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I wrote this soon after I was born again, and even though I realize it could be written better and clearer I’ve decided to leave it in its original form.

My name is Justin Obriecht and I was raised Roman Catholic and went to Catholic Church and school until I was in fifth grade. Sometime around then I really started questioning if God was real and what I was going to believe. I saw a lot of ugly things happening in the Catholic Church and in religion generally.

About the age of 17 I was slowly moving toward becoming an atheist. By the time I was 19, God was completely off my mindIt was a long hard process to no longer think about God when you needed help or when things were tough but I committed myself to being self-sufficient.

For the next fifteen years, I became a very strong and persuasive atheist. Every day it was my business to punch holes in people’s faith. I truly believed that religion was the most destructive thing on the planet and that the concept of God was psychologically damaging for a myriad of reasons. I could argue religion with anyone and I knew when I was done, that his or her faith wasn’t as strong as it was when we started and it made me feel great. I honestly believed I was doing them a service. I tried to talk everyone in my family out of being a Christian. I knew every angle and every argument.

That was until the middle of December 2011. For two months I had a nagging cough that wouldn’t go away. This was very perplexing to me since I was as healthy as someone could be. Eating well and clean, no weed or alcohol for going on 6 months (I never had a problem with Alcohol, just “fun”), biking, yoga (which I now know to be demonic), etc….

This coughing culminated on Sunday, February 12, 2012, as I was in my car on my way to dinner with my yoga instructor. On that drive, I experienced a dull strong pain in my hips. The type of pain you get when you are getting the flu and your bones just ache. Within four hours I was laying in bed sweating but freezing, my tonsils were the size of golf balls, all of my bones ached and I could barely stand up. I went to bed and covered up with a bunch of blankets and woke up around midnight in a pool of sweat. It was clear to me that my fever had broken.

The next day I woke up, took a step out of bed and felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I barely made it to my car, drove home and fell into bed and laid there all day Monday. I did the same thing until Wednesday at around two in the afternoon when finally I decided that I should go to the doctor and find out what’s wrong. I went to the Walgreen’s Quick Care clinic and found out that I had strep throat. They gave me penicillin and I took two on Wednesday and woke up on Thursday feeling about 20% better. I went to bed Thursday night and fell asleep immediately.

When I woke up Friday morning February 17th, 2012 the first thing I realized is that I just had the best nights sleep of my life. I always sleep well but this night was amazing. From there I got out of bed and instantly noticed that something was very different. It became clear to me that I felt better than any day in my life. Not just better from being sick, but dramatically better than any day in my life.

I went and put oatmeal on and began to work on my computer.  After that, I went out in the hallway and waited for the elevator on my way to yoga. As I was standing there an overwhelming tingling feeling like something I’ve never felt before, engulfed my entire body for about two minutes. It was the best feeling I’d ever felt by far, never felt anything like it before. I started thinking to myself how I drink filtered water, eat organic, workout, and have been searching for truth my whole life. This lead me to the conclusion that I had reached nirvana and that I was God. The elevator came, I went to yoga and over the next month I felt better than I’d ever felt in my life.

Then on March 26th, 2012 I’m driving back from Florida early in the morning. I get to Nashville at 3am early on the 27th. I get inside my hotel room and I tell myself that I should really meditate (nothing spiritual, just clearing my mind, which I also now know is demonic). I decide to skip it and just go to bed.

As I pull back the blankets to crawl into bed I catch a look at the clock and it says it’s only 2 AM. I then realize that I’ve crossed into the central time zone and that it’s an hour earlier than I thought so I might as well meditate. I pile up the pillows at the end of the bed close my eyes and begin to meditate. After about five minutes of this, out of nowhere catch myself saying two Our Fathers. These are the first prayers I’ve said in at least fifteen years and I’m very surprised I even remember the words to it.

After about another ten minutes I open my eyes and decide I’m going to practice meditating with my eyes open as it’s a quite dark hotel room and it’s a good place to practice this. About that time I notice a red light out of the corner of my eye to my left coming from inside the room. I decide to ignore it. Then about five minutes later the red light begins to flash and I decide to ignore it for about another five minutes until I finally look over and notice that it’s a night light built into a hair dryer that they specially made for hotel rooms.

