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Chris K. always lived like a man’s man—tattoos, booze, big beard, professional welder with a tough-guy persona. He grew up in a broken home with an alcoholic and largely absent father and abusive mother. An uncle in prison rounded out his male role models. He learned anger in high school and added alcohol and drugs to his life.
“I became the kind of man I thought I was supposed to be,” he recalls. “I was bad, mean to the other guys at work, putting them down routinely.”
He felt that if he was just “a good supporter,” then that was all there was to being a man—that was his job and he was doing it, he felt.
But even that purpose fell apart after a significant medical issue prevented him from working. Work had always given him his purpose. He suddenly had nothing and descended into a bad state, twice attempting suicide.
“After I left the hospital, I knew I didn’t want to be like this anymore, but I didn’t know what to do.”
Soon after, he began attending church with a friend. At her urging, he agreed to attend that year’s Impactus conference—held online only because of lockdown restrictions. He watched it alone in his dark basement on his laptop.
What he saw made him understand that these were real men, men like him, guys who were struggling through their lives, just like him. But they were different, had something different, he could tell. When he heard the dynamic Lennett Anderson speak, he broke down and called out to Jesus from his despair.
Today Chris is enrolled in a ministry program at a Bible college while miraculously continuing to work as a welder. His son recently asked to live with him, too, because he sees his dad is better—“my greatest blessing,” says Chris.
“Our purpose as men is everywhere,” he observes. “God asks that we be fully present for Him in all our activities, professions, and pursuits.”
Not long ago, a friend from work asked Chris to work on his crew because he said, “I just feel better when you’re around, Chris.”
Chris K. continues to be a blessing for men through his service as an Impactus Network Leader in Alberta and now sits on our advisory board.