“I was born in Mexico and brought to the States when I was two years old. From a Catholic home I knew of God but I had no personal relationship with Him. I became involved with sports and in a relationship with a beautiful girl, both of which kept me at home and out of trouble.
But, after that relationship ended and I realized sports were coming to an end, I had no hope of accomplishing anything after high school, so I chose to start hanging around a gang. I started experimenting with ecstasy and cocaine just to fit in and feel like one of them. In time, I gave my life over to this gang. With that lifestyle came harder drugs, violence, and partying.
I had a son with a girl who was involved with the same gang. Within a year and a half, his mother left us. I became fearful, not knowing exactly how to raise a baby by myself. I left my son at my parents’ house so I could pursue my addiction and involvement with the gang. Not long after that, I started getting in trouble with the law. In 2013, I was looking at prison and deportation but was allowed a chance at a drug program. I entered two different programs but to no avail.
Then, I heard about Teen Challenge. In the program, I learned the importance of a real intimate relationship with Jesus and gave my life to Him. I gained the courage to completely leave the gang. My life has been forever changed. Today, that same beautiful girl I was with in high school is now my wife and we both have Jesus as Lord of our lives. I am using the work experience I learned in Teen Challenge working at a landscaping company in Auburn. My relationship with my parents and family have been restored. My sincere ‘thank you’ to everyone who made a sacrifice to give me this new life.”