Testimony of Dana G. Robitille
I would have to say that I have possessed an awareness that God had
plans for me from my youth even though at that time I did not know who
"God" was and had even less of a clue as to how he wanted to use me.
I was brought up in a moral Episcopal atmosphere at my mother's
urging and received confirmation and baptism into "the Church" at about
the age of 13. I was baptized [read sprinkled] at that time when it was
discovered that I had not been previously.
My teen years had their share of stress and I had my bent toward
rebellion. I remember when I was about 15 years of age looking upon a
girl and saying in my mind ... I'm going to get her <the implication is
sexual>. And I remember just as vividly these words coming through my
mind; "If you do you will get her pregnant, get married and be
divorced". It was GOD speaking <by implication HE did not want me to do
it> I told him: "Buzz off ... it's my life and I'm going to live it MY
Sure enough all that he had communicated to me came about with my
digging in my heels and fighting it all the way. Did HE will that
marriage to fail? <NO> but he knew it didn't have a chance and warned
me ahead of time ... my motives for getting involved were all wrong.
It's unnecessary to bore you with all the messy details of that
marriage coming apart at the seams ... just enough to note that at the
end of it I took refuge for a time in the booze bottle.
At that time I was 19 - 20 years old ... in the midst of a divorce
<divorce is always hell no matter how you cut it> the drinking age here
in VT was 21 and over in NY it was 18 so often Friday and Saturday
evening involved a pilgrimage to the Saxony Lounge and Pavilion in
Rouses Point NY to start an evening of drowning my sorrows. I usually
would get a two quart pitcher of Vodka Collins and start in. I remember
one evening as I touched the glass to my lips I again heard in my mind
some words: "I don't want you to do this." <God speaking again> and my
response was "So What!" and I just kept on drinking.
My world was totally destroyed and I could see no way out ... my
wife <who was the center of my life> left taking my son with her <along
with 1/2 of the income> and leaving me with ALL the bills. My "Gross
wages" wouldn't meet the bills and what I really wanted to do was DIE.
I just couldn't quite bring myself to kill myself though ... so I'd
take the car out and play chicken with big trees on sharp corners at
high speeds. <It's nothing short of a miracle that I made it past this
part of my life>
Finally I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to "die" and so
I put a proposition to "God". I estimated what I would need to get out
of the mess I had made of my life and prayed: "God if there is a god,
if you get me out of this mess in one year I am yours. In order to get
out of this mess I'm going to need to live within walking distance of
work, make about $160 a week, and have rent of about $100 a month."
<prayed this December of 1970)
With that I left it in "god's" hands. I was looking forward to being
laid off from work as soon as I graduated from the apprentice program
<making Mini-Guns and Viet Nam was winding down quickly>. January of
1971 a job offer came to me from GE in Fitchburg Mass ... on accepting
the job after testing I went to Fitchburg and a room came up for rent
the day I got there within walking distance of the plant for $100 a
month (util inc) My pay came out to $159 + change a week. I remembered
the prayer that I had prayed in December and decided that I had better
find out who God was ... it seemed he was taking me up on my offer.
I was sure that God wasn't in "Christianity" since I had never seen
any example of anyone answering prayer in the Episcopal religion in
which I grew up. My impression of Episcopalianism was a bunch of old
ladies comparing hats on Sundays. Gossip abounded along with hypocrisy
and I wasn't favorably impressed. So I looked into Yoga, Occultism,
White Witchcraft, etc.
At work one of the men wanted me to talk to his daughter she had
been getting involved in a strange cult and he was worried. He figured
my head was on straight and maybe I could talk some sense into her. <If
he had only known how screwed up I was at that time> So I went to talk
to the girl, she invited me to a rally to which I was inclined to go.
It was a Jesus People rally ... a bunch of hippie type people
professing Jesus Christ. The rally way open air and got rained out
royally but that did not prevent me from arguing with the drummer of
the band over reincarnation until I was so angry that I couldn't see
I was also miffed that by the time I got done arguing their
literature was all gone and I didn't get any to check out <read pick
apart>. On the way home I did manage to pick one of those papers up out
of the gutter ... it was a copy of The Catacomb Press , put out by
Clinton White in N.H.; on reading it I saw an offer for a "free" New
Testament and figuring that he was just another religious hypocrite I
wrote for it just to prove he wouldn't send it.
A couple of weeks later I received a little package containing a
copy of Good News for Modern Man, White's testimony "Out of The Belly
of the Whale" and a tract explaining how to become born again.
