I was born Christofer Gibson, but you can call me Christo, or Chris. Hopefully, in time, you will come to call me friend. I was born in Butler, Pennsylvania in the mid-eighties and lived there most of my life. I survived the enigmatic and wonderful nineties and a childhood filled with Nick Toons, boy bands, Pogs and Box Car Children paperbacks. Reading was one of my favorite activities growing up. I consumed anything that I could get my hands on: Hardy Boys Mysteries, Narnia Chronicles, and even an autobiography on Benjamin Franklin that I remember very fondly. I participated in Cub Scouts and loved to watch WWF wrestling. Perhaps obsessed is a better word to describe how I felt about professional wrestling.
I emerged into the 2,000's and a decade which included many of my formative teenage years. There was plenty of mischief to be found. I became acquainted with the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering and new worlds of fantasy and imagination. I also became acquainted with alchohol and the parties that came with high school and having friends older than myself. For a brief time that became the thing that I looked forward to the most. Eventually, I realized the futility of learning on alchohol for joy and was able to escape its grasp. On Aprol 20th, 2003 I attended an Easter service at a church in Cranberry Twp, Pa called Victory Christian Fellowship. The course of my life was changed.
On that day I had an encounter with the Lord unlike anything I had previously encountered. I had attended Sunday School as a boy, read and memorized parts of the Bible for Bible Quizzing but I had no idea what Jesus had really lived and died to do for me and the rest of the world. Within a few weeks of that Sunday i had prayed to receive Christ into my heart and life. From there i began regularly attending youth group at VCF, went to Jesus Adventure Camp that and the following summer, and was accepted into Geneva College upon graduation from high school. I thought I was set from that point forward.
While studying youth ministry at Geneva, I met several wonderful friends including Brittany Hartman, who would go on to start The Cove Art Center. I had gone to Geneva with youth ministry as my major but my true passion was writing. I had fallen in love with poetry through a class i had taken my senior year of high school and i had always loved literature, so storytelling was a natural fit for me. By the time I switched majors going into my junior year my passion for learning and doing the proper work necessary to grow in my skills had faded significantly. I had given in to complacency and sloth and soon found myself unable to return to Geneva due to poor grades.
My zeal and passion for following God had been compromised during this time as well. While I had accepted Christ into my heart when I was 16, I had not surrendered my life to him completely. Sadly, I did not see myself as someone who was worthy of his love and found myself falling away from serving him. I stagnated for close to twelve years- working a series of unfulfilling jobs and failing to persue my passion and calling for writing. I was unhealthy in mind, body, and spirit.
Thankfully, a health scare in early 2018 led me to persue better physical health for myself. I lost over 100 pounds in about a year's time. As my quality of health increased so did my quality of life. This led me to experience an increase in joy and thankfulness. I was thankful to the Lord for helping lead me to make these changes. I began going to church again and repairing friendships that I had abandoned earlier in life. One of those was with Brittany, a friend from my first days at college. I started volunteering to help at the Cove on my days off. When I made the decision to leave my job in March of 2019 in order to persue full reliance on the Lord, I found a place at The Home of the Nomad.
These days, I'm finding an even greater renewal in my desire to seek, honor and please the Lord with everything I do. I'm perusing my calling in order to tell my own as well other people's stories through this newsletter and other means. I'm also beginning to write more poetry unraveling the darker times in my journey and the ways in which God has brought me through them. I'm excited to introduce myself to those reading this and look forward to spending time with as many of you as possible.