Born into a very secular Roman Catholic family
in 1959 my parents were soon separated and divorced, forcing my mother, myself, my twin sister, and my younger brother to
move to California. During my early years I was quite a brat. I was very disobedient and hot tempered. And the remarriage
of my mother to my step father, and the birth of two more siblings didnt seem to help me any.
Even though I was sent to live with my real father twice and the second time I was eleven, I continued to grow into
a very rebellious teenager. Before my mom had sent me to live with my dad in
1972 I had been going to a church in our home town of San Bernardino CA it was there that I first heard the gospel. But as always I was rebellious and though I made a confession of faith I never lived for Jesus. At the age of fourteen I got involved in drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
By graduation day I was a full blown drug addict, part time dealer, alcoholic and a two pack a day smoker.
After graduation from High school in 1977, I had
worked in construction industry as an Roofer, Rough framer, laborer, and Painter, I had worked as a loading dock worker in
Chicago for Marshall Fields and Co., I worked as a Plant worker at a fish packing plant, and as a fisherman on a 40 ft long
liner in Pelican Alaska. I also worked as a chef for UCLA in Lake Arrowhead,
and at Dennys. Later I had worked as a computer operator at a small micro film
company in San Bernardino California. In 1986 I worked my last job in California
as a ramp worker at the Ontario Intl. Airport.
I had married in June 1984 to the woman I had
been living with for four years. It ended in separation in 1986 then finally
a Disolutionment of Marriage was approved by the State seeing there were no children or common properties. Thinking a geographical change would make a difference in 1987 I took a job in a newly started Lawn and
Garden Maintenance service in Maui Hawaii. That ended three months later but
undaunted I took a job as a dishwasher in a local restaurant, which quickly led me to a position as a prep cook in a hotel
for the same company, then a promotion to sue chef at one of their other restaurants.
It ended when I punched out the manager for gossiping about me.
In 1989 I got into helping to run night
club a restaurant in Makawao Hawaii. Cooking Pizzas and Sandwiches in the
early evenings, and checking IDs at the door after nine oclock for the night club. It
failed a year later and the whole thing closed in bankruptcy. I got involved in a home/restaurant cleaning service and that
was going well but I had a falling out with my partner in late 1990. After that
it seemed to be one petty job after another just making ends meet. Thanks always
to a little drug dealing on the side I never went without my daily dose, whiff and cash.
In 1993 I was living in a small apartment alongside
a house in the jungle community in Haiku on Maui. After a very frustrated week
ending in the loss of another job, I sat at the foot of my bed just thinking. I
had enough of this life, what more could I experience I thought. I took out my
45 ACP champion match pistol, cleaned and loaded it and placed it at my feet.
All I had to do was pick it up. So I began to talk myself into self-destruction, just pick it up put it to your head and pull the trigger.
I thought it would be easy but it wasnt. Again I said within my mind, just pick
up the gun put it to your head and pull the trigger and it will all be over. The
third time I reached down and picked up the gun, the journey had begun and in a few seconds it would be over. As I raised the gun up to place it into my mouth, only inches away from peace, I heard as if in my conscious
mind four words that brought it all to a screeching halt, Pick up the Bible.
Pick up the Bible? I thought. Where did that come from? I sat there and thought some more. If there is something in the Bible may be this is wrong, I said. I put my gun away and began to look for my Bible. I knew I
had one, it was a new world translation I had gotten from Jehovah witness. But
I could not find it. Finally after hours of frantic searching I gave up. But I had a thought, there is that youth mission place in Paia I will go there in
the morning and ask them for a Bible, They will give me one. Satisfied with my
decision I went to bed, it was two oclock in the morning Sunday Morning.
I awoke at 6 AM, got dressed had my morning joint
and off I went to get me a Bible. I walked two miles or so to the highway were
I stood and waited for a ride. It was a sunny day and I was feeling no pain at
this point when a blue Chevy station wagon pulled to a stop in front of me. When
I opened the door the driver asked where I was going and I told him and he agreed to give me a ride.
Not to far down the road the young man introduced
himself as Ron Peers so I shook his hand and gave him my name, Nice to meet you Ron, Im Chette. We cruised a little further around the curves of Hana Highway when he spoke again. Do you mind if I ask you a question Chette? Sure go ahead
Ron, I responded. Chette, do you know Jesus Christ?
Now that wasnt the question I was expecting him
to ask and I surely wasnt going to tell this total stranger what had taken place just 12 hours earlier. So I simply retorted, Thats funny I was just on my way to the youth mission place in Paia to get a Bible
He responded and told me that they werent there
on Sundays but that many of them went to his church. Hey, why dont you come to
my church and we will give you a Bible. I am on my way there now for worship
practice. He said. I agreed and went to church with him.
They assembled in the old High School gym in Paia. As the members arrived I was greeted by them.
They were very nice and not at all like I expected them to be. They began
their service and gave me a Bible. I sat through the service not really paying
to much attention as the pastor went through a chapter in Matthew. But it was
his closing that got a hold of my attention. He talked how Jesus Christ had died
on the cross to pay the sin debt of mankind, was buried and on the third day rose again, and if a person placed their faith
in His finished work on the cross for them then they to could have everlasting life through Him.
He asked that we bow our heads and if there was
anyone who wanted to accept the Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord just to follow him through this sinners prayer. I knew if I had died that night before I would have been in hell.
I wanted to have Jesus Christ in my life I wanted a new life. I followed
in the sinners prayer that day and began a journey that was not what I thought it would be. And for the next four months I
struggled very hard, sporadically going to church, still engulfed in drugs, alcohol and tobacco I thought that my life was
supposed to change. But outwardly it hadnt and I was beginning to think it was
all an lie.
Fed up with it all so soon after it started, which
was true to my nature, I found myself in my room asking Jesus to show me what was wrong and what I needed to do. Three times I did this and each time He was leading me to Baptism.
I felt He was wrong because I was baptized as an infant. But He showed
me some things from my past and said He didnt want my lip service. He wanted my whole life.
He wanted me to serve Him but He wanted a whole hearted service not wishy washy half hearted service. He wanted truth in the inward parts. I was set on what He
wanted from me and not my own desire.
I went to church that Sunday and begged Pastor
Craig to baptize me. He said that they were going to the beach that Sunday afternoon
to hand out hamburgers and hotdogs at the beach and he suggested that I come along and afterwards he would Baptize me. Great I thought. Which Beach? I asked. Hoakipa Beach Park, he said. Oh no, I thought, my old surf and drug buddies will be
there. Well I knew the Lord had saved me and had spoken to me and I was determined
to go through with it no matter what.
I helped hand out hotdogs, hamburgers, and tracts
to many I knew. And afterwards I was baptized.
I didnt feel any different really but I did feel a lighter load. When
I got home there sat my pack of Cigarettes, my beer and my pot but I had no desire for them and those things have not been
desired from me ever since. It was as if the desire for these things was replaced
with the desire to know Gods Word and from that day I have been studying and reading the Bible. It was the one thing the Spirit beckoned me with when He stopped me from pulling that trigger, Pick up
the Bible. It is the God of the Bible that has changed my life and His Son Jesus
Christ who saved me and He is continuing the work in my life even unto this day.