by Linnea, Children at Risk DTS staff
I didn’t know I could relate so well to someone so different from me.
After we took part in the service at Church in the Park, my team members and I spread out all over the large park to talk and pray with people. I walked toward a picnic table where five men sat. Before long, Tyrone and I were talking and sharing our stories with each other.
Tyrone told me that ever since he was a child, people spoke destiny over his life. Often, people said he should be a preacher. Instead he ended up on the streets, in gangs, shooting up heroin daily.
“I expected to die on heroin,” he said.
Instead, God showed up.
Six years ago, God delivered Tyrone from his heroine addiction. Then Tyrone found a job in Houston, which lasted a year until the company downsized. He found himself homeless again, struggling to remain free from alcohol and tobacco.
“I know God saved my life for a reason,” Tyrone says. “I know he has a destiny for me.”
I remembered back to my own years of drugs and addiction and shared with Tyrone the joy of freedom that Christ gave me. That’s when I saw that even though our lives are very different right now, we could relate on many levels. We both remembered the carefree attitude that addiction brought, even delighting in sin with no sense of regret. But as soon as we encountered God, we were never the same.
We talked about how we can’t sin anymore with a carefree attitude. Sin is not so enjoyable–in fact, it is miserable. And as we realized that, we gained new freedom in our lives.
I was amazed that someone else understood so well the experience I had when God walked me into freedom, and experienced the same process of freedom I did. I felt a deep connection to this stranger, this brother in Christ, that I had only met a few minutes ago. I knew God sent me to Him to encourage Him to not give up on his destiny and to take steps to pursue it. I asked him if I could pray for him and he welcomed it wholeheartedly. I prayed for freedom from alcohol and tobacco, for discovery of God’s purposes for his life, and that God would use him to encourage many.
“Take steps toward your destiny by taking any opportunity you can to share your testimony,” I challenged him. “Make the streets you live on your mission field.”
I promised Tyrone I wouldn’t forget him. I’m keeping this picture of us together in my Bible so I’ll remember to pray that he fulfills his destiny.
Please join me in praying for Tyrone and the thousands of others out there that are looking for the hope and future God promises when we follow His ways.
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