Johannes Adendorff, the author of A Different Plan, describes making a change and giving his life over to Jesus.
All it took to get me back to church, after years of avoiding it in favor of the open skies and skydiving, was a friend. My friend, Randy, introduced me to a woman who brought me to her church one day.
As I entered the modest building, I instantly felt out of place with my bleached hair and ear piercing among the clean-cut churchgoers. To my surprise, a couple immediately came up and embraced me in welcome.
I’d been to church many times as a child, but it had been nothing like this. In this church, people sang at the top of their lungs, stamping their feet and clapping their hands to the beat. Once the opening song ended, a pastor stood up.
“Welcome, friends,” he said. As he continued his lecture, I could feel my heart turning soft at his words. He spoke of living a wild life, of using alcohol and drugs. He spoke of using material goods to fill an empty void growing inside.
His words described my life perfectly. A cold shiver crept up my spine as the pastor finished.
As we walked back into the warm sunlight, I shook off the strange feeling. When my friend asked me if I would like to go to church again the next week, I shrugged. Why not?
The next week, the same pastor stood before the congregation. “Some of you here are practicing sins before God,” he said. “Smoking, practicing immorality, alcohol—perhaps all of the above. You have felt an emptiness inside of you that conquers your every strength, and these vices are your way of coping.”
I could feel myself tremble. Again, he was laying out my life. Tears filled my eyes as he said his next words: “Friends, hope is not lost. If you know that your life is not right with God, come forward and make it right Him”. That day I was born again.
Later, I would speak to this pastor—Pastor Wooten—many times about the struggles I was facing. He encouraged me to keep walking with Jesus, make better choices, and much more. Whenever I doubted the existence of God, Pastor Wooten simply smiled and said, “If Jesus is not real, and you die one day following His teachings, you will have lived a good life. But if He is real, and you have followed His teachings, you will be with Him in heaven.”
I paused to think about his words and decided they were true.
But where one door opens, another closes. Shortly into my religious journey, our drop zone shut down and I was left without a job. Skydiving had been my life for 4 years—what could I possibly do now?
And was my newfound faith strong enough to get me through?
A former military man and professional skydiver, Johannes Adendorff shares his experiences of overcoming adversity and bullying in his memoir, A Different Plan. After years of life in the skies, Adendorff commits his time to spreading God’s message and encouraging others to live for Jesus Christ. You can contact Johannes click here.