I start to wonder why is it flashing since these types of lights don’t have on/off switches and just stay on twenty-four hours a day (which I confirmed the next morning). I’m also wondering why it wasn’t flashing a minute ago but is now. So after about a minute of staring at this red light, I get the most intense unique tingling feeling all over my body. Dramatically stronger than the one I felt a month earlier by the elevator. It’s so strong that all of my hair is standing up on end and it feels like I’m getting lifted off the bed. At this point, I’m overwhelmed and breathing heavily. This intense burst lasts for about a minute which feels like an hour and then ebbs and flows for another four or five minutes.

At this point, I decide to go to bed not sure what to make of everything. I go to bed with the light still flashing and wake up in the morning to realize that the red light is no longer flashing but is on as it always is. I decide I’m going to stare at the red light for ten minutes. I do this and nothing happens.

I then go and take a shower. I come back out and the light is still not flashing so I intend to spend another ten minutes staring at it before I leave. About a minute into staring at it this second time I get another intense tingling feeling all over my body but no flashing. After about thirty seconds of this, it hits me like a ton of bricks that it’s Jesus Christ visiting me. I instantly found myself crying my eyes out.

In my heart, I knew what had happened, but my intensely atheist mind was scrambling for any other explanation, other than what I knew to be true. I started thinking things like, “How do I know this isn’t Allah, or Buddha, or Hare Krishna or any number of things”. As I was thinking about how to get to the bottom of this, the first person that popped into my mind was my mom, who’d been a Christian for about 15 years.

So I gathered up my stuff and got in the car ready to leave Nashville and head back to Chicago. As I get on the road, I’m shaking and crying. I decide to call my mom. She answers the phone, and I ask her right off the bat with no other discussion “why does she believe in Jesus?”. I never knew this because for my life up to this point it would have been like asking someone why they believed in Santa Claus. She tells me that she was raised Catholic and that she at some point realized that the Catholic Church was a horrible institution and they were preaching a different gospel and hurting people more than they were helping them.

Soon after this realization she began to be strongly drawn to the bible. She said she read it every spare minute she had for three months. She told me that her strong attraction to this book was a very strong indicator that Jesus was real since she had never been that type of reader or felt anything like that in her life.

She then went on to describe to me an experience that happened to her when her and my father were getting divorced. She told me that she was in a hotel room about to have a nervous breakdown when she found herself staring at the red light on the alarm clock.

When she said red light my entire body began to tingle again. She said that as she was staring at this red light and all the worst thoughts were going through her head and she was crying and just thinking about how her life was in shambles, about the time she thought she was going to have a mental break down she described in her words “an intense lightness” came over her entire body and made her feel like she didn’t have a care in the world and that everything would be ok. She said that she just knew it was Jesus Christ, and since then it has only become more clear to her as she reads the Bible and prays to Him. I then told her my story and it left no doubt in either of our minds that God is real and that Jesus Christ is his Son and He drew me to Himself through the Holy Spirit.

I then cried my eyes out for the seven hour trip home repenting of my sins in shock that the God of the universe, that I just got done blaspheming for twenty years, would save me while I was yet His enemy.

In order to be born again, you have to sincerely do the following:

A. Admit that you’re a sinner as we all are.

B. Repent (turn from) your sins and ask Jesus to forgive your sins.

C. Beleive the Gospel, which is that; Jesus is God, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless perfect life, willingly and voluntarily gave His life up for sinner by dying on the cross and taking their place, died and was buried, rose again from the dead on the third day, revealed Himself to over 500 witnesses over a period of 40 days, went up into heaven in front of the disciples, and a day is coming when He will  put the unbelievers on His left, and the born-again Christians on His right and say to the unbelievers, ” Depart from me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for devil and His demons” (Matthew 25:41).

  1. Dania Gonzalez permalink


  2. Jane permalink

    So Jesus visited you via the light on a hairdryer, and now you get to tell homosexuals that they’re going to hell? You’re a psycho.

    • Hi Jane,

      Thank you for your comments. I think it’s important to note that I only share what the Bible teaches. Yes, the Bible teaches that unrepentant homosexuals will go to Hell, but it also teaches that all unrepentant sinners will go to Hell.

