Transcript, David Brooks
One80 Podcast Episode 49

This transcript may have errors that veer from the original recording, found here:

Today’s show mentions marijuana, polygamy, and abuse. It’s probably not good for young kids today. 

David Brooks grew up in a hippie commune in Maui, Hawaii. 10 moms, one father and a chaotic childhood meant that drugs, alcohol and dysfunction. Was all that he knew. As he escaped his family situation through the help of child protective services. David found another escape. Marijuana. But a visit to a church, helped him find his heavenly father was so much more than his earthly one. . He gave his heart to Jesus. As the holy spirit started to do miracle work in David’s heart. He challenged himself. Am I going to be a Sunday Christian or a 24 7 Christian. The choice was made and folks. David got high on the holy spirit. Really? It was quite a transformation. This is an awesome show. Welcome to David’s. 180.

Ryan Henry: David, what’s going on man? We’re so happy to have you here today.

David Brooks: That’s awesome. I appreciate that. little artistic, uh, rendition of my life 

Ryan Henry: so David Brooks is here with us today and, uh, we’re so excited. we wanna start off with a random question as we always do. Okay. So are you ready for this?

David Brooks: Yep.

Ryan Henry: if you had to change your first name for any reason, what name would you choose?

David Brooks: I wouldn’t change it. I think the name, given to me like has a huge part about destiny. I think names are very powerful, but.

Ryan Henry: Hmm.

David Brooks: that’s a hard one. Cuz I wouldn’t change it. 

Ryan Henry: okay. Well, you know what, I like that 

so David, let’s get into your story. take us to Hawaii with you. Tell us about like where you grew up in your family 

David Brooks: in your So I was born and raised in, Haku, Maui, on the edge of Hana. I had a family of 23, siblings, 10 moms, and 1 dad. 

Ryan Henry: 23 siblings. Holy smokes! 

David Brooks: Growing up I thought it was normal cuz that’s all I knew. I remember in kindergarten I kind of thought everybody had that upbringing. and then I found out early on that that was not normal. I remember in kindergarten going, I’m gonna marry her. I’m gonna marry her. I’m gonna marry. 

Ryan Henry: Oh my. How did you figure that out?

David Brooks: Um, my friends in, uh, kindergarten were like, That’s not how it works. That’s not normal.

Ryan Henry: My gosh. Okay. So what was that like having 10 moms, one dad, 23 siblings. What was that like?

David Brooks: Some people say like, did you guys have basketball team or football teams? I kind of pictured moments of like sibling, rivalry and it was like gang alliances. You had to make alliances cuz when it was gonna go down, it was gonna go down. It was like, you have my back, you have my back cuz we’re gonna get ready for rumbling And it was challenging in that sense.

There was poverty. we had welfare. so at the first of the month we had food. but most of my meals, I remember rice, butter and sugar for breakfast, rice butter and soy sauce for dinner. and again, growing up in that setting, that’s all I knew. but it was hard.

It was hard like going to bed nights, hungry. Um, my dad had, this dream to build the, world’s largest freshwater fish pond that was hand dug. So his workforce was his women and his kids, and we dug it by picks and shovels. I went back as an adult and I always thought as I told the story that it was different, but some of the pond.

We’re like 65 feet deep and like 80 feet long. so for decades they were digging, on this property in Maui, these holes. 

Ryan Henry: How often would you dig? I mean, are we doing this every day? Is it every other day?

David Brooks: Yeah, growing up from when I was, I think five years old, we called it the hole. We were digging in the hole every day, multiple hours a day. when I did go to school, we’d come home from school and we’d go straight to the hole and go dig, it was not a fun upbringing for sure.

Ryan Henry: My heart breaks listening to that. that’s, so that’s not like a project that where you feel like you could have experienced the end, like the exciting like, Hey, we’re done. We did this as a family. that’s just an ongoing thing.

David Brooks: There was never an ending. because my dad’s drug use, he always had these new creative ideas. 

He called himself the architect to go dig, move this dirt over here, make a garden, dig over here. So like we kept, it was like five and a half acres of property, that we had. and it was just continuous.

