Testimonials

Speaking Endorsements

Kristi Overton Johnson has a powerful story that touches the hearts of people of all ages. She is a world class athlete and a champion communicator. Kristi’s sense of humor, her authenticity and her ability to clearly present the gospel make her presentation one you will not want to miss.Ken Davis, Speaker, Author & Comedian

Personally, I want to commend and thank Kristi for taking the time to do what very few people, much less public champions, would be willing to do—she lets us in! She opens the doorway of her soul and invites the world to learn from her past failures and triumphs. Let’s face it. Most of today’s champions won’t allow family—much less the general public—into that secret little closet in their heart of hearts where they, like the rest of us, systematically hide their real feelings, failures, and fears. In the more-plastic-than-real world where we live, most champions parade up and down their playing fields, gyms, stages, and even waters, flaunting their great deeds but never once sharing their misdeeds. They would die if anyone could get inside their soul’s inner chamber and see how hollow and hurting they really are. Thank God, for our sakes, Kristi choses to be different and to do the hard thing—the humbling thing—something very few people would ever drum up the courage to do. She gets real in her speaking and her writing.

~ Dr. Bobby Joiner
Tour pastor for NewSong and Winter Jam.

Kristi’s very positive Christian message had a significant impact on both our students and adults.  She is very engaging and inspiring.  Hearing her testimony gives hope for all us to let God do work in our lives.

~ Rev. James Wilmots, St. Roch, Indianapolis, IN

Kristi, you are a speaker gifted in relating scripture with real world situations. As a professional water skier, wife mom, and missionary you connect your own stories with the stories of scripture, allowing people to see how God might be moving in their lives. Your strong, clear message of hope and healing speaks to those who have a past they’d like to forget, who have spent their whole lives striving to earn love, or who need to hear Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness for the first time.

~ Carey, Florida

World Champion water skier hardly skims the surface of what Kristi Overton Johnson offers when she steps up to the platform to speak. She connects with her audience at a deeper level through her successes and failures and stories of determination. Learning how God has enabled her to overcome obstacles not only as an athlete, but challenges with her health, her family and even her ministry helps others to believe that they can have victory as well.

~ Kim, North Carolina

I have had the pleasure of hearing Kristi minister to a large variety of groups, both young and old. All enjoy her insightful style of illustrating the message of hope through her transparent life experiences and analogies learned throughout her life. Kristi’s love for the Lord comes through loud and clear and and will direct your heart to the One who holds the answers to all life’s challenges.

~ Ivy, Oregon

Thank you for coming to St. Roch School and speaking to our children. I was blessed to be there and to be able to see the attentive expression on my daughter’s face as she heard your wonderful story. I know you have helped inspire her to “Hit it!” with God, as she grows into her life!

~Becky, Indiana

Ms. Kristi, I recently heard you speak. Your message touched me. You speak with love and care. Your concern and passion for the eternal well-being of others is evident in your words and actions. You serve others with a generous and open heart and mind. You also speak with strength and powerful gestures which show your confidence while simultaneously presenting yourself as comfortable and relaxed. You are well educated but you use analogies that can be helpful in explaining complex ideas to people of all ages. You are positive and encouraging which helps motivate others to live for Christ and improve various aspects of their lives. An audience gains encouragement and hope when they hear you speak. You are confident in God’s love and in His purpose. You are also willing to admit your faults which help your audience relate to you. I think you are a good role model because you are continuously seeking God and you do so with a humble heart. One other thing that surprised me while speaking with you personally is your humor. I found you to be charmingly comical in your gestures and speech which I think is wonderful because a quick way to people’s hearts is through laughter and a smile can make even the worst days seem better. Love, hope, encouragement, and victory! That’s what I gained from the message you shared!

