David struggled mentally and emotionally as a child. He had been sexually abused and had an absent father who spent almost all his life in prison. From his early years, David felt the void that this trauma left in his life. David hid his overwhelming anxiety, depression, and dark secrets behind a fun-loving smile. He learned to pretend that life was great.
David barely graduated high school and started having run-ins with the law. He was arrested twice, had a failed attempt at college, and a dishonorable discharge from the United States Navy. Drugs were destroying every part of David’s life.
At the age of 20, he was living in a house without running water or electricity, where methamphetamines were cooked and sold daily. It was here David experienced rock bottom. He woke up one morning and with a moment of clarity decided this was not the life he wanted.
That very day, David accepted the possibility that the God he read about as a child could be the answer to a better life. At Teen Challenge he began a relationship with Jesus for the first time in his life. From there, everything began to change.
The young man without self-esteem, self-worth, or motivation transformed. David found himself inspired with vision for his life.
David spent four years at Teen Challenge. He completed the one-year program, followed by a six-month internship. He interned in the Development department and helped with graphics and advertising. He continued to work as a staff member until 2005.
In 2006 David married the love of his life, Kari. They began building what most would call “the American Dream.” David and Kari both had great careers, a home, two cars, and everything but the white picket fence. They were the worship leaders at their home church, and very involved in the community. They also had their two beautiful daughters, Emma and Malia. But, eight years later they still felt a void.
During a worship service, David and Kari heard God clearly. Six months later, they sold everything, quit their jobs, and moved 2,000 miles across the country. Most of their family and friends thought they were crazy to leave everything behind and head for Sin City. But they didn’t see it that way.
The bible says that where sin abounds, grace abounds more. David and Kari had been given a vision for Las Vegas; the City of Grace.