He Stepped Away From the Table Where Death Lay
November 8, 2011

At 20 years old, Dustin had enough of the broken relationships, heartbreak, and lost dreams. He’d lost his football scholarship. He’d lost his girlfriend. He’d lost his job. He’d lost his relationship with his dad. Dustin found the last stash of drugs and laid a massive line on the table. He reasoned it was easily enough to end the pain of his earthly life. Permanently.

Then the phone rang.

Dustin had a friend named David. David was an NYU student and a rapper rapidly ascending the ranks of the underground circuit in New York City. He encountered the Holy Spirit and left the drugs, sex, and fame to spend a year at the Antioch Overflow Experiment, a HUB outside Pittsburgh for the SCPX family. One night, God brought his old friend Dustin to his mind. He picked up the phone and called him.

“How you doing?” David said.

Tears began to pour on the table in front of Dustin, next to what would have been his suicidal last line of drugs.

“Not too good, man.”

The conversation went on. David prayed with Dustin. As they talked on the cell phone, Dustin stepped outside his house, walking away from the death that lay on the table. Beside a trash dumpster outside his apartment complex, Dustin fell to his knees and surrendered his life to Jesus.

David and his friends Ryan and Blaze began to walk with him and teach him how to grow as a follower of Jesus. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. That first week, Dustin received recurring dreams from the Holy Spirit about his call to tell others about Jesus and bring them into God’s kingdom. This weekend, when I visited the AOX base in Pittsburgh, I spent the weekend building a relationship with these young warriors who are spreading the hope, love, and power of Jesus. Here is a picture of David baptizing Dustin.

David baptizes Dustin at the AOX Hub outside Pittsburgh this weekend

When there are no pools of water around, we use whatever we can find

When someone catches Jesus, it’s like a good virus that begins to spread – bringing healing instead of sickness. It’s not about religion. It’s about a powerful relationship with the One who brings new life, both now and for eternity. He’s worth following. Tell someone!



  1. Greg Coath

    Hi Erik, thanks for sharing this story, What a transformation!

    I was wondering if I could share the story using the photos and printed material at a Salvation Army Detox unit I work at in Collingwood – Melbourne Australia. I’m a nurse there and I think it would inspire our guys immensely.

    I’ll wait for your reply! Thanks, Greg.

    • Erik Fish

      Greg, absolutely. Please do share the story!

  2. Deana Elizondo(MOM)

    We are so proud of you we can hardly speak. Keep drawing closer to GOD and he will draw closer to you. We want you to spread your wings and soar with the eagles.

    We love you mom and dad

    • Dion Elizondo

      Love, Dad



  4. Jessica Jones(Cousin)

    I am SO proud of you words can’t even express! You are a strong and amazing man and God has a wonderful plan for you!

    I love you!

  5. David Chiu


  6. Marilyn Jones


    I am so proud of you. Now your life begins.

    Love you,

  7. vikki and henry

    Only God knows the depths of our despair and only the Lord our God can bring us out! Joy, comfort and peace abounds. Stay faithful and in His word. God bless you Dustin.

  8. Edie Bates (friends of Dustin's grandparents)

    What a blessing to know you are now in God’s army. We will be lifting you up in prayer.

    The Bates family

  9. shaun

    I needed to see this. I cannot wait to see what God has planned for you. Go get’m bro

  10. Clifton Arline

    Frineds of Dustin’s grandparents, father and mother

    Hello Dustin, we just read about what you went throught, our heart and prayers is with you. Bro the angles in heaven is are enjoying over your salvation.

    Love Clifton & Sarah

  11. Dad

    Boy how time flies.. Our Prays are still with you Dustin and we’re believing God will do as it states in Philippians 1:6
    being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
    we love you with all of hearts

  12. Dad

    Dustin- May God receive all the glory and honor for what He is doing in your life. Pastor Clint Brown of Faith World Center in Orlando FL. perched a message some time ago about the Dark room. Often we need to go though the dark room in order to be developed. God has the finished picture in mind and we just need the touch of the master in the developing room to sharp our charter.

    • Erik Fish

      This story has been tragic since about a year after I wrote this post. I thought often about pulling the story from my website, but for now I have chosen to keep it up. I believe it shows the raw truth that someone can encounter Jesus, but still has a free will to go away from him. Following Jesus isn’t a short-term “fling” with God. It’s a life of embracing Jesus as our example for life and investing our heart and energy into letting Jesus teach us and lead us. In spite of this, God is not done with Dustin. His love is beyond what we can fathom. Though I loss touch with Dustin shortly after I wrote this post, I’ve been in dialogue with Dustin’s family throughout this tragedy. My prayers go out to Dustin, his family, and especially those hurt by his actions. May God find a way, as he is very able, to cause even this evil to work together for good.

      • Dion Elizondo

        Hello Erik-
        Every now and then I take moment and Google Dustin, just to see what comes up. I want you know that I’m grateful for your ministry reaching out to my son in his desperate time of need. I also am very grateful for David Ryan and Blaze walking in God’s Love for Dustin. I believe Jesus is still reaching out to him.
        I often pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would bring healing to the wounds caused by sin. As we look in the heart of these hurting souls we should all be praying for healing and restoration. Time does not heal wound only Jesus can, only when we call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

        • Erik Fish

          You always show the heart of a true father when you speak about your son. God is not done with Dustin. I’m standing with you, believing God for redemption and healing over the years in ways that only He can bring.

          • Dion

            Thank you, for your encouragement.

  13. Teresa

    Erik, I commend you for updating this status on Dustin, and for your honesty, but I think it’s very sad that you really do not speak at all directly about the young woman he nearly killed, or the horror he inflicted upon her and her children who, as I understand it, were present in the home when he committed these heinous crimes.

  14. Erik Fish

    Teresa, very sad and tragic indeed. I wasn’t aware that the women’s children were apparently present. My sympathy and prayers go out to her and her family.

  15. Dion

    Hello Erik,
    Blessing to you. How the pages of life keep on turning. Please read more about the ministry that has come out this situation. https://lovedonesofprisoners.com/
    From a caring father

    • Erik Fish

      Beauty from ashes. Healing from hurts. Comfort and hope in the midst of suffering and sin. Thank you for sharing this, Dion. Love what is emerging with LOOP and continuing to believe that our life stories are not over after our worst moments where we fail (even immensely) and cause pain to others. Jesus offers forgiveness and a way to redemptions we could never make on our own. Blessings to you.


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