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Pastor Abdel Judeh: When I was a new Christian, I got saved at the age of 13… My dad's a Muslim and I'm a bus kid, I was saved at 13 years old, the bus ministry brought me to Christ. I'm from a public school in Chicago, a rough public school. Very rough. I lived in a bad neighborhood, a bad part of town, and the school was even worse. The year that I got saved there were three students in that school that were shot, drive-by shootings, gang shootings. Two of them died the year that I got saved. That's the kind of neighborhood, that's the kind of school that I was in.

That summer was amazing. I was called to preach, saved and called to preach and man really caught on fire and really determined that I'm gonna take a stand for Christ and I'm gonna do it the right way, and I heard my pastor preach, and I didn't know anything… Look, I didn't know anything. I couldn't even read a song book properly, you know… I mean it. I didn't know a thing about Christianity. But I determined I was gonna go back to that school and I was gonna take a stand for Christ.

I thought the first thing I can do, I can bring my Bible to school and that'll let everybody know that I'm a Christian. And I did that, I brought my Bible to school. And oh, I didn't think they'd make fun of me… I wasn't prepared for what happened. They began to laugh and make fun. They began to, as I was walking down the hallway, they began to knock the books out of my hand. The year before I had played on the basketball team and had played basketball as long as I can remember, but I didn't join the team that year because they weren't accepting of what I was doing as a Christian.

It was a horrible thing. They graffitied my locker. They called me...and this is kind of funny, but it hurt my feelings at the time...they called me Reverend Fudd, cause when I laugh I go "huhuhuh". And they called me Reverend Fudd. Huhuhuh, I still laugh like that. But I would pray there and bow my head to pray… How many of you know that the public school lunches are the worst lunches in the whole wide world? They really are, they're not even edible, and the only good thing is that most of the time you get chocolate pudding, a little cup of chocolate pudding. That's the best thing you're gonna get at a public school lunch. And most of the time I would bow my head to pray and somebody would reach over and take my chocolate pudding. Every day. (How'd they know I liked that?) And it was horrible.

There was one class that I was looking forward to, Mr. Deitch's social studies class. And in there we'd learn about the Constitution, and I just heard he was an awesome teacher… He was the kind of teacher that everybody liked and enjoyed. He had a little, like a stool in his class, and he'd sit down on the stool and sometimes he'd wear his hat backwards, and he was an older gentleman but he was just very youthful. And I wanted to be in that class. The very first day in that class, I was very excited, school was absolute misery getting made fun of all the time, but I decided I'm going to enjoy this class. And the very first day, the very first day, he said, "In this class we're going to talk about hot button, hot topics, hot issues in today's news".

And back in that day the hot button issue was gays in the military. And he said "What do you think? How many of you think gay people should be allowed in the military?" About half the class raised their hand, and then he said "How many of you don't think they should be allowed in the military?" Half of us raised our hand, and I was one of them, I didn't think they should be there. And uh, he went on a tirade about how they ought to be allowed and how they have rights and all of that… And then he asked the question again, he said "How many of you still don't think that gays should be allowed in the military?", and I raised my hand. I was the only person that raised my hand. And he said "Mr. Judeh, why not?"

I said "Well Mr. Deitch, I'm a Christian."...By the way, I was a young Christian. And a young man. But I said "Mr. Deitch I'm a Christian."

And he said "Oh, well I'm a Catholic myself!" He said "Tell me Mr. Judeh, what does God say about gays being in the military? What does God have to say about it in the Bible?"

I didn't know my Bible. I really didn't, I hadn't read through my Bible. I was just a kid that wanted to take a stand, that's all I was. I knew what my preacher said, and at the time I thought it was in the Bible, so I just repeated publicly what my preacher said from the pulpit almost every Sunday. I said "Mr. Deitch," I said "God says that he created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." ...That's what my preacher said.

Oh he went crazy. Some of the kids in the class chuckled, and Mr. Deitch called me a bigot and a hatemonger and he said, "Whatever church you're going to it's a cult!" And he absolutely ripped me from up one end down the other. Man I walked out of that class feeling about that big, with my Bible in my hand, walking down the hallways getting made fun of. Stealing my chocolate pudding. Calling me Reverend Fudd. Knocking my books out of my hand. And now I couldn't even enjoy Mr. Deitch's class.

