Saved, Surrendered and Serving – A Personal Testimony

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

When I was young, my family did not go to church regularly. We visited various churches with aunts, uncles and grandparents when we had a chance.

Early Introduction to the Gospel

One Sunday while visiting my uncle’s church I remember the Gospel being taught to the kids in children’s church. I was 9 years old and even raised my hand indicating that I wanted to be saved. A man took me to another room and tried to tell me more about the Gospel. He tried so hard to explain it all to me, but I just could not understand why Jesus would die for me. I knew that Jesus died for other people—they were sinners. But I thought that I wasn’t a bad person. Therefore, I did not need to accept Jesus as my Savior.

The next summer as we returned home from a family vacation, our parents told us that they were going to put us into a Christian school the next school year. My older brother started in the Christian school in 5th grade. I was in 4th grade and my younger brother started kindergarten.


On a Wednesday morning in November 1979 (a few weeks before I turned 10 years old) our school principal gave a clear Gospel presentation in chapel. It was then that I understood that I was a sinner. I needed a savior because of my own sin. Jesus did die for me and not just for other people.

Again, I raised my hand indicating that I wanted to talk with someone about salvation. The kindergarten teacher took me to the back of the church auditorium where we were having chapel. She helped me understand what it meant to ask the Lord to be my Savior.

That was over 30 years ago when I accepted the Lord. I am very thankful that I understood my need at a young age and that I was spared from a wicked lifestyle before coming to Him. That does not mean that I have not struggled with sin or obedience to the will of God at times.

By the way, the kindergarten teacher who led me to the Lord was working in the school that year while her husband was starting to raise their support to go to Paraguay as missionaries. In 2010 when my family and I were serving the Lord in Argentina I was privileged to meet that missionary couple in a pastors’ conference. They are still faithfully serving as missionaries in Paraguay.

Call to Ministry – Surrendered

Though my parents had not gone to church much when we were younger, they were both saved at a young age. My brothers and I started riding the bus to the church where the Christian school was located. Eventually our parents began to attend church regularly. But we three boys still rode the buses on Sunday mornings and were very involved in the bus ministry until each one of us went off to college. Dad was even one of the bus drivers in the ministry when his work schedule allowed his involvement.

One Wednesday night in church I clearly remember being impressed by the Lord to surrender my life to full-time ministry. I don’t know what the sermon was about that night, but I know that the Holy Spirit was leading me to surrender to whatever God’s will might be. I went forward in the invitation to tell the pastor that I was surrendering to ministry. I was 12 years old.

I spent my teenage years doing everything I could to prepare for future ministry; I was involved in any church activity I could be. I didn’t know how the Lord wanted me to serve, but I studied the Bible and tried to put myself under any good Bible teaching and preaching I could find.

How to Serve?

One of the things I did not know as a teenager was in what capacity God would want me to serve. At the time I thought of four main ministries I might do. I could be a pastor, youth pastor, missionary, or evangelist. But as I grew older I began to really focus on being a pastor.

My reasoning for being a pastor went something like this: I didn’t want to be a missionary because missionaries had to go to Africa and eat grub worms. Besides, I would have to move away from my mommy.

I didn’t think I could be an evangelist because they traveled all the time. I had done very little traveling as a young person and didn’t think I would like the traveling lifestyle. Besides, I would have to move away from my mommy.

I certainly didn’t want to be a youth pastor because they had to deal with teenagers like me. I didn’t want to do that. As a teen I often found it much easier to interact with adults rather than kids my own age. Adults were not intimidating like teenagers were. So, I resigned myself to being a pastor. That became my focus through my teenage years.

When I was a freshman in Bible college I finally started to think about what I had been saying to God for the last seven years. Essentially my comments to God were, “I will do anything you want, but I don’t really want to be a missionary, evangelist, or youth pastor. So let me be a pastor.” I had not been outwardly rebellious to God’s will, but I did tell God that I had my own will and I would rather Him choose something for me that I wanted to do.

