Dan Fagundo was only 11 when he decided God did not exist.
For him, the decision to become an atheist wasn’t so much a denial of God as it was a matter of not finding evidence for His existence. Even as a youngster, Dan had been thinking deeply about God, but the questions he asked were left unanswered by his family and their Jehovah Witness beliefs.
“I started asking a lot of questions just really in-depth questions that my mom couldn’t answer.” Dan said.
Without answers and seeing poor examples of Christianity, he gave up on the idea of God.
“I decided there absolutely was no God, there was nothing to believe in, there was no heaven, no hell; there was no consequence for anything I did. And that led into where the rest of my life was going—in a very bad direction.”
Starting in elementary school, Dan made a point to pick on children who were Christians. A couple years later, Dan was in middle school and found his atheistic beliefs reinforced by science class lessons on evolution.
For most of his life, Kevin Curtiss did not believe in God.
Even when his wife, Donna, started attending Resurrection Life Church, Kevin made it clear he wasn’t interested.
“You could consider me an atheist at that time,” he said. “I didn’t want to have anything to do with [church].”
For several months Donna prayed that Kevin would open up to a relationship with God, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. It took some time, but gradually Kevin realized that the church experience would be a valuable for their teenage son. Still, Kevin realized that he would have to set the example by going himself.
“It was time to get Tony involved with [church].” Kevin said. “And he wasn’t going to go unless I did.”
Putting aside his own apprehensions, Kevin announced his decision:
“One day I said, ‘That’s it! We’re going honey.’,” he said.
And they did.
One week after his first visit to ResLife, Kevin raised his hand in response to pastor Duane Vander Klok’s invitation to accept Christ. That decision has changed his life. Kevin soon began reading the Bible regularly. He completed the entire Bible in just over a year and supplemented his reading with other Christian books to learn all he could about his new faith. The changes in Kevin affected not only his reading habits but also the way he lives and leads the whole Curtiss family.
“I’m a lot more family oriented,” Kevin said. “God is first in my life, my family is second and my work falls somewhere after that.”
Now, not only is church a regular part of their lives, but Kevin has sought out other ways to be involved beyond Sundays. While reading through the ResLife Web site to see what opportunities there are for volunteering, Kevin discovered the inner city outreach called Power House and something clicked.
“I knew I wanted to do something outside the church,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what, but I clicked on the Power House site, saw the kids and thought, ‘I want to try that.’ I got involved in Power House, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Now, Kevin, along with much of his family, spends Tuesday evenings teaching children about the God he didn’t believe in.
“I never really in my wildest dreams three years ago, thought I’d be out teaching kids about God,” he said.