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Giving Back
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By Mary Haskett

Sing praises to him, sing praises to him, read Steve MacClure in his Bible. It was then that he realized his life had come full circle.

Steve MacClure began an average life in Moncton, New Brunswick, with an average family, a father, mother, a baby brother and a doting grandma.

At age five a series of events changed the young boy's family dynamics forever. His mother had contracted tuberculosis and admittance to a sanatorium did not bode well. Allergic to sulfa drugs-the prescribed medication, she was administered pain medications instead, and emerged five years later addicted to them.

But during those five years, Steve and his brother lived with their Grandma. She instilled a sense of normalcy in their lives and faithfully took them to church. Steve recalls hearing stories of Jesus, as well as, unbeknown to his god fearing grandma, helping himself to coins from the collection plate when he, along with other children, were on ushering duty! But never-the-less the salvation-seed was planted.

Once his mother came back, Steve and his brother settled into a home with his parents, grandma and an aunt. A period of belonging and the security of family thrilled the ten-year old.

As Steve recalls, there was a slow decline of family dynamics. His mother, unable to control her pain with medication, turned to drink and became an alcoholic. His father, who could no longer handle the situation, divorced his mother and left the home. By this time, Steve was 13 years old, and his brother a year younger. They never had contact with their father again, and learned later he had died of bone cancer. His teenage years were turbulent. He witnessed his mother entertaining a variety of unsavoury characters to support her alcohol addiction. He remembers one man in particular who, so enraged him he took a baseball bat and beat him unmercifully. He was relieved, after his anger subsided, to know he had not killed the man.

When Steve and his brother were 16 and 15 respectively, his mother chose to move to Montréal with an acquaintance. She took her sons with her and their grandma stayed in Moncton. They moved from one poverty-stricken neighbourhood to another. Steve finished high school then left home. His brother had left before him. He worked in a variety of jobs: grocery stores, beer stores and the like, and as well shooting pool for money. He supported his mother as best he could, and gave her money for groceries.

There was a yearning within Steve to learn, and with a natural aptitude towards the sciences he enrolled in university science courses, but unsure and dysfunctional in his interaction with others, he moved from one university to another-three in all without completing his studies. However, because of his accumulated knowledge and courses taken, he was granted the equivalent of a Bachelor of Science degree.

Tormented by all that had gone before at 28 he became an alcoholic. His social life did not fare well and over a period of time he emerged a bitter man from two broken marriages. His inability to submit to authority lost him his job as a Certified Projects Manager with the Bank of Montréal, and the pattern continued. His children, who had moved in with him, had their own problems and left to fend for themselves. He sought help through psychiatric sessions, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Adult Children of Alcoholics. None of these dealt with the deep sadness that plagued him.

Steve had a close friend who had kept in touch with him throughout his troubled life. Over a coffee one day, he said to his friend, "I think I'd like to buy a Bible." He purchased one that day. It lay unopened for a year. And in that year, his troubles escalated until he sat on the floor of an apartment devoid of furniture and leant against the wall. Head bowed broken and alone, with a few possessions by his side, the Bible caught his attention and he opened it trying to find the Book of John, remembering there was a message there. Frustrated because he could not locate the passage he threw the Bible across the room where it hit the opposite wall. A piece of paper fluttered out. He stayed still. His miserable life played over in his head. Finally he crawled across the room and picked up the piece of paper. It was a Billy Graham tract. What he remembers most is the phrase 'faith as a grain of mustard seed.' He paused, I have that, he thought. He read the pamphlet and prayed the sinner’s prayer through a deluge of tears. He immediately felt a great weight had been lifted. Several months later, he phoned his friend to share his news, and learned his friend had placed the tract in his Bible. Today Steve is married, reconciled to his children and has his own business - OnTrac Project Management Inc. He spearheads an online music ministry. The verse in Psalm 105 that so captured his attention about singing praises to God moved him to pick up his pen and guitar. He admits that he is not much of a singer. But what he does well is compose beautiful lyrics and melodies. A visit to givingback.ca is to experience the presence of the Lord, as talented musicians perform most of Steve’s compositions and some of their own.

Givingback.ca has received hits from 48 countries, and includes such unlikely places as The Republic of Korea, Iran and Turkey. A link on the about us page gives visitors opportunity to click on the Jesus link and to understand the way to salvation. The contact page invites people to comment and also read the accolades of praise and thanks to God entered by visitors who have already been there. The site is a testimony that Steve is indeed giving back to God. Steve says, "I pray that I might meet people in heaven who met Jesus through the Giving Back Ministry."