After high school, I attended Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy in Long Island. There I continued my studies, although a lot of the time was devoted to “extra-curriculur” activities of mischief. If there was a rule, it was meant to be broken. I also developed my leadership skills in showing others the best ways to thwart the establishment. Upon graduation, which swayed in the balance my last week of school due to a “joke” by the Commandant (payback time), I began my sailing career—in New Orleans, the Great Lakes, over to Europe through the often-turbulent North Atlantic, then to the calm, beautiful blue waters of the Pacific.
I had settled in Florida during the later years of sailing and had continued with my party lifestyle. I worked hard when I was sailing and I partied hard when I was not. Eventually, I came to Virginia Beach because of work, to sail to the Middle East during the second Persian Gulf War to supply the troops.
During a relationship situation, I ended up visiting a pastor. Though in my mind it was about the other person, the pastor saw my need and invited me to come to their service that was to start shortly. I had no intention of doing that since I was not a Christian, but as I started to leave, I felt a strange, strong “warning” that I’d better not walk out of that church. I found genuine peace and freedom that night in a relationship with Jesus Christ. My life was never the same.
I grew in the Lord through attending church and studying the Bible and I try to be a light to the men with whom I come in contact from day to day on the ships. They immediately know something is different when you don’t “swear like a sailor.”
Nearly 10 years ago, the Lord brought an “anchor” into my life, my wife. It was one of the greatest blessings to me. Today, we live for Him and pray to be a light to those who don’t know the life-changing love of God.