More than a way out…a way forward

More than a way out…a way forward

Sarah Steffensen – April 6, 2018

Community outreach leads to lives changed in Southeast Colorado Springs

Driving around frustrated, with an almost empty tank, Alex* was struggling to find the location of a weekly Bible study group that meets in Southeast Colorado Springs. Unable to find the house, frustration turned to discouragement and Alex decided to skip the Bible study altogether and head home. But before he could turn around he realized he was on the very street he had been looking for. God had led him straight to the right house!

Inside Alex talked to people the way he normally would, pretending everything was OK—it wasn’t. For over a year, He had been hiding a severe cocaine addiction. The addiction cost Alex his job, his family, and left him in a dire financial situation. Seeing no other option, Alex began to sell drugs to support his habit, which only worsened life. His life was out of control!

To understand Alex, you must know his background. His mom was a crack cocaine addict, and, as a result of her addiction, Alex and his 2 brothers were raised in deep poverty. The life they knew as children was a life of pain and misery. The one person who should have loved and protected them was the one abusing and neglecting them. Alex remembers feeling unwanted, unloved and rejected by his mother, and it deeply affected how he saw himself.

His surroundings weren’t much better. Alex saw his first drive-by shooting in his neighborhood as a young boy—a traumatizing experience for anyone, let alone a child. At school, violence, gang activity, and drug abuse were commonplace.

Starved for love and acceptance, Alex turned to a local gang. But gang life comes with many caveats. Alex began skipping school, fighting and using drugs. Eventually, he even ended up in jail for domestic violence.

A few months after being released from jail, Alex ran across an old gang friend. He quickly noticed that a lot of things had changed about his old friend. This friend had found Jesus, and through Christ, his friend was able to change his life. In fact, he is now one of WPS’s local ministry coordinators. Seeing these changes encouraged Alex to seek help and healing for himself, too. If God could change his former gang friend’s life, why couldn’t he change his life too?

After a bit of prompting, Alex agreed to visit a local men’s discipleship group called “The H.U.B.,” which meets weekly in S.E. Colorado Springs. The H.U.B. focuses on rebuilding broken men, through godly relationships and Bible teaching.

That night, when Alex was about to turn around his car and head home, God had different plans. Instead of Alex turning his car around, God was about to turn Alex’s life around. One hour into the evening the men began reading the Bible together. Alex read words that cut like a knife through his heart. He was overcome with brokenness! In tears, he confessed his despair and need for Jesus to save him. As he confessed his sin to the other men at the study, the weight of sin came off and he experienced the joy of salvation as he surrendered his life to Christ.

Today, Alex is a new man. He has been delivered from substance abuse. He has a job, continues to participate in the fellowship of The H.U.B. regularly, and is growing in his faith. God has restored him spiritually, socially, physically, and financially.

As supporters and partners of World Poverty Solutions, you are a part of Alex’s story and many other stories like it. As our domestic ministry team works to empower and encourage ministries like The H.U.B., many people, just like Alex, are coming to faith in Christ and are being transformed. Instead of seeking acceptance in gangs, they are finding acceptance in Christ. Instead of mind-dulling drugs, they are experiencing the renewal of their mind through the Word. Instead of fights that tear down lives, they are, through the power of the Holy Spirit, rebuilding their lives. It’s more than a way out of misery, it’s a way forward, upward and heavenward.

*Name Changed for Privacy