During my first year at college I fully surrendered to God’s plan for my life. I was willing to go to Africa and eat grub worms. I was willing to travel as an evangelist or even work with teenagers. I didn’t know if God would lead me in those ways, but the point was that I needed to be willing and obedient.I would even be willing to move away from my mommy if that was God’s desire.


During my freshman year I began learning sign language in the church I attended while in Bible college. Derrell, a friend of mine, invited me to attend the sign language classes at church with him. I thought that if my brother (who was also at the same college) and I learned sign language, we could play practical jokes on people. That really was my initial motivation for learning signs.

Sharing the Gospel with the Deaf

God won’t lay out the next 20 years for you all at once. He wants you to trust Him with today.

God won’t lay out the next 20 years for you all at once. He wants you to trust Him with today.

I continued to take sign language classes that year and the next. My parents had moved to the town where we were attending college to make our school bill cheaper. Mom was a nurse and easily got a job at a local hospital. One day she came home from work during my sophomore year and told me about a deaf man in the hospital. She wanted me to go visit him and share the Gospel. But, she felt it was important to tell me about all the diseases he had. The list was very long and scary sounding. But, I still agreed to go.

That Wednesday night at church I asked my friend Derrell if he could go with me to the hospital to witness to Dewey, the deaf man. I conveniently neglected to tell him about all the problems Dewey had until we were already on the way to the hospital Thursday afternoon. Derrell did not back out and we nervously went on to the hospital.

When we arrived on the floor where the patient was, we were told by the nurse that we had to put on protective coverings to enter the room—hair bonnet, mask, disposable gown, gloves and even booties for our shoes.

Dewey was very sick and weak. It was difficult to communicate with him because he only had the strength to fingerspell words instead of using formal signs. On top of that, he was missing all of one finger and part of another on his strong hand. Reading what he had to say was pretty tough for two new sign language students such as Derrell and I.

After we had been in his room for just a few minutes a doctor came in. The doctor started his conversation with, “It is great to have an interpreter here!” (We were far from being skilled interpreters.) “You tell him that if he does not cooperate with me then he is going to die.” I did not want to tell him that! I came to tell him how he could have eternal life, not that he was going to die. I felt sick.

What was worse was Dewey’s response. He saw what the doctor said and spelled, G-O-O-D. I then asked him if he wanted to die. He said that he had no reason to live.

The doctor was already angry with the patient from previous interactions. The patient was mad because he was very sick and wanted it all to be over. Derrell and I were upset because of getting ramrodded into a sticky interpreting situation. Needless to say, when the doctor and the patient finished arguing—through me—no one was happy. Dewey did not care to listen to what Derrell and I had to share.

We left and went to the car. Derrell and I sat in the parking lot crying and praying. This had not gone anything like we planned. But we did not give up.

We went back the next day and began to slowly build a relationship with Dewey. We even started sharing the Gospel with him. He knew nothing about the Bible. He had a small understanding of who God was, but knew nothing about Jesus. Over the course of five days of going back and forth to the hospital, we were glad to see him accept the Lord as his savior.

When we went back the next day to see him, the nurse told us that Dewey had been transferred to another hospital where he would probably die within a couple of weeks. There was nothing the doctors could do for him. We are glad that God gave us an opportunity to share the Gospel and that we did not quit with that first disappointing day.

Deaf Ministry – My Calling

Through that experience God started to show me that while there are many different types of ministries in which I can be involved, there was a definite need to share the Gospel with the Deaf. Through the years I have worked with the Deaf in camping ministries, deaf churches, church ministry, and even as a professional community interpreter.

Looking back on 20 years of full-time ministry, I have rarely been in a pastoral position, which is what I told the Lord that I would most enjoy doing. I have worked with deaf teens in camps (much like a youth pastor). When not living as missionaries in another country, my family and I drive about 40,000 miles each year in a traveling ministry helping churches and missionaries expand their outreach to the Deaf (like an evangelist would). I have been to Africa. Though I have not eaten grub worms (that I know of), I don’t mind the thought of spending the rest of my life there if God called me to do so.