~ Tina, NC

Hit it! Book Endorsements

Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” Pursuing this verse is an adventure that promises to be a journey of a lifetime. For Kristi and for me, much of the journey has been experienced on the water. It is my pleasure to encourage you to read this most compelling story of Kristi’s journey and how it has shaped her. Don M. (Bubba) Cathy, Executive Vice President, Chick-fil-A

I know I’ve made my share of mistakes in my career and in my life. Whether you are seeking a win on the football field, race track or in the game of life, how you respond to adversity often defines whether or not you will be a success. In Hit It! Kristi provides a testimony of determination, perseverance, and humility that we can all benefit from.

Joe Gibbs
Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach
3-time Super Bowl Champion and 3-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion as owner of Joe Gibbs Racing

Water-skiing isn’t quite the same as walking on water, but if you’ve ever watched a skier glide and then bump across the waves, you have a picture of the Christian life. In these pages, you’ll grasp the analogies as champion skier Kristi Overton Johnson grabs hold of the rope and shouts to the boat’s driver, “Hit it!” (which means that she is ready for action). She comes up out of the water clinging to the lifeline, pulled by the strength and power of the boat’s engine. This is the story of how Christ, our Captain, will throw us The Lifeline and connect us to His power, enabling us to maneuver stormy waves and bring us into the exhilaration of knowing He is at the controls. Hold on for life and follow Him; grasp the rope and bellow out… “Hit it!”

Franklin Graham
President and CEO Samaritan’s Purse
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

I’ve been a water-skier most of my life. I’ve been blessed to spend time with some of the world’s best skiers, and I always love hearing their stories. Let’s face it: this is a hard sport! There are no soft landings when you hit the water traveling in excess of 60 mph! In Hit It!, former world record holder Kristi Overton Johnson shares her trials, challenges, and victories from a lifetime on the water to show you how your biggest win might be just one effort away.

Dave Ramsey
New York Times best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio show host

I am most impressed with the way Kristi’s passion for the presence of God is communicated on every page of this book. The depth of character that was formed in her life as she hungered for Jesus above all else helped guide her on her journey to repurpose her gifts and talents and the dreams she held dear. The love of God she now emanates, even in her writings, transcends denominational lines and will bless readers of every station, calling, and experience. Read this book, launch out into the deep, and fall in love with Jesus all over again.

Erlita Renner
Partner Care Director
Rick Renner Ministries

Victorious Living Volunteers

While seeking more of Jesus, I discovered prison ministry. God knew my desire to do His work, to do something different that would push me out of my comfort zone. This ministry has given me more time and a greater desire to be in God’s Word as I want to be equipped to respond to the inmates’ letters. Since beginning to correspond with inmates my heart has ached to share what God had given me…freedom and forgiveness through salvation. I am grateful and thankful for this ministry and the opportunity to be included. Cheryl, Florida

This ministry is so needed. Even though I may never physically meet one of these precious folks that I write to, I am thankful for the opportunity to be in their lives. Most of the inmates have no one, including family, who visit them on a regular basis, if even at all. Having a cousin who is incarcerated in Georgia, I know that mail is a lifeline to the outside world. Through this ministry, I get to send letters to hurting people. Love knows no bounds as God’s love flows through these letters. It seems such a small thing to do, but I know the letters are vital to them. Jesus said, “When you do this to the least of these, you are doing it unto Me.” I am so blessed to be able to be a blessing to others, and the inmates are a blessing to me.

~ Dale, Florida

When I heard about Kristi Overton Johnson’s Victorious Living Prison Correspondence Outreach, I immediately wanted to get involved. I too desire to touch the lives of people struggling to find hope and God. I never expected the blessings these wonderful, courageous inmates would bring into my life. Their letters sometimes include the struggles they are going through, but more frequently than not, they share their faith and convictions with me. They pray for me, and my family. I’m learning from them. Through this prison ministry, I have learned so much about people. Many of these inmates love God and are so humble. They inspire me to be a better Christian and to appreciate all God has given me. I no longer take for granted the life I live—the privilege of being able to go to church, to participate in Bible studies, and simply to have relationships with people who can help me grow as a believer. These men and women may be behind walls and bars, but they have found true freedom in Christ. It’s a freedom we should all long to have. Thank you, KOJ Ministries for allowing me to be a part of this life-changing ministry.