Digging in the hole. And from his perspective, he thought he was creating this beautiful, freshwater fish farm for rainbow trout and, the community and everyone was gonna benefit from it, from the fish and the gardening. us kids, we did not, see it that way for sure.

Ryan Henry: Right. Okay. So you mentioned that, cause the drugs he, he had like these different ideas. Was there something else behind this pond?

David Brooks: I don’t know. maybe it was keeping us busy. I mean, when you have that many kids, but he really did have a dream of kind of living off the land, self-sustaining. It was kind of from the hippie commune movement where they were like retreating from society and kind of living, separately.

Ryan Henry: Yeah.

David Brooks: There was, abuse, there was, brokenness, um, At 13 years old. Child Protective Services came and removed us from that situation. it was really painful to see like all the trauma, Happened there, but it’s amazing to see that God wasn’t finished with my story.

Ryan Henry: Right. so you mentioned abuse. is there an example that you feel comfortable with sharing of like, what types of things were happening?

David Brooks: Yeah. one time, all of the boys were, uh, grounded. I, I forgot what we had done. but we were supposed to be in our room and it was all the boys in one room. We had like bunk beds and we were all kind of hanging out in there, sleeping on the ground and different levels. . I remember the boys went outside I think I was 11 years old. I stayed in the room. I was like, You guys are gonna get in trouble. And I saw them all come running back in. There’s so many boys. My dad didn’t know who was which, and I was like, I didn’t do anything. So I just kind of stood there in the middle of the room while my brothers backed over to the corner.

And I remember him pulling out like a metal, I don’t know if it was metal, but it was like wrapped with black electric tape for the purpose of like hitting us. And uh, I remember him just swinging at me and I was at the table in the middle room and I was in that moment I felt brave, so I was like, I didn’t do anything.

So I tried to like, like a ninja duck under it. And. The rod hit me in the, in the middle of my head. 

Ryan Henry: Oh my gosh. 

David Brooks: Blood was like squirting out, And then I remember, standing in the corner and he kept hitting, My brothers were trying to hide behind me.

And I remember in that moment looking at him and then just deciding like, I’m not gonna give you any more tears. He’s like, go get that. Cleaned up, get out. And head wounds are kind of graphically bloody. so it looked as I’m walking past my sister’s rooms, it looked like, Oh my gosh, they thought the worst.

But I remember at, that moment just deciding in my heart like, I’m not gonna, let him get the satisfaction of my tears.

Ryan Henry: Oh my gosh. It must have been so painful. I mean, physically and emotionally, what were your family’s family’s religious beliefs?

David Brooks: So growing up I never knew about religion, in our family. but later on talking to my mom’s, and I say that plural, some people kind of imagine Mormonism because of the multiple wives.

That’s not what it was. It was just a group of people that were leaving society, connecting with drugs and different things to kind of. build a family that was separate. it was also, I think my, dad’s African American, my mom is, and all the women were, Caucasian. It was a time in our society when there was a lot of parents teaching some of their kids about, Hey, these people are different than you.and then, them growing up and experiencing. Martin Luther King or Malcolm X and going, Hey this is different with what I was taught. 

And so some of my moms were, I would say rebelling from their upbringing to connect with my dad, who was a charismatic, person. And I heard later that he.

Caring for the poor. He was doing homeless feeding kitchens. He was, blessing people with just large amounts of money that wasn’t his. so he was doing things that seemed spiritual and religious. 

But again, like I said, I never saw that. I only saw anger. I only saw, brokenness. I only saw an experienced abuse.

But growing up we did not ever talk about God or the Bible. In fact, I remember. my sister. saying she believes in God. And I said, How, can you believe in a God that you can’t see? I was like, a little punk, little 10 year old or something, and, she tells the story like I pushed her off a cliff and I’m like, That was a little hill, but I was like, Say you don’t believe in God.

How can there be a God if, if we’re experiencing this, And she said, I don’t care what you say like, you can’t see the wind, but you can feel it like I believe in God. And I was like, No, you don’t. And I pushed her off this hill. 

But I grew up with zero, grid for, faith in Jesus, or faith in God.

Ryan Henry:  So he really was not even on the radar for you.

