Making Life’s Challenges – God’s Victories
Judy Hoy – Elizabeth Cotner
Christian Events Magazine
Every so often, you meet and individual that changes your entire perspective on life. Jon Sheptock is one of those people. Instead of viewing life though a glass half empty, Jon’s glass positively runneth over. He is an extraordinary man.
He possesses that unique quality that makes you feel at ease the instant you meet him. Though you are initially stunned by his physical disabilities, you are just as amazed by the anointing that God has on his life. The grace that lives inside this young man is one of the most astonishing miracles of all. His differences far surpass physicality; It’s the inner miracle in him that makes him so special. Jon will be the first acknowledge that it is God doing for him what he could not do for himself.
Jon Sheptock was born in New Jersey in 1976 with a very unusually affliction. He had no arms and a short right leg. He was truly more than his birthmother could bring herself to see and without even holding her baby boy, she turned him over to the State. Not only would his life be riddled with physical challenges; but, would no include emotional pain as well.
Six months after being placed in foster care, Joanne and Rudy Sheptock adopted Jon. Feeling led by God, they are created a home where unwanted and disabled children could feel loved, safe and secure. The boy who once had no parents, would now have 36 siblings.
When he was very young, he could not crawl. He had to scoot in a sitting position, or slide against the wall. At the age of four and a half, he was still struggling to be mobile. Then during a Bible study meeting, his Data commanded him to rise up and walk. As he stood up and walked to his father for the first time, everyone in the room was awestruck. During his early childhood he said. “I often did not want to go to school knowing I would be picked on’ but, God His grace blessed me with two loving Christian parents who encouraged me daily. My mother would read Psalm 139:14 to me: ‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully make; your works are wonderful, I know that full well’. My dad would remind me to ‘how ‘em Jesus’.”
Jon has been through more than any able bodied person could possibly understand. The stares, abandonment issues, excruciating self-doubt, and incessant ridicule, became Jon’s norm. He was once even spat on. In his teenage years, he has a particularly hard time knowing where to fit in. It was in those darkest hours, that he began to contemplate suicide. Consumed with hopelessness and paralyzed by fear, he instead turned to the only other available option. He gave his life fully to Christ, and found that with God, anything is possible. Though the years, he learned to adjust to his disability and developed alternative ways of dealing with life Because of holding a pencil with his hands was not possible, he instinctively used his fee. Strengthened by Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” he was able to overcome any adversity set before him. “I realized that I was created to glorify God” he says. “The same God who made me without arms, and a short right left.”
In the midst of these miraculous developments, Jon had also found one special gift. He found his voice … He could sing! He started singing and visiting churches at the early age of 3. “Jesus Loves Me” was his favorite song to sing. From that time on ,he knew that was something he wanted to do forever. God would also expand Jon’s talents to include public speaking. Another completely unexpected blessing, and one with which he feels compelled to glorify God. Jon has had the opportunity to share his testimony with many. He has sung with Bill Gaither, and was event asked (by Bill) to participate in other endeavors. Jon says, “I sing and share my story at churches wherever I am invited. It doesn’t matter if there are two people or twelve thousand, because I know that God is going to blesses whatever comes out of mouth. Where He is, it is always amazing. After all, my life is Christi’s, and not my own. I know that God has an awesome plan for my life, and I am willing to go wherever He leads.
It is my heart’s desire to minster His love and grace through words and song, and I will do this for as long as it is His will.” Sheptock’s burgeoning career has included: winning a National Anthem Singing Contest, being a finalist on Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star on Pax-TV; and ministering to thousands in prisons, schools, churches, foster/adoption events, civic events, conferences and more.
As his relationship with Christ has grown, Jon has been blessed beyond his wildest dreams. He has a wonderful wife, Staci; and three beautiful daughters: Ann (8), Saide (3), and Chloe (1). When he is not traveling the United Sates to witness though his song and testimony, he works as a stay at home data. In addition to his signing, Jon has also written many of the songs feature on his current CD. Although much of his time during the week is centered around the care taking of his three daughters, his weekends allow full time ministry. His difference have caused radical changes in the way on accomplishes every day tasks. He uses his feet and legs to do everything: like comb his hair, brush his teeth, dress and feed himself and take care of the children. To pick the baby up from her crib, Jon must use his mouth. He is able to bather her, feed her and change her diapers, with is feet. Through Christ, there seems to be nothing that Jon can’t do; even driving a car has not been an obstacle. With his family, Jon continues to live life to the fullest. He chooses to daily surrender his will to God, the one who created him. The motto of his ministry is “Making Life’s Challenges – God’s Victories:”, and this, is also the emphasis for his success.
We invite you to please take the opportunity to experience the unique ministry of Jon Sheptock as he shares his testimony and music, at an upcoming church or event. This remark sums it up best, “If I could make a recommendation to you, your church, concert, conference or event: Do whatever you can to get Mr. Jon Sheptock there! You will be greatly blessed and every person at your gathering will be moved by the Spirit of God through Jon’s message and song.”-Pastor Steve Coker
Finally, what obstacles or problems are hindering you from experiencing God’s Victories in your life? Do you really believe what God has promised you? “Let your light so shine before men hat they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)