  3. Ricky Bargouthi permalink

    Dear Justin,

    My name is Ricky Bargouthi. From the moment I told Ashley (one of your employees and someone I consider a friend) that I was interested in working at your restaurant she told me you offer Bible studies to those who are willing. I want to tell you some of my story in regard to my walk with Jesus because I read your testimony and I feel like you are very transparent about your walk with God. When I was 19 I wanted to join the United States marine Corp and went to enlist when I found myself in a tight position when it came to my living situation. There was this beautiful girl that wanted to take me in her home and help me so I knew I needed to be a man. For that reason i tried to detox my body from marijuana with water and be a man. After the experience I felt an intense regret and pain for my sins and decided to pray to God. I asked him for forgiveness and my mother told me these exact words: “God is forgiving” I tried my hardest to repent of those sins but found myself doing the same things I had been doing when I asked God for forgiveness. Since then I’ve experienced a much deeper relationship with God as He’s shown me the meaning of sin and grace and mercy and love. I’ve been on a long walk with Jesus sometimes losing sleep, sometimes feeling elated. I’ve learned the value of love and life while struggling with many vices I’m not proud of. I am a sinner that strives to follow the teachings of Jesus and my family. Jesus is my ultimate helper and comforts me on a moment to moment basis while my faith lapses and I feel fears. I was raised by a Christian family that emphasizes being a responsible and clean person while embracing the fundamental principal of Christ which is to love all. I have read the new testament many times and have been shown by God that his word is truth and I try my absolute hardest to apply that to my life and how I interact with others. For that reason I appreciate that you are considering giving me an opportunity to work like a man and embrace others. I am committed to honoring your business and family in any way I can but I think I’ll start by being a respectful and hard-working individual that understands the value of sharing a great burger with your loved ones. Thank you again.


    Ricky Bargouthi

  4. Christal permalink

    Thank you for handing me the track in the airport today. It’s another reminder of how badly He wants me!

    • It’s my pleasure and privilege Christal! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

      May the peace of Christ rule in your heart some day!

  5. Mikayla permalink

    Nice story my brother, The comments and everything make me realize I have a long journey ahead of myself.

  6. Barb Hegrebreg permalink

    I appreciate your transparency. Many call themselves Christians but few actually live out their faith on a daily basis. The older I get the more I realize that I still have so much to learn about our Abba Father.

    • Thanks Barb for your encouragement. I think we’ll all have so much to learn until we meet Him. May the peace of Christ rule in your heart!

    • Thanks for your encouragement Barb. I think we’ll all have so much to learn until we meet Him.

      May the peace of Christ rule in your heart!

  7. Anna permalink

    It will be interesting to see where you are in after you’ve been a “born again” Christian for about 30 years. My guess is you’ll be pretty sad about your views and black and white views.

    • Hi Anna,

      Thanks for the comment. I was wondering if you could help me understand why you would say that a little bit better?

      The reason I’m looking for clarity is because after seven years I would say sad is the opposite description of all aspects of my life.

      Thank you.

  8. Deanna G permalink

    I received two business cards one day from a gentleman on the bus. One had your email address along wscripture, the other said, Saturday’s 4pm, free laundry , food, supplies n fellowship. I was wondering if you are a part of both cards n if so can u give me more info about the food part, is it food we eat there or take home. Believe he said it’s a laundry mat n that is why we cn do laundry while listening to a bible study, is this correct? Thanks

    • Hello,

      What a blessing it is to hear from you! Thank you for reaching out.

      Yes, both are part of our ministry. You eat the food at the laundromat and the rest is as you say.

      If you need more information it might be easier to email me or call/text me. 708-567-7774 or

      May the peace of Christ rule in your heart!

  9. Stephanie Littlejohn permalink

    Yes I to believe in God praying that he will help me to find a job that l can show my customers service skills

  10. Scott Reese permalink

    Hello Justin, I just wanted to say hello and that I am praying for you and your family as you boldly share Jesus. Blessings, Scott Reese

  11. How many of us atheists do you send your emails to, Justin? I also notice that you spell “Catholic” with a lower case “c”, even a former Catholic as myself, I wouldn’t do that. So, you had a mystical experience and you attribute it to Jesus, am I getting this right? Couldn’t your strange sensations come from Zeus, or Buddha, or Mithra, or Jupiter, or something bad that you ate or drank or smoked, or maybe a flashback of some sort? Why Jesus? Many other people have had these types of mystical experiences and they become followers of Buddha or Confucius, how do you know you followed the right path? I don’t mind you sending me your unsolicited emails, but I know other atheists are offended by it. Really, you have hijacked our email list and for a nefarious purpose; to accept your misguided beliefs. And our peaceful atheist group (which actually has sent volunteers to church food drives & pantries), has been viciously attacked by Christians before. They have even hacked into our website, forcing us to get a new one. So, you should really call a halt to this, it accomplishes nothing and it distresses a few of our members. Thanks.