The next day I went back to class and I thought maybe it would be better. And he said "We're going to talk about something else". He said "We're going to talk about abortion today." And he had his stool there in the middle of the class with half the class on this side and half the class on that side, and he said "How many of you believe..." and he went through the whole thing, and half of us raised our hand and half of us didn't. And then he went on his long tirade and he said "Now how many of you believe that abortion is wrong?" And I raised my hand...and he looked at me. He said, "Mr. Judeh… Why do you think abortion is wrong Mr. Judeh?"

And I said "Because I'm a Christian."

He said "What does God say about abortion being wrong?"

And I said "I don't know Mr. Deitch, I don't know what God says. But I believe that it's wrong."

I went to class the next day and there was another hot button issue. And again it was the same story repeated all over. When the next week started I walked into class, and this is the truth, when I walked into Mr. Deitch's class the stool was in the middle, but all the chairs were over on one side and there was another chair by itself on the other side of the classroom. And I looked at that situation, I looked at that scenario, and I walked over to where all the chairs were and I put my books down and sat down.

Class started, Mr. Deitch popped out and was being his happy self, and he sat there had his baseball cap on, and he kind of straddled that stool, and he looked over and he said "Oh Mr. Judeh, you're on the wrong side of the class today." He said "Mr. Judeh why don't you sit over here, we have a special spot for you right over here, since you always want to disagree," and he smiled real big and he said "because you're a Christian." And I sat there.

And listen to me, I was embarrassed. I wanted to cry. I was sick and tired of putting up with it. I'm just being real; can I be real with you? I can't sit here and say I'm a super-Christian, I wasn't! I'd go to my locker and say "God, I wish I'd never even started carrying that Bible." But I kept doing the things I was doing and one day it got the most of me, the best of me. I'll never forget it. I walked into my room, I had an assignment for Mr. Deitch's class, it was election time and we had to color in the states. And if the Republicans won we colored it in red and if the Democrats won we colored it in blue, and uh… I forget who was running, I think Bill Clinton was running at the time, but regardless…

I had been made fun of that day again. Mr. Deitch had made fun of me again. And I hate to even admit this. Teenager, I hate to even admit this. But I walked into my bedroom after school and I had my books and my Bible and that assignment from Mr. Deitch's class. And I took my Bible, I hate to admit it, I took my Bible and I threw it across the room and it hit the wall, and I said “I'm done with this.” I'm done. Getting made fun of, nobody was joining me, nobody cared. Even the Christian kids in my own youth group, they would never do something like that. They were cussing under their breath. And I thought I'm not gonna do this anymore.

That was on a Tuesday. That evening as I was watching TV in my bedroom and coloring in the states, a knock came at the door. Soon I heard my mother say "Abdel, there's two people here to see you." And I walked out into the living room of our little apartment, and it was my pastor and youth pastor. They had never visited my house before, I was just a bus kid, honestly, I didn't even think they knew my name or where I lived or who I was.

They said "Abdel we've noticed that you've really been growing and you've really been trying," and my pastor gave me a hug and he said "I want you to know son, I'm proud of you."

When the visit was over I went back into my bedroom, and I looked at the Bible that was on the floor up against the wall all disheveled and pages even kind of wrinkled and torn out of it...and I can't describe what happened to me next, teenager… Listen I'm not a "spooky" guy… But I turned the TV off and I got my Bible out and I got on my knees and turned it to Genesis chapter number 1, and I read "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." And that was all that I needed to read.

I began to pray and I prayed for a long, long, long time. I prayed that God would give me strength, and it was… I've got to be honest with you; it was one of the sweetest times of prayer that I've ever experienced to this day. It was like I was talking to God right there, I couldn't see him but it was incredible, it was just me and The Lord. When it was over I was starving, I do remember that. I prayed for an hour, maybe two. But I was starving and I had my Bible in my hand and I decided I was going to go across the street to a White Castle.

