Doug Goulding describes two shocking incidents he witnessed at the recent NCS National Retreat in Orlando that reveal the need for racial reconciliation even among NCS brudders. After transparently confessing the anger he felt when they occurred, Doug goes on to explain three keys that he believes can help bring racial reconciliation among followers of Jesus: knowing our true identity, awareness and forgiveness. In sharing these keys, Doug vulnerably describes some of hurtful experiences with racism that he has experienced or witnessed in his lifetime.
With extraordinary vulnerability, humility and courage, Chris York shares his battle with the generational brokenness of addiction, as well as the victory that has set free his children and generations to follow. In describing that battle, Chris reflects on the damage done to those he loved and on what he has learned about himself. He also explains his strategies for freedom and highlights how his wife’s remarkable forgiveness and NCS brotherhood were key components in the victory.
With remarkable humility, Gerardo Lambert shares for the first time publicly “the truth”–the incredible FULL story of how God pulled him out of darkness and gave him a second chance.
Gerardo vulnerably talks about his first marriage (with three daughters) and becoming lost in the world of fashion modeling–endless parties, drugs and alcohol in order to “fit in”. He talks about the pleas from his mother to seek God and his repeated dismissals of her pleas. He then takes us through the decision to run away from that life and transition to becoming a fitness trainer and amateur bodybuilder, all while ( unbeknownst to him) his heart was deteriorating and growing to the size of a football.
Gerardo shares the excruciating journey from a fit and healthy fashion model, trainer and amateur bodybuilder in his 20’s to suddenly: being unable to lift weights; having a defibrillator implanted; being upgraded to a pacemaker; suffering multiple heart attacks and life-saving shocks from the devices; flat-lining; being put into an induced coma for 3 months waiting for a new heart (in which he lost 1/2 his body weight as well as most muscle function); getting a new heart accompanied by a miraculous encounter with God; and, finally, being inspired to develop a fitness routine he calls “BodyShock”. It is the encounter with God that Gerardo has kept to himself for a decade for fear it would be met with ridicule and disbelief. Gerardo finally shares what he refers to as “the truth”.
Peter Scalzo shares, with great vulnerability, how his 14-year cancer journey (which has included 15 surgeries, being told 6 times he has cancer, being told twice that he should make “end of life” preparations, and being told by the world’s top oncologists that he should not be alive) has been used by God as a tool of transformation and how it has been more of a spiritual and emotional trial than a physical one. Scalzo reveals that it was the reflections of a cancer widow that led him to consider the legacy he was leaving his children–she told him that her husband “didn’t leave enough of himself behind”.
After considering his legacy, Scalzo wanted to leave his six children with the two key ingredients that have allowed him to find hope in his suffering–“surrender and trust”. In explaining what “surrender” and “trust” have come to mean to him, Scalzo reveals his conclusions that we are unable to control anything other than how we respond to our circumstances and that pain is an invitation to change.
Scalzo also shares, with incredible transparency, a “dark night of the soul” experience in 2015 when he spent four days in an ICU. He tells about the depths of his depression, fear, anger and sadness and, more importantly, how God showed up to reveal 23 truths that brought back hope and continue to allow him to face extraordinary circumstances with unimaginable peace.
With the humility of a man who has been broken, the authenticity and faith of a man who has been re-made, and the charm and wit of a man who was the first Connecticut governor to be elected to three terms since 1784, John Rowland shares the journey that led him to work for Prison Fellowship Ministries.
Rowland explains how life’s crises, including his two experiences with incarceration and the loss of a child to an opioid overdose, led him to consider the words of Chuck Colson, “God has to break us to re-make us.” Rowland found himself reflecting on what he had done with the hardships and what God’s purpose and plan was for him–asking, “Now what do I do?”. Rowland also shares the moment when, facing the prospect of returning to prison, he felt hopeless and how one simple sentence from his daughters made all the difference.
Finally, Rowland tells about his realization in prison that he had many blessings waiting for him when he returned home–a family, finances, friends, a home–and that many of his fellow inmates had none of these. Rowland shares about his commitment to do something about their situation and how he trusted God to steer him in the right direction after he was released. God steered him to Prison Fellowship.