David Brooks: I mean, I heard about Christians, but my perspective of them, was that they were always judging people and that they thought they were better than everybody else and had this double standard where they would live one way, on Sunday and then differently, different times a week or in different places of life.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Wow. Okay. so how did you, cope in this environment?

David Brooks: As a kid, I think one of my ways of coping was trying to escape, was trying to hide. Like there were so many of us. I thought if I just wasn’t seen, I’d be okay. and I think another way that we coped is as siblings, we talked a lot of smack about our dad when he wasn’t around and a lot of like, when I grow up, I’m never gonna be like him 

So the, abuse, just to give a scope of it, it was often when he drank or when he did drugs that it would come out He’d come home and find out that the house was chaotic, there was a mess.

Like one of the kids broke something. I have three kids and, it’s chaotic . And so he comes home and there’s 23 kids around and it’s all going crazy. And, and at different times people left, There wasn’t always 23 kids there. Some people, snuck out of the compound in the middle of the night with their kids and moved back to the mainland with their family.

But just seeing and thinking back to that, I have kind of, grace for my dad now. Like now that I have kids, I’m like, man, it is a lot to navigate the energy of all these. kids. Um,

Ryan Henry:yeah.

David Brooks: so yeah, it, it happened often when it was drugs and alcohol was involved, or stress or, one of the women told on us. It was not a safe environment.

We definitely lived in fear a lot. I think for eight years of our life we didn’t have electricity, because of finances. I, think I have some grit looking back because that’s all I knew.

Ryan Henry: Right. How long did that go on for, living in that situation? When did it change? Did it ever change? I mean, did you just leave? 

David Brooks: Great question. At 13, my sister Anac was walking to the bus stop, and as she was walking, my dad was driving the van in the road and she wasn’t walking fast enough, so he hit her in the back of her backpack with the van on purpose And at that point my, two older brothers, Uivas and Unicef were in Maui. They weren’t living, with us.

They had to actually run away at like 15 years old. and at that point, my older brothers was like, enough is enough. This needs to stop. So they went and told the counselor at the school. By Friday, Child Protective Services. and the police department, Hawaii Police Department, did a sting operation on the property and took us in one day from Maui to the big island and they took us all the kids and their moms out of that situation.

Ryan Henry: Oh my gosh. Wow. 

David Brooks: The women who didn’t have kids stayed, but he was charged with, possession of drugs, illegal firearms. And at, certain points, he had threatened the women at gunpoint if you ever leave or take my kids. and so there was a lot of fear and at that point it was just, a miracle that we were able to get out of there.

So Child Protective Services in one day took us to another island and we got us connected to the Women and Children’s Crisis Shelter on the Big Island.

Ryan Henry: What, what was that experience like?

David Brooks: At 13, I, I felt excited. I was like, this is gonna be it. We’re gonna be free. But there was also like fear. I remember being called back to the courtroom to testify, and my dad, I’m looking across at my dad as I’m describing that moment where he’s hitting me and the blood, like they asked me to testify and that was a scary moment. 

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I can’t even imagine. 

David Brooks: it was, scary. exciting. But then I kind of went downhill because all I knew was my brothers and sisters as strength as community. We leaned on each other, we had each other’s backs, but there’s not a place in real life besides a commune that can hold, that many siblings in one place with the mobs. 

So, The social services got us, our own places afterwards and I just felt this hole in my heart. not because of the dad thing, but because of not having my brothers and sisters around, cuz literally, they separated us so my mom had her five kids with her and my other brother had, they’re six. My other sister had their, like, it was just separated out based on the moms.

And because of that void I started, you know, making the not wisest choices hanging out with the people that weren’t the best influence. and I started to at 13, like drink alcohol and smoke weed. And I, it was the craziest thing cuz I remember the first time I did it was actually one of my brothers that was influencing and some of his friends I remember thinking Like, I always hated my dad when he did this, and I always said I wasn’t, Anyways, like I think in that kind of transition phase, got with the wrong crowd.

I moved three times from eighth grade to ninth grade, in one year. and every single time I moved, I said I was gonna stop. I’m gonna get with the right crowd, but every single time I moved, I got worse. like my nickname became weedy. I started smoking weed all the time. I was the one, I got high all the time.