    • Hi ks,

      Thanks for your thoughts and comments. I’ll have to fix the Catholic thing, thanks for letting me know.

      I encourage you to read my testimony because in it I describe how I was skeptical of it being Jesus and how God cleared that up.

      In regards to the emails, I remove anyone who asks me to, but at the same time I’ve had many fruitful discussions. I don’t see how what I’m doing could be considered attacking?

      I look forward to hearing back from you. Maybe we could continue our discussion via email?

  12. Kadada Davis permalink

    Thank you so much for this I’ve faced challenges and have been through things in life and wanted to just give up and god touched me and told me to keep fighting. To know that there’s other people who’s been through things and my god have also touched their hearts is an amazing feeling thank you so much for this. I hope I can be apart of this team and can share the same faith and inspiration with one another.

  13. tina gabriel permalink

    That was very inspirational, I’m looking forward to my second interview and hope to be part if Culvers team 🙂

  14. Kathy,

    I have tears in my eyes. I thank you so much for your kind words and inspiration. I want to sit down with you as soon as possible, however I erased your phone numbers from the post incase you didn’t want them public. Can you please email me at so we can make plans?

  15. Kathy Glasch permalink


    The Lord Thy God is absolutely beyond amazing!! Justin, my husband Mickey and I were one of the first customers at Culvers in Tinley Park, Illinois. I met your mom and had a wonderful conversation with her and how excited she was about you and your new business venture. Shortly thereafter Mickey and I met you. I asked you about your story (testimony) as to how such a young man had the guts and wherewithal to start such a wonderful business like Culvers. You explained to me that you had worked as a young man in your parent’s business and developed a sense of business. As I recall (as it has been at least 9 or 10 years) you indicated to me that you did research about Culvers and more or less made a decision to plant the first Wisconsin based Culvers in southwest suburban Tinley Park, Illinois.

    Just, prior to our meeting, I feel it is important for you to know that my husband Mickey and I were Ministers and traveled throughout the US ministering the Word of God. There were certain parts of this great country of our’s that the Lord gave us particulary powerful favor to speak His Word and address the destiny of Christ Jesus in the lives of His precious people whether they were saved or not saved. Two areas of the US where He sent us to make a deposit of Love and Presence was Washington D.C. and the state of Wisconsin. We ministered very heavily in Beloit, Janesville, Madison, Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Greenbay, Milwaukee and surrounding area. We made discovery of Culvers while ministering in Wisconsin. My hubby and I always said that Illinois needed a Culvers and we knew it would be a resounding success if anyone opened up a franchise in the Chicagoland area.

    Understand, our home base was in Tinley Park, Illinois at the time we were saying that Illinois needed a Culvers. One day while we were not traveling doing ministering and at home in Tinley Park, we took a ride down 183rd Street just east of Harlem and discovered *****CULVERS***** was going to open up!!!!!!!! And to think we only lived a short distance from Culvers to boot!!!! WOW!!! Well, lo and behold…. opening day was finally here at Culvers and it was not the easiest to get to as the Tinley Park Police literally had to direcet traffic for safety sake!!! PTL!!!!

    This is where the story gets really good Justin. When you are in the Tinley store or any other of your franchises…please let us know. I would like to sit down with you and share the rest. I think you will be greatly encouraged. You see…God showed Mickey and I way back then that you would be a Man among men in God’s Kingdom! Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name..Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!

    We now live in Monee, Illinois (moved from Tinley Park August 17th 2004). So, so much to share with you as I believe it is now time. Please give us a call and we will come and share with you. I know you will be greatly encouraged. We’ve prayed for you for some time!!!

    Love and Blessings,

    Mickey and Kathy Glasch

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