hope and change

Redeemed by Bryan

I realized that I was same-sex attracted when I was about 13, but I did not know the term SSA back then. I looked at porn magazines and later when I was in my 20’s I viewed porn videos and went to a local xxx rated bookstore and movie house. I got saved when I was 14 and lived a Christian life. Since I became a Christian I prayed for the Lord to take away my attractions to guys, but that never happened. I was expecting the Lord to instantly just take away those desires. I told my parents that I thought I was gay when I was 23, but at that time I had not acted out on those attractions, so they said they did not think I was gay because I had not had sex with a man. I was supposed to talk with my pastor during that time, but I was too afraid to talk to him or anyone else. I eventually did talk to my Mom’s psychiatrist, but he did not know how to help me. We never talked about it again after that, which was 1982. My mom passed away in 2002 and my Dad remarried in 2003. My stepmom passed away in November 2015. It wasn’t until October 2016 that I told my Dad that I still deal with unwanted SSA. I started acting out when I was about 25 or 26. I had mostly anonymous encounters at a local bookstore and movie house. I acted out during the first 23 years of my marriage and then on January 21, 2013 I confessed the adultery and the SSA to my wife under the stress of having kept my secret for decades. I contacted one of the pastors at church who referred me to Focus on the Family, which eventually led me to Daniel Mingo and Abba’s Delight. My wife and I met with Daniel after which I joined the Overcomers support group and began lay counseling with Daniel. My wife and I counseled with a pastor for about a year. My wife attended the Abba’s Delight Family & Friends support for a time, but later decided to stop. My wife and I both attended the Hope For Wholeness (HFW) Conference 2015, which was a miracle provision from the Lord. I will tell you the story about that at another time. The two years following my confession to my wife were quite rough-going. I lived with the possibility hanging over my head that my wife would divorce me at any minute. Then my wife had a vision during communion at the conference. She saw me lying on a rock sobbing because she had divorced me. She saw herself standing in front of a house with a white picket fence and a neatly manicured yard. The Lord told her that she could divorce me, that she would have what she saw in the vision, and would have peace and joy. But the Lord also told her […]

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Abandoned, But Loved By Rex Harris

As a little child growing up there were five children in our household along with my mother and my father. I have some fond memories, and some not-so, of growing into the man that I have grown into today, as to be expected. When I was older, in my teenage years, my mother told me that as a child I used to stand in the window crying for my dad to come home. I only learned later in life that he was out having additional relationships outside of his and my mother’s marriage. I was the fourth child to be born. My mother described me as a child looking for my dad, crying and asking where he was, needing that attention from him, and later on in life realizing I had been neglected. I have three other siblings outside of my dad and mother’s marriage, which was the reason why he was never home during the time when I needed the affirmation and attention from him. As a child I was very, very shy, except around relatives. I spent a lot of weekends and nights at my grandmother’s home on my dad’s side of the family, and there is where I experienced a male relative touching me in ways that I didn’t understand, but I knew inside of myself that it was wrong. I loved my grandmother, but did not like it when my cousin was there. I remember him babysitting us at younger ages sometimes, but nothing ever happened then. He would always tell me if I told anyone that I would be the one who would get into trouble, and as a child I believed him and thought that I had done something wrong, so for years, even all the way up to my adulthood, I never spoke a word about it, mostly due to shame. After a certain age I realized that it wasn’t I who did anything wrong, but due to the shame, embarrassment and false guilt that was heaped upon me, I just never spoke about it to anyone, yet going through life carrying this thing around mentally and emotionally as if I had committed this deed. The very same thing happened with an older female relative on my mother’s side of the family, who would babysit us before we would leave for school. She, too, would touch me in ways that was not right, and she had me touch her in ways that I knew was wrong. I was not myself when I was around these individuals, and did not want to do those things, but again I was told that I would get in trouble if I said anything about the situation. I remember my younger brother and her younger sisters being there in the house and she would make them stay in the living room, while I was called to the bedroom to do things that I didn’t even understand at that moment in life. Then I would come out to my […]

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Daniel Mingo Interview from Hope for Wholeness Conference

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If You Love Me by Brandon Balkovich

