Greetings from Colombia—where lush green mountains stretch forever, adorned with miles of coffee farms. The true essence of this nation lies in the beauty of its people and their lively culture. Life here, particularly outside the bustling cities, embraces simplicity. However, within the urban hubs, a contrasting narrative unfolds—a fast-paced society marked by the influx of Venezuelan migrants, elements of corruption, drugs, gangs, and drug addicts wandering all over the city streets. Despite the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, the same reality holds true for people in all classes: a void where God is often absent from their lives. The emptiness reflected in their eyes speaks to a deep soul craving for something beyond the trappings of materialism, work, activities, drugs, sex, and corruption.
After my productive time ministering in Mexico this past summer, I was able to fly to Colombia. I have been connecting with the locals and engaging in important ministry. Specifically, I have been active in serving youngsters in neighborhoods infested with drugs, gangs, and violence. I have been busy sharing the Word of God and my testimony to many. One impactful evening, we ventured into a gang-ridden neighborhood in the city of Medellin. I had the opportunity to converse with gang members David, Diego, and Daniel, while one of my friends spoke with the gang leader. God's favor was evident as each one of them attentively listened to the gospel and asked good questions. Please pray for them to embrace Christ. I believe David would choose Christ today if he dared to trust God, irrespective of the outcome of forsaking the grip of sinful corruption.
Over the past decade since October 2013, it's been humbling to serve vulnerable youngsters around the world, grappling with the harsh realities of abandonment, abuse, sexual exploitation, and the entanglement of the gang lifestyle. In these ten years, my heart has been broken by the challenging struggles they endure. God's healing touch has been at work within my own life, patiently manifesting His grace as I have had the privilege of embracing and conversing with countless individuals. Through these interactions, I have been able to offer them the encouragement of Christ Jesus and share the peace found in His many promises recorded in the Holy Bible.
While one might assume that one would grow accustomed to witnessing dark and profound hardships, I personally never do. My time in Colombia consistently proves to be emotionally overwhelming. This nation is entangled in the production of illicit drugs, and before these substances find their way to the United States, they leave a trail of destruction among their own people. It remains consistently heart-wrenching to witness countless individuals ensnared by Satan in a disoriented haze, wandering the streets aimlessly day and night. I've had several opportunities to minister to these addicts, and I am at a loss for words to convey the distressing reality reflected by hell's shadows emanating from their eyes and permeating their lives. The gravity of these circumstances only underscores the urgency for more Christians to preach Christ Jesus and serve them with love, patience, and intensive care.
Though my heart is overwhelmed by the destruction of sin in so many lives, God has been filling my soul richly with His Word each day. I have had some wonderful moments in the mornings with God in His Bible, to which I am grateful. It is God who has given me compassion for outcasts—people who mostly are overlooked by society. Each time I sit down and talk with someone grappling with complex challenges, my mind reflects on many of my own experiences.
For many years, I held onto the hope of keeping my past and personal struggles hidden: my experiences with sexual abuse, homelessness, depression, years of lonely body ailments, rejection, slander, addiction, the tragic death of my brother, and more. However, through the challenges in both my ministry and personal life, God has patiently softened my heart. This process has enabled me to feel comfortable to open up and share my life story with people worldwide. I have come to understand that suffering is a shared human experience, and I have learned that I'm not alone in my struggles. It's only through the grace of Jesus Christ I have found the strength to persevere.
Out of the midst of anguish, the Lord led me to write a tell-all memoir, where I candidly open up about my deepest pains and secrets. My hope is to provide encouragement and support to those facing challenging hardships, hoping to uplift others who are suffering. Titled "CONFESSIONS: A MEMOIR OF HOPE FOR THE SUFFERING," the book is set to be released next month. I am not selling this book on my ministry’s website; instead, it will be made available by donations only. My desire is for this book to reach as many people as possible because I am confident that many of us are grappling with suffering. And the overreaching love and grace of Christ through my life’s story is a testimony that there is meaning behind our struggles.
I hope you will visit Mission Frontier’s website and read excerpts from the book; as well, I hope you will pre-order your copies today by visiting MissionFrontier.info/confessions.
Thank you so very much for taking the time often to pray for me and the ministry. My heart is filled with gratitude for your unwavering support and prayers.