Ken's Vietnam, Hippie Testimony
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Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your Countenance - Psalm 89:15
The following Scripture has continually been a source of encouragement and strength to me as I have sought to follow God's purpose and destiny for my life:
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;
Menu Vietnam Story & Testimony from Pastor Ken Birks, Former Hippie

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About Ken Birks

Ken Birks is an ordained Pastor/Teacher in the Body of Christ and is one of the staff pastors at The Rock of Roseville in Roseville, California where he also functions as an elder.  Ken has been a part of The Rock of Roseville Church since its inception in 1997. Before becoming a part of The Rock of Roseville, Ken was the Sr. Pastor of Golden Valley Chrstian Center in Roseville, CA. He has been a born again Christian for over 35 years.

Vietnam Story Testimony

Vietnam Story Testimony
by Ken Birks

Vietnam Story Testimony
From former Hippie
Ken Birks

Vietnam Veteran Story & Testimony
by Ken Birks

In the fall of 1972, I found myself in Tempe, Arizona after leaving the comforts of home on a freight train. I was a lost and wandering soul, wondering what adventure this phase of my life was going to take me on.

I’d returned home from Vietnam the year before and found myself living the life of a hippie freak, unsettled and at a loss with what I wanted to do. I was having a difficult time fitting in, so I finally just got fed up, put a pack on my back and hit the road.

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In Tempe, I met a new friend named Hobo, who began calling me Space. Soon after, we were on a freight train headed towards New Orleans. We traveled together for nearly a year until we finally separated in Saskatoon, a city in Saskatchewan, Canada. We travelled through Texas, the Gulf Coast States, Florida, Arizona, Los Angeles, Memphis, Kansas City, and all of the Northern states from Wisconsin to Washington before taking off for a trek across Canada.

We were a couple of hippie freaks traveling through our nation’s cities by freight trains and hitchhiking looking for the next free ride to nowhere in particular. It was an adventurous, carefree lifestyle in which every day was a new adventure. Many times we’d never know from one day to the next what city or state we’d be in.

On one occasion we had no idea where we were until we got off the train and asked one of the workers in the yard. To our surprise, we were in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Talk about being in the middle of nowhere!


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The Adventures of Space and Hobo tell the story of Ken’s vagabond life after Vietnam. It explores the on-the-ground confusion and chaos of the Vietnam War and its effects on a generation, and those who served. Named Space by a new friend, Hobo, Ken and his traveling companion hit the road to partake of all the possibilities of that generation in search of adventure and uncharted experiences. They were looking for what was real, authentic, and the invisible mysteries behind it all. The story takes us step by step along the path of an awakening of a lost soul, on his way to finding understanding of himself, his path, and the meaning of his life.
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During this phase I was on a spiritual quest to discover who I was in relationship to discovering God’s purpose for my life. I’d had been using drugs—everything from pot and LSD to heroin since Vietnam. Because I’d been mixing drugs and religion together, I’d become very deceived and was now opening myself up to the spiritual maze of beliefs of the early 70s.

In Vietnam, I’d had an enormous spiritual experience that awakened my spiritual senses. Me and my buddies began to get into Jesus and the Bible while still using drugs but the seeds of Christianity were being planted in my life.

I grew up in Wenatchee, Washington with apple orchards all around me. My parents were Christians and attended church every Sunday, which meant my three brothers, two sisters, and I went along, too.

Our church didn’t believe in going to movies, dances, playing cards, or even going to carnivals. Combined with living out in the country, we grew up without much social life, causing me to be socially awkward with an introverted personality, from which I developed somewhat of a rejection complex.

In Vietnam, I began to crave acceptance and was drawn to those who were involved with drugs and considered outcasts with whom acceptance came easy. As a result, I became heavily involved with drugs for the next four years.

By 1974, I’d come to the end of myself and lost touch with reality when the goodness of God intervened and led me to repentance. Over the previous years, I had close encounters with God’s grace, but was continually resisting. Like the fish with the hook in his mouth that continually fights the tug of the line until it’s finally worn out from the battle and then is easily caught, so was I in the hands of the Lord. The battle for my soul was over. I was too tired and worn out to resist any longer. I simply surrendered to what God wanted to do.

In retrospect, I know that God had His hand on my life. I continually stand in awe and am so appreciative for all He’s done in my life. His compassion and loving-kindness when I was a lost and wandering soul has caused me to have a deep love for Him and His Kingdom and keeps me continually looking forward to what He’s going to do next!

It’s been over 40 years since I surrendered to Jesus Christ. If God is trying to hook you, too, give up the fight and let Him reel you in! The amazing peace and contentment that comes from knowing Him is worth giving Him your all!

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Please note that the views expressed by Ken Birks are not necessarily the views held by The Rock of Roseville