~ Barbara, South Carolina

Testimonies from Inmates

I am currently serving a life sentence and I am in solitary confinement for the next three years. Everything just seemed hopeless …that is… until I read your magazine containing the inspirational articles. After finishing the magazine, I prayed to God asking Him to restore the joy in my life. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. Thank you for showing up on time! Would your team pray for me? Pray that I grow in faith, pray that I will have a spirit of endurance, and pray that I can really experience a true relationship with Jesus. Also please pray God will watch over my family and protect them. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter. I look forward to hearing from someone soon. Dominic P., Florida State Prison Inmate

Dear Kristi, Thank you. Your monthly devotions have made 2016 one of my best years in prison. What you are doing is no small thing. You are a world changer. Your prayers and generous devotions make a real difference. Know that God is using your ministry mightily to help those in need. Continue to be faithful to Him, stay encouraged, and let’s reach heights once thought unimaginable.

~ Devon N. (Sumter Correctional Institution)

Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team, Last week, I was feeling a little bit down and out, when the mailman opened my flap and handed me a copy of your exceptional publication. I must tell you, it brought me unspeakable joy! I can’t say enough about your publication, from the high quality material used to assemble it to the warm and inspiring stories shared within. When I opened the first page, the photo on the Nautique advertisement took me back to my childhood and my first ski lessons. Thank you for blessing me with your wonderful publication and all the inspiration within it. May God continue to empower you in all that you do, for you are His shining light of hope and motivation. Pray for us all as we await the coming of our Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

~ Angel P.

Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team, Thank you for writing me back. I received my introductory letter and first devotion this week. I want you to know that the simple but compelling bookmark you sent led me to give my life to Christ, today, May 22, 2016. Thank you so much for loving me enough to share God’s Word and His message. I look forward to writing your correspondence team and being a part of your ministry by helping others come to know Christ through the materials you send.

~Jonathan H. (Florida State Prison)

Dear Kristi, Thank you so much for sending me your powerful thoughts, wisdom, and love. Of course, my gratitude is for your entire team—everyone has picked me up when I was feeling blue. Your wisdom and knowledge have given me hope to conquer the obstacles in front of me. Truly, most days I feel like I am climbing Mount Everest in blizzard conditions! I don’t receive very much mail, so when your godly inspired magazine, letters, and monthly devotions show up, I feel peace come over me. The entire team’s dedication, splashed with love, certainly has affected the needs of incarcerated individuals everywhere. If your team were major league baseball players, the entire crowd would be on their feet, cheering until you took a curtain call. May God bless all of you involved for providing a perfect model of Christ, which is as obvious as light shining in darkness. Your courageous team is truly a class act.

~ Kyle C. (Apalachee Correctional)

Dear Victorious Living Prison Outreach Team, Thank you so much for corresponding with me and sharing the love of Jesus. I received a beautiful and much needed inspiration from you that I confess brought joy to my spirit and tears to my dry eyes! Recently I was moved from one prison to another and am being housed in close management. When I got into my tiny one-man cell I was devastated and severely wounded. I have been very depressed lately. While there, I began reminiscing on some good times that my mother and I had shared when all of a sudden I was hit with a ferocious sadness. I couldn’t help but feel hurt and lost. Just then, the correctional officer passed out mail and stopped at my cell. He called me and I came to my door. The officer noticed my red and puffy eyes. He gave me your letter and smiled as he walked away. My hands were shaky and sweaty and when I saw it was from KOJM, my heart was filled with so much joy. I read your beautiful inspiration and Bible verses. I am still going through them! I was just so overwhelmed with love and peace and so many good things. Kristi, I appreciate all of your help and love that you and your team give. But most importantly I give thanks to God for bringing you into my life. God is so amazing and wonderful, not to mention full of surprises! I know that God is going to bless this ministry. Please continue what you are doing. Your outreach is really amazing. Even while I am in prison and at the lowest level of hurt, you visited me and shared the best thing in the world…Jesus and His love. I am proud to say Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am just so happy to know that there are great people out there who have love in their hearts.

