CBN.com Chad Daniel is not your typical youth evangelist. Chad’s out-of-the-box mentality is the driving force behind Youth Bytes, a video series that goes to extreme measures to share simple truths.
Who is the man behind the madness? Chad’s zeal for ministry all began at a youth retreat. There he surrendered his hopes and ambitions to a God who does incredible things.
“When I came home from the retreat, I got off the bus. My mother says, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ A lot of times we see teenagers who go through life, and they have an encounter with God. It’s almost like a roller coaster. But for me the high never ended,” Chad tells The 700 Club.
Chad enrolled in a Christian school. One teacher in particular introduced him to something he knew nothing about ...
“She was always talking about the Holy Ghost and talking about power. I wasn’t raised in that environment. I didn’t know that there was power to live by. But as she began to open the scriptures to me, I knew that God was then opening my heart.
“She said, ‘Raise your hands.’ I raised my hands. She laid her hands on me. Bam! With a mouth full of chewing tobacco, I got filled with the Holy Ghost. It was unbelievable. I’ll never forget. I had this incredible experience. I spit in the garbage can, said, ‘Thanks,’ run back outside, and tell all my friends. I said, ‘Man this is incredible. It was like someone gave me a shot of speed.’ It was unbelievable.”
It was during his freshman year of college that Chad faced one of the most challenging times of his life.
He says, “As my mother got more desperately ill, there were times we began to talk. She began to really confirm the call that was on my life. The last time I was with her, she was slipping in and out of consciousness in the hospital. She told me, ‘Chad, make sure that you spend time smelling the flowers. Don’t chase rainbows. Don’t be one of these guys that’s just living on the edge. Make sure you spend your time with Jesus.’”
With her gone, the family slowly fell apart. While Chad clung to God for comfort, his dad turned away in bitterness.
“My father just completely turned his back on any relationship that he had with God,” Chad says. “I remember coming in one night. He said, ‘Look. You can take your Jesus. You can take your heaven. You can take your hell and get out of my house. I want nothing to do with this.’ He said, ‘Get out of here. You’re not my son.’
“I had to make a decision that I was going to follow God regardless of what happened around me. I had just lost my mother. Now my father kicked me out of the house. All of my friends thought I was a complete nutcase.
“I said, ‘Thanks. I honor you, respect you, appreciate all you’ve done for me. But me and my Jesus, we’re leaving. We’re out of here.’”
The only thing Chad knew to do was to go to church.
“I began to pray,” he says. “A guy that I knew approached me and said, ‘God told me that you needed something.’ One thing led to another. He let me live in a rental house that he had next to his.
“God within just a couple of hours proved to me that He really was my Father. Though my father rejected me, though my friends rejected me, He said, ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you. I’ve engraved you in the palm of my hands, Chad.’”
The experience renewed God’s call on Chad’s life.“I want to see those whom the world rejects make it. I want to see them fulfill their call. Let them know that Jesus wants to take everything that’s been destroyed and bring it back into a place of peace, back into a place of relationship.”
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