“I had to redevelop myself and try to get over the pain and frustration I was dealing with, and I just couldn’t seem to escape it, and so I ended up going through substance abuse and drug addiction. I was smoking a lot of marijuana and drinking a lot, and it caused me to be even more angry. And at that point I went to jail. I went to jail for two days for public intox. And at that time, it was just me in a cell and Jesus Christ. He was asking me to do things his way. And I was hearing him, couldn’t see him, but I heard him.”

“Like, you really felt like you could hear him?”

“Exactly. I really felt I could hear him. And it was so uplifting that I could feel my pains being uplifted. I could feel the pain going away from all the regret and bitterness that I was carrying around that caused me to do the alcohol and marijuana.”

“And after I got out of jail–the two days, I had time to sober up and hear the word of God asking me to come to him–I got out and went straight to Twin Pines Church and got baptized and got saved and turned my life over to Jesus Christ. And they embraced me with open arms, took me in and gave me some good Gospel. I got baptized there and never looked back since.”

“After that I had to find a place, so I went to the Mission of Hope Shelter, and they took me in. I was there for about thirty days and after that I got an appartment of my own, ’cause I was working. I went and got an efficiency apartment, and things were looking up, and I then I got me a one-bedroom apartment, and then things were looking up even more. Now I have a two-bedroom house. I feel great. I feel refurbished and replenished from being so sullen and grinding, you know what I mean?”

“There’s not bitterness no more. There’s no anxieties no more. No alcohol and drugs no more. And now it’s just an uplifting feeling for me to know that Jesus gave me another chance. He gave me a chance and through him I was able to put that bitterness aside and say, “Hey, let me work on doing what the Lord wants me to do.” So, I started here [Mission of Hope] as a volunteer two years ago. […] I felt so inspired by doing what I was doing that I kept coming, volunteering, and then they offered me a job, and I accepted.”