Allow me to take this time to introduce myself. My name is Richard Burroughs, and I was born September 12, 1970. I was the third child born to my mother and father. At the age of a year and a half, my father died and mother remarried when I was two and a half. Growing up was hard having a stepfather who was an alcoholic. As a child I attended church on a regular basis. I loved the Lord and wanted to grow up to be a preacher like my grandfather on my motherís side.
When I was about ten years old, my older sister and brother started running away from home and at times I went with them. By the age of thirteen, I began running away on a regular basis. I began drinking and experimenting with drugs. By the age of fourteen I was addicted to speed. For the next ten years of my life I lived on the streets and was in and out of Juvenile Hall and jail. During this time I had hitchhiked all across the country. I spent several years searching, dabbled in the occult, and tried eastern religions, no matter what I was never satisfied.
Growing up I had spent the majority of my teenage years either in juvenile hall or living on the streets. Around the age of 18 I was introduced to the hippie counter cultural lifestyle of the 80ís and 90ís. For the next five or six years I was involved with this lifestyle. Several times over the years people would tell me about the Lord, and at times I would try to live the ďChristianĒ life, but never experienced a real conversion. Though I had said the ďSinnerís PrayerĒ on several occasions, there was no change of heart. However, the Lord was drawing me to Himself. I would carry a Bible in my backpack and read it on a semi regular basis, but lacked having any real understanding.
Prior to becoming a Christian, the Lord was working on my heart. I knew the truth and was just running from the Lord. I was sick of the life I was living and wanted to change. Then I met this girl in December 1993, we hitch hiked across the country together and ended up in Louisiana, then Alabama. At times we would be sitting on an on ramp trying to get a ride and I would just sit there and read my Bible. On a couple of occasions she had told me I spend more time with that Bible than I do with her. I was ready to change my life, but did not want to lose her. Then one night while under the influence of drugs, I told God to prove Himself to me and change her. Thank God for His mercy. Approximately three days later we were sitting on an on ramp trying to get a ride and I opened my Bible, surprisingly she asked me what the Word was for today, and I read Psalm 91.
Thinking back to when I got saved, it amazes me what we must go through before we will see the error of our ways. It was Palm Sunday 1994; my girlfriend and I are hitch hiking through Springville, Alabama with two dogs and no real place to go. We had already stayed at this on ramp one night, and now we are sitting in the rain, with a river through our tent, making some oatmeal for breakfast. After finishing breakfast, we went to this gas station and hung around there all day. The people that worked there were real nice to us, they gave us food through out the day. Then all of a sudden the sky turned green and one of the attendants at the gas station told us to come inside and bring our dogs in with us. There was a tornado coming down the highway.
That night we were told we could stay in this church to get out of the weather. During this time the Lord was really dealing with both of us. The next morning the church custodian came in and gave us some canned goods and a ride back to the on ramp. He also gave us five dollars. When we returned to our tent, everything was wet, but it was still there, though we had nothing staked down. We packed up all our stuff and went to a Laundromat to dry everything, and then back to the on ramp to try and get a ride.
After a while back at the on ramp, this lady gave us a ride. She took us to this small town named Gadsden and asked if we knew any place there where we could get out of the rain. Well, it just so happened that I had been passing through this town a year prior to this and a man had given me a tract. Remembering the tract, I pulled it from my wallet and found that the man had put his address on it. The woman that we were with went out of her way to find the house and when we finally did, we were told that he had moved, however, his previous land lady told us where he had moved and that we should go see him, so we did.
Arriving at this manís house, we had no idea of what to expect, but he took us right in. We stayed the night with him and his two boys, and listened to him talk about the Lord all night. The next day he gave us a ride to the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and dropped us off there. Now here we are back on the road with nowhere to go. The next day, still at the campground he dropped us at, we are sitting back cooking some rice for dinner, when we notice a car coming, it was the man returning. He got home and felt the Lord spoke to him about us and he decided to go back to see if we were still there. That night him and his boys stayed at the campground with us, and the next day he invited us to go back to Gadsden, Alabama with him, and we decided to go.