~William E. (Florida State Prison)

Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team, Thank you for answering my letter and for your genuine prayers on my behalf and my eighty-four-year-old mother. I also want to thank you for sharing your sincere love of Christ. I can see it comes from your heart. Please tell Kristi that a couple of days ago, I took her wonderful devotional dated January 14, 2016, to the yard and translated it from English to Spanish for a group of sixty-four men. These men were not saved, and they didn’t speak English. I also shared my personal testimony of who I used to be and who I am now with Christ as my only Lord. About forty-five minutes later, the entire group asked me if I could lead them all to Christ. Now we have a group of 489 Christians here at Hardee Correctional Institution! Please know that I pray for this ministry daily—for you, for the writing team, and for Kristi. Please give them all my sincere greetings and love.

~ Gilberton

Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team, Thank you for always showing up on time! Last night was a particularly difficult night for me. I started looking through my saved mail and found one of your postcards. Even though it was a month old, the scripture and prayer sent to me by one of your team members served as a timely reminder that someone indeed cares. The words on your card reminded me of the power of praise. As a child of God, my spirit needs to be in a constant state of praise, regardless of the despair I go through. Praise should permeate my life every day in every situation. Thank you for this reminder. Thank you also for the reminder of Romans 8:37, printed on your ministry postcard. I am indeed more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. I have that portion of your postcard taped to my footlocker as a constant source of encouragement and a reminder for me to pray for this ministry.

~ Robert B.

Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team, As an inmate, at Wakulla Correctional Institution in Crawfordville, FL, I have been very blessed by your magazine Victorious Living. I read every issue cover to cover and even keep them in my footlocker rather than disposing of them when I’m finished. I’ve read each issue multiple times. Recently, you came to Wakulla Correctional Institution. It was awesome to hear your story. Your coming to the prison was the best thing to happen to a lot of us. It can be very difficult being a Christian in prison. It can be a hard road witnessing, but some can in fact be reached. Your Victorious Living Magazine does in fact make a great witnessing tool to the lost. I would like to sign up for your monthly teaching/devotional mailing as I hope it will also help me reach out to other inmates here. Some of these men here will never go home– ever– except when they either pass on to God’s glorious salvation through our Lord Christ Jesus or on to eternal damnation. I pray all will come to give their lives to the Lord. Well thanks again for coming to Wakulla Correctional Institution with your testimony. I pray, my sister in Christ that you will return again soon. God Bless You KOJ

~ William

Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team, Wow! We serve an awesome God in and through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Your magazine has truly been a blessing from God Almighty. I’ve been reading Victorious Living since last year and every time I get encouragement and rejuvenated!

~David

Testimonies from Partners

I support KOJ Ministries’ Victorious Living magazine and prison outreach. Having had a family member in prison at one time, I know how desperate prisoners can be for reading material. I also know that an inspiring story can give a prisoner hope, and we all need hope. As a board member, I have witnessed firsthand the heart behind KOJ Ministries’ desire to touch lives for Christ. I am grateful to be a part of what God is doing through this ministry, both as an advisor and a financial supporter. For just $1000.00, I can sponsor a prison for one whole year to receive the magazine and reach thousands of lives! When Victorious Living magazines enter prisons, they stay there and continue to touch lives for years! That’s a lot of continuous impact for my kingdom investment! Bonnie Hagemann, President Executive Development Association, Missouri

I support the Victorious Living Prison Outreach because Victorious Living changes lives, and that’s the most important thing any of us can do. I minister to male inmates in jails and prisons, and I give them this impactful and encouraging magazine. I see firsthand how God is using this magazine to help inmates. Through testimonies of faith and the Word of God, Victorious Living helps men realize that even though they are incarcerated, there are people who do love them. Even greater, they realize that Jesus loves them too. He loves them just as much now that they are incarcerated as He did before. It’s a simple truth: Jesus loves prisoners. In fact, the last person Jesus talked to while on this earth was a prisoner. Jesus is in the life-changing business. He doesn’t care about past mistakes and failures; He only cares about a person’s future. Through Victorious Living, God is helping incarcerated men and women have a new future in Christ Jesus. There’s nothing greater.

