"I've had a lot of darkness in my life. As I grew up, in order to escape a lot of abuse that happened to me, I resorted to drugs. By the time I was in high school I was heavily using cocaine and began trying heroine. I was in abusive relationships, living in the streets because I could no longer live at home. My mother had kicked me out because I became physically abusive to her. My mom meant everything in the world to me, and seeing what I became was killing me inside. Drugs, sex, and other illegal things I was involved with finally caught up to me and I got arrested. My mother's grace towards me during my darkest years gave me hope. I didn't know it, but she was showing me a picture of God that was so attractive to me, even though she wasn't in the church either.
That transpired around 2010-2011. It was in jail that God put an old friend's name in my mind. When I got out, I went to that family, not knowing that they had become SDA three years prior. They began showing me what Christians looked like. They would always have me at their home, cook meals for me, and invite me to bible studies. I started going to church with them, but I was still struggling with putting away my old lifestyle. I was understanding a lot of scripture and prophecy but I still held on to a lot of guilt and shame. I learned years later after going to ARISE that Jesus could be my personal Savior. It was in 2014 where I first saw the gospel of Jesus- and it was life changing."