Joshua Bold grew up in a Christian home, but it would take years before he found God.
In his teen years, he struggled with drugs, trying everything from cocaine to meth.
"It took me for a ride. By the time I was 25 years old, I was pretty much spent as a human being. My relationships were broken, and so was everything else," said Joshua.
His family had tried everything to help him but were at a loss. His father gave him a Bible for Christmas that year and told him he did everything as a father he knew how to do.
"He said, I am going to give you this Bible, and when you feel like all hope is lost, I pray that you will turn to God's word."
One night at his lowest point, he pulled out the Bible and flipped it open. It landed on Psalms 8.
"I called my mom, I was high and probably drunk and didn't know what was going on, but I told her I think God wants me to be a preacher or something."
The following week there was a men's conference in New Mexico that his dad was attending. His father asked him to come with him.
"I went to this conference where I saw 1000 men worshiping Jesus. Men that had been through things," Joshua explained. "They didn't look like they grew up on church pews. They looked like men who had seen some things. I deeply felt the presence of God, and I prayed a prayer. I told God if he'd save my life. I'd give him everything. At that moment, I was delivered from addiction."
Joshua dedicated his life to God from then on, attending Bible School. Three years later, he moved to northern Iraq with his wife, where they decided to work as missionaries. It was also in Iraq that his life would change forever.
"We were in an area of a city that is not friendly to Americans and Christians. It was one of those days you don't think you're going to experience," said Joshua. "I was in a busy shopping area, and through a set of certain circumstances, I was surrounded by a group of men who didn't like that I was an American Christian, and they captured me."
They put three sets of handcuffs on his hands, stomped and beat him, cracking three vertebrae. They eventually brought him to a basement area, where they tied him to a chair and continued to beat him.
"In the middle of that situation, I thought, how am I going to get out of here and take care of my wife and daughter? I asked the men to let me go," Joshua explained. "They told me I'd never see the light of day and that I didn't have a wife or daughter anymore."
Joshua was at a loss, so he started to pray, asking God to deliver him from the situation.
"Right there, the Lord showed him that those men had no idea what they were doing. He said, ask them for forgiveness."
And that's what Joshua did. He told the men why he was in Iraq and asked for forgiveness for anything his country may have done to make them angry.
"When I did that, those men became very confused. They started to argue and left the room for a few minutes. When they came back, they had a man on the phone."
Joshua talked to this man, told him who he was and asked to be set free.
"The man on the phone told me to admit I'm guilty. At that point, I didn't know if that meant I would die or be set free. I said I would accept any accusation that these men make against me. All I ask is that you release me and allow me to stand in front of a judge."
The men in the room left again. This time they came back with a bucket of water and rags.
"They took the handcuffs off of me. They washed the blood off my face, and the one who had beaten me the worst kissed me on the cheeks and said, we're brothers now," Joshua explained. "They released me and brought me to my family."
"That is a story of God's deliverance," said Joshua. "If God can deliver me from a basement, being beaten by terrorists in Iraq. He can look at any man, woman or child situation on this planet. He can see the darkness that surrounds them. His love can penetrate that situation and bring freedom and deliverance."
Joshua now spends his days as the president of aims.org, mobilizing the church to send native missionaries to the remaining unreached tribes of the earth.
Today on Connections, Joshua shares his powerful testimony. He'll also chat about the work that aims.org is doing.