my world was shattered I trusted and believed in people and loved ones. I’m sure your Mom did too. Something else I would ask you to think about is forgiving your Dad. Maybe you have done this already but I have found it to be the only way to move forward in life. You mentioned that your son is something good that came from evil. I guess I am asking you to think about your Dad as not being evil but as being ill without getting treatment. These days there is much more awareness in regards to mental illness such as bipolar disorder, and more medications out there. He didn’t even have a chance at saving himself and ultimatley his family. I am not defending his actions but realize in my own healing that my husband believed in his mind that he was doing the only thing he could do- which in the long run has nearly destroyed his children’s lives (they were 13 and 8 at the time). Yes, it was a selfish act and its hard to understand when you are looking at your child how someone could do that. But you are thinking that with a normal brain and as a whole person. Hopefully one day you will be reunited with your entire family- whole and without illness or pain. I know I am looking forward to that day.

    God bless you and your family. You are truly an inspiration.

  52. #52 by Barry Conner on September 3, 2010 - 11:15 pm

    Dear Chris,
    YOU INSPIRE ME! May God continue to Bless you and that beautiful Family!
    Isaiah 40:8
    Love,
    Barry Conner

  53. #53 by C on September 3, 2010 - 11:31 pm

    Chris,

    I am the mother of two boys that survived an attempted murder/suicide at the hands of their father. My boys seem to be doing well but I always worry about them and how they will react to their past as they get older and can understnd what really happened. Your story gives me hope and courage that their past will not dictate their future. I’ve always told them that God saved them for a reason – he has a wonderful plan for their lives.

    Thank you and God bless.

  54. #54 by Diana on September 4, 2010 - 12:17 am

    I read your story on CNN. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I hope this story answered my many prayers about people who do drugs and/or drink. I learned a little about not to trust a person who is doing drugs and drinking. Never know when they will snap, when they are not even in the right frame of mind. We have learned over and over that drinking and drugs and/or the combination of both distorts the mind. I feared my life and my childrens when my ex acted like your father. I got out.

    As for you, why you survived…this much I can say….what you gone through is nothing like what stressed people go through and so with your experience you will be able to share your stories as you have, especially to teens today who are finding it difficult because there is very little family time and value. You are the example of surviving and proof that whatever happens in our life it is because we all need to hear it and realize that we can overcome whatever we are going though. Being a survivor of something out of your league shows your ment to be alive to tell those that are wanting to kill their families that they dont have a right to take a life that is not theirs.

  55. #55 by Karen on September 4, 2010 - 12:37 am

    Thank you for sharing your story- it is so hard as an abuse survivor to share these stories with the world— so many times people cannot believe what we tell them we have lived though and they seek to pass the blame to the abused. I love reading stories like yours- they give me so much hope for me & my young son. I fled an abusive marriage a little over a year ago & am now awaiting the second round of custody (abusers seem to always use the kids to further the abuse/ seek custody) & the divorce (he filed). God’s blessings to you & your lovely family! *Isn’t wonderful* how God can take ashes and turn them into something beautiful, to bring glory to Himself? It takes my breath away! I pray you continue to find your self-worth in the Lord & always remember what a treasure you are to Him! ❤ Blessings! Karen ❤

  56. #56 by richard on September 4, 2010 - 1:14 am

    Hi Chris read your story thru CNN, I was so overwhelmed with emotions that at that age you were able to endure those hard things. Keep always the faith and may you always inspire and help others who are in that difficult situations.

  57. #57 by Priscilla Roberts on September 4, 2010 - 1:37 am

    Hi Chris — I work w/Crystal in Wee-Care at CCBC… I saw her link @ this story on FB this evening… I’ve met you a couple of times, but had NO IDEA that you have suffered such a thing… I am deeply, deeply touched over your story and so very thankful that you are here to share your story with so many others… The Lord will use your testimony in a powerful way… you were saved (both physically and spiritually!!) “for such a time as this”… I just attended a 2 day court hearing for my niece in Mississippi this week… she was just granted a divorce and is still waiting on a child custody decision about her 3 year old son… her ex-husband has severe mental issues as well as a very violent personality… I will always think of how the Lord saved you as I pray for my niece and her sweet little son, Macguire… I am so thankful that you know the deep love of your heavenly father, and that little Dylan (who I watched at an infant) knows the sweet, tender love of his earthly father… Blessings, blessings to you and Crystal… You will be missed when you move to Colorado!!