~Emil Heins, Wisconsin

Testimonials from Other Ministries

I love Victorious Living magazine. When individuals are incarcerated, their heart’s cry is to find hope and encouragement. These precious people are seeking answers, and at times, the Bible is not available. Or for many, maybe the Word of God isn’t an option, but a magazine is. Victorious Living is a valuable tool to reach the hopeless with hope, and make the unreachable reachable. This magazine is filled with faith-filled, encouraging, and inspiring stories that lead the prisoners to freedom, and a victorious life! Teresa Kemp, Breaking Chains International

I want to thank everyone who is connected and supportive with the vision that Victorious Living Magazine accomplishes. Because of the many powerful testimonies and hope these magazines provide behind prison doors and recovery centers I am able to not only have the opportunity to bring them a word of encouragement and restoration, but able to put within their hand something that continues to minister to them and not leave them empty handed. I’ve heard several testimonies of how they have been able to write letters to the ministry that mentors and discipleships those who are incarcerated and has made a tangible difference. Thank you Kristi, Victorious Living, Linda and all the team for making your magazines possible and available. Thank you for serving the Kingdom.

~Pastor and Evangelist Donna Day

As a pastor, I am encouraged by the Kingdom impact Victorious Living is making in the lives of many. In Matthew 25:34-46, Jesus clearly instructs us to “come to those in prison.” While our church members may not all physically enter prison facilities to share the love, grace, and forgiveness of God, we are grateful to know that the Gospel is making its way in through Victorious Living, a publication of KOJ Ministries. First Baptist Starke considers it an honor to support this outreach financially and by helping to write inmates letters of encouragement, and covering each letter in prayer. We praise the Lord for the lives that have been changed for His glory! I encourage other churches to follow Jesus’ teachings and join us in ministering to “the least of these” by supporting KOJM’s Victorious Living Prison Outreach.

~ Scott A. Crook, First Baptist Church Starke, Florida

Victorious Living Story Contributor

Since all of life is to be victorious, as we grow in the leading of our Lord, I praise God for His direction toward the magazine, Victorious Living, and the wonderful people who are contributors and the readers. And to think that it all started because an inmate with whom I had exchanged letters for years who took the time to bless me with this magazine. What a sweet miracle. Glory be to our Lord!Lucy, Tennessee

Remembering my first trip to jail 30 years ago brings joy to my heart. In response to a mom’s request to go and visit her son, I went as a visitor and not an inmate – which makes a big difference. I quickly realized prison ministry was one of God’s calls on my life. As the years passed, however, I was more inclined to visit inmates with only my pen and paper. Writing letters that shared my faith journey and my favorite Scriptures has been one of my activities of blessing, but as I have aged into the “youthful eighties,” I haven’t been able to write as many letters as I once had. The smaller number of letters I wrote needed a boost. Victorious Living gave them a boost indeed!

Here’s how I discovered this wonderful magazine. It was one of the greatest surprises of my life! One day I received a large envelope that brought this magazine right to my front door. When I saw the return address of the envelope was from inmate Roy, I could not imagine what it would contain. But I eagerly opened it and saw the cover of the magazine, Victorious Living. One look at the cover and the table of contents and it won my heart immediately.

I wrote to the publisher, Kristi Overton Johnson right away. I was a writer of hymn stories, in a book and in newspapers. Could I be so honored to join the powerful ministry of sharing our Lord Jesus in this awesome magazine? She replied and I wrote my first story last spring. I’ve been a regular contributor ever since! Now my stories are touching thousands of lives!

Since all of life is to be victorious, as we grow in the leading of our Lord, I praise God for His direction toward the magazine, Victorious Living, and the wonderful people who are contributors and the readers. And to think that it all started because an inmate with whom I had exchanged letters for years who took the time to bless me with this magazine. What a sweet miracle. Glory be to our Lord!

~ Lucy, Tennessee