I was always had it for free. I never paid for it like I was the right personality in the right time. Like I had grown out my fro. I still, to this day, I try to, but my wife’s like, No, get rid of that. but uh, in my fro I had my lighter, my marijuana joints, my papers, it was like packed in there.

And I was just like headed in a wrong direction. All of my older brothers and sisters, I’m 11th born, had either dropped outta school, teen pregnancy, drugs, or like in abusive relation, because of the trauma. there’s some things that were happening that were a pattern or a curse or a lifestyle and I felt.

I was headed in that direction as well. I was just about to drop outta school. I’m in, Paradise Park, in Puna, Hawaii on the Big Island, and I’m literally just so close from dropping outta school. I’m ditching school every day and going smoking weed with my friends, and it is, that’s my identity.

Ryan Henry: My goodness. so what happened next? How long did this go? 

David Brooks: So I would say between like 13 and like 16. I don’t remember exactly, but I was, about to drop outta school. And my two older brothers, Univas and Unicef, their names sound unique, but pretty much all of my dad’s kids, he named them very uniquely. that’s one of the, things that I received later on as a blessing from him.

He said, When you do have kids, look them in the eyes and speak. Their destiny speak their name. So it’s interesting that my name is David and it means beloved of God. I have siblings with the most unique names 

Ryan Henry: Which one’s the most unique, would you say?

David Brooks: I have a brother named, Reine, a brother named Ravel, a sister named Tundra Anana.Univas and Unicef are probably the most unique. 

But a lot of ’em are very like, wow, that’s, where’d you come up with that? 

Ryan Henry: Yeah, he’s creative for sure. I mean, and if you have 23 kids, you kind of gotta, I mean, I, I got seven kids and I mean, by the last one, we’re like scratching our heads, like, Oh man, we gotta, we gotta find a good name for this one. You know?

David Brooks: You got seven kids. Dude, that’s amazing!

Ryan Henry: I do. Yeah. So I could, I mean, not 23. 

Margaret Ereneta: Thanks for listening to 180. We really appreciate your likes and shares. Please consider leaving us a review on your favorite pod player. Now back to the show. 

David Brooks: but so out of nowhere, Univas and Unicef flew over from Maui to the Big Island and, so they’re 10 and 11 years older than me, and I had always looked up to them. They ran away at 15, 16, whenever they came home to the property on Maui to visit. I was like, please, like, I wanna be like you. I, just looked up to them. 

 But, but they lectured me for, two hours. For some reason. They knew what was going on in my life and I felt like my mom didn’t even know. I felt like I was doing a good job of keeping that separate life, away from my mom. They knew everything. 

They Laid it out for me. Where do you see yourself five years from now? Like, we know the road you’re going is destruction and death. they’re like, What are you doing with your life And when they asked me the question, where do I see myself in five years, I literally pictured myself laying in a street gutter, wasting my life and my friends moving on to successful things.

And I kind of remember saying like, at the end of this lecture, what else is there? And they said, Have you ever heard of, God and Church? And I looked at them and I said, That’s for old people. That’s for boring people. No thank you. Like, what are you talking about? At the time, I don’t think either of these brothers were connected to church.

They were just maybe, throwing out a desperate Hail Mary. but because I looked up to them like I did, They took me to church that Sunday, in Hilo, Hawaii, New Hope Hilo. And it was a, great service. they had hula dancing and I thought it was really cool that they would use Hawaiian culture, which is worshiping Pele. They got us a fire.

Ryan Henry: Hmm.

David Brooks: Converting that or redeeming it for Christianity worshiping God. And I was like, the pastor was funny, but I was in the back of the room with I think three or four of my brothers and I were just like, I dare these guys to bless me. I just had this like arms crossed, like closed, not open, and this guy came, came up to me, looked me in the eye and said, God has a plan for. Pastor Daryl Castillo, the youth pastor, looked me in the eye And I was like, kind of felt something in my heart. And I said, what else is there? 

What do you mean? Like, what is that plan? And he goes, I don’t know, but, And I’m like, What do you mean you don’t know?

