Monday, August 27, 2012

there is POWER in the name of Jesus...

Sunday night, Izzy arrived at church. He is a sweet young 19 year old guy. He and I have been friends for awhile. It started off like most of the friendships I have through this ministry... I put almost all of the effort into the relationship. But slowly, things began to change. He began to call me, to text me, to look for me, and to ask about my life. We have grown really close over the past 8 months. Israel started to prostitute when he was 13 years old. His home situation was horrible. His step father was extremely violent. His siblings were scattered among family members. Izzy ended up living with an aunt who later threw him out of the house after her husband became a raging alcoholic. With nowhere to go, and being just a young boy, he found himself on the streets. He hated life on the streets. His first night on the street he asked God, “If you are real; take me away to be with you.” Being a young boy, he grew angry with God and began to search to fill what was missing in his life. He was manipulated and swooped up and converted into a victim of child sexual tourism in Costa Rica. 
To keep up with the demand, he found himself prostituting as a girl... and for years was sold as a transvestite. 
On his worst night of his life, he had a radical encounter with God. He broke down in tears. A boy whose heart had become harder than stone, who didn’t even think he was able to cry; broke down in tears before the Lord. He began to have flash backs of words people had shared with him from God. And this is where his new journey began. 
After 5 years of working as a transvestite prostitute, and after years of encouragement from our ministry, and after having the truth spoken over him, his life is finally taking a drastic change. Just hearing him talk yesterday was a huge confirmation of answered prayers over his life. He was filled with hope, something I have never seen in him before. He was confident that God has something big for his life. He told me that he knew there was something different about us, his friends, and he wants it. He has not been on the streets in a month now... he has decided that he never wants to go back. He has retuned home to live with his mother (who is no longer with the stepfather). This life on the streets for the past year has been his way to support his mother... leaving this lifestyle means leaving his source of income. 
However, Izzy now believes in himself... and he desperately wants more of God. Yesterday, he asked me if I could take him to a movie to get him out of the house. He even told me that he so deeply desires to be around Godly people who can help him walk closer to the Lord. It’s incredible. It has been a process of years... I’ve known him for 8 months and have cried my eyes out for him many nights. But finally, we are seeing the fruit... and we are seeing God’s miraculous transforming power. There is still a TON of healing to take place, a lot to learn, a lot more to change; but the desire is there. 
        We know that when the streets are involved, it is always a process. At times we wonder if we are making an impact on the lives of others, and at other times God allows us to see that we are. We invest all that we have into these relationships, and this makes it worth it. Sometimes we do get frustrated... we pour all we have into these friends for years and see the trapped in this world. But it's a process. And this is God's ministry. But, it's SO worth it...To see a young guy have the opportunity to start over in life... to see a soul saved... to see a spark put back into an eye... to see someone get a glimpse of true love... to see a life transformed... to see a friend find himself. 
We are looking at the best way to help him walk away from the streets for good. He is scared that he will fall back because of the need for money. But he is determined not to. He may be a part of the work program we will be starting soon! If you would like to help support the work program, please let me know! 

There is POWER in the name of Jesus.... to break every chain!