By Mark Ellis —
He was a young deadbeat dad with multiple DUIs and a mountain of credit card debt. But God saw fit to save him and ultimately perform a huge medical miracle after a significant course correction on his spiritual path.
“I had a really depraved background,” confesses Dominic Sputo, the founder of Mute No More. “I had never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I had never read the Bible.”
On his last day of college, he discovered he had a three-year-old daughter. He knew the child was his, but decided to flee from his fatherly responsibilities.
He landed a decent white-collar job after graduation. At the same time, however, he nurtured a drug and alcohol problem that got more severe with time.
“After five years of running away from her my life was a train wreck,” he admits. At 28-years-old, he had multiple DUIs and the installment payments on his credit card were more than his monthly paycheck.
In evading his obligations as a dad, he created more problems for himself. “Everything around me was destruction. I finally woke up one day and realized that I was just a loser and I couldn’t get out of it.”
By God’s great mercy, He strategically placed a strong Christian in Dominic’s workplace. “He shared the Gospel with me three times and he took me out to lunch. I wondered why this guy wanted to be my friend. He was so nice to me.”
While Dominic had been hostile to Christianity in college, this time he began to listen. “I started studying the Bible and I was deeply convicted,” he says.
God’s powerful offer in the Scripture of grace and compassion overwhelmed him. The Holy Spirit steadily softened his heart.
In a fast food restaurant, he told his co-worker he was ready to pray to receive Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Dominic was born again.
A businessman in the community discipled him. After a year, God turned Dominic’s heart toward his daughter and he moved from Atlanta to Tampa to be close to her.
“I was a student of the Word and I was very overwhelmed that God would love someone like me and I had no doubt that He was compassionate. I was overwhelmed that in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus says ‘Go and do the same.’
In response, Dominic decided to make a vow.
“I had married and at that time my wife and I were living in a modest home and had a modest standard of living. I said, ‘God, if you ever give me more money I’m not going to spend it on me. I’m going to use it to show your compassion to the world.’”
Sooner than expected, God opened a window of financial blessing from heaven. “Six months later the Lord led me and John Kang to start a software company that inside of 18 months went public on NASDAQ at the height of the tech boom,” he recounts.
He walked away with a tidy fortune, but turned his back on the vow. “I gave 10 percent to my church and another 10 percent to charity, not out of compassion, just placating my conscience.”
“Life became all about me. I was going to church; I was a Sunday school teacher. I was in church Sunday morning, afternoon and night and Wednesday night, but inwardly, I was serving another master.”
Against his wife’s wishes, he began to build a huge waterfront home — five times larger than the house they had been living in.
But two months after moving in, he was bitten by a tick. “It turned out to be a strange type of Lyme disease that would not respond to antibiotics,” he notes.
“It was in my brain and in all my organs. Due to complications of the antibiotics on my GI tract, I could not digest food. I had fungus growing in my mouth and on my fingers and nails. I had strange red bumps that looked like pencil erasers all over my head and neck that would not go away.”
Already slender, he lost 40 pounds. “I had arthritis so bad I couldn’t walk from one end of the new big house to the other. It felt like ‘The Big House’” — a prison.
Dominic sought out the best Lyme disease researchers in Connecticut. “We were trying all kinds of crazy antibiotic cocktails. I had nurses coming in with IV antibiotics but none of that worked.”
“After 18 months I was ready to die. The doctors said there is nothing else they can do.”
Soon after Dominic got the disease he began to repent. “God told me He was disciplining me for going to serve another master. I repented so in much in that 18 months I was in spiritual revival.”
He found the joy of the Lord in the midst of his suffering.
On October 6, 2002, he received a momentous phone call from a brother in Christ. “God told me to call and tell you He’s going to heal you,” the man said, his voice quavering on the other end of the line.
When Dominic hung up the phone every symptom left his body. He was miraculously healed!
“That was on a Saturday and I went to church on Sunday and you could have heard a pin drop,” he recounts. “People looked at me and they knew. All the red bumps were gone. I was standing upright. I wasn’t bent over taking small deliberate steps.”
Soon God impressed on Dominic’s heart that he should be a better steward with his money. “I did a cover to cover study of the Bible and what it says about money and giving and realized that in the New Testament there are 477 verses about giving,” he notes.
In his studies, he discovered a startling fact: Two-thirds of all the giving in the New Testament was to the persecuted, suffering church.
“I felt like that was a pretty clear marching order,” he concluded. But he found his church and his denomination were unresponsive to his requests about giving more to the persecuted. He reached out to the 150 largest churches in the U.S. and the 20 largest denominations.
“Only two of the denominations and three of the churches were involved in helping the
persecuted and only one of them did it in an amount that was more than one percent of their budget.”
He started “Mute No More” because he realized he had work to do, “to raise awareness and stimulate compassion” on behalf of the persecuted church.
“This has taken a chill off of some of my lukewarmness and put a fire under my faith,” he says. “My mission is to un-mute more people like me.”
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To learn about Mute No More, go here