In an age where the darkness of Satan’s influence lurks perilously in our society and school children are being reprimanded for standing up for their Christian beliefs, one Seminole County, Fla., young man—whose video “David After Dentist” has had 116 million views—has become a beacon of light for Jesus.
David DeVore, 12, a sixth-grader at Holy Cross Lutheran Academy in Sanford, Fla., recently was chosen as the grand-prize winner of the 19th annual Seminole County Poster and Essay Contest for his essay entitled, “Don’t Give in to Drugs. Give in to Jesus!” A total of 28 county schools were involved in the state-sponsored contest.
In 2009, DeVore was the subject of a video posted on YouTube by his father, David, that made the younger DeVore a household name. It is one of the most viewed videos in the history of YouTube.
Of course, the essay and his winning had nothing to do with the YouTube video. In spite of his YouTube notoriety, those who know David know it hasn’t gone to his head.
So, the subject of David’s essay didn’t surprise his parents, David and Tessie Devore.
“This is who David is,” the father said. “He speaks from his heart, and he is very sensitive to things about the Lord. He is always working on his relationship with Him. It was really nice to see him talk about that in front of all of those people.”
As the grand-prize winner, the younger DeVore was allowed to read his essay in front of an assembly at Winter Springs High School earlier this week. He also received $250, which he decided on his own to donate half to his school and the other half to buy Christmas presents for his younger brother.
“As a 12-year-old, David wonders how anybody could be wrong in sharing his or her faith in any kind of setting,” the elder DeVore said. “We were so proud of him because he was so bold with his words and he didn’t hold anything back.
“For all of the state officials to come up to us afterward and thank us for raising such a good kid, it was really refreshing to see, especially because there is so much animosity towards Christians these days. And honestly, it is not as much about parenting as it is about God’s grace and also the tremendous support we get from his school and his teachers. We don’t see how anyone can raise a child these days without God’s help.”
As a reward for his work, DeVore’s essay was printed in full on a calendar titled, “Live a Smart Life … Be Drug Free,” printed by the county and endorsed by retired Florida State Attorney Norman R. Wolfinger, current Florida State Attorney Phil Archer and Seminole County Sheriff Donald F. Eslinger. A total of 25,000 calendars were printed and distributed throughout the county.
In his essay, DeVore notes that in 2011, statistics showed that “for the first time in United States history, more people died from drugs than in car accidents. The death toll from drugs has doubled in the past decade, with one person dying every 14 minutes.”
“The Bible says things like drugs are what takes you away from God and right to the devil,” DeVore said in his essay. “In the Bible, the Word of God, the Lord tells us what things are right and what things are wrong. In the Bible, we find the wisdom to realize what we should do and not do. Drugs is an example of something God tells us not to do.”
DeVore cites Romans 12:1 and 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 as prime instruction in this area.