Hell Bound. . . HELL - NO! -A.J.
This past Sunday I was witness to - two of the most heart wrenching testimonies as given by two men who were being baptized. Prior baptisms had always brought joy, but this time. . . A humble, a grateful, a renewed spirit. Part of me was crushed by the testimonies, another part was elated by the transforming power of the God we serve.
The first man, Randy, who is in his late 40's, had been born into a biker family, all of which were heavily addicted to drugs, alcohol, and violence. This boy, now man, didn't have a chance. Introduced to meth by his father! at the tender age of eight. . .
Go ahead, it's okay to cry at this point. No need to hold it in, I couldn't. How in God's green earth could a father, and an entire family, expose a child to such a life?!
Randy is on his eighth trip to prison and nearing his release, afraid as hell, that he will return again to all he knows and inevitably back to prison. All he wants is a shot at life, and in his prayers this is the very thing he's cried out for. 'Give me strength! Give me a fresh start! Let my life have meaning! Help me break this familial cycle Lord!'
Well, Randy has had his prayers answered. A humble man of God, full of unconditional love for us least loved, has paid in full for Randy to go to Florida upon his release for a Christian-based, two year rehabilitation program that has a very high success rate. Thank you God for this generous man of yours! And for this man, Randy, who met the end of his rope and cried out for you, his heavenly Father.
But wait, there's more. . .
Man number two, also a man in his late 40's, also a man with a hellacious back story.
Billy, born in California to a family deeply entrenched in the gang-life, also had little chance from day one. By 11 he was runnin and gunnin with the area gangs, just as he'd witnessed his first ten years of his life.
Drugs, women, violence, and guns would lead him to a lifetime of crime, incarceration, and grave danger. He testified to being the shooter, and to being the one shot. He knows that he is alive today for a greater purpose. As he paused to hide the emotion, everyone else picked up the emotion where he left off.
Billy no longer wants to be that old man. He wants to be a man that the younger generation can look up to as evidence that 'Yes, I can change!' and 'No, I don't have to continue in the path laid before me.'
These are but two examples of the type of people we at Cornerstone Ministry strive to help. Sometimes people 'do' want to change, and sometimes they just don't have the strength to do it alone, or the resources to make that change everlasting. The Lord has blessed each of us with the opportunity to serve those children of God, considered "monsters" by many, into a new path where they can live out their dream of being a statistic, but in this case, one of success!