  58. #58 by D on September 4, 2010 - 3:14 am

    What an awesome GOD he is. My words can’t even begin to form how great GOD is!!!!!!!!! Very touching story, but most importantly, I love the outcome of how GOD used you to spread the word to others. May GOD keep you and your family forever.

    God bless!!

  59. #59 by Raven on September 4, 2010 - 5:26 am

    I do believe in God, even if I do not understand why he lets me live when I have hurt so bad inside and feel so worthless that I would rather be dead. I have had those thoughts all my life. BUT as much as I dislike myself, the thought of hurting my (now grown kids) NEVER entered my mind. I do not have the right to take their lives and as bad as this world has gotten I still do not believe that I have that as a choice. My kids now have kids of their own, my oldest grandchild being 13. I was 34 when he was born and I cannot imagine taking his or his siblings or cousins’ life. It is bad enough that I have had those thoughts toward myself but to turn them onto someone else is unfathomable, especially a child. I am so sorry that you had to live with the pain and the feelings of not trusting anyone. I am very glad to hear that you have been able to find the love that you so richly deserve and are the dad your father should have been to you and your brother. You are a strong man and it shows in your picture as well in how you live your life. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  60. #60 by Aine on September 5, 2010 - 7:10 pm

    Things like this, while moving me to tears, also make me realize something. If one believes in any sort of a god, this is proof that while mankind often stops believing in itself, god still has a glimmer of hope for mankind.

    I hope you have a beautiful life full of hope, peace and gratitude. YOur life is truly a gift, and one that should be lived in LOVE and hope with your wife and son, and not simply trying to reconcile the selfish deeds and criminal acts of someone who should have been a loving father.

    I admire your courage and strength in your help of others, but at the same time, remember that you do not need to live your life to make up for the sins of another. Your family is beautiful, being present in your life, finding some peace, and loving your wife and son *are* succeeding, and honouring the family who fell years ago.

    Your story WILL help so many others. I do hope you live a life of happiness, gratitude, love and peace. That will radiate out, and help heal many a broken heart and soul.

    May you be blessed and walk with a light heart. Hug your family. Hug yourself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your life with the world.

  61. #61 by Melody on September 5, 2010 - 10:03 pm

    WOW! Just read your story – absolutely amazing. God had this time and space and mission just for you. How powerfully you do and will continue to impact the world! God richly bless you and your beautiful family.

    The Scotts
    Mobile, AL

  62. #62 by Jennifer on September 6, 2010 - 1:38 am

    I don’t begin to understand what happened to you on that horrible day in your childhood,but it is my hope & my prayer for you that Upward Bound provides you with all the gratification & reward that I know is brought to the students who take this course.
    It would seem to me that you are now doing God’s work with these kids & that as a result God will take care of you. I can’t say that I don’t feel intense sadness for you living without your mother & brother all of these years, but to have survived this tragedy, it only seems fit to be working with youth who may find strength in your spirit! God Bless!

  63. #63 by Michelle Castle on September 6, 2010 - 1:56 am

    Chris,
    Like so many, I saw your story on CNN. I was 6 when my father killed himself. He had come home from work, got upset over a minor family matter, and grabbed his gun. He threatened to kill us all; I remember so clearly the day my father pointed a gun at me. But then locked himself in the bathroom, and my mom put us in the car and we left. Moments later, he was dead.

    I too am a Christian – raised in church my whole life. I’ll never understand why my father did what he did, or how we escaped worse while you didn’t. But I can only attest to God’s faithfulness.

    I’m a pastor\missionary to inner-city kids these days. I admire your work with the juvenille offenders. I really haven’t shared my story, since it is so personal. You just may inspire me to do that.

  64. #64 by Jack on September 6, 2010 - 2:44 am

    Chris, the CNN article was read to a thousand people in church today, and a thousand hands wiped tears from a thousand cheeks. Your faith has touched the hearts of millions of people who read this story! You’re awesome, and I can’t wait to meet you in Heaven. I would be proud to have a son like you, and I will pray for your mission, and pray against the slings and arrows of the enemy. Take some fatherly advice from me and DO NOT get discouraged when that old serpent bothers you as you go about doing the Lord’s work. You are one of God’s most beloved and fearless warriors on this battlefield, and so the enemy always tries to attack. Keep up the prayers for God’s hedge of protection around you and your family. OUR SIDE HAS THE VICTORY, remember that and be brave. I will always be praying for you. I love you Chris!

