My name is Faustino Gonzales, and I was born on February 11, 1973. I have a younger brother and sister with an older sister who passed away of cancer at age 6. Growing up was difficult as I saw and heard a lot for my age. I tasted beer first with my father at age 8. My father was a good man until he would start drinking, then he would hit my mother and us kids. We would hide for a few days at motels. My brother and sister had fun at the pools, and I was happy because he could not hurt us there. I got tired of it all, though, and asked if I could stay with my Uncle Carlos, who I looked up to. He used and sold drugs, but he always took care of family and told us that we should not follow his lifestyle as it was bad. My life went quickly down hill, and I too got involved in many things which I wish never happened. I gave up my sons and daughter because of my drinking and drug habits and finally decided to end my life by putting my 45cal in my mouth. God kept it from going off, showed me there is hope, and got me to the Mission. Since being here, I have been saved, and God has shown me He has a future for me. He has also shown me that He has forgiven me for all my sins. Where would we be without the grace and goodness of God?
My name is George Vega. I came to Georgia with my three kids, and after twenty-four years of marriage, my family broke apart. I allowed depression to take over my will to live and surrounded myself with those that had no respect of human life. I put myself in situations in which my life was at stake. I surrounded myself with drug dealers, murderers for hire, and organized crime. During those four years, I did not comprehend at that time why I was still breathing. After years of depression and numerous visits to the Georgia penal system, I spoke to the Lord. A day prior to my court date, I promised to put my trust in God. I went in front of the judge the next day, and he told me I was a free man if I would sign up for the six-month program within thirty days. I was given the mission’s number and I signed up, not within thirty days, but within the first twenty-four hours. I chose to trust the Lord and I was on my way to my new home. This new journey was one with obstacles, but my new-found Friend was determined to show me the way. After a couple hours of walking, an elderly woman pulled over and offered me a ride. After asking her what caused her to stop and offer me a ride, she said, “I don’t know. Something told me to help you.” Thank you, God, for showing me the way to my new home.
Hello, my name is Stephanie Dorian Lockhart. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the year of 1953. With my mother, older brother and older sister, we lived in the projects on the west side of town. We moved into a house on Center Hill Avenue, where at the age of 12 years old, I was shot in my right thigh with a 16-gauge shotgun. That’s when I met Jesus Christ. My mom thought I was dying and led me to Christ, while I was lying in a hospital bed. God was so good to me in 1985. I was successful in my work, running a limousine service and a decorating company. I also had some work in a fashion magazine, along with going to school. One Friday night, I was out drinking all night. The next morning, I fell asleep at the wheel of a car and hit a tree at 50 miles an hour, and lived to tell about it. I got into drugs and drinking and became a big drug dealer. One night at home with my five girls, I heard God’s voice saying to me, “You tried the world, now come try following me.” That night, I just walked away from it all and God directed me to the Atlanta City Baptist Rescue Mission to continue becoming what he wants me to be, “a new creature in Christ Jesus.” I have a new outlook on the future and know that the Lord has a plan for my life to fulfill. Amen!
Hello, my name is Chris Matney. I came from Bristol, TN looking for work. I had my own small engine repair shop when I came to realize that drugs and alcohol were ruining my life. Having and hanging around the wrong crowd, calling those that used drugs my friends, thinking they were cool, I used drugs too. Growing up in a Christian home was a good basis for me to look back to when I reached my “end”. My business relations, family, and friends all distanced themselves from me. When I realized this, I wanted to get my life back on track. I knew it had to do with Christ. That’s how I found out about the Mission, and that there’s a way to get my life back. By the teachings of God’s Word helping me, I know I will return to a better life, with Christ.
My name is Torstan Tyrone Collier. I was born in Fort Valley, Georgia, on April 28, 1976. I have five sisters and two brothers who are very strong. I come from a family whose foundation was in going to church every Sunday. I was young when my mother died and her death troubled me as I got older; I dealt with various issues as a man, including anger, guilt, loneliness, shame; and most of this because I was not ready to receive Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. On December 18, I walked through the doors of the Atlanta City Baptist Rescue Mission, needing to be rescued. I once let the devil live in me; after trusting Christ Jesus as my Saviour, I now live for Him.

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