8 years ago I made a change. I decided I wanted to start going to youth group at a local church, and didn’t realize the romance I would encounter there. It was New Life Outreach International, pastored by Victor & Carmen Torres.

Victor Torres was a man saved by God, a former drug addict and gang member. He entered Teen Challenge, a christian rehabilitation center, and his life was radically changed. I belief this change came from his mother’s prayer. His mama was an old school saint who believed in praying until something broke, which is something this modern church has lost the art of. In the seven years I was apart of that body, I was afforded the opportunity to minister to the women of The Mercy House, which is there womans home in Richmond. It was an amazing experience to be able to love on, talk with, laugh and cry with these beautiful women who wanted to get their lives together. You’d watch their intake, coming in as women who were abused, used, and tattered to their trial period where they’d learn about God and be mentored and loved on. I’d see the crack addicted, still having the shakes, come in and within weeks have a new gleam in they’re eyes. Suddenly these women who didn’t know love, didn’t know Jesus, begin to fall in love with him and enjoy worshiping him.

In that type of ministry you try your best to focus on the ones who make it, rather than the ones who don’t. The ones you cry over because they walk out the door. The ones you grieve over because it was theyre last hope, you and them both know it.

I’m bit brokenhearted right now because I just found out one of my girls died last year. She left the program, and overdosed. Me and this woman, who was old enough to be my mother, would sit and chat about what God was doing in her life. I’d encourage her to keep on keeping on. She even told me once she knew if she went back on the streets she’d die. She walked out, I knew when she did, and I prayed God would keep her safe and remind her she was loved. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know when, but I know God was there with her always. It hurts, makes me very sad, but God was with her, she wasn’t alone. She may have been scared, hurting, wounded, and abused, but she wasn’t alone. God was there. He is always there. I take comfort in that.

I have a special heart for the thrown out, the drug addict, prostitute, because society looks at them as if they are so different from anyone of us, but they’re not. They are victims of the things we made it through, the things we had support to get through. I believe in rehabilitation. I believe in programs to get your friend, loved one, dear one help. I especially believe in them if they point the person to Jesus.

If you, if someone you know and love has a problem PLEASE GET THEM HELP. Please get help