Aren’t you a youth pastor? Aren’t you? you’re supposed to hear from God. He goes, Why don’t you come to my youth group this Thursday and we’ll discover that process together. We’ll figure it out together. I show up to youth group that Thursday I had my fro my marijuana joints. I get, I’m like, I dare these Christians to judge me.

I dare them these hypocrites. And instead of judgment, they welcomed me to play basketball. There was a couple guys break dancing on the side and they invited me to break dancing with them. I had just taught myself how to back flip off a wall from watching Jackie Chan movies.

So I was like, I’m jumping in to the break dancing crew. They welcomed me. They loved me, and they accepted me as I was, and it was a pretty cool first real experience with Christian, teens.

Ryan Henry: That’s amazing. David, Was that, that the first time at church, you just described?

David Brooks: So. I didn’t remember it initially, but my mom had tried to take us to a different, more traditional style of church, for a season and it never worked. The kids that I was there with, I was smoking weed with, so it didn’t really connect 

Ryan Henry: Yeah. okay, so how long did you go to, New Hope?

David Brooks: So I think I was going for three months and, the youth pastor would pick me up. He would take me out for food. He would invite me to his house with some other teens, and we’d lift weights and he’d pour into me, he’d mentor me, and I found myself connecting with him in a fatherly way, and him just pouring into me and loving on me and incur, like, every time he saw me, he’d put his hand on my shoulder and say, God has a plan for you.

But I, at the same time I was doing the weedy thing, I was living a separate life, where I would go and ditch school and go smoke weed and on the weekends get drunk.

Ryan Henry: Hmm

David Brooks: So I, I remember kind of thinking, I’m not. Do both. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. to me, like that’s a cuss word.

so I showed up at church, at the youth group. I sat in the back of the room and I was gonna say goodbye to the youth pastor. Thank all my friends, for welcoming me. But I was, done. and I remember, he played that song, Jesus Lover of My Soul.

and as I’m in the back of the room, I’m feeling warmth and love in my heart and I’m just like kind of like crying, because he had just given the message of the prodigal son story and my view of God is through the broken view of my father who’s abusive and controlling and manipulative and, I’m like, 

If God is Father, I don’t want anything to do with If he’s like that and he tells a story of the prodigal son where the father like runs after his son, even though he had squandered everything and he grabs him in his arms and it, well, him puts the ring, puts the robe.

the sandals and I just was like, if God, the father is like that, I want that. and I remember the youth pastor, Pastor Daryl, said, If you wanna give your life to Christ tonight, Raise your hand. And I just remember just bawling in the back of the room, raising my hand and praying like, please nobody look at me.

Like I didn’t want anyone to see my tears. 

Ryan Henry: Wow. So 

David Brooks: But I, I said to God, I made a deal with him. I said, I don’t want to be a Sunday Christian. If you’re real. , and I’m gonna invite you into my heart as Lord and Savior. I don’t wanna follow you just on Sundays. I wanna be a 24 7 Christian, so get my life.

My life is,I feel light and warmth and love, and I’m in tears. It’s just this amazing moment.

Ryan Henry: Yes. It’s amazing. Wow. Okay, so, so here you are, and boom, your hand goes up. you’re crying, you feel warmth, love, light, peace. 

David Brooks: Yep. 

Ryan Henry: How did you go from like, you know I dare these guys to bless me, to all of a sudden just like coming undone. I mean, what do you think it was?

David Brooks: Yeah, so it was three months of the youth pastor pouring into me and loving on me and watching. the teens and I could see them like have their struggles at school, but I could see them like really seeking after something that was genuine and authentic. 

And it was the whole of not having a positive father figure was filled by not only this youth pastor, later on, a girl I was dating, her dad poured into me and became a father. My best friend, at the time, his dad poured out on me. So it’s like God gave me three father figures to love me and guide me and model for me what real life is about. 

Ryan Henry: Wow. 

David Brooks: So the transition was like over time, but in experiencing God’s love and his peace and his presence through His word and through the Holy Spirit with that song, I was like, How can I say no, this is for real. 

