In this Jewish testimonial video, Ron describes how the love of God guided him from extreme drug abuse and the Hippie movement into the arms of Jesus.
Ron was born into a broken Jewish home, with both his parents coming from terrible family lives and not having too much positive parenting experience. After his 12th birthday, his parents sent him to a boarding school, where he struggled to adapt to the new conditions. He was influenced by everything and everyone, getting introduced to drugs and becoming a regular drug user by the time he graduated prep school.
“Marijuana became LSD and LSD became all kinds of amphetamines and pills, Basically, just was looking for the next high, the next party, the next pleasure.”
He was accepted to Syracuse University, but during his sophomore year there, a friend of his came over and convinced him to drop out of college. They ended up finding a mostly empty piece of property out in near a small town in southern Oregon, which had only a log house and a cabin. They decided to move in to the cabin and rent out the house to four other hippies. For a couple months, everything was fine, but a drastic event quickly shook up his world.
“Got a phone call: they were on their way back and they had a van full of drugs. Their van went off the side of the road, stuff went flying all over the place, the police arrived and now all four of them were in jail. Police cars were driving, seemed like they were all over where our property was, and so we were introduced to a new thing at that particular time called paranoia.”
In their frantic state, they decided to leave and hitchhike to Mexico, fleeing to the main crossroad of town and waiting for a car. The first car that picked them up had a driver who tried to talk to the pair about Jesus and about Scripture. But Ron was not only uninterested, but he didn’t actually understand what the man was saying.
The next morning, the man took them to a highway and dropped them off, and the first car to pick them up that day belonged to a Christian family. The family also asked them questions about God, whether the two believed in Jesus, and shared the Gospel with them. The next day, while standing on the highway waiting for another car, a pickup truck pulls up near them. A man comes from the passenger side, walks right up to Ron, and says to him,
“Do you know that Jesus loves you?”
The two wound up lost and confused, not quite sure where they were going, and three weeks later, found their way back to Oregon. But something inside of Ron stirred, he had a desire to get a hold of this Bible, to read it for himself. So he went into town, and found a Bible for sale in a drug store. He took it home, and opened to the New Testament, paranoid that his friend would make fun of him if he saw him reading.
“I was just overwhelmed with the gospel, the story of Jesus, I couldn’t stop reading.”
After a few weeks, Ron began to reread the journal he had took on his hitchhiking trip, and got to the part where the man in the truck had approached him and asked him to pray. He felt as if he was being called to pray with him, but never did. But Ron then went outside for a walk, and found himself behind a house upon a small hill.
“And I closed my eyes and I just said, ‘God, if you’re there, if you’re real, I want to know.’ I opened my eyes, and I just knew, I knew God was real.”
He came down from the hill and began to talk with his friend, saying that the truth was right in front of them the entire time. To his surprise, his friend agreed and began to explain that he was also given a Bible and was hiding it from Ron, at the same time Ron was hiding his Bible from Mike. They received individual letters from the four former hippie friends that were in prison, explaining how each one of them had met Christians in jail, and without speaking to each other at all, had all accepted Jesus into their lives. They were invited a church, and began to attend regularly.
“I remember in those early days just every time there was an altar call, I raised my hand, I just wanted God in my life. I wanted him to forgive and to wash the sin out of my heart.”
God had transformed this 20 year old young man, who felt as if he had no purpose, no reason, no desire to do anything, and filled him with a passion for the world of God.
“I get to read the Old Testament and just everything fit together, even to the point of my own sense of Jewishness. Really for the first time, I really felt like I was Jewish.”