Given all of that, how could you convert to Christianity?
I was in a terrible state because number one, I had a speech impediment, I had a stomach ulcer, I had hundreds of fears because of the abuse. I had been beat hysterically until I wet my pants and thrown in a canning cellar for eight, 10 hours at a time as a little kid. He had abused me unbelievably. And that week I had gone to school and they said, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And I said, "20." Now, everybody laughed, but I said 20 because I though he'd kill me before I was 20.
But that night when I ran in my room crying, I prayed my first prayer. And I'll never forget, I put my hands over my eyes and I cried and I said, "God, why was I born?" And when I prayed that prayer, all of a sudden with my hands over my face, 11 years old, the room lit up like snow. I was afraid to look because I thought it was my father turning the light on, fixing to beat me, and I was getting ready to dive under the bed--but I peeked through my fingers, and as I did I saw two nail-scarred hands stretched out toward me, and it frightened me half to death because I did not believe in Jesus Christ. Then I looked up, and for the first time, I saw a man's eyes smiling. The eyes were not blue or brown, every color in the rainbow was in the eyes. Jesus was standing before me smiling. I could see rivers and angels through the eyes. He looked at me, and then said three things that transformed my life. The first is a word I had never heard. He said, "Son." The first person to call me "son" was Jesus. Second, he said, "I love you." And the third thing he said was, "I have a great plan for your life." And he left.
That night, without knowing what it was to be born again, I was gloriously born again. Without even praying the traditional sinner prayer, I knew I was gloriously saved and I believed in Jesus. I was delivered of all my fears. The stomach ulcer was gone in the morning, and the speech impediment was gone. I didn't tell a human being on the planet this story until I was 32 years of age. I got married at 22 and didn't even tell my wife because it was too holy, too precious, and I didn't tell her about the abuse because that was too painful. So I kept all of this in me until I was 32, and then realized that I needed to tell it. I ultimately ended up leading my father to Christ.
Yeah. I went to him and I got on my knees and I said, "I want you to put your hands on my head and pray for me." And he said, "I can't pray for you." And I knew he couldn't, but I humbled myself and out of my humbling myself, he started crying and he said, "I'll go to hell. I can never be a Christian for what I did to you." And I said, "Christ has forgiven you of your sins and he's forgiven me of mine." And he wept, and I led him to the Lord.
Do you think your mission now has to do with the fact that you are Jewish?
One-hundred percent. I am a product of my mother's suffering. All of my divine purposes lead toward the Jewish people, because Christ's great plan for my life had to do with the nation of Israel, its prime ministers, its leaders, its destiny. It has to do with the issue of bigotry and racism. That's why I chair the Corrie ten Boom house and that's why I chair the Jerusalem Prayer Team.
Why do think your book has become so popular?
I think Christians are rallying. They did it during the film, "The Passion," and they realized they had enormous force and power. It looked like the film was going to crash and burn, and it didn't crash and burn at all.
Is the book's success partly a function of talk radio?
This is a grassroots movement. The book is becoming a banner for Christians to rally around because the secular world has completely rejected what we believe.