The Testimony of Kyle Donovan
I never felt like I was really accepted in life. When I was 5 years old I was thrown into the foster care system; moving from family to family. It was difficult to make friends and I never really learned how to "fit in". I remember I used to get beat up on pretty regularly basis by both the kids and adults of these "families". I used to cry every night for my mom and dad wondering what I did wrong. One family I was with was particularly bad. Along with the beatings, I was bullied and taunted: "No wonder your parents got rid of you!" they would say. I had two bedrooms; one for when the case workers came which was upstairs and the real one in the basement.
When I was about 8 years old I was put into the home of a pretty decent family. One night at dinner I was having chicken and their dog attacked me. The next thing I remember was being in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, my last thought before I lost consciousness was that my life was over. God had other plans.
At 10 years I had another near death experience with yet another foster family. We were driving home from school and I was in the back seat playing with a toy. I remember hearing a loud screech. I closed my eyes tightly and thats when I felt the ice water surrounding me. I struggled in vain to get out of the seat belt and thought once again that my life was over. Then I heard voices outside and the window being smashed; I was pulled out of the seat just in time. My body was numb as I knelt in the snow; realizing my life had been spared again.
At 15 I was back in the home of my mom and stepdad, I thought now my heartache would be over. I remember the joy I felt as I hugged my mom so tightly not understanding the real reason why she got me back. Life wasn't much easier with my stepdad in the picture; sometimes he seemed like the devil himself. At 18, they kicked me out. I didn't have a job or any where to go. It was then I learned that they had only taken me back for the steady paycheck they received from my SSI.
During this time a friend and I had a visit from Pastor Bloem of Revival Baptist Church. We didn't get a chance to talk with him but a young man named Eric Zukowski did a follow-up visit shortly after that. I really wasn't ready to hear what he had to say at the time; I was 18. About 3 years later I had moved in with my aunt because I was going through some financial difficulties and the same pastor happened to show up at the door again! I felt like this was a sign that God was trying to get my attention, so I readily agreed to be saved. Truthfully, because of all the struggles I had experienced in my life, God wasn't that appealing to me. But I thought I was saved.
At one service, Joe Slebodnik approached me and asked me if I was 100% sure I was going to heaven. I told him I had accepted the gospel and had been baptized but couldn't be 100% sure. After the service I went and told the Pastor what I had told Joe. He invited me to go with him as he went out soul-winning. I witnessed him leading someone to the Lord and as the gentleman was praying to receive Christ, I prayed too. It was then that I truly accepted Christ as my Savior and knew the true joy of the Lord. At the next service I got baptized for real.
Now I live for Christ and understand that He carries my burdens. God used the events in my life to show me how much I need him. I thank God for a pastor who never gave up on me and for giving me a family I never had.