Stories of Transformation
Over the decades, we’ve witnessed countless stories of how investment in a God-called leader makes all the difference in creating a healthy church that helps the neighborhood flourish. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I invite you to rejoice with me by taking a few minutes to watch three of these stories.
Shampayne’s earliest memory was when she was raped at three years old. Adding insult to injury, her church-going foster family also abused her. Shampayne ran away at age 14. Years passed, and she was so full of pain, anger, and bitterness that when she was 24 her four children were taken away. That woke her up and put her on the road to recovery.
Without a dad to look up to at home, Bernard was initiated into a gang at ten years old. His high school was mainly Latino and Black. He wouldn’t go so far to say he hated white people but, he says, he “didn’t like them much.” His life changed when his mother took him to church. Bernard saw the pastor as a man who took care of his family and his community. When Bernard saw the pastor’s positive influence on his community, he knew he wanted to be a pastor.
Alberto was a leader in a gang, ready and willing to use violence to take out anyone who threatened him. His family faithfully shared Christ with him and prayed for his conversion. However, one day Alberto was involved in a gang shooting. He was convicted of first-degree murder and was given a life sentence. On his knees in his cell, Alberto began unloading years of burdens to the Lord and experienced peace for the first time.