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Michael turned from gangs to God, thanks to you

"I used to teach people how to be violent. Now, I tell them how God changed my life."

My name is Michael, and I’ve searched for love my whole life.

Growing up, violence was all around me. I was abused as a kid and left home at age 13 for the streets. I wanted to feel accepted, so I joined a gang.

By the time I was 21, I’d done and seen so many violent things. I wanted to get out of the lifestyle, but I felt trapped. I started using drugs and got addicted to heroin. It was so bad, I expected to die.

Even though I believed God existed, I didn’t think He would help someone like me. When someone told me that God could forgive my past, it was the best news I’d ever heard. I wanted the pain to end, so I started to live for God.

I stopped using drugs, opened a furniture delivery company, and I even got married. But my old habits caught up with me. I turned my back on God and returned to my old life — and brought my family down with me.

I felt ashamed and didn’t want to face God again. But God did not give up on me. And thankfully I found my way back at The Bowery Mission.

There, I started to pray and read the Bible again. The counselors helped me see that God’s forgiveness is a gift at any time — no matter how far I’ve fallen. I learned how to reconcile with my wife — and rebuild trust with my daughter.

Last year, I graduated from The Bowery Mission, and my whole family was there! We’ve had our ups and downs, but now we follow God together. We have a new life, a great church, and I have a new job that I love. God never ceases to amaze me.

On the streets, I used to teach people how to be violent. But now, thanks to The Bowery Mission, I tell people how God changed my life — and how He can change their lives, too.

I can’t change the past, but God is helping me with the future. He’s taken away the shame and I am thankful He’s making me a new man.

Help Others Like Michael

Broken men who come to The Bowery Mission, like Michael, need care, compassion and help to rebuild their lives. Your gifts help make that happen. Please give generously.

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