Even though I tried to dictate to God what I wanted His will for my life to be, I am glad I surrendered to allow Him to lead me. Let me encourage you to do the same.

Your Relationship With the Lord?

Where are you in your relationship with God? Have you accepted the Lord as your Savior? That is where your journey begins. Realize your need for His forgiveness and surrender your soul to Him.

Once you have taken care of your need for salvation you can begin a daily walk with the Lord. Build a relationship with God through talking to Him in prayer and listening to Him through His Word. As you grow more and more aware of His leading in your life, He will show you His will.

God won’t lay out the next 20 years for you all at once. He wants you to trust Him with today. If He had shown me 30 years ago where His will would lead me, I probably would have quit before I got started. We need to learn to trust Him even when we can’t see or understand the outcome. Though I didn’t always know where He was taking me, I can look back with great joy when I see His leading in my life.

I am excited to see where He will take me in the next 30 years! (And I am still hoping there won’t be grub worms on the menu.)

Take a look at this related article, also by David:

How to Become a Christian Missionary

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack Wellman July 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm

David, this is so powerful. What a testimony to God’s faithfulness and the “hounds of heaven” pursuing you and running you down so-to-speak, to show you your calling. I am so inspired by this sir and truly thank God for you and your effective work in the labor of love for the Lord and for this website. Words just can not express…and when words can not express, I am sure you can by sign language! Thank you.


Bert savarese July 26, 2013 at 10:43 pm

There really is a huge need fr those who do sign to reach the deaf community about homosexuality & it’s development. I wish there were more who were willing to work in mission fields of America. We don’t all have to go to Africa! But we surely need those who will lead the captives to truth…..

God bless you fr obeying his cal!


jerry July 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm

David I love to hear storys like this it touches my heart to hear the experences that God has led people thru when we get down and feel we have failed God we can draw on those experences to give us strength many times he will lead us back to those times in our minds to let us know he still loves us and is still with us and it gives us strength to go on .


Joel July 30, 2013 at 3:52 am

So inspiring!
Truly God’s purpose and plan will always be done in His perfect time. And when it happens, no less for sure that God would always be on our side. As He (God) promised that He (Holy Spirit – John 14:16-17) will always be with us. He will never leave nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5-6), (Deuteronomy 31:6-8). God has so much to bless you more sir! Joel:D


Sung August 1, 2013 at 1:26 am

Dear Brother David,

What an amazing testimony. I couldn’t stop crying not only because of your trust in God and His will but also because your circumstances (and your age) are so similar to mine. I am 43 (a few months younger than you) and I too owe much to the church bus ministry. And although I don’t have a special talent like sign language, I now serve as a pastor of a small church in Redding, CA. I answered His call 3 years ago and haven’t looked back. I will be praying for you, your ministry and family. May God bless what you’re doing and praise the Lord for your service in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! You are an inspiration to be sure.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I like to hear people say God guided me to do a special mission.
This tells me God is present in that person.
I was brought up a strict RC and the Pope was the boss and you did what he said, you had a ticket to heaven.
Even when you went to the confessional box if you committed a Mortal sin you were on the road to Hell. There was one nice priest who could understand and he never said that. Every one quid up outside his Box.
In all the time I went to church and confession I had no feelings whatsoever. I might has well send a brick in my place.
I prayed to God in my on words but still no sign at all from God. I spiralled right down into no mans land.
I am coming up to 65 yrs old,and about 2 yrs ago I was sitting on the couch and something very profound happened to me. The words coming out of my mouth was not me I spoke just like a priest,and I could see everything. Too many things happened to call it coincidence.
Then I realized it was God he opened my eyes to everything that was wrong. I new I was a sinner at school.
I remember Jesus saying seek and you shall find and I did,but I did not know what the knocking on the door meant,and just a couple of night`s ago I found out what it was. I must stress I was not looking for it. The answer was in an email.
I knew what this email was but something made me scroll down to the bottom,and there was a link to it that explained everything. This was God`s work not coincidence.