Many of us know the rest of this verse, yet how many of us do it? John 14:15 ends, “you will obey Me.” Being a man 48 years of age and dealing with same-sex attraction (SSA), it’s a challenge at times to carry out Jesus’ command. I’ve been blessed to be a part of Daniel Mingo’s group in an Exodus ministry for the past 8 years now. In that time, I’ve experienced highs and lows, joy and pain, laughter and tears. From a child, I always knew I was “different.” It didn’t go away as I grew older; in fact, it got stronger. Coming from a broken home didn’t help matters. No strong male role model from the ages of 8 until 15 played a major part in my turning what should have been my years of male affirmation into a mess. Once I was reunited with my Dad at 15 the damage was already done. My Dad and I were more or less strangers. About the only two things we had in common were our last name and the way we looked. We couldn’t be more opposite. Trying to make a father-son connection wasn’t easy when years of separation had taken place. Dad was out-going, brash, and loud. Not me. I isolated myself, hiding in books and school work. As time went by, little progress was made. On my 20th birthday, I announced I was gay. Talk about a surprise! My parents were devastated. In 1984, when I made this announcement, HIV / AIDS was still a relatively new and scary proposition. They feared the worst for me. Those fears were realized the next year. For the past 28 years, I have endured injections, hospital stays and drugs daily because of stupid choices I made regarding my sexual experiences. BUT GOD … Since that time, I’ve been born again. My partner’s mother led me to the Lord in 1991 in Atlanta. I’ve been baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, and enjoy going to church. He, too, wanted to return to his Baptist roots that he’d strayed from years earlier. We knew it was for the best. He went back to North Carolina, I to Wisconsin. Unfortunately, when I got there, the church was not equipped to deal with the issue of SSA and wanting to overcome it. “Pray, pray, pray,” is what I was told. Don’t think I didn’t! I begged, pleaded, everything I could, to ask God to take this from me-some supernatural miracle to free me from this. If God was a loving God, surely He would to this for someone who was destined to die. No such luck. I waited for it to happen but it never came. I ended up becoming so disillusioned, I fell back to the “old me.” I went back to what was comfortable and familiar: pornography, sexual acting out, gay bars, etc …. It wasn’t pretty! In 1993, because of a job relocation, I ended up in Louisville again, and returned […]

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Beyond Surviving by Daniel Mingo

I’ve been told my life mirrors the classic profile. I don’t know about that, but I do know that the power of God’s love and forgiveness has transformed my life in a way that I never thought was possible. I had hoped, but never thought it was possible. I am the second-born son into what would become a family of seven children, six boys and one girl. I came along when my older brother was two. Ever since I can remember, going to church every Sunday was a part of my life. I grew up in a Christian denomination, which gave me a basic understanding of the faith. Some of my early memories of family life are happy ones, but for the most part, I was miserable as a child. I always felt that my older brother was favored. He was the one who seemed to get most of my Dad’s attention. After all, they both liked sports, and were good at them. I never was, though I tried to be. I didn’t feel accepted, and I was made fun of for my lack of athletic abilities. If we were playing a game that required teams, I was picked last. It just wasn’t any fun being a boy; it was too hard. I never had a strong emotional connection to my Dad when I was young. His job often took him out of town from Monday to Friday, and his week ends were filled with shopping with my Mom, errands, and sports on TV. That was a plus for my brother, but not for me. Mom didn’t drive, so she was around almost all the time. Most of my parental input came from her. She has been a woman of Godly character all of my life. I know now my parents loved me and did everything they knew to do to raise me properly. But it wasn’t always that way. I used to think the only reason they clothed and fed me was because they’d get arrested if they didn’t. I think that I was just such a challenge for them; they weren’t sure what do to with a son who wasn’t good at and didn’t like to do “boy things.” The pain of feeling like I never fit in my family or measured up to earn Dad’s love and acceptance drove me to find those things wherever I could. At first, I began playing with girls in the neighborhood. They were my age and I seemed to fit in with them. I found, though, that the boys in the neighborhood were just as cruel then as they had been before. Even the parents got in on it. There was one set of parents who decided that it just wasn’t normal for me to be playing with girls, so they decided that instead of calling me by my given name Danny, they would call me MaryJane. It is unimaginable to me now that a parent would inflict this kind of […]

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