  65. #65 by L. on September 6, 2010 - 3:36 am

    your incredible courage is so inspiriing….blessings to you and your wife and son.

  66. #66 by Cheryl on September 6, 2010 - 3:40 am

    I praise God for you!

  67. #67 by maggie on September 6, 2010 - 3:58 am

    Your story gives hope to the hopeless, light to those walking in darkness, and courage to those who find themselves afraid. Thank you for sharing how God can redeem even the most horrible of acts.

  68. #68 by Tom D on September 6, 2010 - 11:27 am

    Breathtaking. Only God knows what his plan for you is Chris.

    My life was physically saved also (2). I had been struggling, why me? Till I realized my life, my decisions could help God help others a million miles away.

    I’m not suppose to know why.

    This help me find some peace within myself, and God’s presence in my life became that much stronger.

    Acceptance was the answer.

    God bless you buddy… TD (An Indigo Baby)

  69. #69 by Neil on September 6, 2010 - 1:18 pm

    I am father and I have been through a horrible divorce. I have never been overwhelmed with any drug or alcohol use so maybe I am quick to judge but hurting your children, killing your children is hard to fathom.

    I pray someday you can fully forgive your father.

    I pray for the peace of your life, and the peace of God in your family. I hope you never know this pain another second. It is hard to read let alone live I am sure.

    May the Lord Bless You, your family and your children.

  70. #70 by Paulette Oftedahl on September 6, 2010 - 1:33 pm

    God bless your mother and brother. There are reasons things happen and it is apparent the reason this terrible thing had to happen to you. May you always have the strength to move forward!!! Such an inspiration to us all.

  71. #71 by Cheryl Walls on September 6, 2010 - 10:24 pm

    Chris,
    I can honestly tell you, being a nurse, mother and former youth leader at my church, that God does TRULY have a plan for you! Thank God that we have a CHOICE to not turn out like our parents. I grew up in a home with a very domineering mother and a mentally ill father who didn’t know that punishment could be too severe at times. He more than once threatened to KILL our entire family to put us all out of our misery. That was a scary time to be in my household. Thank God, he sent me my “knight in shining armor” who married me at the age of 19, rescued me from my living hell, and has been my hero ever since. I have a choice to not be cruel and unloving like my mother, I have a choice to recognize that depression is a hereditary disease and seek treatment for it, I have a choice to rely on my Father in Heaven when I feel things edging toward “out of control”! I choose to tell you how wonderful your testimony is and I pray for your continued healing spiritually and emotionally from what your parents put you through. You choose to be a wonderful father, husband, and man of God! God bless you and your entire family!
    With Christian Love,
    Cheryl Walls

  72. #72 by Daily Mumbo on September 7, 2010 - 5:04 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you. You didn’t have to share your story but you did and to read the comments of those who were considering “giving up” until they read your story – you’re really living now, Chris.

    Take Care

  73. #73 by Angela on September 9, 2010 - 5:14 pm

    I read your story and it really touched me. I have two ungrateful stepchildren who boohoo that their dad is sooo mean to them. They play the victim, while you reach out to others. They and every other spoiled rotten teen should read this and re-evaluate their priorities. After reading your story this song came up on my Ipod and it made me think of you – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7elxC8LXfzE Kutless – …”dont you give up now- the sun will soon be shining- you gotta face the clouds to find the silver lining- ive seen dreams that move the mountains- hope that doesnt ever end even when the sky is falling -ive seen miracles just happen silent prayers get answered broken hearts become brand new -thats what faith can do…”

  74. #74 by Courtnie on September 9, 2010 - 8:53 pm

    Hello Chris,

    I am a victim of domestic abuse. And just listening to your story bring tears to my eyes and chills all over my body. I have two boys ages 5 and 6, and I could never imagine anything happening to them. I use your story as a wake up call. An abusive man will never change. And the more you take him back, the worst things may get. I am so sorry for what has happened to you, God is truly with you, and you are here for a reason, and I believe it is to help women like me. God Bless YOU!!

  75. #75 by irma martinez on September 24, 2010 - 2:02 am

    A big hello to the Keith family
    Each of you are an example of how almighty our lord is. As i myself am living in the most challenging times of my life..i am inspired by each of you and i thank you lord for connecting me with all of you in giving me strength,courage,and the will to live…
    brothers and sisters in christ..
    irma martinez

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