Jack Wellman August 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Amen Mr. Cotton. What a joy to hear from you. One man wrote us and asked if God tempts people. I said Thank you for your question to What Christians Want to Know. Does God tempt mankind and lead them into temptation? No. The Lord’s prayer seems to say “and lead us not into temptation” but what Jesus is really saying is “God keep us away from temptation.” The old King’s English didn’t always communicate the Scriptures easily and are sometimes hard to understand today. For a better and more in depth look, please read this article of ours called Does God Tempt People to Sin? at:

James 1:13-14 is clear about this saying “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed..”

I am overjoyed to hear from you sir, even though this is not my article but I hope you have forgiven me sir because of my often shortcomings in answering peoples question. I must remain humble and on my face before God and esteem others better than myself. Forgive me since I have not always done that Mr. Cotton.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

There is nothing to forgive Jack.
I was in shock at your reply,and I took a screen shot of it.
When I got off the internet I read it over and over,and I thought this is not the Jack I know.
I evan still thought that you were still a good man,and that you were definitely not sinning at all. I could not figure it out, then I fell into depression.
You have taught me a lot Jack, which I understood when you explained something to me. I am feeling tearful that I have you back Jack with Joy. I think evan St Peter and St Paul fell out with each other,but they both came to there senses,and ended up like brothers. This is from my heart Jack I have great respect for you,and I always will. We are both trying to get to the same place(Heaven) that`s what counts. I hope that this makes you feel better,because it has made me feel better. God is still in you Jack that`s how I know.


Jack Wellman August 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I can not wait to meet you Anthony my brother on that Great Day our Beloved Redeemer’s Day (but must wait) and I pray for the King of that Kingdom to come quickly. I am so much richer for knowing you and I know that I will weep with joy to meet our Loving Savior and part of that joy will be to meet you in person my brother.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I am pleased to hear that you are in good spirits Jack.
I hope you are right. I thought of that too weeping together in joy. I am still carrying that heavy cross that I told you about.
It`s living on your own with no friends that`s the killer,but I am not giving up.
Yes I fully agree with you being richer.
I think that`s the key words you just have to look at the marriage vows(Which most people forget about,Till death do us part) God is definitely in you Jack,and I knew He always was.


Jack Wellman August 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I can not imagine and won’t pretend to, how difficult it must be living alone. I know that our future in eternity will overshadow what we experience today my good friend. As for God being in me, perhaps He can enter thru the clay vessel that has cracks in it much easier! LOL I truly see that He lives in you my brother.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm

You are quite right Jack about the future in eternity will overshadow it. I have got to get there first.
The main thing is you have to do everything yourself. My GP treats it has an illness,and the last time I saw him he suggested that I should get a support worker. Thinking about it I think I should.
The Holy Spirit keeps me up,it`s not me.
I do not know how you do what you do sometimes, being a Pastor,and writing posts on this site. Thanks Jack for your words.


Jack Wellman August 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Thanks my good friend. I don’t know how I do it either, no wait, yes I do…it is God who strengthens me. I can do nothing without His help and honestly, there are times when I feel I can not even get out of bed. I have to work, I write for this site, I pastor a church, I have a family and am a father and grandfather and so we know who gets all the glory to use a vessel like me…it is God!

Concerning you have the help of a support worker, I think that’s a great idea. Even in my job, I need other co-workers support, my family’s support, God’s support most of all, and so I think you are right. Thank you for your encouragement my good friend.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 6, 2013 at 6:51 am

Well I never knew that Jack. You have definitely got a lot on your plate. It`s enough being a Pastor.
I suppose you get joy from your grandchildren,because when I see them all my problems disappear
Has you say God supports you,and me.
Thats what I mean about God being in you, this proves it by your action`s and all the things you after remember about what people have said,and you have got to remember who said what to you. Yes God is there for you by all the tasks you have Jack.


