HIS STORY: CHAD

On November 29th Chad Prusia was baptized, along with 11 others that day. 

After being with his high school sweetheart for 16 years, and having two children, Chad came home one night to find that his marriage had become completely disillusioned and his wife was leaving. Chad felt completely blindsided by the news. Not long after they were divorced, Chad had to find his identity apart from his wife. “Unfortunately, I could barely make ends meet. I lived in different apartments, and about a year after my divorce things were so tight that I moved back home for a little while.”

After a short time living with his parents, Chad was able to get back on his feet and began his own carpentry business. “I started my own business mainly for my kids. At the time when we first got divorced, which was like the death of me as it was. It was like my whole world had got turned upside down. I went from seeing my kids every day to only seeing them twice a week.” Even after starting his own business and having shared custody with his kids, he still struggled to be the man he thought he was before.

About 4 years after Chad’s divorce, a friend who attended DEC was also going through a divorce. So, Chad and his friend decided to move in together to make it financially easier on both of them. “We were kind of joking about moving in together, but then we started talking about it more seriously.” During that time there were many conversations between the two guys about faith and having a relationship with Jesus. “My mom always said, ‘God didn’t make the churches and you can pray from anywhere.’” 

After several months Chad’s friend began challenging Chad about his faith. “I remember having a conversation with him and he said, ‘Well, I know you believe in God. I don’t know how much of a relationship you have with Jesus. You don’t really read the Bible or talk with Jesus unless something bad happens. You don’t pray unless you need something. What if you had a really good friend, but you never talked with them a whole lot? But, whenever you needed something, let’s say, money, you would call that particular person. You would only call them when you really needed something.’ Then I said, ‘Well, that would be kind of rude.’ And he said, ‘That’s exactly what you’re doing with Jesus. You need to talk with him. You need to have a relationship with him.’” 

Shortly after having that conversation, Chad began attending DEC. The first time Chad came to church he felt like he belonged. “Every time I came in it was like Terry was always talking about a problem I had in my life. It was really coincidental and really exciting all at the same time. You know, I hate singing, but I found myself belting out all the songs! I didn’t care! It was really different for me.” 

A few weeks ago a sermon was preached about baptism and it challenged those who have not been baptized to consider the reasons they may be avoiding baptism. It challenged all of us to be obedient to Christ’s call on believers to be baptized, and to live lives that exemplified Christ’s work in us. That morning the Holy Spirit was moving among the people of DEC and 12 people were baptized. People from the congregation were bringing up shirts they were wearing and clothes from their car so people who wanted to be baptized could do so. It was during that service that Chad was baptized. 

Chad had attended baptism classes at DEC and had talked with a pastor and his mentor about baptism. He kept waiting for “a sign” that he should be baptized. One day during Community Group, his mentor told him that there would be a chance for him to be baptized at church and said that he should be baptized. So, Chad agreed and when the call was given for people to be baptized he was the first one in the water. “Looking back at how I’ve handled everything in life, I’ve screwed a lot of things up. That same week at Bible study we were talking about it and everyone was crying again and they were all saying, ‘It was such an emotional day’. I had been out back getting dried off and stuff so I kind of missed that emotional part that everybody was in, but then hearing that and looking back, nothing else matters. I was a part of that. That changed my whole realm of thinking.”

“It’s definitely changed my life and how I look at things. There are all these things I handle differently now than I would have even three years ago.” Since becoming a Christian, before being baptized, Chad told his wife that he forgave her for what happened in their marriage. “I blamed it all on her, when in all actuality, I wasn’t the greatest guy in the world either. We were verbally abusive to each other. I asked for her forgiveness in that and I said that I forgave her for what she did. There’s no way I could have done that without God’s help. No way.”

“I think back where my life was headed. We get so caught up on money and things, and we don’t look at the important things. Now I see things that make me happy. He found me and brought the right people in my life that brought me to him.”