Index Magazine: Software engineer David Westerhoff changed after encountering Christ, now a seminary student


When the Apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the church at Corinth, he declared, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17). When Christ saves an individual, that person does not remain the same. A transformation takes place.

What follows is an interview with David Westerhoff, a young man who was saved two years ago and gives every evidence of a change that could only be wrought by Christ. His face is aglow with the radiance that comes from true salvation. His language is the language of a man who spends significant time reading and studying God’s Word. His love for Christ permeates his conversation. His lifestyle has been amazingly transformed.

The Christian index: David, give us a brief sketch on your background, where you grew up, how you met your wife and a little bit about your family.

David Westerhoff: I was born in 1992 in the suburbs of northern California to a loving family within a secularized culture. The prevailing assessment of one’s value in that area focused on where you went to school, your academic credentials, and your prospects of future success. Like many Americans I grew up as a cultural Christian, yet with no personal relationship to God.

A decade ago, while finishing up my B. S. in Computer Science at San Diego State University, I met Megan. We fell in love, got married, moved to Georgia, and had our first child, David Jr. all in a span of 4 years. In 2020 we welcomed our daughter, April, into our home in Alpharetta.

The Christian Index: What was your life like before you trusted Christ?

David Westerhoff: I can remember fearing God and praying as a young child, but by the time I had reached adolescence I was far from Him. That feeling of being separated from God was depressing and that mental and emotional state became an ever-present reality. Outwardly, I appeared to have everything: a beautiful wife, two precious children, a comfortable home, and a successful career – yet internally I was in despair.

My struggle was hidden from the world but real to me; and my soul had a deep unrest. I had wondered, “What really is the point of living?” I contemplated suicide, struggled to deal with an addiction to marijuana, nicotine, and pornography. My heart had become hard and emotionless, which was my last defense.

Ultimately, I lost control. I had tried so hard in my own strength to accomplish my vision of what an ideal life looked like, but everything was unraveling. My marriage was on the brink of collapse, and with it was the fear of losing everything else that I had worked so hard to build. My conclusion was that my life was a failure; I was a failure and I had reached the end of my rope.

The Christian Index: What were the circumstances that caused you to turn to Christ and ask Him to save you and give you his abundant life?

David Westerhoff: I was in my home one night in August 2022 when the Spirit of God convicted me. As I stood there on the bathroom floor, I suddenly became aware of my bankrupt spiritual condition. I came to the revelation that God is holy and just, and because He is, He would be right in condemning me to hell. I was aware of what I had become and how my sin had cut me off from God. I felt His wrath and judgment abiding on me. I was broken; and I wept.

Right after this encounter with God it became apparent to me that I must read the Gospel for myself and determine if Jesus was real. After all, I had never read the Bible and yet I had rejected Jesus. I began to read the Gospel of Matthew with a heart open, yet not having any expectation of what would happen next.

In reading the words of Christ from the Sermon on the Mount, everything was revealed to me all at once. I realized that Jesus is who He says He is. I read in the Word of God that Jesus died for me so that I would be forgiven. The wrath that I had felt turned to the sweet grace and love of the Father. I repented of my sins and put all my trust in Jesus. That night my life changed forever.

The Christian Index: How has Christ changed your life, your marriage, and your home?

David Westerhoff: I woke up the next day as a new man. I was instantly at war with the sins I had struggling with, but at the same time had a peace that I was going to win the victory. I was captivated by the study of God’s Word, listening to preaching, and wholeheartedly committed to saving a troubled marriage.  

That was only 18 months ago, but I can hardly remember my life before I met Christ. I have now witnessed the salvation of my wife. My marriage has been transformed; and my children are being raised by parents who are earnestly following Christ. Above all else, I know Christ and He knows me.

Christ transformed my life overnight, but He also intervened in the life of my family. It is impossible for me to doubt Him, He is my Deliverer and my Savior; and I love Him.

The Christian Index: What prompted you to enroll in New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary?

David Westerhoff: Two months after my new birth I started having thoughts like, I don’t think I will be doing software engineering the rest of my life. God had given me an insatiable passion for the Bible and a hunger to hear the Word of God proclaimed. I began to wonder if the Lord could be calling me to ministry but, kept it to myself for fear people would think I was going mad. However, Lord kept putting it on my heart and it continued to intensify until I could do nothing else but pursue it.

In January I started my MDiv. at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The Lord has been faithful and has repeatedly confirmed my call to be there and I feel unbelievably privileged to be able to study the Word. My great desire is to be a faithful minister of the Gospel of Christ and to lead others closer to Him.

The Christian Index: Describe your passion for Bible study and memorizing Scripture.

David Westerhoff: Since my conversion one of my favorite hobbies is to commit scripture to memory. I thought this was the normal behavior among Christians (well I think it should be.) When I have scripture memorized it just perpetually blesses my life. There are few things better than ministering to someone and having the Holy Spirit bring a verse to mind that perfectly applies to the situation.

Scripture memorization glorifies God. I think we show reverence for God’s Word, when we meditate on it day and night. It has a sanctifying effect on my life and hopefully on those around us.