From street gang to Jesus

“I ended up getting in trouble with the law for a firearm offence at the age of 14”

Have you ever wanted to become someone that you’re not as a kid? Have you every wanted to create a new identity that everyone liked, which ended up being a false identity, which self-destructed? Yeah, I was that kid.

Growing up in a family of Christians I joined the regular weekly Sunday school. I always wanted an older brother because most of my friends had older brothers or sisters that looked cool and that they looked up to.

Toward the end of my primary school year’s issues and arguments stirred up between my parents, which resulted in me living with my mum and 3 siblings whilst being the oldest as well as not getting along with my dad. Just before secondary school, I ended up watching pornography, unsuitable films and playing games like grand theft auto (GTA). I was inspired and influenced by gangster rap and hip hop and was chosen by one a well-known street gang member in my estate to join the crew.

During secondary school I grew up as a street gang member with the name ‘Trix’. Sleeping around with girls older than me, stealing their innocence and losing my own. Deceiving and lying to get my way. I was involved in street fights, school fights and became a well-known young rapper in the area. I ended up getting in trouble with the law for a firearm offence at the age of 14. Still was trying to be what everybody else liked. Story cut short I came out of jail by God’s grace – He was watching over me even though I didn’t know Him. I returned to the streets and chased girls, but kept my distance from certain other activities.

One day I met a girl who was a Christian that was in a relationship with one of my street guys and she invited us to her youth service. I thought it was a set up since there were other gang members there, but I saw a few familiar faces that were friends of mine. I then tried out the altar stuff to live for Jesus, I tried to not lie for a week, but gave up after a few days.

After my friend and the Christian girl broke up I became interested in her. Eventually she called and invited me to another youth service even though I was thinking of something else. I attended the service and this time it was different – the preacher spoke about ‘Being A Leader, Not A Follower’. Suddenly during the message I had a flashback of my life: following people but not knowing where I was going. I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know where I would go after I died, who would really care about me and I felt guilty and filthy for the wrong things I’d done before a Holy God.

I felt a fire inside of me once I had heard the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ. How He came to earth, died on the cross to pay my sin’s debt and rose from the grave, so that I might have a new life with Him and be forgiven. I went to the front of the church repented of my sins, left my old life at the cross and accepted Jesus in my life. I now have a new life, a new hope, a new future, saving me from hell and receiving the blessing of having my true identity being found in Jesus Christ.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

The more I’m getting to know God through Jesus Christ, the more I’m getting to know myself. Know Jesus. Know You.

As testified by Jonathan

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