YEAR BORN: 1962
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
HISTORY: Immoral lifestyle
I was born in Montreal, the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec. My three siblings and I were raised by loving parents in the pleasant neighborhood of Rosemont. We enjoyed a quiet and peaceful life together.
As a boy, I was drawn to the Bible. I remember, at age 12, reading in the New Testament about Jesus’ life and enjoying it very much. Touched by his love and compassion for others, I wanted to be like him. Sadly, this desire faded as I got older and began to associate with the wrong crowd.
My father was a saxophonist, and he gave me not only his instrument but also an enduring love of music that became my life’s focus. I enjoyed music so much that I soon learned to play the guitar. In time, I formed a rock band with a few friends, and we performed in several shows. Some well-known producers in the music industry took notice and approached me with an offer. I signed a contract with a major record company. My music became quite popular and was played regularly on the radio in Quebec.
I seemed to have everything I could hope for. I was young and famous, and I was making lots of money doing what I loved. By day I trained at the gym, gave interviews, attended autograph sessions, and appeared on television. At night, I played shows and partied. To brave the crowds, I had started drinking alcohol when I was younger but progressed to using drugs. I was also reckless and immoral.
Some envied my lifestyle because I appeared to be happy. But deep down inside, a feeling of emptiness overwhelmed me, especially when I was alone. I felt depressed and anxious. Tragically, at the height of my success, two of my producers died of AIDS. I was shocked! Although I loved the music, the lifestyle that came with it disgusted me.
HOW THE BIBLE CHANGED MY LIFE
Despite my success, I was aware that something was terribly wrong in the world. How could there be so much injustice? I wondered why God was holding back from taking action. In fact, I often prayed to God for answers. While on a break from touring, I started to read the Bible again. Although I did not really understand most of what I read, I concluded that the end of the world must be near.
While reading the Bible, I discovered that Jesus on one occasion had fasted in the desert for 40 days. (Matthew 4:1, 2) I thought to myself that if I did the same, perhaps God would reveal himself to me, so I set a date. Two weeks before starting to fast, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door, and I invited them in as if I had been expecting them. I looked one of the Witnesses, named Jacques, squarely in the eyes and asked, “How can we know that we are living in the last days of this world?” In answer, he opened his Bible and read 2 Timothy 3:1-5. I bombarded the two of them with many other questions and was impressed with the logical and satisfying answers they shared with me, which were always based on the Scriptures. After a few visits, I realized that there was no need to fast.
I began to study the Bible regularly with the Witnesses. Eventually, I cut my long hair and started to attend all the meetings at the local Kingdom Hall. The warm welcome I received at these meetings further convinced me that I had finally found the truth.
Of course, to apply what I was learning in my Bible study, I needed to make some major changes in my life. For one thing, I had to stop using illicit drugs and quit my immoral lifestyle. I also needed to change my self-centered attitude and show greater concern for others. As a single parent, I had to learn to care for the emotional and spiritual needs of my two children. So I left my music career behind and took a low-paying job at a factory.
Making all these changes was not easy. As I worked to quit using drugs, I struggled with withdrawal symptoms and had a few relapses. (Romans 7:19, 21-24) Leaving my immoral lifestyle behind was particularly challenging. Also, my new employment was exhausting, and my meager income discouraging. It took me three months to earn the same money that I had earned in just two hours as a musician.
Prayer helped me to persevere in making these difficult adjustments. I also found regular Bible reading essential. Specific Bible verses greatly encouraged me. One was 2 Corinthians 7:1, which urges Christians to “cleanse [themselves] of every defilement of flesh and spirit.” Another scripture that reassured me that it was possible to break my bad habits was Philippians 4:13, which says: “For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power.” Jehovah God answered my prayers and helped me finally to understand and apply Bible truth. This motivated me to dedicate my life to him. (1 Peter 4:1, 2) I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1997.
HOW I HAVE BENEFITED
I am convinced that if I had continued in my former lifestyle, I would be dead today. Instead, I now enjoy a truly happy life! My wonderful wife, Elvie, has been a real blessing. Together, we enjoy teaching the Bible to others as full-time ministers. This brings me great joy and contentment. I am truly thankful to Jehovah for having drawn me to him.—John 6:44.