Jack Wellman August 6, 2013 at 6:53 am

You are spot on Anthony about grandchildren…we have so much to be thankful here that there is no time to complain because truly, we are all having it much better than we deserve and your friendship is part of that “better” my friend. Thank you for your encouragement.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I was just wondering Jack with all the work that you do.
You must get stressed out,so do you get a break.
A catholic priest does it`s called a retreat.
I have been to one on a weekend it was called Minister Acres.
It set in woodlands with it`s own grounds.
It`s dead peaceful. The thing I remembered was a giant painting of St Paul`s Conversion. This happened, everybody gives each other a letter at the end of your stay,and inside mine was the same picture has it was on the wall?


Jack Wellman August 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

I love the idea Anthony. Your priest is so right. I need such a thing. Unfortunately I have no vacation at my work place….last night didn’t get home till midnight and I am getting ready to go in again today too….Yes, I do get stressed out but then it makes me pray to God for strength to go on.

I would love to see that St. Paul’s Conversion painting…wow,, that would be so awesome. Thanks my good friend. I do need a retreat for sure my friend. Thank you for being my friend and brother in Christ and caring enough to mention this retreat.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Well I am very surprised about that. What about say if you are ill what happen`s then.
Religion is declining because there is only one parish priest to say mass in two or three parishes. To prove it`s getting worse I asked a priest something quite a while ago,and he said it`s my day off. I told him this is new`s to me,and i said you go on retreat. He did not answer me,and I just walked away. This was before I came to this sight. Can you answer me this Jack can you prayer to God in your own words,and which ONE do you prayer to Jesus, God,and the Holy Spirit. I keep getting confused about this Jack.


Jack Wellman August 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Thanks brother. I have no vacation at the place that I work. I must work there anyway. If I get sick then I stay at home and don’t get paid. I don’t get sick often (surprisingly) but do go in when I am sick sometimes (non-contagious type).

About prayer, I pray to God the Father, in Jesus’ name (usually at the end but sometimes to begin with but always pray to the Father) and the Holy Spirit sometimes translates our groans or pauses in our thoughts when we don’t know what to say ) like Romans 8:26 says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”

For more on how to pray Anthony, please check out this article I wrote some time ago about how we are to pray, who we are to pray to and what order our prayers should be and it is based upon the template of the Lord’s Prayer. Please let me know if it helps…the link below is the article How Should I Pray? at:


Mr Anthony Cotton August 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm

So in brief do you say in the name of Jesus, God will you forgive me from all my sin`s The Holy Spirit is the One you ask for spiritual strength,He is sort of a mind reader has you say God wants us to know what we want to prayer for.
I know one thing for sure the Holy Spirit has helped me,because the action`s I wanted happened.
I was on a site which I visit now and again. It`s just like this one,and it is called got I have just received a booklet all the way from Colorado Springs. It`s about all what you have said Jack,but while you are reading the article if it comes to a quote you put your cursor over it,and it shows you the quote from the bible.
The Catholic Church has messed me up with the Commandments,and I keep thinking that the 3rd Commandment is Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy.
The guy on the site is trying to find me a bible teaching church. I have just read about Baptism immersing you in water means you have been buried in Christ,and the action coming out of the water is Christ`s Resurrection. I never new that. So if I was baptized a Catholic is that still OK. The Church Of England is just like the Catholic Church almost. I have just caught on how important a Bible Church is. I wished there was a bible teaching church where I lived. I am really annoyed that the Catholic Church didn`t teach me that.
I am really desperate to go to a church like your`s Jack,and it`s upsetting me. I have just broke down about this Sorry.


Jack Wellman August 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

My good friend, since we know that baptism never saved anyone, it is not the fact that you were baptized in a certain way but in Whom you put your trust as Savior and since that is Jesus Christ, I see no problem with your security in Him. I too so wished you were near our church and that you would be a blessing to us all I have no doubt. I see the Spirit working in you in so many ways that it is not working in many in our church right now and so wished that we had more men of faith like you. You have no concerns about being presumptious in your life and that is taking advantage of our freedom in Christ and using it to sin. That is most certainly not you and that is why I feel so strongly about your conversion and that this seal of God by the Holy Spirit is unbreakable (Eph 1 and 2).


