As someone who grew up in a low-income single-parent household, I had dreams of doing something spectacular and being someone that inspired people. However, the limited resources left me with very few options to accomplish those dreams. At age 15, I left home to escape physical and emotional abuse, and I still had ambitions to graduate high school and make something of myself. I struggled to work two jobs and maintain a passing GPA throughout high school until I turned 18 years old, and a friend took me to the strip club to get a job. It seemed like the best answer for my situation - a good-paying position that didn't interfere with my school hours. Two weeks after working at the club, I was solicited for sex for hire. I began drinking heavily and using drugs to cope with the situations I found myself in. As time went on, I needed harder drugs and more money to support the habit that had formed.
For 15 years, I was homeless, addicted, and engaging in sex acts for money, food, and shelter. I did anything I could to survive on the streets, and I had no resources or support to help me escape the prison to which I was confined. I was trapped in a survival cycle - get high to make money and make money to get high. I was in and out of jail and was put back on the streets without tools or resources. All hope seemed lost, and I was ready to die. I spent long nights on the streets crying out to God in hopes that He would hear me and do something to save me.
On October 13, 2016, God answered my prayer. I had done a shot of heroin that was mixed with something that my body couldn't handle. As I felt my body dying and fading away, I cried out to God. I told Him that I knew He had the power to save me and that He had a plan for my life. I committed everything I had to God at that moment and committed to living the rest of my days in His will for my life. By miraculous healing, God restored my body to complete health. God led me to a good church that took me in, heard my story, and embraced me right where I was. They wrapped around me and showed me what it looked like to follow Jesus. They became the family and support I never had and taught me to walk with Jesus.
May 2017, God gave me the vision to start a ministry to fight on behalf of people without hope - people like I once was. He put it in my heart to love the unloveable, see the unseen, and embrace the forgotten. My heart breaks for those with few options in life. I want to be used as God's instrument of compassion to those who have felt rejected, abused, and reprehensible. I want to reach the lost by going places that most people would avoid and letting people know there is a God who loves them, and as long as there is breath in their lungs - there is hope for a brighter future.