Stories from City Life

Posted on by Reba Brookes

by Joel Fether

Javier began attending City Life in the 8th grade because his older brother, who attended City Life, would pay him to go.  But eventually God got a hold of his life and City Life became much more to him than a way to make a few quick bucks.  Now City Life is the place where he has met some of his best friends in the world - Christian friends who encourage him in his faith.  He attends City Life now because he has embraced the mission of wanting as many young people as possible to come to know the grace and mercy of God as shown to us in Jesus Christ.

Diamond has always had a lot on the ball.  Even though she was very young when she began attending City Life, she already had detailed plans for her life.  These were areas of strength for her, but she struggled to care about others.  But now, with God’s help, she is learning to love her neighbor and striving to embrace God’s plans instead of her own. 

When we met Steven he was living in the latest in a long succession of group homes and foster homes.  He’d even been adopted several times.  Most of those placements were not great living situations.  A few were borderline horrific.  All of this started for him at a young age when his mother went to prison for murder.  We constantly fought with Steven to put his headphones away but they were a security blanket for him.  As he put it, “I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t want to know anyone.”  He heard the gospel at City Life and began to pray that God would show him that He was real.  Soon after he began praying, his mother contacted him for the first time in 17 years - she had gotten out of prison.  He prayed to receive Christ at the next City Life meeting.  He will be graduating high school this year and looks forward to going to college and in the future he wants to be a leader at Youth for Christ so he can help other students. 

Marvin grew up in a Christian home, but by the time he was a teenager he was filled with anger.  He was living life recklessly; getting into violent altercations with family members, partying and using drugs, and preying on strangers to rob them.  He wasn’t living this way out of necessity, he enjoyed these things.  One of these violent incidents finally caught up to him and he found himself sitting in a cell at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.  He received a much needed wake-up call when his mother came to visit him and she looked at him the same way she used to look at Marvin’s dad when they would visit him in prison.  He never wanted his mom to have to look at him that way again.  He attended a chapel service led by a chaplain from Youth for Christ and he began to cry out to God.  He experienced God answering his prayers and began a journey of growing in his faith that continued after he was released.  This journey has led him to his current occupation working as a corrections officer in the same Juvenile Detention Center where he once was an inmate.  He relishes this opportunity to be a mentor to the young men walking the halls that he once walked.  While working this job he also met a young woman who is a Youth for Christ chaplain and a former Eastside City Life student - they are getting married in July. 

We are so grateful for these powerful testimonies!  May God grant us many more stories like these to tell!

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