I love White Castle, anybody here ever eat at White Castle? White Castle's open 24 hours a day, it's a wonderful place. And uh, I lived catty-cornered to a White Castle. And I had my Bible in my hand... I can say this, teenager, I can't tell you much about that night in prayer, but I can tell you that when I got up off of my knees it didn't matter to me what Mr. Deitch thought. It didn't matter to me what other kids in my school thought. It didn't matter to me what my own youth group thought. I was gonna take a stand for Christ, or I was gonna die trying. I had my Bible in my hand and I walked out of my house and I went to that White Castle, and right in front of me was one of my classmates. He was the leader of the Latin Kings and his name was Irvano Esparsa. He was a Spanish guy, had a tattoo of teardrops there on his cheek, and each teardrop was somebody that he loved in the gang that had been shot and killed and died. And he had two of them there on his cheek.

Everybody was scared to death of Irvano. They called him "Bones", that was his nickname. Bones. I stood behind him in line and I was a little nervous, and I had my Bible. And he turned and I looked up at him and I said "hi". I didn't know if I should call him Bones, or Irvano, or I was like "hi". And he looked at me and he went like that.

And then he looked and he said "Hey aren't you that kid that Mr. Deitch is making fun of in class?"

I said "Yeah".

He said "Man that's wrong," he said "That's wrong, he shouldn't be doing that."

And I said "Well," I said "that's ok, really it's ok." And he turned back around and I noticed he had a tear in his eye and I said "Hey, what's wrong?" And he had just gotten news that his brother had been killed. His own brother had been killed, the brother that he recruited into the gang.

And I said "Irvano let me ask you a question," right there in the White Castle line, I said "Irvano your brother, did he go to heaven or hell?"

Irvano said "I don't know."

I said "Irvano if you were to die right now would you go to heaven or hell?"

He said "I'd go to hell, I know I would."

I said "Irvano, would you like to go to heaven?"

He said "Yeah".

And we stepped aside from the line and I opened my Bible and I showed him the Romans road, and right there in White Castle, a late hour he prayed and he trusted Christ as his savior. And he was crying, and he shook my hand, and he said "Man, I feel so much better now."

And I said "Good, I do too" …And the best part about it, he bought my food that night. (chuckling) White Castles are cheap so he wasn't springing for much, but, he bought it. Man I went back to my room, I was thrilled to death, I thought it was the best thing ever I just led Bones to the Lord. Man it's gonna be awesome! Went back to school the next day. Kids still made fun of me, they still laughed at me, they still called me Reverend Fudd, but I held my Bible and I was happy about it. I walked into Mr. Deitch's class and I looked for my chair, and there it was, but there was another chair right next to it. And it was Irvano, already sitting in that chair.

And I looked at him and he went like this and he said "Come on over!" and I sat down next to Irvano, and Mr. Deitch walked into that class, and he sat on his stool, and he looked at the full side and he looked at me, and he was getting ready to say something, and then he looked at Irvano and he shut his mouth. Cause he was scared of him too.

And then the next day when I went to class there were three or four other chairs there, and by the time the school year was over teenager, God's honest truth, it was back to half the class on this side and half the class on that side, and I had led over 40 classmates to Christ, and I had led 6 teachers to Christ that year. And I truly believe that I made a difference for God. And they say well how did you do it, because I was willing to take a stand publicly and privately, and even when I was persecuted I said I'm not gonna let them get the best of me. I'll stand for God.

He died on a cross for me, the least I can do is take a stand for him. He died on the cross for me, the least I could do is shut the devil's music off and turn off his TV, and get in the Bible and lead my friends to Christ, and my family to Christ, that's the least I can do. That's the least I can do. Let me ask you a question, teenager. Are you standing tonight?

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nicolemtracy Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fav cuteness! :tighthug:
LeMalFauxChienne Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010   Writer
I've created a new group called the Art-of-Christianity [link] which is a good group to join if you are both a Christian and an artist on dA because it is a way of celebrating the glory of Christianity and the culture of art among its community on dA, all submission are welcome and the group will favorite any submissions by deviants who are members. There will be discussions on the group, competitions, reviews and lots of other great stuff.

Because it's not fully up and running yet it is lacking a few necessities at the moment, but hopefully it'll be good soon.
LInconnu24 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Professional Photographer
Hi buddy, just to invite you to read my new journal :)
I go at zoo next week, and I will take a lot of shots! :D
T-Weaver Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
dudette. Hope you're not ill or something
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