The tract showed me that all I had to do was to personally receive
forgiveness for MY sins that I couldn't do anything to merit
forgiveness just accept the free gift of eternal life from God via
Jesus Christ. I argued with God for another two weeks over the
simplicity of receiving forgiveness ... I wanted to do something.
Finally I agreed to do it HIS way. Then I picked up the new testament
in my hand and confessed to God that I had never read it, committed
myself to reading it through and asked HIM to open my eyes to see what
he wanted me to see in it.
The New-Testament became alive ... it seemed like it was written for
ME and I was reading it every spare moment I could muster. I would read
about the apostles receiving the Holy Spirit and find myself saying
"God I want that" ... "Me Too". as I was going through the testament.
I was also praying and fasting ... I knew that God wanted me to go
to college and I was praying for a sign to know when, recognition of
that sign, direction on where to go, and that it be a sign I could not
back down from. I dreamed of a White clapboard structure ... with three
doors in the side ... in my dream I entered the middle door, went up
the stairs, turned left and entered a room with chairs around, an alter
rail, a podium, and an open bible on the alter rail.
One morning I went into work and the boss called me into his office
.. he said "You are going to be fired". I got recognition that this was
to me the sign I had been praying about! When he said those words I was
filled with the joy of the LORD and grinning from ear to ear grabbed
his hand, shook it and thanked him. He didn't know what had happened
but Jesus baptized me in the Holy Ghost on the spot. My boss asked me
what I was going to do and I told him I was going to school for the
Lord ... he said where? and I said I don't know the Lord will show me
I went immediately to tell the man who wanted me to speak to his
daughter ... he also turned to the Lord ... told me later that I
literally glowed as I walked across the floor of the shop toward him ..
that is one of the things that influenced him to make a commitment to
the Lord ... he knew it was real!
After checking up a couple of blind alleys to see where the Lord
wanted me to go I took a moment to ask GOD ... and got the impression I
should go to this girl's house (it was about a 10 mile bicycle ride)
and off I went. When I got there she was not there but the door was
open and she had several college catalogues out on the coffee table so
I went in, sat down and started to thumb through them. When I placed my
hand on the one for Asbury College I KNEW that was where the Lord
wanted me to go so I opened it up and started to see what was involved.
Then I saw the social restrictions ... for freshmen double dating
only and it had to be cleared through the dean! I said "God you know
me! You are going to have to help me on that one."<gulp> The next day I
called the college to tell them that I was coming. They said that I
needed a High School transcript, a physical report, and a ministerial
reference from a church where I had been attending the last two years.
I called the High School I had graduated from ... the principle had
just quit in a feud and there was no one to authorize a transcript. I
couldn't get a Dr to see me until after the date that I needed to be in
school, and I called the school to tell them that I had not been in a
church building in over two years. I went back to the place where I had
just been fired from and asked personell to do me a little favor and
have the company Dr. do the physical ... they agreed. A local minister
who was involved with the Jesus People did the ministerial form
regarding two of the ten questions relative to my conversion, and the
college accepted the non-authorized transcript on a probationary basis.
The Lord provided a ride and I was off to college.
At college I went through the registration line and they handed me
the bill for the first quarter $757 of which I had nothing up front. I
promptly got sent to the business manager and he said: "Kid you know it
costs alot of money to come to a college like this one, why did you
come without any? I told him the truth ... "Jesus told me to come and
I'm going to do what he says." After clearing his throat he said: "Well
when can you have it paid off by?" to which I responded, "I haven't got
the faintest idea." He said I need to put something down here, so I
asked the Lord in my heart and gave him the answer, "Put down pay by
the end of the quarter". Which he did, then he told me that there were
no jobs on campus for freshmen so I asked the Lord in my mind again and
got the answer. I told him not to worry about it I would have as much
work as I could handle within three weeks on campus. Within 3 weeks I
was working on campus 35 hours a week and that business manager's name
was appearing in the lower right corner of the check.
On looking out of the back window of the dorm I finally got assigned
to ... there was this white clapboard building with three doors in the
side. I of course had a flashback of that dream I had had before I knew
Asbury existed and just had to check out this building. I entered the
middle door, went up the stairs, turned left and there was that room,
chairs, rail, podium, and open Bible that I had dreamed of so many
months before. That room was the favorite meeting place of a handful of
us charismatical people to have prayer meetings for the next year at
the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The basic purpose of this year at college was to get me founded in
the Bible ... then the Lord moved me out so that I wouldn't become a
legalistic fundamentalist ... fundamentalist yes but not bound up by
the do this and don't do that stuff.
That tells you how I got saved, received the Holy Spirit, and
founded in the scriptures, enough reading for now. Yes!
Dana G. Robitille
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