Our 3ABN motor home was parked behind Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. I needed another testimony for 3ABN World magazine, and I just knew the Lord would send me someone (He always does!).
As I walked up to the motor home, a young man stopped on the sidewalk. We smiled and greeted each other, but when I heard the words, “I’m here because of 3ABN,” I immediately invited him inside for a chat.
Delmus Pinkston was only nine when his parents divorced. His mother sent him to a Salvation Army camp that summer and his tender heart was touched as he heard about Jesus. “I remember going forward for the altar call,” he says, “and when my mother picked me up, I remember telling her that I was going to heaven!”
Sadly, his mother suffered a brain tumor and he watched as she battled serious mood swings and epileptic seizures. Delmus was only 19 when his mom despaired and took her own life. Devastated and alone, he joined the U.S. military, requesting to be stationed in Germany where he could be near his Swiss girlfriend, Nadine. During the next few years he began taking drugs and drinking to escape the pain of his loss. Then he married Nadine in Switzerland, where they set up their home, and the party continued for the next 15 years.
Their spiritual search led Delmus to Hinduism, and eventually he began worshipping a Hindu swami from India who proclaimed himself a god, teaching a New Age idea where Mohammed, Jesus, and the Hindu gods were all equal.
Strange things began to happen. “From about 1997 until 2001 we were so involved in these practices that we felt demons attacking us in our dreams,” he says. “One night I awoke and saw a ghost at the foot of my bed. My wife and I remembered that Christians claimed the name of Jesus to make demons flee, so we called on Him. The ghost disappeared and never came back again.”
Nadine was raised Catholic, but she was also greatly influenced by Eastern beliefs. In fact, she had begun practicing Reiki, an ancient “healing” practice from Japan, that claims to use an unseen “life force energy” that flows through one’s being from laying on of hands. But a dream changed all this.
Delmus had planned a three-week trip to India, and his daughter was inconsolable. “The week before I left, I had a disturbing dream which haunted me. My wife drove me to the train station the morning of departure, but the dream disturbed me so much that when we arrived, I changed my mind and went home with my wife.”
Arriving back at the house, Nadine went to her daughter’s bedroom, and found her sleeping. When she told her that her daddy had not left, she said, “I know, Mommy. God told me.” Delmus says they were stunned. “Within two months we threw out everything: Hinduism, Reiki, New Age — all the books, posters, symbols — everything.”
For two years Delmus and Nadine continued to search for answers. Seemingly, Christianity, Eastern religions, and New Age had all failed them. But God had not forgotten them.
A fan of American football, Delmus rented a satellite dish to watch Hot Bird, the most popular entertainment satellite network in Europe. “One day I was home sick and I turned the TV on and started surfing the channels,” he says. “I just ‘happened’ to watch a prophecy seminar by David Asscherick, so I got my Bible out, dusted it off, and opened it. But when I told my wife about the beasts of Revelation, she called me crazy!”
Delmus watched 3ABN only once and then forgot what channel he had been watching, but two months later he found it again. David Asscherick’s seminar had started over again, and this time he convinced Nadine to watch it with him. They watched every night, but it wasn’t until the very end that they found out that David was a Seventh-day Adventist.
Soon Delmus and Nadine were driving through the mountains to a German speaking church 1.5 hours away. They were baptized in May of 2003, and I’m sure there was rejoicing in heaven!
Then Satan tried to discourage them. Delmus worked at an international school as the director of student services, but now, since he no longer was his boss’s party friend, he began to feel persecuted. Delmus and Nadine began praying, “Lord, where do you want us to go? What do you want us to do?”
“During this time my wife had a strong feeling each time she watched 3ABN and saw Pastor Dwight Nelson preaching from the campus of Andrews University,” Delmus says. “She told me all the time, ‘We’re going to go there someday.’ ” They read how Bible characters had cast lots, so they wrote down their job options on eight pieces of paper and left the decision up to God. They put the choices in a hat, praying that God would reveal His will by having them both draw the same option.
Delmus drew first. Andrews University. He put it back in the hat. Trembling, his wife put her hand in the hat. As she pulled it out, she exclaimed, “Andrews University!” He placed a call to the human resources department at Andrews, but they had no position for Delmus at that time.
Delmus’ grandfather had died and the family wanted to come to the U.S. for his memorial service. When they learned the cost of airline tickets they were sure they couldn’t afford to make the trip. They called their family and said they were not coming, but the Lord had other plans. Nadine is not an Internet genius, but something told her to look online for tickets. She found a website that had tickets discounted $1,800, so she called and asked the agent, “Is this offer still available?” The lady said, “I think it is all sold out,” but Nadine asked her to please check again. She came back to say, “You are fortunate, there are just four tickets left.” When Nadine told Delmus that she had found tickets for half the normal price, they were convinced that the Lord wanted them to make the trip and would have a place for them at Andrews.
After arriving in the U.S. he again called the university and spoke with human resources. Disappointed to be told again there was no position for him, he was about to hang up when he heard, “Wait, there’s a lady in my office looking for someone for her department!” A week later Delmus had a job interview, and today he works as the undergraduate admissions coordinator for the university!