Sid: My guest is red hot for Jesus his name Kris Vallotoon. He’s the Senior Associate Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. And Kris at age 3 you had a real traumatic thing happen to you what was that?
Kris: Yeah my father drowned when I was 3 years old.
Sid: And what affect did it have on you?
Kris: Well from the time I was 3 until the time I was 5 I didn’t speak at all.
Sid: Did you speak at 3?
Kris: Yes I did I started talking when I was 3 years old but I completely shut down.
Sid: What did your mother do about it?
Kris: My Mom took me to a physiatrist and tried to get me to talk and you know that whole time in my life was just a whole traumatic time and my mom remarried right after that when I was 8 years old my Mom remarried the guy beat us. One time he beat me until blood ran down my leg. We just had a real traumatic time my stepfather…
Sid: It sounds like someone wanted to make sure that you would not survive this life.
Kris: (Laughing) I mean that’s a good way to put it Sid I think that’s a good way to put it.
Sid: How did you survive with a stepfather like that and your father dying through drowning at age 3, how did you survive?
Kris: Well you know a really incredible thing happened my mom finally divorced left my stepfather and there was a lot of trauma in our home at that time. My mom would sleep on the couch in the front room with a shotgun because we had a prowler trying to get into our house for almost a year. We had the cops out almost every night.
Sid: Mishpochah you think you’ve got a problem listen to Chris wow go ahead.
Kris: Yeah my mom broke out in a rash from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet she was just one big rash. And one night I was 15 years old it was a summer night and it was about 2:00 in the morning and I wasn’t raised as a Christian I wasn’t raised in any kind of religious background and I said out loud “If there’s a God if You heal my mother I will serve you the rest of my life. And a voice came to me and said “My name is Jesus Christ and you have what you requested.” The very next morning my mom was completely well the rash was completely gone.
Sid: Did you follow through with that oath?
Kris: Well let me tell you the rest of the story they caught the prowler that week. A week later I’m laying in bed and a voice comes to me. The only other time I ever heard a voice in my life and He said “My name is Jesus Christ” you said if I healed your mother you’d serve me.” From that day on I began to search for God and I knew a couple of things now. I knew he cared about me, I knew He had power, and I knew His name is Jesus Christ. I just started going to different churches and I would go to a church and I would sit there and “The voice that spoke to me isn’t in this place?” Sp as a young man I was searching for God from the time from the earliest times that I can remember.
Sid: Did you find a church that you said “Hey God’s in this place?
Kris: You know I finally did in the charismatic movement the Jesus movement this girl she brought me to church to this little tiny church and it was just full of youth and they were excited about God. And I thought “Wow this is incredible!” And before the guy even gave the altar call I was out front and I received the Lord and I came home and my mom said “You don’t know what you’re doing you don’t know what you did.”And she kind of talked me out of salvation but the Lord was already at work in my life. I went to work at this warehouse and this old man believe me he probably wasn’t that old Sid but he looked old to me do you know what I mean.
Sid: Everything is relative Kris.
Kris: To a teen everybody is old. He began to talk to me about the Bible and he said “Would you like to read the Bible with me? And I said “Yeah that would be great but I don’t read very well I read on a 3rd grade level when I graduated from high school. So he said “Well I’ll read it to you and he read me the book of John every day at lunchtime He would read the Bible to me. When we finished the book of John he said “Would you like to redo what the Bible said and receive Jesus?” And so I said “Yeah.” And he led me in the sinners prayer and not a thing happened and nothing happening.
Sid: And so did you think it didn’t take?
Kris: I was like I was so disappointed that you know the God who spoke to me in a voice at 3 years earlier came into my life and I didn’t feel a thing. And I was like “Wow I had such a dramatic experience in my bedroom that I was expecting you know lightning.” You know what I’m saying?
Sid: I know exactly I had the same thing happened to me and I’m like “Wow!” But I went home that day and I was living out on my own and I got home and I started having an incredible desire to read the Bible which I never had before. I started reading the Bible that night and I said “I only read on the 3rd grade level.” So it would take me an hour to read a chapter. I started reading about 11:00 at night and at 3:00 in the morning I fell asleep reading my Bible. And after about 3 or 4 days I realized the Lord had changed my heart and I didn’t even know it. I had a roommate and I didn’t want to know that I found the Lord I’d wait for him to go to bed I’d lock myself in my closet put a towel underneath the door so he couldn’t see the light and I’d read all night in there.
