Nate

Nate

by David Asscherick  |  August 7, 2015

Here’s a miracle story. Fifteen years ago, I was preaching an evangelistic series in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The series was a joint venture with Adventist-Laymen’s Services & Industries (ASI) and the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. ASI had provided our evangelistic team with dozens of teenage youth who would go out, knocking on doors, looking for Bible studies.

Two young ladies knocked on the door of an 18 year-old boy named Nate. Giggly and nervous, they invited him to the upcoming series. He rebuffed their invitation. Then, just as the conversation was ending, they mentioned that the speaker (me) was a skateboarder and former punk rocker. His curiosity piqued, he took the flyer.

Two days later, he drove himself to the meetings in a hearse. Yes, his car was a hearse. Nate was a punk rock kid, complete with wild hair and clothes. I knew the type well because I had been one just a few years before. Nate listened with interest, which was surprising to some, given his appearance. I was not surprised at all.

when those giggly young girls knocked on Nate’s door, he was planning to kill himself—that very day!

By meeting’s end, Nate had missed very few, if any, of the nearly 30 nights. Wonderfully, along with nearly 100 others, he made the decision to be baptized. From the beginning it was clear that Nate was a special kid, a deep thinker. It was also obvious that he was an evangelist, because soon after his own commitment to Christ, his younger brother and parents were also baptized. Nathan had reached out to them with the truth, not just words and ideas, but by a changed life and with the effusive love of Christ.

Nate continued to study and became a Bible worker, a position he held for several years. Then he enrolled in the theology program at Andrews University with hopes of becoming a pastor. Nate set himself apart at university by being principled, possessing ministry experience, and having a willing spirit and a keen mind. His younger brother, Jacob, also entered Andrews to pursue his own dream of being a pastor!

Nate Gibbs

Today, Nate is a pastor. So is Jacob. Both in their home state of Michigan. It’s a beautiful story, made more beautiful still by this: when those giggly young girls knocked on Nate’s door, he was planning to kill himself—that very day!

Let that sink in.

God is in the business of saving people, not just in some spiritual or ambiguous sense.

So, I just saw Nate yesterday and I told him, “I’m so glad you didn’t kill yourself.” We just laughed and embraced.

God is in the business of saving people, not just in some spiritual or ambiguous sense. He saves the actual lives of actual 18 year-olds and their actual families. He plucks them from the fire and sets them as diamonds in His crown. He gives them an abundant life. He makes them miracles.

And that’s what you are: a miracle—a miracle of grace.

Now, believing child, go find more miracles-in-the-making. They are everywhere. . . .

David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers
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  • Edwin Racine

    Beautiful story, David. Inspirational, to be sure. How inspirational, believable and informative is the trust, healing, evidential ministry of Jesus Christ; a ministry for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, which sets and keeps His children right. Amazing the thought, Jesus condescending to become one with us, His created beings, to reveal the truth about our loving heavenly Father. The Great Controversy, (the cosmic warfare), encapsulates the story like few others. John the Revelator emphasizes, in the last book of the bible, the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, and we rejoice in it.

  • Joshua Morton

    I hate to put personal stuff on a public forum but I feel like I have a strange connection to this story worth sharing. That very same seminar, given to me on CD while living in my tiny hometown in Michigan by my non-adventist brother who was doing the original website for ARISE, would years later lead me into the church and into a relationship with Jesus Christ. As a former atheist, heavy metal drummer, and skateboarder myself, I too am now in Andrews theology program studying to enter pastoral ministry. It gets weirder in that I now live the exact same small Florida town where Nate did his internship at my current church with my current pastor. Nate on the other hand now pastors the church in the exact same small town where I used to live when I first heard this evangelistic series. One day while I sat broken, divorced, and jobless contemplating ending it all I remembered that series (I had kept the CD’s with me all those years), picked it back up, and ended up calling my local SDA church. God spoke to me that day and I’ve been soul-winning ever since. I just thank God even now for that Grand Rapids series. Over a decade later it was still bearing fruit and who knows where I, and others like me, would be without it.

  • Colin Hone

    Great testiment of Gods love . Maybe we as a church should be knocking on doors more often to save peoples lives . I remember a similar story whilst doing revival meetings in Addis Ethiopia . A pastor came to me with a young man who left his home to kill himself that day but saw a poster of the revival meeting on the way and was prompted to come after the sermon he gave his life to Jesus . That very day I got him up to give his testimony in front of 3000 people . God saved him twice that day .

  • Maryann Lee

    Wow! Praise God! Amazing story. Watched part of your sermon David on how knowing the bible well will keep all of us from deception-encouraged to do it! Tired from different messages in churches and this is a smart way to discern truth from error.

  • Skip MacCarty

    Thank you, Joshua. Inspired to hear how this story ripples out. May it continue until that great Day.

  • Skip MacCarty

    I knew Nate and Jacob when they attended Andrews. I was impressed with both of them and am glad to hear their back story.

  • Greg

    He is forever burned in my memory as I was two rows behind him the night the call was made for baptism. He stood in his spot for several minutes while the call was being made and my wife and I could tell he was agonizing over what to do. He finally made his decision and he scrambled and climbed over the several rows of seats between him and the stage to get to the front. Never forget it.

  • Craig Harris

    Great article David, and great follow up testimony Joshua!

  • Vaimoana Tania

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey…as it gets very inspirational …Amen

  • Gail Reiner

    Am reading this on the heels of an email from a fiancee of a young man we’ve helped through prison ministry. His name is Jake and he’s just been rolled up again. Please pray for Jake and for us as we continue to bring light and love through God’s grace to Jake and his family.
    Gail & Dave

  • Jody Posten

    I will be forever thankful our Lord orchestrates lives and events to win souls. It’s clear to me he is using pastor Nate, David Asscherick and the above commenter Josh Morton for that very purpose. About the time Josh picked up that life changing series, I too was broken with everything failing in my presence. Not much of a skateboarder, but I did marry one. It seemed almost every relationship was not how it should be, my health was failing and felt incomplete to summarize. Josh sent me the same evangelistic series and Steps to Christ. That was the beginning of my relationship with Jesus and a better relationship with others. Soon after I searched for a SDA church that led me to meet pastor Nate.He is such a pleasant, kind, gentle, patient guy that makes it easy to go to church. Even for a girl that has not been to church more than a handful of occasions.
    Resistance at home, illness, life and laziness made me an intermittent church goer. I would listen to David Asscherick you tube sermons and sermons on lightbearers.org on the way to and from work. I’ve heard Nate’s name on a few sermons, which would bring me back to church. Nate’s name kept coming up over and over, to many to list. Learning the connection as Josh stated above, some would call a coincidence. I realize these incidences are not just coincidences.
    Thank you God for speaking to me and others through people that have their minds and hearts open to You. Thank you for miracles of grace.
    Here is another non-coincidental recent moment Nate’s name came up. Kind of in a big way…a whole article! =) Josh Morton sent this article about Nate to me while I was in the back seat of my best friends car on our way to celebrate her 40th birthday at a concert. While standing in a very large group of people I just couldn’t help but to ignore the artist and just look around at all of the “miracles-in-the making”. Just thinking someone in that crowd could be waiting for that same message from that evangelistic series. Thank you for the inspiring article.

  • TruthConquers100

    I know Nate! He’s an awesome guy and great Pastor!