Interview

Jake Luhrs (August Burns Red) Founder of Heart Support Explains Where His Mission Began

Heart Support is a non-profit organization built on a foundation of faith; one that desires to strengthen the youth and adults of today. An online community built to encourage, inspire and bring a message of hope. A place for anyone to talk about struggles and difficult issues and to find healing and strength in this community. Our ultimate vision is to have a team men and women equipped in counseling today’s youth and young adults to be used as a tool in prevention and mentoring others. – See more at: http://www.heartsupport.com/about-the-team/#sthash.Iibz6biB.dpuf

PGHMUSICMAG sat down with Jake from August Burns Red to ask him some in depth questions to learn what Heart Support is really all about and where their mission lies.  Check it out here…

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Jacob Luhrs Founder/Head of HeartSupport  Email: jake@heartsupport.com I was raised in a non-Christian family, and this is my story of how God found me. My parents divorced when I was at a very young age. My father moved to Virginia where his parents lived, and my mother, sister and I staying in South Carolina. We moved from our beautiful home in Greenville, SC to the government aid housing in the same area. We lived there for a year and a half, then settled in Columbia, SC where I grew up most of my life. Transitioning from government aid housing into a location with great schooling and a different lifestyle all around was difficult for me. Because I didn’t have many friends and was struggling to find a place, I held onto my sister for dear life to have someone to connect with. Both of my parents at this time remarried and I lived with my mother, sister, and now my step father. Having step parents is a very difficult thing to understand and deal with at such a young age. Now however I understand much more and love both of them dearly. Moving from the “ghetto” to a neighborhood in Columbia caused me to grew through the ghetto lifestyle and into the punk rock scene. By going to shows at the age of 16 I had my first encounter with what I believe to be my first true “desire.” To be in a band, and play music, to express my pain, angst, and love through music alone. I started my first band with some friends called “Smash Adams.” Practicing in my mothers house above the garage and playing small shows around town, VFW halls, and at our high school. I then moved onto a band called “Last To Know”, playing with them brought more experience, but the band that really set me in my ways and pursuit was “She Walks In Beauty.” At this time I was about 18 or 19 years old. It was your typical metalcore band yet reaching heights in our local scene and playing shows outside of my state made me believe it was just the beginning, or so I thought. I would work two jobs during the summers so that I could afford merch to sell at my sell at our shows. My Popa gave me a check to record our first demo. I was truly seeing my dream come true. I was making a name for myself and doing what I always wanted. Unfortunately, I also dove head first into drinking, partying, lustful acts and experimenting with certain drugs. I ended up moving out of my mothers house and into a house with 4 dogs and 3 roommates. My room was the size of a closet! I went to a technical college but dropped out using the excuse that “it took up too much of my time.” I sold my Nissan Maxima for a cargo van so I could actually have a “touring” vehicle for out of state shows. I decided later on to take two classes at the technical college, one being Introduction into Audio Engineering and the other in Music Business. During that time, my band fell apart at the seams. Some of my guys wouldn’t even show up for practice; one quit and the other one would always show up drunk. I saw my dreams and passions falling apart, thus making me extremely depressed. I started going to the practice sheds on a nightly basis, watching other bands practice while I drowned my sorrows in any bottle of alcohol I could get my hands on. At this time I was living with my friends and working for a handyman, waking up between 4-5 a.m. to work until 5 p.m. four days a week. I’d come home to more drinking and partying. I hit a dead end in my life. I was sleeping around with girls and dipping my hands in drugs occasionally. I also had a close family member who struggled with heroin at the time, and that alone was a huge trial and brought me much pain. I have personally never dealt with heroin or cocaine, but seeing it first hand and how it was affecting my family member was a huge issue in my life. By the age of 19, I was struggling with so many things. Not being loved by my family, lost in drugs, alcohol and girls. I had no where to go and no one to reach out to. I started to feel worthless and hollow. I began to think of committing suicide. I thought of leaving all of this crap behind. At the time, I figured where ever I was going to go had to be better than the place I was in! I remember sitting in my seat in class with my head down crying in despair, and asking God WHY! Then the day came that completely changed my life. I was working on a house with my boss one morning and decided to go outside for a cigarette. I talked to the Lord and told him “God, if you are real, if your son Jesus Christ is truly real, then show me! I don’t want my life, and if you want it you can have it, but if not then I’m going to kill myself…” I instantly felt an enormous flow of love in my soul. I couldn’t stop smiling! I was still in the same place, with the same struggles, working at LOVED! I was no longer ALONE! I felt someone cared! That someone was God! I then took on a whole new life that God had given me. He was there to help me, to show me the way, to bring understanding to this mess I had called life. I was the happiest man on earth that day. I truly didn’t have to kill myself or live like this any longer. God was there to show me the way out and to live a filled life! That night I started to pray to him and think of ways I could work on who I was and where I was. I started reading the bible and looking at myself in a whole new light. A few months later I got the opportunity to be a member of an amazing metal band called August Burns Red, which I have been a member of for more than 4 and 1/2 years! I tour the world and consistently build my life with Christ as my cornerstone. Recently God has put on my heart to reach out to other people and to tell them of God’s love for us! It is an honor for me to do so, thus I decided to start YourLife Ministries. I appreciate your time and reading my testimony. There are some things I did not explain through great detail but if you’d like to know more about particular things in my life, feel free to contact me on the “Ask Us” link. Their are too many stories of my life, and if I were to try and type them all out, I think i’d be able to write a book or two! Thanks again and God Bless! “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ”. ~ Ephesians 3:17-18 Sincerely, Jacob Luhrs

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