Rescue Magazine sat down with Dave and Karen Bosi, to ask about their Hope Story. They were eager to share and we hope you are encouraged by their story.
Rescue Magazine: Can you tell us a little about your history? What was life like growing up? How were you before you met Christ?
Dave: I was raised in a good family, but my Dad was an alcoholic and workaholic. It really left me with not enough support or encouragement to know who I was as a person. I felt very insecure.
In my teenage years, I got into drugs and drinking...I thought that would make me happy. But after six years, I realized my life was going nowhere.
Karen and I had gotten together by then. My best friend had died in a motorcycle accident. A couple of Karen's friends had overdosed on drugs...and I'm thinking to myself, 'I thought this was supposed to be fun.' I've got all this emptiness inside, and lack of purpose. So I'm asking, 'Why am I here?'
One day I asked my dad, 'How come my beard's not growing over here?' And he responded, 'Oh, that's where your Mom tried to abort you.' And I said, 'What?!' I had no clue.
Now I'm also struggling with the thought, "Your own mother didn't even want you." I spiraled down into a lot of negativity. I started putting all of my time into working, and became a really hard worker. Then I would go party all weekend…and my life just became a mess. I felt really empty inside.
One day, we went to a Bible study with some friends. The friends that had invited us had been involved in the same stuff that we had been into, but they were completely different now. It was then that I realized, "If God could change them...maybe there is something to this."
Karen: I was raised in a broken family, and in seventh grade when my parents divorced. My Dad was still very active in my life...but it left a hole. I was searching for love in all the wrong places.
When Dave and I began a relationship together, we did it all the wrong ways. We had no guidance. When I was going astray, nobody said, "Hey, don't do this. This is wrong."
Everyone let us do what we did…and we were floundering. I moved in with Dave right out of high school. I didn't know anything.
I was looking for something to fill that hole in my life. I went through years of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. I didn't like any of it. I almost overdosed twice. But God had a different plan for me.
One night, a young lady came to our house asking if she could pray for us. We said okay. As she was praying, my mind was just full of all my hurts, shame, and guilt. And I began to weep. She said to me, "Karen, just let it go. Just let it go."
That night, I began my relationship with Jesus. Physically, it felt like water was rushing over me, cleansing me. I knew I was a different person. God had just begun a change in my life.
Rescue Magazine: It's amazing how God can call us out so suddenly, and completely change our lives. This verse is your story: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV).
You were both living together, unmarried, had been involved in a very lost culture, and then you both chose to become followers of Jesus. What happened next?
Dave: We both came to Christ within four or five days of each other. God convicted us about living together. All day I'm thinking, "How am I going to tell this girl that we've got to separate? I'm not ready to get married."
That night, we're lying in bed…and I can't sleep. Karen rolls over and says, "I'm not sure we should be living together anymore."
Karen: We called our landlord, and told him what had happened in our lives, and that we both needed to go back to our homes. He said it was the worst thing he had ever heard...but he let us out of our lease!
We told our parents, and they thought it was really weird. In fact, they were worried that we had joined a cult. But they came to see we weren't crazy. That God had spoken to both of us separately, and called us out of that lifestyle.
Rescue Magazine: Wow! So that was the turning point. What difference has Jesus made since then?
Karen: I am passionate about my work with teenagers who are lost at the same age I was. Also, God is using us to help young moms, in my work with mothers of preschoolers.
Dave: We know that everybody needs an opportunity to know Jesus as their Lord. When we're at a restaurant, when we travel, we love to make connections with lost people. The most important thing we can do, would be to tell them about Christ.
I remember a server at a restaurant. We explained how each of us had come to Christ, and how that's the direction we believe he's headed. We told him that he's looking for answers, but he needs to look in the Bible. He needs to see it's Jesus.
Karen: Another time we met a couple who told us, "Oh, we don't really go to church." And during our conversation they let us know that they live together.
Dave and I shared with them our story, how we lived together before we knew Jesus. We told them how we did it backwards. We lived together, then we separated, then we got married. Because of Jesus. He changed our lives.
Rescue Magazine: When we talk with people about sharing their Hope Story with others, we encourage them to pray that God brings them to someone that is a heart match for their experience. Someone who is going through the same stuff they went through. Someone that can look at your experiences, and say, "That's exactly what I'm going through." Someone who you have the perfect credentials to help.
Karen: My credentials…right! We lived together, did drugs, and were into all that rock music. We've had a lot of experiences.
Dave: We realize God has given us a passion to let people know Christ is who changed my life top to bottom, and brought me the most peace. He has the power to go past all my inferiorities, and the wisdom to try to make good decisions. I just want to pass that on to people around me, including the people who work for me.
My job is more than just to run a business. It's to have an impact on people; in a mild and natural way, not preaching at them.
Karen: I'll invite lost people I meet to be my friend on facebook. Sometimes I'll get messages like this: "Mrs. Bosi, my marriage is falling apart. And everything you're putting on here is encouraging me. Thank you so much."
Now I have an open door to connect with this person. So, I continue to share with them, build them up, grow them, and give them hope.
Rescue Magazine: What advice would you give to people who are trying to talk to others about Jesus?
Karen: Share who you are, and what God's done in your life; it actually becomes kind of easy. And the more you have opportunities to just be real with people, the easier it gets.
Try not to use Christianese. You know, clichéd terms and words that people out there in the world won't have a clue what you're talking about. Just tell them who you are and what God's done in your life. Sharing with lost people about Jesus just becomes who you are. You don't feel like, "Oh, I have to go share this with them." He just comes out.
Dave: I have a gift that I can't keep locked up. I've got to hand it over. But it comes out of passion, not out of duty. God brought this passion. I want to help them. I want to share what's on my heart. The thing that has gotten me through life, is this relationship with Christ.