How Christ came to me I will never ever forget.
I was working nightshift and these chick gospel tracts started showing up on the breakroom tables. A friend of mine, who was a Pentecostal pastor named Big Jim, handed me a “This was your life” chick tract. I read that tract repeatedly and I started looking up Bible verses from an old Bible I had from that tract. I began starting to ask Big Jim all kinds of questions about God, the Bible, etc. Although I grew up in the church, obviously the church was not in me. The pastor answered them all. He was just so humble and loving about it. I started reading the O.T. a lot and read many stories in the Bible. In the book of Judges, Samson’s life really hit me hard emotionally. Looking back now, I believe God was showing me my life so mirrored his, a little religion and a WHOLE LOT OF SIN! (LOL). But for some reason, the next month or so, I just could not settle down. I was so restless. Big Jim noticed and kept asking me what I was struggling with. I now know God was calling me and I just did not know how to respond. I was just so lost. One particular day, I told Big Jim I wanted to be saved but I did not know how to ask God. He told me to just ask the Lord. So, I did expect to “feel” something. I went back to Big Jim and told him I did not “feel” anything; no shake or shimmy (LOL). He chuckled a little and said I probably would not. But I still had this tremendous burden on me. So, I left and, I will NEVER EVER forget this, I went to the back dock to Building 2, I leaned on the railing, I put my head down then with tears in my eyes and I looked up to the heavens and asked the Lord to save me. From what? I did not understand. But I knew I was not right with God. I went to Big Jim and told him what happened. He said if I was sincere, I was saved. Yes, I know sincerity does not save. But now that I look back; when the Lord gave me a hunger for His Word, Big Jim started doing Bible studies (Psalm 19:1-4 was our first Bible study), it was through these Bible studies, I knew my restlessness was the result of being convicted of my sin by the gospel tracts I read and I that my life mirrored Samson. My sincerity was sincere because I was under conviction of sin and did not know it. That is why I was a total mess. I was on my way to hell and too ignorant to know it! The Lord snatched me! That is why I know Christ came to me, NOT me to him! It was during this time I came across an old paperback book called, “The Holiness of God” by R.C. Sproul. Though I did not know it at the time, that book established a framework for my theology.
As for CCN, I was invited by Andre to a CCN event in New Jersey around 2011 or 2012. It was like no other Christian college youth gathering I have ever seen. The talents and abilities on display totally impressed me. Unlike other college youth ministries that seem to focus on just having “fun,” CCN’s ministry was Gospel dominant. I left that day so encouraged that our youth was not doomed after all (LOL). But what totally sold me was watching them in action. At a Jersey Fire boardwalk outreach, I watched some of the boldest witnesses for Christ I had ever seen. SERIOUSLY! The love for Christ and the desire to share the Gospel blew me away. I had never seen a youth like this articulating the Gospel with such boldness, clarity, and zeal. Their ability to control a hostile crowd, and answer questions with Bible knowledge, while keeping a Christ-like composure left me speechless. I was struck by a very strong theological basis and a clear mature biblical understanding of the text of scripture. But what was so distinct about CCN was their love for the sharing the Gospel. I had never seen that in youth before. It was not about pizza parties or movie nights but about CHRIST! I was invited to join and have NEVER regretted that decision. The fellowship and friendship I would not trade for the world. Our annual Repent and Witness in N.Y. is absolutely AWESOME!!!!!!! I will forever thank Jen and Andre for their friendship and leadership of CCN.
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