The night his first wife left him, 21 year-old Joshua G. was holed up in his bathroom, crying, unable to breathe, overcome by anxiety and stress, not caring if he lived or died. Suddenly, he heard a crack inside his head, perhaps his brain, he thought, and he collapsed to the floor. God was not ready to take Joshua home. In fact, God had a plan for Joshua, an unforgettable journey that would lead straight to Hallelujah Acres and renewed health, a new career, and a new chapter in life. This is Joshua's story:
I spent most of my life sick with respiratory problems. I couldn't sleep. I had severe headaches and joint pain. I was tired. My back ached. Those were the physical issues. The majority of my anguish was psychological. I had severe mood swings, and suffered from depression.
I worked in the family business, and my mood swings went from feeling normal one minute, and the next I was dragging my brother over his desk, choking him, with no intent on stopping. Or I would come home, and, though I was married to a fantastic person, if things weren't going myway, I'd blow up, and destroy some of the contents of the house. I never touched her. I just scared her to death.
I had dreams of a music career. I'd spent five years pouring my heart into a band, getting offers from decent record labels, and my mood swings were destroying that, too. It became uncontrollable. Everything in my life was falling apart.
I loved God with all my heart, but why was I suffering so much? Why was I hurting all these people? I wanted God to be as real as things I could see and touch. A family friend and new Health Minister came through town. We all got together at my parents' house where he played a testimonial video of Rev. Malkmus. It totally changed my perspective and my life. I knew it was the answer to my prayer. Over the next two days the Health Minister shared as much as he could. I bought a How to Eliminate Sickness video, a Why Christians Get Sickbook, a Champion juicer, and got a copy of Back to the Garden.
Over the next year, I tried to transition. I was juicing, but still eating junk. I got fat, reaching well over 200 pounds. Then, I asked my dad, "How do you overcome obstacles?" He said, The things that you're up against, are in opposition to God...what you have to do in every instance, no matter what the temptation is, repeat, "I choose God." That was one of the main factors that helped me commit to changing my lifestyle. When I was up against something, I would just repeat, "I choose God," over and over until that was all I could think about. God truly blessed me. I changed my diet and lifestyle completely. In three months, I lost about 70 pounds. My wife and I got back together. I was exercising almost three hours a day. I wasn't tired. I felt great. I never had ups and downs.
My wife and I went to Health Minister Training; back then it was in Tennessee, and I was even more fired up. I wanted to help other people, now that I had been truly helped. I wanted to move to Hallelujah Acres right then, and be a part of it. My wife didn't want to go.
Around this time, I had an opportunity to start a youth center night club. I dove into the project with enthusiasm, even relocating closer to the club. I focused all my energy on the job, working day and night, giving my life to it.
I wasn't going home to eat, but there was a fast food restaurant across the street where I began to eat. I started to feel really sick again. I was back into mood swings. I got frustrated and lost sight of what brought me the success in the first place. I almost didn't believe it was God that had helped me. My wife left again. Divorce was inevitable.
I prayed, and felt I had to go and be a part of Hallelujah Acres. Now I was able to go and do it. At the same time, I didn't want to be alone. I wanted to be married. Again, I turned to prayer. I asked the Lord, "Can't I just be with someone who would be supportive in this and in other areas?" Within a few days, I met Jennifer in a photography class. She was already a vegetarian, and we hit it off like we'd known each other forever. Within a couple months we were talking about getting married. We got engaged, but I still wanted to go t oHallelujah Acres. So I packed up my jeep and trailer and headed to Tennessee.
On the way there, I called and found out they weren't in Tennessee anymore. They'd just moved to North Carolina. I took on the job of helping the Shipping and Receiving Department get up and running. Soon Jennifer moved to North Carolina and took a job at Hallelujah Acres, too. After about a year, we returned to Illinois to get married.
After much prayer, we moved back to Hallelujah Acres, and I worked on Marketing, Creative Services & Special Projects. Just before we moved, Jennifer found out she was pregnant, and my perspective was changing again. I never really knew my grandparents, and I wanted my kids to know theirs. I was torn. After our first son, Parker, was born, our first Hallelujah baby, we moved back to Illinois, where I continued doing projects for Hallelujah Acres.
With the help of my brother, we put a team together, and we started producing The Hallelujah Food Show videos, An Introduction to Hallelujah Acres video, The Miraculous Self-Healing Body video, among other projects. At the same time, my son was getting older, and I wanted snacks for him. Using our dehydrator, Jennifer and I tried to come up with snack foods for kids. That's how we developed the Maple Nut Royale Bar. So in the midst of producing videos, we headed to Hallelujah Acres, and presented our idea for a snack food company. Everyone was excited and supportive. With the great help of my father, we created Genesis Living Foods. God doesn't give you more than you can bear, so I know He must have thought we had strength beyond our human capacity, because soon one more enormous project was placed on our plate&mdashcreating the program that would eventually become the Get Healthy! Stay Balanced course.
We met at Hallelujah Acres for a brainstorm session to name this new, innovative and life-changing program. In six months we produced about 20 videos, all the workbooks for instructors and students, and all the marketing materials. It was tremendous! We taped all the testimonies, and because of his schedule, we had only one day with Rev.Malkmus to shoot all the videos in which he appeared, and this was only a few weeks after he'd had his stroke. We shot footage for about 12 hours straight. To his credit, he looked terrific and worked with incredible energy that day.
At this point, we were working day and night on this project, but we, ourselves, were not staying balanced. This is how the Stay Balanced part of the name came about. We realized how easy it is to get off track, even when you're the ones developing the course.
For the next three years, I worked part-time on the snack company, ran a Health Ministry, conducted health workshops and tried to get a recording studio going. Our second son, Simon, was born. But, it was clear that the studio was not going to workout. I wasn't surprised. Jennifer and I sold the studio and everything we owned and moved to Seattle.
Once in Seattle, I just wanted to be with my kids. Jennifer got a job managing a Sears portrait studio, and I was thrilled to be Mr. Mom. We were happily ensconced in this arrangement for about two weeks, when we received a call from my father. He needed a replacement for the plant manager at the snack company. So I asked my wife, "Do you want to put your energy into managing someone else's company or do you want to manage your own?" She answered, her own. I intended to stay home with the kids. Halfway back to Illinois, Jennifer announced she was pregnant again. Soon the snack company would have a new plant manager, only it was going to be me.
Things were going well with the snack company, but something was missing in my life. I prayed and fasted. I told Jennifer what I heard, and we both felt it was right. We were heading back to Hallelujah Acres.
I questioned why I was returning, but as soon as I arrived, it started to become clear. My mission is to help set people free from illness, disease, depression, pain, and suffering, and to help them achieve and maintain clarity and focus on what matters most. Hallelujah Acres has changed so much over the years. There have been so many discoveries and improvements. Their focus continues to be on God, and God is perfect.
As long as Hallelujah Acres maintains their unwavering focus on God, they'll achieve their mission, which is also my mission&mdashto educate people about God's original plan for healing and health and to support them in adopting a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
It is my hope and prayer that people will never forget that God is always the answer, no matter what the question, no matter what the roadblock, and no matter how hard it seems. Choose God. Choose God until He is something you can see and touch. Choose God until you know God is real. Choose God until you know you have made the only choice worth making.