Mr Anthony Cotton August 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Thanks Jack for clearing the Baptism issue up. I thought you had to be baptized again.
It`s making me very stressed out that there is not a church near me who uses the bible to teach.
It`s has plain has the nose on your face to teach God`s word from the bible. Like John Piper he does not go around like a catholic priest doing ceremonial things.
He picks a topic from the bible,and then he discusses to the congregation,and I suppose if you do not understand it he would explain it to you in a more simple way.
I have watched him,and now and again he looks at the bible very briefly,and then he uses his own words to explain.
That`s the sort of church I want. He teaches the Word of God.


Jack Wellman August 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

John Piper is one of the most solid teachers of God’s Word there is. His website, has free sermons, free notes and outlines. If you are watching this man of God, there are few better. I listen to his sermons on free mp3’s to learn and grow myself and it never fails, I always learn from him. This mornings sermon I gave I am going to try to upload to You Tube as I have several sermons on it in case you are interested. Thanks brother. Here’s a quick link for them at:

Let me know what you think brother.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I went to there site to watch his video that I typed in by Topic.
I went to the link that you provided Thats Great Jack!!!
Yes you can get them on mp3`s but I like watching his body language and facial expressions. He is very intense.
I am wondering about this Jack if you went to the site to watch him on a Sunday would it qualify to keep the Sabbath or would you have to be there in person. I have kept about 4 of his video`s. In this day and age I think it should qualify to see it has keeping the Sunday Holy being the way I am. Thanks again for the link Jack.


Jack Wellman August 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

My dearest brother. I think in your case, you are keeping the Sabbath holy and assembling, in spirit, with the body of believes. Yes, I do like watching Mr. Piper’s expressions as he is so alive and vibrant. You can tell that this man is so very passionate about the Word of God and taking it with fear, trembling, and reverence. Indeed my brother, you are keeping it holy and you are such a blessing to me that it brings tears of joy to me. I mean that in all sincerity Anthony. Oh, how I wish I could meet you and embrace you my brother.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

You are quite right describing Mr Piper`s expressions.
In the past going to a catholic church was a chore,and so did many other people, in fact a lot of people left the church before the mass was finished I was one of them.
I would never leave Mr Piper`s service for the very reasons you said.
The catholic church`s mass is far to ceremonial,and to be quite honest like me a lot of people were bored.
We went because if you missed mass deliberately,and you died you would go to hell. This made you to go mass out of fear. Which I think Jesus would have something to say about it.


Jack Wellman August 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm

How sad my good friend. I just so much enjoy giving messages and posted my last one and I saw that I have a lot of expressions but I also saw that my last one I had some pauses that may have been uncomfortable in my sermon. I was thinking….wondering what I should say next, but I have not the gift that Mr. Piper has and sadly, if a church makes one go out of fear, then they are going for the wrong reasons. That was so sad about the church you mentioned and I know that may be why some left early.

I believe Jesus would be angry at this type of compulsory, out-of-fear attendance. I believe we should do this for our sheer joy and love for our Savior for just how much He did for us. Thanks brother.


Mr Anthony Cotton August 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Yes I agree with you Jack fully
While I was at school we learnt the catechism,then the teacher asked you the next day. When he asked me I could not answer sometimes,and you got the stick twice.
I evan got that Alopecia through it. This applied to everybody.
My mother went down to the school and went to the headmaster the teacher got a right telling off he never bothered me again.
A man was passing the Vatican,and he said I wonder what Jesus would have thought about this.
To get rich quick you just have to kidnap the Pope because he has a lot of very expensive stones on his garments.
In those days they ruled by fear I don`t know what they do now it is very sad the way they did things,and still do.


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