by Tino Wallend
A member of The Flying Wallendas circus troupe
tells how he came to know Jesus Christ.
I walk on a cable
that is 5/8-inch thick, at a height of 30 to 35 feet, between two posts that usually are
30 feet apart.
I have walked cables that were higher than 100 feet in the air and
cables that were longer than 600 feet across. I have walked over dens of lions and tigers,
between buildings, across rivers, and over a pool that contained more than 50
Many people have thought that Im a fool to do that. But the Bible
says that the real fool is the one who says that there is no God.
At age 19 I thought I was a real intellectual. I was always eager to
talk with people about thingseven religionon an intellectual plane. If someone
would talk to me about God, I would say, "I have thought about this, and Im an
I should have known that God exists. From the time that I was young, my
mother and my father told me about God and heaven. They taught me how to pray, and I had a
grandmother who told me again and again that God answers prayer.
And there were other people in the circus world who told me about the
reality of God. It wasnt personal testimony, however, that made an impact on my
life. The thing that brought me to an understanding of the reality of God was the Word of
In 1971 a friend gave me a book about Bible prophecy. Besides prophecy,
the book also had words from the Bible along with commentary about those words.
I began to recognize prophecies that had been fulfilled by Jesus: He
would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23) in Bethlehem (Michah 5:2; Matthew
2:1-6); He would go to Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15); He would die a martyrs
death (Isaiah 53:1; Peter 3:18).
"Maybe the Bible really is true," I thought. "Maybe I
should pay attention."
But the thing that really got my attention was that Gods Word
would judge my thoughts. In Hebrews 4:12 I read, "The word of God is living and
active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and
spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
I had thought that Godif there really was a Godlooked at us
on the surface the way we look at one another. But when I read that God looks inside my
heart, I looked there too. I didnt like what I saw.
I continued reading in Hebrews, "Nothing in all creation is hidden
from Gods sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to
whom we must give account." As I looked at myself, I saw that there was no hope. I
I had a friend named Harry who had become a Christian about a year
earlier. He was from a circus background too.
One night I saw him, and we began to talk. Finally he asked me,
"Would you like to ask Jesus to come into your life?"
"Yes, I would," I said.
Harry prayed, and then it was my turn. At first I couldnt get the
words out because I knew that I would be admitting that I was a sinner in need of
Gods salvation. Finally I prayed, "Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know
that You paid the price for me and that You took all of my sins upon Yourself. Please come
into my life."
From that point on, my goals, my direction, changed dramatically. But
even though I felt different, I really didnt feel forgiven.
It took me several years to realize that I was still rebelling against
God. Not openly, but in my finances, my social life, my business and many other things. I
didnt want to give them to God. I wanted to hold on to them.
One day in 1977 I was on my knees, thinking about all of these things.
I cried out to God and asked Him to be the Lord of my life, not just my Savior.
God calls Christians to go into all the world. We may not all be
pastors or evangelists, but we are supposed to take the talents and abilities that God has
given us and use them to glorify His name.
In the past 20 years my family and I have gone to churches around the
world as well as to churches across the United States. We set up our equipment, do our
performances and tell people that God is real.
I also am involved in a prison ministry. I go into prisons with a group
of celebrities, entertainers and former convicts who have given their lives to God. We
perform and then tell the prisoners that they can have eternal life and hope in Jesus
I would venture to say that people dont go looking for God first.
Jesus comes looking for us. And I thank God that when I wasnt even looking for Him,
He found me.
Tino Wallenda is a professional tightrope walker. He and his wife, Orlinka, are the
parents of four children and live in Sarasota, Florida, where they attend The Tabernacle
(nondenominational). He will be at Edgewater Park on July 4th, with Connection Magazine,
to do a high wire walk.