Greg Blood enjoys sharing about Native American history and artifacts—almost as much as sharing about what the Lord has done in his life. On any given day, he can be found sorting through some of his greatest hobbies, from gardening to archaeology. For most of his life, Greg has loved being outdoors. “From a young age, I have been blessed with a creative ability, the gift of working with my hands, and I’ve never been afraid of labor,” says Greg—Papa to his grandchildren. Though his passion for life and the Lord is evident to anyone who knows him, the journey to where he is today has been nothing short of rocky.
Greg grew up in a broken home in Los Angeles, California. By the age of 13, he had seen and committed more crime than any child could imagine. As a teenager, most of his time was spent on the run. Greg wanted to go anywhere with anyone who would let him join along. At one point, he traveled with a band to a concert they performed. Greg remembers hearing the Gospel message, but he swept the words away as quickly as they came. “My life was void of family, purpose, and satisfaction. I was in darkness, and I didn’t know it,” says Greg.
While trying to catch a ride one day, a car passed by and began to slow down. Not knowing this homeless teenager, an elderly lady behind the wheel rolled down her window just enough to reach out her hand. She gave Greg a New Testament from The Gideons along with a simple statement, “God told me to give this to you.” Before he could thank her, she drove away. Inside the New Testament was a US$20 bill, which could not have come at a better time. He thumbed through the New Testament and put it in his bag. Periodically, he would open it and read a few verses. “It was just something to do,” he remembers. However, God was using those verses to begin softening his heart.
At age 17, he discovered his mother was living in Houston, Texas, so he made his way to her home to stay for a while. She would take him to different odd jobs with family members in an attempt to keep him occupied. A friend from her church spent some time with Greg, and shared about Christ from time to time. Those conversations began stirring something inside of Greg’s heart and mind. Contemplating his life and what he had been told about the Lord, he knew it was time to accept Christ to be his Savior. Walking down the sidewalk of Bunker Hill Road in Houston, Greg fell to his knees, confessed his sins, and prayed to receive Christ.
“On the day I got saved, I was born again,” said Greg. “I didn’t just pray a prayer—God changed me instantly. I was praying in the presence of the God who was forgiving me, and that’s how I’ve prayed ever since.”
No Trace of Wrongdoing
Greg found strength in his newfound faith, and he wanted to pay the consequences for the crimes he had committed. He made his way back to Los Angeles, and tried to turn himself in at a local jail. They turned him away because the jail was full. After several more attempts to confess what he had done, Greg learned his record had been cleared when he turned 18.
Through reaching out to a cousin and an uncle in Texas, Greg was connected to a boys’ home in Corpus Christi. He stayed there for several months, growing in his faith as a believer and studying that New Testament regularly.
In 1981, Greg married his wife, Nacole, who he met in the Corpus Christi area. She was also a believer. Not having any example of a good father, Greg felt inadequate and fearful to start a family. However, this made Greg completely trust the Lord for direction each step of the way. Today, their three children have all been saved and seek to follow Christ.
While he considers his family one of his greatest accomplishments, Greg is most fulfilled by how the Lord continues to use him. “My greatest achievement is to be able to lead people to Jesus. I witness to people wherever I go.” He admires the ministry of The Gideons International and the powerful ways God reaches people through His Word. He does not know where or how that lady got the New Testament, only that it became one of his most prized possessions. “We should take every chance we can to share the Word of Life. The reward is eternal,” said Greg.
“I am always blessed to see that God is faithful, and I praise Him for the truths and promises of Scripture.” —Greg Blood
Thinking back to that woman who stepped out of her comfort zone to give him a New Testament, Greg credits that single act as “the greatest act of love I’ve ever known.” What seemed to be a book he did not know much about became a treasure of indescribable value.
Greg’s life is a powerful demonstration of how God arranges people and circumstances to lead people to eternal life. The pages of Scripture contain the greatest gift anyone could ever receive. May those who serve through The Gideons International faithfully continue reaching others for Christ through sharing a personal word of witness along with God’s Holy Word—trusting He will produce the harvest.