You might think Dan's childhood would have been a dream growing up in Bloomington, MN, but instead it was a nightmare. As an only child of an alcoholic mother, he would suffer unimaginable pain and loss. "I knew my mom loved me unconditionally, but because of her drinking, she didn't make the best choices for us," Dan said. “When she married my stepdad things got even worse."
Dan was hanging out with all the wrong people. Partying all the time. Selling and using drugs as well as being arrested many times. “I dropped out of school, and my mom was so wasted that she didn’t realize the trouble I was getting into. I started partying and selling weed which led to dropping acid. I probably “tripped” 70-100 times. On one really bad “trip” I sat with the devil for 10 hours. Everything was so real. I felt I was never going to escape from him. He told me that I had to stay in my room or my mom would die.”
Two weeks later, during another “trip”, Dan met the Holy Spirit. “He flipped everything from bad to good. Through the Holy Spirit I felt a little bit of heaven – it was pure joy! When I came down, I knew for a fact that God was real. It was so strong, almost overwhelming.” However, he didn’t stop getting high.
At 21 years of age, Dan was driving through the city when four bullets pierced his truck. The next bullet struck Dan in the temple and ricocheted into his nasal cavity shattering his upper jaw. Then another bullet entered his right side going through both lungs, esophagus and stomach. Major surgery was needed. During the long recovery Dan got hooked on pain pills. First Percocet, then Oxycodone then heroin. After returning to selling drugs, Dan became addicted to crystal meth. He became paranoid, and soon was selling meth and selling guns. His mom started using meth too. “One day she thought she found meth on the floor, smoked it and died.” Dan hit rock bottom and tried to commit suicide.
After a stint in the workhouse for theft, Dan was released. A friend he had known for 20 years was getting clean and sober and she invited him to the Life Center.
For years, others had talked of God, but Dan never knew Jesus. When he started Discipleship class Pastor Monica said, “ Satan will attack you, be prepared.” Shortly after, Dan lost the tips of two fingers in a work accident, but this time, with God’s help, he didn’t get hooked on pain pills. God saw him through. “It is rewarding to know God’s ways."
Dan, a father of twin boys, feels terrible that they have seen some of the bad things that he has done. He hopes that God will teach him how to be a good father. They are 15 now and live with Dan in a nice home in Richfield. They work with him in landscaping. “I’m seeing God's kindness and goodness. My sons come to church with me, and on Father’s Day they will both be baptized!"
"God is working huge in my life. I feel His presence here. I want to use my testimony to help others. God has brought me a long way. This is where I need to be. I am on fire for JESUS!”