Howdy, y’all! This cowboy is named Andrew Crissman. Call me Drew. I was born on September 29, 2002, to Phil and Faith Crissman. I’m native to the Great State of Texas and am currently finishing my freshman year at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth. I privately dream about Rodeo, like my best friend who is doing it, but that is such an impossibility. I am going to be an architect and I currently work for a commercial construction company and I have been a member of this GREAT church my whole life. As a man of 19 years of age, I can give a first-hand account of the moral values and standards I have been raised in. I have been raised to know God and do according to His word. We are raised to know the meaning of hard work and take pride in our work. To not allow one cuss word to come out of my mouth and to tell the truth, no matter the cost as I am doing now.
As a young kid, I was easily distracted. Whether we were at a store or the zoo or in church, anything that I found more interesting than that of the current happenings stole my attention and thinking processes. I developed a great imagination and used it at times to stretch the truth a bit. My parents worked with me and guided me to take my imagination and use it for good, not bad. As all parents should, disciplinary actions took place to fix and correct my poor habits. It shaped me to be the man I am today and separates me from the rest of my generation who are soft and easily offended when exposed to discipline and correction often creating a culture of disrespect towards authority, and the hatred of those who tell them they are in the wrong.
I have gone to public schools my whole school career and for me, making friends was not at all difficult, I seemed to make friends wherever we went. I loved the social aspect of school and lacked the attention and discipline expected to be put into my grades. I developed a laziness while developing a record of being quite popular in every school I was enrolled in. C’s and B’s were the best grades I would get, doing just enough to pass and not get held back. During the Thanksgiving break of my sixth-grade year, I moved into my 16th home and the first home my parents didn’t rent in my lifetime. I was leaving a small middle school where I was very popular and well known to a much bigger one where I didn’t know a soul. This is where I change for the worse. I became like a chameleon, living a double life. At home, I was my normal self, while at school, I gave in to peer pressures to try and get back to my status as a popular kid. This went on through my sophomore year of high school, though my focus was not on God fully, I was still fairly strong in the standards I am raised in, but I worked very hard to be who I thought people wanted me to be rather than what God expected and called me to be.
I started wrestling in the seventh grade and quit football to strictly wrestle in high school. I was thrown into the varsity line-up my freshman year, becoming one of only two freshmen in my class to be on the line-up, and was on the line-up again my sophomore year as a 120 pounder. I cut a lot of weight for my spot, and wrestling became my life. My grades went from bad to worse, doing whatever I could to just pass before report cards came out. I ended up with a lousy wrestling season, going 1-2 at the district tournament and being the only wrestler to be knocked out early in my postseason. That was a major wake-up call. I came to realize my work ethic was non-existent and all I did was think about wrestling and wanting to find a girlfriend. I realized that I didn’t have the girl and was a trash wrestler. I committed myself to read two hours a day that summer going into my Junior year and I started with the book of Genesis. By the end of that summer, I had read and studied the bible from cover to cover, book by book, in order. Junior year I was beat out of my varsity spot and was forced to wrestle JV that year as a varsity letter holder – embarrassing. I began to ask God, “am I not doing what you ask of me? Did I not commit my summer to you, to change my life to be fully committed to you?” Mind you, I wasn’t doing terrible things, I was known as a young man with high moral standards and values. I just needed to once and for all put God first in my life. I began to build a relationship with Kale, focusing on grades, getting only one B that whole year, the rest A’s setting me up for a huge testimony and come-back my senior year.
COVID hit and we all know how that goes – school was shut down and I wasn’t able to train for wrestling. But, I heard of a wrestling club that was opening despite the pandemic. During a call with Kale, he encouraged me to start attending the local club and go hard after wrestling. Little did I know, the coach at this club is the head coach at Texas Wesleyan College. Since school was shut down, my team was unaware of the work I was putting in outside of school. Unless you have wrestled before it is hard to understand the hard work and discipline it takes to be a great wrestler. This includes diet, practice, and in your sleep schedule. I came back my senior year back on the varsity lineup, and in my regular season, my record was 16 wins and 2 losses. I placed 2nd at the district tournament, and 5th at the regional tournament, qualifying myself for the state tournament as an alternate. Had I not completely given my life to God, had I not sought out his plan for my life, had I not made God number one, I would never have had the success I had, and will always remember that for the rest of my life.
My life is a living testimony of how closely Kale Aluli follows the Holy Spirit. If I hadn’t been advised by the Spirit through Kale, I would not be going to community college here close to home, and I would be paying $20,000 a semester for just tuition, not including food, gas, and books, now that I am going where I am, tuition and books come out to $1,000 a semester, and I have a scholarship for $2,500 a semester, I am now making money off of going to college instead of going into debt because of it.
Had I not fully committed myself to God and this great calling as a Son of God, with Christ our Lord, had I not sought counsel, I have a feeling I know where I would be. I bet I would be a no-good, lying, drunk bull and bronc rider in the rodeo circuit, and poor as all get out. I would smoke anything I could, and would not be in college at all. I would be lost and in complete darkness. Instead, I am known as a cowboy who doesn’t swear, drink, or smoke, and has a great foundation in God and a high moral standard. I am part of the Crissman Brand and I give all credit to God my Father, Jesus my Brother, and the Holy Ghost, who abides in us, I especially thank Kale Aluli, who has helped guide me through the hardest moments, and greatest moments in my life.