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Alan Sutphen aboard USS Forrestal I was a sailor in the US Navy, living what I thought was “the good life,” enjoying all the world had to offer but my life was empty. However, through the witness of one faith- ful Christian, my life was given meaning and purpose. Yet, for twenty-eight years, that Christian never knew the influence he had in my life. This is my story—the story of the impact of one Gospel seed. I was raised in a non-religious home in east- ern Pennsylvania. We had no religious faith whatsoever. My dad was an electrical engi- neer, an agnostic if not atheist. My mother was without faith as well. Consequently, I had few preconceived ideas about any religion. After high school, having no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I enlisted in the US Navy. Within a year I was stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal, in the Med- iterranean Sea. I was working in an avionics workshop with twenty-five other sailors and still had neither direction nor a moral com- pass guiding my life. It was in that workshop that a shipmate called me over to his workstation one day and pro- ceeded to share the Gospel of Christ. He gave it almost like a business proposition. There was no preaching, pleading or persuading. He just gave me the facts of the Gospel and prayed for me. I made no profession at that time. In fact, I recall thinking, “Well, I’m glad Jesus works for you.” I felt no conviction to give my life to Christ. Little did I know the Gospel seed had been very effectively planted. 14 By Alan Sutphen I continued a typical sailor’s life—enjoying the accepted worldly activities of naval life in the foreign ports of the Mediterranean. In 1985, I received orders to my final duty station for the remaining two years—the coveted Subic Bay, Philippines. Many sailors would give their right arm to get orders to the Philippines. This was a sailor’s paradise: the beautiful waters, the weather, and espe- cially the local entertainment waiting outside the gates of the base. I lived this carefree life of wine, women, and song and thought I was having the best time of my life! During that period, I had no further Christian witness. After five months of “riotous living,” I felt a tremendous emptiness and came under great conviction, not only about the way I was living but also about the need for doing something more significant with my life. I should not be wasting it away in the immo- rality of the bars and clubs of Olangapo City. I became so convicted that I went to the base bookstore and purchased a Bible and began reading it, searching for the Truth that was so deeply convicting me. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for, but I began reading in the Gospels every night before bed. After a couple of weeks of reading words that meant nothing more to me than just a good novel, it was as if scales suddenly fell from my eyes. I acknowledged my sinful condi- tion and understood my need for a Savior. I believed! I know I was saved that night, right then and there in my bedroom! I cried tears