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  • Writer's pictureNAEF

From the valley to victory

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

My life is proof that God refuses to give up on us! About 8 and a half years ago I encountered the love of God, when a couple of faithful witnesses (Tyler Marshall, Michelle Dorthe and Nicholas Overland) shared with me the gospel of Jesus. I was homeless, high as a kite, with no aim or purpose in life. I was invited to Tyler Marshall's in-laws for a barbecue and that's when I saw it. Here's this family, full of joy and love. Something more than just going to church on Sundays. Something I knew I had to have. They had Jesus.

That night, we went to the International House of Prayer Eastern Gate. And this was where I was met by the presence of God. There was something so special about going into this prayer room, where men, women and children spent countless hours beholding the beauty of Jesus and crying out to Him. I was honestly never the same. These significant men and women invested time and money into my spiritual well-being. I was being taught the Word of God every day. I was also introduced to Resting Place: House of Prayer & Revival Center where I was met by some amazing people who love Jesus!

Unfortunately, I made some decisions that would lead me back to my old life. I wasn't willing to surrender. I wasn't willing to die to myself. I wanted things of the world. I had amazing encounters and experiences with the Lord and His people, but I wasn't willing to be discipled; wasn't willing to grow in the Lord and be held accountable. In my immaturity, I didn't see the severity of my actions. The severity of my sin.

In His graciousness, the Lord set it up for me to go through Renovation House in Perth Amboy, NJ. I was being fed the Word. I was with great people who wanted to do the will of God. Looking back, I know that I just wanted to get back on good terms with my leaders from the House of Prayer. But without putting in real work. So, after leaving Renovation House (without finishing), my Pastor, Gary De Pasquale suggested that I go to Adult & Teen Challenge New Jersey. I didn't want to go. In fact, he asked me prior to mentioning TC where I would want to go if I can’t stay at the House of Prayer...I told him back to New Brunswick...I was willing to go back to the very place the Lord brought me out of!! I was clueless.

So, I go to Teen Challenge from May of 2015-July of 2016. And all I knew how to get through was to look good and sound good. Although I had some real moments with the Lord, I was still me. I wasn't dying daily. Even though there were many days that I wanted to live for the Lord, the day came when I was going to have to prove where my heart was. And I blew it. Big time. I stole a vehicle that belonged to Teen Challenge and drove all the way to Florida. I was gone for three years

It was three years of full-on rebellion. I was a drunken mess with no cares in the world. I didn't care about anyone around me or myself. After some time in prison, Ernesto Davila and Gary De Pasquale called me up wanting me to come back to NJ. And I was ready. I wanted to stop running.

I finished the program on Easter Day 2020 (with the car theft charges dropped btw). But that wasn't enough. I needed more self-induced misery. 2020 was my rock bottom. I thought I wasn't coming back from this run. I really thought I was going to die in my mess. BUT GOD!

Vernon Henry called me up out of the blue at the end of March this year. And let me tell you, it was at just the right time. I believe that phone call saved my life. That same day I had an encounter with the Spirit of God, telling me that I was on this "broad way, leading to destruction. And It's time to come home."

The Lord has made me new. I can't even begin to understand the depth of His love. How is it that I can openly rebel against the living God, and He still had mercy on me? He still gave me opportunity to repent and to trust Him again. He's so good!

I am now a freshman at Northpoint Bible college, to learn biblical theology and train to become a missionary. I'm so ecstatic to learn more of who the Lord is, a time where I'll commit myself to His word, prayer, and ministry.

I can't thank Him enough for this opportunity. I can't thank Him enough for giving me His only Son. For making me alive in Him. For changing my desires and giving me purpose. For adopting me into His family. For never giving up on me.

Ephesians 3:14-21

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21

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