Sid: Why didn’t you want him to know?
Kris: Because I didn’t have…I didn’t have the boldness to tell him what happened to me and we had been childhood friends and I think I was a little bit embarrassed about being a Christian. And so it took me about 4 or 5 months to tell him what happened to me.
Sid: And I understand you married your…a woman that you knew most your life tell me about that.
Kris: It was really incredible I met my wife when she was 12 years old I met her at a lake in fact the friend that I was living with took me there with his family. And I met her when she was 12 I got engaged when she was 13 years old and I married her at 17. And we both found the Lord a year before we got married which was really exciting thing for us.
Sid: But then it’s kind of hard to believe here you are strong experience with the Lord born again Spirit filled happily married relatively successful in business your managing 13 people and all of a sudden at age 22 what happened?
Kris: Well at age 22 one night I came home from work and yeah I was managing a repair shop and I came home from work and I took a bath and it was late at night probably 9:00 at night and when I went to get out of the bathtub I started shaking and I mean I shook so bad…
Sid: Was it a catalyst that started this?
Kris: Yes exactly.
Sid: What was it?
Kris: I had a thought and this sounds crazy Sid but I had this thought as I was in the bath tub and this thought was “I’m going to die.” And I don’t mean it was a passing though I don’t know how to express this but it was it became an obsession. I thought “I’m going to die.”
Sid: Had you most of your life had a fear of death?
Kris: Never it happened all of a sudden it happened suddenly. One minute…it’s kind of strange one minute I was fine and the next minute I was shaking like a leaf.
Sid: When you say shaking you’re not figure of speech you’re really shaking.
Kris: I shook so bad Sid I couldn’t get a glass of water to my face without using 2 hands. And the shaking lasted 3½ years.
Sid: Now I must ask you did you have a problem with drugs, with alcohol?
Kris: Sid I’ve never taken a drug in my life beside a prescription drug and I took a sip off of my grandfather’s beer when I was about 10 years old that’s about the only alcohol I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve never touched alcohol or drugs.
Sid: You shook for 3½ years? Did you go to a psychiatrist?
Kris: My wife that night kind of a funny story I couldn’t get out of the tub by myself so she came over and she helped me she was already 7 months pregnant. She helped me out of the tub?
Sid: Was this your first child?
Kris: My first child.
Kris: She called her family doctor who was also a friend, I worked on his vehicles, at the middle of the night. “Something’s wrong with my husband and he’s shaking all over.” she had him check my heart rate my heart rate was way up and I was sweating just profusely and he said “Oh he’s having an anxiety attack and go get him some alcohol go get him some alcohol to calm him down.” Well of course I’d never drank before so she went out and the only thing she could find open was the place to find was a place to buy some wine. And she bought a half a gallon of wine Sid I drank the whole thing I drank the whole half gallon of wine and it didn’t do anything but make me sick.
Sid: So now you’re shaking and sick.
Kris: Oh man I’m shaking like a leaf I’m sick as a dog and it didn’t do anything to help my nervous system. The next day I went to the doctor he gave me some tranquilizers. I took l tranquilizer …and I actually took them for 2 days and all it did was depress me I was still shaking.
Sid: So now you’re sick, shaking and depressed it doesn’t seem to be getting better.
Kris: It is not getting better (laughing). At night time I would shiver like an Irish Setter I would shiver all the time I would shiver not from cold my nerves were just shot. I’d get in bed at night and I would sweat so bad the sweat would cover my wife’s side of the bed and she would have to get me up 2 or 3 times a night and change the sheet because I would wet the bed sweat.
Sid: Were you able to sleep much?
Kris: No I’d sleep an hour 2 hours a night.
Sid: How did…was that 3½ years or was that a short while?
Kris: Three and half years. We were living in…we were living in San Jose, California which is a major city. I had a really high pressure job, I wasn’t eating right and I thought the year before the year before we got married we went to a little town called Weaverville, California a friend of ours lived there and it was a town with no stop lights, it was a place where the birds fly slow you know. And so when this happened to me I thought “You know what I’ve got to get out of the city because my problem is all of the stress of the city.” So we took up stakes and we sold our house I quit my job and we moved to the city…this all happened in 2 weeks. We sold our house 3 times the first day we put it up for sale, I quit my job, we moved to Weaverville, California and when I moved to a slower place the only thing that happened was it accented how fast I was going inside.
Sid: Okay hold that thought we’ll pick up right here on tomorrow’s broadcast.