I'll never forget the hopeless desperation of September 29, 2014. It felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, and everything was my fault.
Just 26 years old - a smart, fun-loving college graduate who was raised in a Christian home by two loving parents...I had somehow become a drug addict, an alcoholic, a thief, a liar, an unreliable friend, severely depressed, and suicidal. My hands were too shaky to even hold a glass of water - everything felt dark and meaningless. I began writing suicide letters that afternoon. It was over.
Something within me decided to say a final prayer...just in case. I fell to my knees right there beside my bed, weeping uncontrollable tears, and I asked God for a miracle. In that very moment, an indescribable peace filled my room, and I knew Jesus was there. I just knew it. September 29, 2014 is my sobriety date. I haven't looked back since. Jesus answered my cry, and He restored my soul.
In time, I grew hungry for the Word, and my heart began to experience overflowing joy. The Bible started making sense, and things began to shift in my life. Everything happened so fast, it felt like my only option was to share Jesus with the world. How could I possibly keep this miracle to myself?
Jesus is for real, and He wasn't kidding around. The Bible isn't just a book of suggestions - it's the key to everything. Jesus left us with a final Commission, and it isn't complicated:
"Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation."
In 2017, the fire in my heart was too great to contain, so I decided to take Jesus at his word, leave everything behind, and follow him. Literally. I left my full-time job in Charlotte, not knowing where God would lead...just me, my German Shepherd, Ziva, a pickup truck, some clothes, an iPhone, and a little bit of faith.
Leaving everything for Jesus proved to be the greatest, most freeing decision I've ever made (aside from surrendering my heart to him in the first place.) He has brought me to 32 different states, we've reached over 30,000 souls, and this is just the beginning.
I won't pretend it's easy. It probably looks cool on Instagram, but I spend many cold (and hot) nights in the truck with my dog, and there have been several attacks from the enemy. I persevere, because Jesus died for my sins. And I consider it pure joy, because I know the prize in eternity is far greater than I can possibly imagine.
Today, my heart beats for the homeless, the broken, the weary, and the lost. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people find Jesus, get sober, and light up the world. I have a crazy vision of introducing 1 million souls to Jesus in my lifetime, and I can't think of a better goal to live for. One day at a time. One precious soul at a time.
In order to accomplish this massive vision the Lord has put on my heart, I've started fundraising for a new van. The Gospel Van will be used to continue sharing the Gospel in every state, hosting outdoor worship gatherings, and serving whoever God puts in my path. It will also serve as a safe place to rest for me and my dog.
All donations go toward the Gospel Van, food, coffee, gas, homeless outreach, the occasional Motel 6, and reaching human souls with the love of Jesus Christ.
Thank you so much for being part of this crazy mission! -Zack Gudzan
CLTIVATE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible. The Tax-ID (EIN) is 81-3580212.