Benny was born into a cold and violent home.
“My mother had an alcohol addiction and was very abusive, physically and emotionally. My father was in prison, but she told me he was dead,” he says. “She abandoned me when I was three.”
Benny grew up in a detention facility and the homes of various relatives. “I know how it is to feel like no one loves you, to feel like you’re rotten and there’s something wrong with you,” he says.
When he was only 12, Benny began numbing those feelings with marijuana, and escalated to cocaine by the age of 15. Though he eventually started a family and cofounded a successful business, his drug addiction destroyed everything. He lost his stake in the business, began stealing to buy drugs, and left his family. “I tried to commit suicide many times,” he says.
Then Benny went to prison and it was there, alone in his cell, feeling empty and lonely, wanting to die, that his life changed forever. “I cried out to something I didn’t know and God grabbed ahold of me. Though I didn’t know who He was, I knew I needed Him,” he says. “I wanted more of Him.”
Upon his release from prison, Benny entered our Life Change Program and, through our Bible studies, chapel, and life-skills classes, has grown strong in the Lord. He hopes to enter our Leadership Training Program, attend Bible College, and become a pastor. “I want to live the rest of my life for Him,” Benny says.
He credits the Mission with changing the course of his life. “If it weren’t for the Mission, I’d be in prison or dead,” he says. “I thought I was broken beyond repair, but love heals, and there’s a lot of love here. It changes people’s lives.”
To read the rest of this issue of Market Street Mission Messenger, click here.
Help other men like Benny…
Benny's story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our Life Change Program exists to help other men in Northern New Jersey find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?