Hello, my name is Shaun.  I was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington on May 23, 1985.  At the time of my birth my parents were not married and they never did get married.  My father, Guy, was raised in a Christian home and my mother, Sandi, was raised in a Catholic home.  When I was a baby I was baptized Catholic.


My parents didn’t have the Lord in their lives. When I was around two years old they split up.  My dad worked at nuclear plants at the time, traveling the country.  My mom soon met a man named Scott McArthur.  I was blessed with another set of grandparents along with a second dad.  When I was four my mom had another boy named Joshua.  Three months later he died of SIDS.  Even though I was only four years old I remember my brother and I remember when my mom told me he had died and the sadness I felt.  A year later I was blessed with a sister named Kailey and at nine another brother Zachary.  Just recently my father, Guy, and his wife, Sara, had a baby girl named Cameron.


When I was about seven years old, my dad got right with God; he received a Masters from Multnomah Bible College and is now the Senior Pastor at Condon Baptist Church.


Growing up with two dads and three sets of grandparents is truly a blessing.  All the tender care and love that was and still is poured out is too great to share with words.  My childhood was full of fishing, camping, hunting, and road trips.  Both my dads have taught me and mentored me in different ways.  They are two totally different kinds of people and I have learned so much from both of them.  Though my relationships were strained at times, it was always because of my actions or my distorted perception of things. 


Besides all the fun I have had with my dads, I am most appreciative of the work ethic and skills they have taught me.  My dad, Scott, has a roofing company and since I was seven he took me to work with him.  Both my dads are pretty handy.  I have learned a little plumbing, electrical, remolding, lawn care, hauling, and other skills from them.  My realization of how truly blessed I am has hit me like a ton of bricks these past few months at Freedom House.


Most of my life I lived in Tacoma, Washington and attended pre-school through first grade in a public school before going to Cascade Christian where I learned who Jesus Christ is and what he did for me on the cross.  I remember asking Jesus to come into my heart.  In the fourth and fifth grade I was transferred to Parkland Lutheran and then back to Thompson Elementary.  I was about eleven years old when I started smoking cigarettes.  My best friend talked me into stealing one from my mom.  I remember feeling guilty about it but we kept on smoking.  We wanted to be cool so we started hanging out with my friends’ older brothers and sisters and did what they did.  After I started smoking weed, a little drinking soon followed.  As my teenage years flew by:  cocaine followed the weed, opiates followed the cocaine, and meth followed the opiates.  My drug of choice would flip flop, usually depending on whom I was hanging around with at the time... but I always went back to the meth, always.  I used to tell people all the time that I thought sleep was overrated.  Along with the teenage drug use was the teenage sex.  It was just as destructive as the drugs, if not more.  The recovery from it takes way more time and the healing is way more painful.  I honestly wish I was still a virgin. 


In seventh grade my parents found out that I was smoking weed.  I received consequences; however, in my messed up thinking my reaction wasn’t to stop but it was not to get caught again.  That was my thinking process for the next eleven years and by my sophomore year I was so out of control my parents decided that I needed a change of environment so I moved to Longview, Washington with my grandparents and my dad, Guy.  They were happy to have me there and I really enjoyed living with my dad for the first time.  He was pretty busy with school and interning at our home church, Calvary Community, but we still spent tons of time together.  I slipped into my new school with ease, quickly making friends with the kids who did drugs.

Drugs don’t discriminate between the rich and poor or between the nerd and the jock.  It seemed like most of the school used drugs or drank and the year I spent there was not productive at all.  Things for me actually got worse.  After a six week mushroom binge I ended up in a mental institute for six days.  You would think that an experience like that would change my thought process.  It didn’t.  Soon after that incident I moved back to my mom’s house and she ended up putting me into a thirty-six day inpatient program.  I was kicked out of there after twenty-eight days.


Since turning eighteen I have been on probation for various things along with trying outpatient and inpatient programs.  Three years ago I moved to Condon, Oregon where my dad, Guy, lives to try to get my life together.  However, I was in and out of jail there too, never staying clean for very long.  I had completely destroyed my life and had lost myself in the process.  With my self hatred running deep, I couldn’t get a handle on my life until coming to Freedom House. 


My biggest question about my life has been, “Was I ever saved during that time of destruction?”  During my church camp and retreat years, I had amazing spiritual revival at times.  But looking back at my life I have to ask myself, “Did it mean anything?  Was I ever saved? What about that little innocent seven year old boy who asked Jesus to come into his heart?  Did that mean anything?”  One thing is for sure, through all these years I have always believed in the Bible, always had knowledge of the cross and I never doubted what Jesus did. 


Since being at Freedom House I know now that the word “belief” is an action, not just knowledge.  It’s a surrendering of self will; it is dying to the flesh daily.  I realize now that when my flesh dies I become alive in the Spirit.  I now desire to let the Spirit of God take the steering wheel; I want to continuously praise Jesus all day for everything.  “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:20  


Jesus sent out seventy disciples two by two to spread the gospel and He has called every one of us to evangelize too.  I know my future is to tell the world about Jesus.  How many people have I met already that I could have told the gospel to?  How many seeds could I have planted?  How much work for the Kingdom of God have I passed up?  My new life in Christ Jesus our Lord is to spread the gospel to whoever He puts on my heart to tell.  Wherever He tells me to go to spread the Gospel I will go.  It is what I as a Christian am called to do.  Helping build His Kingdom is the new desire of my heart.  Praise Jesus!!!!


                                                                                                        Free for His Purpose,    Shaun W
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