"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17


As I begin writing the story of my life, with many emotions running through my mind, I recall many stupid decisions that I have made during my life.  There were many people that I hurt, but mainly myself.  I am overjoyed that I am alive and so grateful that I have a Savior, who loves me so much that he died for me.  My Savior, “Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God” was patient with me and still is today.  Thank You Jesus!


My mom and dad were good parents and insisted on us attending a Catholic church as long as we were “under their roof”.  I am so grateful that they helped lay that foundation.   At 17 years old, I quit school because I thought that I knew more than my parents.  After losing my seasonal job, I started my life of crime in stealing.  Yes, I got caught and I received a  “5-month all expenses paid vacation”  in jail.


During this time, my relationship with God was one of convenience.   Whenever I was drunk and I thought that my life might be in danger, I cried out for His help.   It seems He always heard me… seems that all of my life was spent “walking around Egypt” as the Israelites did for forty years.   If only someone would have sat me down and explained the facts of life to me…you know like ”been there, done that, don’t go there”  I may have listened, maybe not.


When I became famous my drinking increased.  It was almost a requirement among all the wrestlers.   It is untrue that you can just be a "social drinker”.  That is a lie that Satan uses. So many times I could have slipped right into HELL.  My body was so broken up from injuries due to wrestling and my wild lifestyle and my life was so out of control because of drugs and alcohol, that God must have spared me for His reasons.


All these years I thought that I was in control of my life.  After all I was TOUGH; I was a WELL KNOWN WRESTLER;  I had A lot of will power… but the truth was,  it was all a BIG LIE.  I was in DENIAL.  I wasn’t happy and I desperately needed HELP.  There was a big void, something lacking that I could not realize.  In 1994, my nephew Nikita invited me to his church for a revival service and I accepted because I could see a big change in Nikita.  I accepted the Lord that day and found the answer because of the truth of God.    Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Acts 16:31


I knew that Jesus was the “only way”  for one to totally be set free.  That day I remember the evangelist saying that I must study the Word Of God in order to change my way of thinking.  I was excited and I immediately started studying the Bible and asking God to help me and He took my desire of alcohol and drugs away.   Praise the Lord!!


I know today that as a born again Christian,  that we must submit our will to God before we can become new creatures in Christ.


“I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me”  Philippians 4:13        


I put my trust in the resurrected Son of God who has all power in this world and the world to come.


Now I am finally happy and excited about the future, wearing the full Armor of God and walking in the Spirit.  I look forward to hearing God say to me,  “Well done,  My good and faithful servant”.






Ivan’s Testimony