The Mission — January 2020

The Mission — January 2020

AN UGLY PAST, A HOPE-FILLED FUTURE

We all have a past. Unfortunately, mine is ugly. For almost 30 years, staying high on crack was the only way I could deal with the memories of the life I once lived as a gangbanger. Memories of friends who’d died … of people I’d hurt … of people I’d killed … Read More »

The Mission — December 2019

The Mission — December 2019

ANYTHING FOR HIS DAUGHTER

It was a Monday, last spring. My wife and I, along with our 11-year-old daughter, Alice, lived in Colorado. Before I left for work that morning, my wife asked, “Do you mind if I go to Denny’s and get us some breakfast?” I said, “Sure,” as I handed her my bank card. She left—and never came back…Read More »

The Mission — November 2019

The Mission — November 2019

GRATEFUL FOR A MIRACLE

Last Christmas, I bought my 9-year-old daughter, Leona, a real Christmas present for the first time in her life. It was our first Christmas with a tree, our first Christmas with lights, our first Christmas with joy. It was our first Christmas at Hope Gardens and it was our first Christmas spent with Jesus. Christmas will never be the same…Read More »

The Mission — October 2019

The Mission — October 2019

GRATEFUL FOR A MIRACLE

It was Thanksgiving, and Christine stood in the alley outside her mother’s backyard, listening to her family celebrate. She could smell the freshly baked turkey. She could hear the laughter. Growing up, Thanksgiving was one of her favorite holidays, a day filled with love and warm memories. But not anymore. She was no longer… Read More »