Making the decision to return to Gadsden with this man, we knew not what to expect. Over the next few days he spoke about the Lord a lot. Itís like the Lord was preparing our hearts to receive Him. That Sunday, April 3, 1994, we attended service at the Tabernacle. When we arrived we were an hour late and had missed the preaching, but were just in time for the Altar call. When the Altar call was given, Tracey, my girlfriend, asked what that was. I said I did not know, but letís go. So we went to the Altar and the Lord met us there. Somebody prayed with us to accept the Lord and He brought about a miraculous change in us. We really got saved that Easter Sunday, the Lord took away the desires for drugs and the things of the world and replaced it with a desire for Him and a hunger to learn His Word. That to me is what genuine salvation is, a death and resurrection experience, dying to the flesh and rising again a new creation. 2 Cor. 5:17. Three months later, my girlfriend and I were married and a year later our first son, Joshua, was born.
Now that I have introduced myself, let me take a few moments to answer the questions asked in the autobiography guide. First, when did I come to know the Lord as Savior? I came to know the Lord as my savior on April 3, 1994. The circumstances that led me to the Lord were His revealing to me that I was a sinner who had broken His law. How do I know that I am saved? The Scriptures tell us in Rom. 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. That verse to me means so much more than just saying you believe, James 2:19 tells us that the devils also believe and tremble. When you really believe, not only do you say you do, your life will show it. Truly being saved I believe, answers the next question of how having Christ as your Savior has affected your life. Christ has affected my life in that I am no longer a drug addict or alcoholic or adulterer. I remember going to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and being told that you will always be an alcoholic or addict just choosing not to use for the day. Thank God that that is not what the Word of God says. Second Corinthians tells us in 5:17 that we are a new creation, we are not waiting to become new He makes us new. What does Salvation mean to me? Salvation to me is more than just being on the way to heaven. To me it means that all my sin is washed away. Isaiah 1:18 says that though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Again, Psalm 103:12 tells us he has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.
Next I will introduce my family. Tracey and I were married on July 24,1994. Our first-born son is Joshua Caleb, he was born April 10, 1995, Zachary Michael, our second son was born January 4, 1998, and then there is our daughter ZoŽ Elizabeth, born May 11, 2008. ZoŽ is a real blessing because 14 months prior to her being born, we lost a baby, and almost Tracey to a tubular pregnancy, which is why she is named ZoŽ (life) and Elizabeth (consecrated to God). Tracey has taught both of our boys in Sunday school and then home schooled them for three years. Both of our boys love the Lord, as I am sure ZoŽ will also when she is old enough to understand.
What am I doing now in Christian ministry? Currently I have my website which I have used to share pictures of different outreaches we have been involved in around the country over the past three years. Also on my website I publish sermons that the Lord has given me, to make them available to friends and those who visit our website. Most of the sermons I publish there are to stir people to evangelistic outreach. Another thing that I am planning is writing a book about the past three years of our ministry, during in which time we lived on a school bus that I had converted into an RV, ministering to homeless people and those living in the hippie counter cultural lifestyle. Today the main focus of my ministry is my family here in Southern Ca., many of whom are lost. Also, I am looking into getting involved with ministry in the Juvenile Hall and Jail here in Riverside County. I have a real burden for those who are living the life I once lived without Christ.
Who is Satan? Reading the Bible we find Satan described in many ways, among these we see him described as a roaring lion, the accuser of the brethren, disguised as an angel of light, to name just a few. Having Christ in your life, you are not ignorant to his tricks. Reading in Ephesians 6:10-18 we learn about putting on the whole armor of God, whereby we can stand against the tricks of Satan. Having Christ in my life, the Holy Spirit has helped me to know Truth and not fall for Satanís lies. I am thankful for the discernment the lord gives us, because Satan doesnít usually come at you with the horns on his head and a pitchfork in hand, usually he comes as something attractive to pull your eyes off the Lord. Thank God we could study the Word and be prepared for Satan and his schemes.