Interview with Mike Evans
October 05, 2018
I recently had the great pleasure of visiting the sacred city of Jerusalem and talking with my friend and the founder of Friends of Zion, Dr. Mike Evans. We partner with Friends of Zion, and they are sharing the love of Jesus right in the heart of Jerusalem.
Dr. Evans and I met on the construction site of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center. As we talked, workers were building apartments for poverty-stricken Holocaust survivors.
Dr. Evans has a powerful story. As he shared with me how Jesus called him out of an abusive childhood into a world-changing ministry, I was so moved.
Here, in his own words, is his astonishing story of horrific pain transformed into heavenly purpose:
My mother was an Orthodox Jew, and she hated Christians. She married a man who claimed to be a Christian. He went to church every Sunday, carrying his big Thompson Chain Bible. But he was at the Twilight Café every Friday night getting stone drunk. And my father was a mean, angry drunk.
When he came home drunk on Friday nights, he sat my mother in a chair and slapped her in the face and called her horrible names. Because of him, my mother hated Christians, and taught me to hate them, too.
My father didn’t believe I was his son. He started abusing me when I was very young. He stripped me naked and beat me with extension cords. Once I found a jackknife in the snow. When I got home, my father didn’t believe I found it. He said, “You’re a liar. God hates liars. If I have to beat you to death, you will tell me the truth of how you stole that jackknife.”
He took me to the basement, stripped me naked, and started beating me with an extension cord. I tried to come up with a lie to stop the beating. I had wet all over myself and he threw me into a dirt cellar, absolutely hysterical.
The abuse got worse and worse.
On one occasion, he choked me until I lost consciousness. I woke up in the dark in a fetal position. I had vomited all over myself. And I was angry that I was still alive.
I screamed out in the dark to a God I didn’t believe in: “Why was I born? My father hates me. My mother is abused because of me. I should never have been born!”
When I screamed out in my pain, I saw a light. I was afraid because I thought my father was coming to finish me off. I put my hands over my face, and then I noticed it was quiet. My father was never quiet. He was always screaming and cursing.
So I peeked through my fingers—and I saw two nail-scarred hands reaching toward me. I saw smiling eyes. I saw every color in the rainbow in the eyes of Jesus. They drew me in like magnets. I couldn’t look away.
He spoke to me. He called me, “Son.” I’d never been called “son” by anyone. And then Jesus said, “I love you.” The first time anyone ever said “I love you” to me was when Jesus spoke it. The Jesus I didn’t believe existed. The Jesus I despised. He said, “Son, I love you, and I have a great plan for your life.”
When He left, I knew I was healed. I knew I was delivered. And I knew I was called. I couldn’t defend one Jew—my mother—against a Jew-hater. But out of that pain came my calling to defend the Jewish people.
I’ve been doing just that for more than forty years now. I want to bless the Jewish people. I want them to know what a real Christian is like. I want to fulfill the direction to “be His witnesess in Jerusalem.”
What a story of how God brought healing and purpose to someone who had been broken. Out of great pain, God birthed great ministry.
The enemy may have told you, “You’re so messed up. There’s no way God can ever fix you. There’s no way God can ever fix your family.” But, friend, there’s nothing our God can’t do. He can restore. He can make all things new. What God did for Dr. Evans, He can also do for you.
Dr. Evans said to tell you all this: “If God could take me in all of my brokenness, and heal me, restore me, and bless me, He can do it for you!”