He expected to die. Now, he teaches others how to truly live.

John was like any curious kid; always tinkering and experimenting. When he was 9, he thought of something cool—what if he held a flame to a gasoline can in his garage?

He had no idea just how, well, explosive the consequences would be.

The massive explosion blew John 20 feet back, completely engulfed in flames. Unsure of what to do (and in pure shock)  John ran through his house completely on fire.

His parents were not home, and when his 11-year-old brother found him screaming, he rolled John up in a carpet to put out the flames and called 911.

Then his 7-year-old sister poured a cup of water on his now black, charred face.

John was burned on 100% of his body, and stood a less than 1% chance of living through the first night in the hospital. Yet, something inside of him knew he was meant to live, and when he told his mom, she told him: “You are going to have to work very hard, harder than you ever had before in your life, and then put the matter in God’s hands.”

And he listened.

Even as his body swelled up to 4 times its normal size.

After enduring countless surgeries and skin grafts.

After all his fingers were amputated.

Through it all, he followed his mother’s words of wisdom.

As a boy in a hospital bed, John could not have foreseen his many accomplishments. Yet his grit, determination, and experiences throughout the journey are what fuel the incredible compassion and authenticity he has today. John has now shares his inspirational story with hundreds of groups, focusing his message on personal strength, determination and faith.

When did you last have to work very hard and then leave the matter to God?