Ryan Henry: Something about that, You know, something about music just, it just unlocks, you know, It’s like, you can say words, you could say, Jesus love for my soul, Jesus. I’ll never let you go. But when, when it sung it, it like the Lord, it just, God created it. Right. He created it to, to do something in our hearts 

David Brooks: Yeah, and I wish the very next day. I wish it was like peaches and cream and I’m all like ready to like rock and roll. But I showed up at the park, I ditched school. I went to the park behind my high school

I’m in a circle of 20 of my friends ready to smoke weed again. , we’re passing around. And the craziest moment happened, I get the joint in my hand and I’m about to it’s almost like I had this voice out of, but it was so clear. It said, Are you gonna be a Sunday Christian or 24 7? And I just throw the joint on the ground and step on it. And you should have seen my friend’s faces who had known me as weedy.

They’re just shocked. All right. What 

Wheaty are you? high. And I’m like, Yeah, I’m high. I’m high on life. I’m high in Jesus, High in the Holy Spirit. You guys need God’s love. Like, I’m literally preaching my first message, and thank God I had some three months of going to the youth group, but My nickname Switch from weedy to like preacher in high school. 

Ryan Henry: Wow.

David Brooks: and I, I had just moments and opportunity to like read the Bible and go, Let’s go and do this, like, like three months later after I became a Christian, they said, This guy, should be our Bible club president at high school.

And I’m like, Are you sure? I don’t even know the stuff, but I’d read in there. They went out two by two and I was all 30 of us. Let’s go out two by two. Let’s go pray for our school. Like that’s what it says. Let’s go do it. And. it was cool to see God take a hold of my life and forgive my life and come and be the Lord.

I just have purpose. 

Ryan Henry: Hmm. 

David Brooks: calling. I have his perspective.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So is there like a spiritual truth kind of just snapped into place? you know, when you came to the Lord, something 

David Brooks: Something. finally God is a good father and he loves his kids. 

Ryan Henry: That’s so good. 

David Brooks: No, and again, like the, the gap to get there with my upbringing. 

was a big gap. 

Because we all look at God from the lens of, I think our fathers if we have a father who is attentive and present, we’re gonna feel like God is attentive and present.

If we have fathers that are, controlling or maybe even distant, we’re gonna feel like God is distant or absent. But I in that moment, God is a good father and he loves his kids.

Ryan Henry: Man, That’s so good. it’s all just clicking together. It’s amazing. It’s literally like the Lord writes your story, 

David Brooks: a, there’s a plan.

Ryan Henry: Yes, exactly. Yeah.

David Brooks: I got to name my three boys, like my wife gave me the blessing cuz she heard that about my story. she goes, I do have veto power though. She goes, if you name them weird names, I have veto power. but my kids’ names are, Elijah Manuel Brooks, Josiah Solomon Brooks, and Malachi Gabriel Brooks.

And there’s really cool, unique stories of hearing from God of how we got those names, and they’re not just because they’re cool names in the Bible, like God had a specific reason for a name of them. 

Ryan Henry: That’s awesome. As far as like the kingdom goes, we just wanna hear about what God has done in your life.

David Brooks: Yeah. So if I could write a book, I would call it my Life as an intern.

And what I mean by that is interns are always, kind of in between something. They’re not fully there, They’re in the process.

Ryan Henry: Mm-hmm.

David Brooks: also like since becoming a Christ follower and at an early age being called to be a pastor, I’ve pursued ministry at several different churches and I was always invited on staff as a volunteer intern,

Along the way, I got to do some amazing things, at several different churches for the Kingdom of God. I think it’s kind of key to, realize that we’re not fully finished. we’re living in in the middle of the already and the not yet of the Kingdom of God. we’re all interns. 

Ryan Henry: Hmm. 

David Brooks: and today I get to serve my wife as she pursues her dream of becoming a medical doctor, as a ob gyn. So, I’m, primarily, stay at home dad, taking care of my three boys, trying to love them. Well, raised them well. I’m definitely growing in patience, , and I on the side for income, I, DoorDash and I’m a pastor at my church overseeing small groups.

but the thing that I love is helping people figure out who God made them to be. I probably mentor probably 10 people across the country in different states who are either young pastors or growing or, in process of things. I, I have my master’s degree in social work, so that’s a kind of a key thing.

