Living in the Hope Home was an entirely different atmosphere then living on the streets. “Love is the common denominator between a gangster and a Christian. No matter who you are we all want love. That’s what they gave me. Nobody cared about my past,” Michael says.
With Bible studies twice a day and serving on the weekends, Michael began to seek Jesus. It wasn’t a run-to-the-altar moment, but rather a slow change. “People began to see a change in me, in my eyes and my attitude,” Michael says. “We did a lot of landscape work, and God began to give me the work ethic I didn’t even have.”
A short time before Michael was scheduled to complete the program, he made some bad decisions and began getting high with some other men in the Hope Home. Within a couple of weeks, they were discovered. Normally this is grounds for dismissal but instead of just throwing him out, Michael was shown grace and given another chance. He could remain in the home, but he would have to start the nine-month program over. Michael, unwilling to agree to the terms, left, bringing a couple guys with him.
The men started living in a hotel and had no money. In desperation, Michael called out to God. He said, “God spoke to me then, as audibly as he ever has, he said ‘I’m not done with you. Go back to the Hope Home.”
Michael had to wait three days for his friends to find places to live. During those three days he looked for drugs. He paced up and down streets that were normally full of drug dealers, but God cleared the streets. Finally, Michael stood in front of his house and yelled to God, “I can’t do this anymore! You created me. You know that I’m at my breaking point. Either take this away or I’m gone!”
The next day, when Michael woke up God had once again removed his craving for drugs. While previously at the Home, Michael had pursued Jesus but been “weirded out” by the Holy Spirit. But, now, he felt God leading him to pursue the Holy Spirit, so, back in the Home he hung out with people that knew the Holy Spirit, and began to learn all that he could.
Michael said, “I was so broken and in a very dark place but God literally removed my craving for drugs completely. All I could do was rejoice and be thankful!”