Joe’s home life was great. Wonderful parents. Two great sisters.
But there was a darker side to his story… when he was seven or eight, he was molested by another family member.
“I felt like the power and control were taken away from me,” he says. “I started smoking marijuana and drinking. I eventually crept into cocaine, and that’s where I found the power and authority I felt had been taken away.”
That secret kept Joe a prisoner for 36 years! “I was just getting by,” he says. “I sold drugs so I could get high. I never had a job for more than two or three months.”
I didn’t want to change. I was comfortable in the chaos. But God intervened. “When the change started… it was God’s work!”
After an overdose that nearly cost him his life, Joe got into a 30-day rehab program. But when he was ready to leave, there was nowhere to go. “I was as broke as anyone could be.”
“I told them, ‘you just tell me what I need to do to get better.’ They gave me a list of places… and Market Street was on the top.”
“The Spirit is in the chapel from the first day you come here,” Joe says with a smile. “You humble yourself, you sleep here and you listen to the preachers. From that day forward, I knew: Christ is Lord!”
Joe’s faith deepened through classes and meetings. “I realized I was in a prison of my own making. I was able to understand forgiveness through Christ, but also that forgiving somebody doesn’t make what happened to me right.”
Today, Joe is an Assistant Resident Director and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor helping others uncover the secrets in their hearts!
He is just months away from receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Christian Counseling. But despite his degrees, Joe still sees himself as “just a link in the fence,” passing on the love of Christ.
With a heart of thanksgiving, Joe shares these words: “Thank you for giving me a chance to reach the potential that Christ has put in my heart!”
To read the rest of this issue of Market Street Mission Messenger, click here.
Help other men like Joe…
Joe'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?