Like, because of giving my life to Christ. I graduated high school and went on to college. And God has done amazing things in that journey.

There’s probably a whole nother podcast about, God calling me at 17 to go back to my dad, look him in the eyes and say, I forgive you. I, was so scared to death.

I thought I would show up. I flew back by myself, from the big on Tama. I thought I would show up and I thought he’d kill me. and I said, I said, I forgive you. I was expecting, The heavens to open up and him to give his life to Christ and and he said, For what? And I was like, shocked. I looked around like, All of your kids are gone.

What are you like, How are you so blind to this? How are you so pride? Like how are you? So from 17 until 25 when I left Hawaii, I went back every year and I said the same thing, I forgive you. And it’s forgiveness is a process for sure.


And one time he finally said, Son, keep believing in what you believe in.

Like, I felt like I was blessed at one point. but I think because of my journey of forgiveness, and not holding onto things that God has been able to use me. All over to bring his kingdom, to bring his peace, to share his word, to like lead people to Jesus, to mentor, to disciple, and I just love living life for the kingdom of God, for Jesus.

Ryan Henry: Yeah. Man, that’s so awesome. Oh my gosh, it’s so exciting. Um, so, so David, for our last question though, 

um, if you could just take us to the moment when Child Protective Services come and everything is just chaotic, if you could just insert your voice. to the young David, what would you tell him in that moment?

David Brooks: That’s a great question. sometimes I think about if you could do it all over or if you could, give advice or if you could change something about that. but I I wouldn’t change it.

It’s the story that God used to shape me to who he made me to be. but what I would say to David at 13 is, God has an amazing plan for your life. 

And it is gonna be so wor so like my only regret in life, I gave my life to Christ at like 15 and a half, 16. My only regret that I have is that I didn’t give my life to Christ sooner.

Ryan Henry: Hm.

David Brooks: But I would, say to that young, frightened, broken, scared, boy, I would say it’s gonna be an amazing adventure. and I would say a couple of times, you’ll get it wrong, like, I mostly shared all the ups in this story, but after giving my life to Christ, there were so many moments.

I was selfish and disobedient, and broken and, lost. and then community comes along and, and brings me back to the foot of the cross. 

But I would say like, find, find the right community who’s gonna love Jesus and encourage you and push you to be. Not a better version of you, but the best version of you. Like, God does have a plan and it’s gonna be great. 

Ryan Henry: Amen. Amen. It’s amazing that the thing that you would say to yourself is the thing that the youth.

David Brooks: Say to yourself is 

Ryan Henry: It’s like exactly what you were told. 

David Brooks: Yeah. And side note, I thought that that was special and unique to him saying to me what I found out later, that was his stick. Like he just said that to all the kids. Like he would just speak life and God has a plan. And I think, for those of us who believed it, sought after God and his heart. And what is that plan like? You got to see amazing things happen in a whole generation of people that he got to pour into and invest in. my calling was received when I said to him, How can I pay you back one day? And he said, When you’re in the position to the same for another youth, do the same. And so at that point on, I felt, you know, called to be a youth pastor and so I’ve just, as best as I can, I try to just pour into people and bless them to be who God’s called them to. 

Ryan Henry: man, that’s amazing. David Brooks, thank you so much. 

David Brooks: Thank you. 

Ryan Henry: It has been the pleasure talking to you.

David Brooks: Yeah, it’s good to meet with you guys and good hanging out with you guys. It’s just been a. Interesting. Unique. I think this is my first time sharing my testimony in this format, but it’s pretty cool. 

Margaret Ereneta: Thanks for listening today. Please share this 180 with your friends. It really may be the best news they hear today. our sendoff today features. A local resident of Hawaii on the island of Oahu, who’s an ukulele player. I did say that, right? That’s how they say it. His name is Mike Amori, and his musical prayer goes out to the people of Lena. And all those affected by the sudden wildfires on Maui and the big island of Hawaii.

May God bring his great healing love to all. Please enjoy and you can pray silently with the music.