Please welcome my guest today, Greg Hennis. His interview about his broadcasting career is found on thefaithgirls.com but I've asked him to share his testimony on God Uses Broken Vessels in order to reach out and help others who might have experienced something similar or need encouragment. Greg is a broadcaster in New Jersey with the radio show, Second Chances on LiftFM 98.5, and on television. His heart and talent are to help others understand that God is a God of second chances. Please enjoy my new friend, Greg, and his testimony. ~Angie
Greg's testimony: Not the Way I Thought It Would Be
My first paying job in the broadcasting field at 16 was in itself a blessing from above. After spending my first couple of years in local radio, in 1990, God opened a door for me to get in on the ground floor of local cable TV. I thought it would be short term. I'd married, and life seemed good, until my marriage came to an end. I wasn't living for the Lord and God was not the center of my marriage or my life.
Several years following I began to feel a tug to own a broadcasting company. I talked many times over the next 8 years with the owner of the company I worked for about buying his business. He always seemed like he wanted to talk about it but never really moved forward. I even did a extensive business plan and spoke to area banks about a loan, but it never went any further. I felt stalled out.
God began to get my attention for the first time since I was a child in Sunday School. I met my wife Carrie, and through her, I rededicated my life to God. One of the first things God did through prayer was take away my 15 year habit of smoking. I tried every trick know to man, but God spoke to me and said, "Greg I can't take them from you if you don't put them down." It took me a week but I did what God said. From that day forward I have not even had a desire to smoke. Praise God!
Back to my desire to own a broadcast business. As the calendar rolled to 2008 I was entering my 18th year of working for a local company, making a great living but inside I felt more and more depressed about continuing. The signs of change were all around me but they hadn't directly affected me. The owner of the company had left his wife and the economy was quickly going down. Finally we lost too many customers due to the economy. Approaching Thanksgiving things in the industry seemed hopeless and dim. A week or two prior, I spoke to the owner and felt in my spirit this time would be the final time I asked. He blamed the lack of desire to sell on his estranged wife, but I knew inside it was just to keep me with the company. I was the top salesman and brought in most of the revenue.
The first day of work following the Thanksgiving Holiday, I was more down than ever. While I was out of state that day doing a project for a customer, the bookkeeper, a former employee, and a saleswoman (who kept watch) were in my office trying to steal information from my personal laptop. I found out when I returned. I was shocked. Loyalty is important to me, but I knew that after 18 years I was leaving and not looking back. Ironically, it was in the worst economy and I wasn't even nervous.
I went on a 17 day fast, I became closer to God than ever. On January 1, 2009 Advantage Broadcasting and Advantage Radio Ministries began operations. In 2005 while I was looked into starting a company, I thought I would need a minimum of $500,000 to secure equipment, office space, etc. The miracle? I started it for under $30,000 when I cashed in my 401k and God did the rest.
Throughout the next several years, God has blessed me. I've grown and learned many things. In the begining of 2010 business was great. My business was doing well. God even opened a door to get my church on TV every Thursday night in prime time in over 2 million homes in the Philadelphia market with many people being saved and set free.
But life was about to throw me another curve. In May, my largest customer began to bounce large checks and fall behind. Soon he owed us thousands. Next thing I know the state closed down his business. Then my former employer attempted to bring a personal law suit against me. What else could happen? Things were tough! My business was in debt and I had an angry ex employer trying to bring me down anyway he could for things that werent true. Finally, after weighing my options, I realized the only way to get myself out of this financial mess and was to declare personal bankruptcy.
It was a hard thing to decide. I had a great credit score and never had a late payment on my credit report. But I knew what had to be done. In early 2011 it became public knowledge that it was filed. My former employer learned there'd be no suit due to the bankruptcy and he was angry. He began notifying broadcast outlets who did business with me, customers, and anyone who would listen that I had personally filed. He always gave the impression it was the business to try to hurt me.
Not only do I all this stress, but I have to start calling all my customers and business contacts and tell them myself. Very Humbling. After the first few it got easier and then in February, I was doing a interview on my Christian radio show, "Second Chances", and the guest said something that made it all seem worth while. She said the things in life that we try to hide are the things that God wants us to share to be a blessing and help to others. Since then I haven't stoped encouraging people by sharing what I just shared with you. They all say the same thing, "WOW, God Is Good."
And I say to that, "Yes he is."
What my ex employer doesn't know is that because of God's love for us, he gives us the strength to forgive. I have forgiven him and even feel pity for him dealing with the bitterness he has. I hope God's love will one day heal him.
I'm clearly not out of this yet, as you read this today, but what I can say for sure without question, if you live for God he will NEVER leave you or foresake you and he always provides. It's not always how we think he will, but he does. He's never let me down. He will never let you down either.